Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett yesterday (June 16) met with some of the leading partners in the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCM) to discuss projects and deliverables the Centre will commence following the opening of its new physical facility on Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in October this year.
The special dinner meeting was held at the Hilton Baku in Azerbaijan in the margins of the 110th United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council Meeting, taking place June 16 – 18, 2019 in Baku.
Minister Bartlett gave an overview of four critical projects, including the establishment of a barometer to measure resilience and set the standards for certification/accreditation of countries across the world; setting up an International Journal of Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management; building a compendium of best practices based on the experience of countries that have managed disruptions well and those that have not; and establishing an Academic Chair at the UWI with responsibility for studies in innovation, resilience and crisis management.
The issue of Corporate Social Responsibility was also raised at Sunday’s meeting. “Corporate Social responsibility is central to the sustainable development of tourism as it is for most industries but particularly tourism because of its extractive nature,” said the Tourism Minister.
“Tourism pulls a lot from communities so we need to have them involved. We need also to have inclusiveness for people with special needs and lifestyle differences in providing the world with the best opportunity to access the rich resources that exist within the people of these communities,” he added.
Minister Bartlett said the meeting brought a fresh energy to the discussion while bringing a new commitment to resource development. “So after the Centre’s official opening in October, we can get into action so that it fulfills its role of not being just a Centre for academic research but an action Centre where results are realized and implemented,” said Minister Bartlett.
In attendance were Ms. Jennifer Griffith, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Jamaica; Ambassador Dho Young-Shim, a member of the GTRCM Board of Governors; Ms. Elena Kountoura, a member of the European Union for Greece; Mr. Spiros Pantos, Special Advisor to Elena Kountoura; Hon. Didier Dogley, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine for the Seychelles; and Ms. Isabel Hill, Director, National Travel and Tourism Office, US Department of Commerce.
The GTRCM is dedicated to helping vulnerable states across the world recover quickly from disruptions and crisis that threaten economies and livelihoods globally, using real time data and effective communication. It recently took on a new global perspective with the announcement of regional Centres to be established over the next eight weeks in Nepal, Japan, Malta and Hong Kong.