Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett has announced that Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Director of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been appointed regional coordinator of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center.
The announcement is an important outcome following Minister Bartlett’s attendance at the just concluded inaugural UAE-Caribbean Cooperation Forum 2018 held in Dubai.
“Mr. Mattar’s focus will cover the emirates and middle east region. He brings a lot of experience in tourism organization and management within this area and is enormously respected as a major player.
“We are excited about bringing him on board in this capacity and the UAE, which is now an affiliate region, will join the Mediterranean region, as well as the Mauritius and Nepal areas as the coordinating bodies that will be affiliated with the Center,” said Minister Bartlett.
With more than 25 years of experience in global destination and hospitality management and marketing, Mr. Mattar has held senior roles with leading global brands including Marriott, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and most recently Hilton Worldwide. In 2017, Mr. Mattar was elected as Vice Chair of the UNWTO Board of Affiliate Members and a member of the steering committee for the UNWTO 2017 International Year for Sustainable Development in Tourism.
The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center is being designed to be the world’s leading research, advocacy, training and policy institution, to assist global tourism destinations with destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.
The Center will be housed at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and will be officially launched during a conference coinciding with the Caribbean Marketplace Expo in Montego Bay, from January 29-31, 2019.
Minister Bartlett added that, “This Global Tourism Resilience Centre will be a game changer in how Jamaica and the world builds capacity to respond and recover even better in the event of any global disruptions.”
The overall goal of the Center will be to assess (research/monitor), plan-for, forecast, mitigate, and manage risks related to tourism Resilience and Crisis Management. This will be achieved through five objectives – Research and Development, Advocacy and Communication, Programme/Project Design and Management, as well as Training and Capacity Building.
It will specifically be tasked with creating, producing and generating toolkits, guidelines and policies to assist with preparatory and recovery efforts of tourism stakeholders affected by climatic, pandemic, cyber-crime and cyber-terrorism related disruptions.