Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett was today awarded the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association’s (PATWA) Tourism Minister of the Year for Sustainable Tourism in Berlin Germany.
“The award for Tourism Minister of the Year for Sustainable Tourism is a very special accolade that I accept humbly on behalf of the people of Jamaica. Jamaica has been working very hard to ensure that tourism not only benefits the country but also remains sustainable,” said the Minister.
He also noted that Jamaica has hosted two major international conferences, over the past two years, which focused on sharing best practices and solutions to make the industry more resilient and sustainable.
“The truth is the Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region in the world, with tourism being the largest generator of foreign exchange and jobs in 16 out of 28 countries in the region, and the sector receiving the most foreign direct investment. A major disruption to tourism will likely devastate the economic livelihoods of millions and stymie the sustainable development of the region, said Minister Bartlett.
It is for this reason, the Minister noted, that Jamaica has led the development of the first Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre.
‘Given the globally recognised importance of tourism management, the centre positions Jamaica as a global thought leader in tourism resilience and crisis management, and is thus a critical development enabler for countries around the world,” said Minister Bartlett.
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.
It 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.
During the awards presentation, Jamaica also received PATWA’s International Travel Award for Destination of the Year.
The event is organized by the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA), a professional organisation of travel writers that was founded in 1998.
The awards recognise individuals and organisations that have excelled and / or are involved in the promotion of tourism from different sectors of the travel trade and service providers related directly or indirectly to the industry.
ITB Berlin is the largest tourism tradeshow in the world – the foremost business platform for global touristic offers and a prime marketplace and driving force behind the international tourism industry. The event highlights hotels, tourist boards, tour operators, airlines among others related to the travel industry. ITB is also the ideal forum for establishing new customer contacts and conducting business.
ITB this year will feature a Jamaica Night event on March 7, which will highlight the county’s attractions, food and culture.
The Minister is joined by Director of Tourism, Donovan White and the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Events Manager, Lorna Robinson. He will return to the island on March 9, 2019.