Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Hon, Edmund Bartlett says the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre is becoming the most significant global institution in the world, in relation to resilience and crisis management issues, as it has received support from a large number of states and major tourism entities across the world.
Speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of Tourism’s New Kingston Office yesterday (November 29), the Minister noted, “Already, we have a large number of groups that will collaborate with the Centre and help it to start operating on a global basis, even before our launch in January. Some of these partners include the International Institution for Investment in Tourism, the Pacific Asia Travel Association and the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation.”
He went on to note that, “Out of Europe, we have the Global Resilience Council, the United Nations World Tourism Organization, The World Travel & Tourism Council and the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association that that has now partnered with us. All these are critical global tourism constructs which have now become part of this entity. Before the Centre gets off the ground properly, it is hugely resourced from across the world,” said Minister Bartlett.
Also joining the leadership of the Centre is Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Director of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who has been appointed regional coordinator for the Middle East and will provide technical support.
“Following a successful meeting in Washington DC, I can also share that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has given a full endorsement and commitment to participate with resources. In fact, the country leader for IDB will come to Jamaica in week and a half, to view the site and determine what needs to be done,” said the Minister.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon Andrew Holness and Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, will also act as honorary chairs to the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre.
“Our board members include some of the leading players in the industry; form every continent, except Oceania. But, we are expected to get Australia on board through the Queensland University connection currently being negotiated in time for the launch,” said the Minister.
The Centre, which will be housed at the University of the West Indies, Mona, is being designed to help vulnerable states across the world, to recover quickly from natural disasters. It will specifically target destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that threaten economies and livelihoods globally, with real time data and effective communication.
The Centre will also house a Sustainable Tourism Observatory which will assist with preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions. It will also support policymakers and businesses develop better strategies to support a more competitive global tourism sector.
The official launch of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre is scheduled for January 2019, during the Caribbean Travel Marketplace, which will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
“The leaders of a number of global tourism entities as well as leaders of a number of small countries that are vulnerable, will come to Jamaica for the official launch of this Centre,” said the Minister.
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.