Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett says his Ministry through the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), has allocated US$100,000 to support tourism-ravaged economies impacted by disruptions such as natural disasters and pandemics.
Speaking at a press conference today at the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Kingston office, the Minister noted that the announcement has stemmed from discussions he had with critical tourism partners at the recently concluded United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) 23rd Session of the General Assembly in Russia.
“One of the key areas we looked at in Russia is how to deal with some of these disruptions that are affecting us… Coming out of these discussions, in collaboration with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), we are providing US$100,000 in support of the tourism ravaged economies of the Bahamas and other areas in the Caribbean that may be impacted in the future,” said the Minister.
The JHTA has contributed US$20,000 to assist in relief efforts through the UNWTO and the GTRCMC.
The Minister noted that this fund is going to assist in relief efforts in hurricane-ravaged Bahamas but also towards the commissioning of a baseline study to assess the vulnerabilities of the Caribbean to major disruptions.
“A baseline study is being commissioned by the Centre to look at Caribbean vulnerabilities to disruptions of this nature. It is not just about hurricanes but other pandemics and epidemics. We are doing that, not just on the basis that is providing supplies but to build capacity. It is about the building of capacity to deal with disruptions,” said the Minister.
He also noted that, “This fund is going to look at a study in terms of understanding these phenomena but more importantly, how we build capacity to deal with them.”
The Centre’s newly elected Executive Director, Professor Lloyd Waller and his team have been tasked with overseeing the process.
“We want to also acknowledge the work that the Sandals Foundation has done and is doing in terms of the recovery process in the Bahamas. We are grateful for their partnership with the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, and the massive support they continue to give the Bahamas,” said the Minister.
The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre’s mission includes assisting global tourism destinations with destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that affect tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.