Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness says that greater effort has to be placed in strengthening linkages with key industries to create a more resilient and sustainable tourism industry.
“Crisis management requires coordination and a joint-up approach from the point of view of government and stakeholders. So it is important that we get all stakeholders on board. I am very pleased with the performance of the tourism industry but tourism does not exist in a vacuum by itself.
It has to coordinate with all the agencies and so a part of the ability to be more resilient, and to adapt is how we connect and create linkages. Resilience depends on the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Education. Greater effort has to be placed in ensuring that, if we are going to be effective in managing crises, “said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister made these remarks during the launch of the Global Resilience and Crisis Management Centre at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on January 30, 2019.
“Jamaica’s strategy is not just to ensure that Jamaica is safe, but to collaborate with all other countries…visitors to the island can rest assured that they are in a safe, secure and healthy environment,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The focus of the Centre will include: Risk Assessment, Mapping and Planning; Cyberspace Policy and Counter-Terrorism; Resilience-Related Research Collaborations; Development of Innovation Systems; Coordinating resilience policies with the government, Resource Mobilization, Capacity Building and Cross-Border Intelligence-sharing.
Speaking at the launch, Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett said, “There are four key deliverables that the Centre is focusing on at this time. One, is the establishment of an academic journal, which will be a compendium of scholarly publications, on various elements of the 5 segments of disruptions. The editorial board has already been established, headed by Professor Lee Miles of Bournemouth University, with the assistance of George Washington University. Within the next four months, that journal will be ready,” said the Minister.
The other deliverables include: a compendium of best practices/ a blueprint for resilience; a resilience barometer to measure the resilience in countries and provide benchmarks to guide countries; and to establish an academic chair at the University of West Indies for innovation and resilience.
“I am pleased to announce that we have two proposals before us for the funding of that Chair. One is from Spain and the other is from Jamaica. We are still looking because part of what we must have are the resources to manage the facilities over time,” said the Minister.
The Centre which is housed at the University of the West Indies, will be staffed by local, regional and internationally recognized experts and professionals in the fields of climate management, project management, tourism management, tourism risk management, tourism crisis management, communication management, tourism marketing and branding as well as monitoring and evaluation.
“We are looking forward to the work that is going to be done and we want to work closely with the University of the West Indies because we believe it will be beneficial for us to understand how the rest of Government can benefit from the lessons that you can teach us, to ensure that we are resilient and can manage crises,” said the Prime Minister.
The Centre will also provide research fellowship opportunities for individuals seeking to either expand their knowledge or, gain experience in tourism resilience and crisis management, through postdoctoral research, and internships for undergraduate and graduate students in fields of study related to tourism resilience and crisis management.