Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett yesterday chaired the third meeting of a high-level Organization of American States (OAS) Working Group that is currently developing a tourism recovery action plan, for the recovery of the cruise and airline industries, which have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Recovery should be focused on tapping into existing resiliency practices, including long-term national development plans, and devising innovative strategies to improve resilience in these industries and the wider travel and tourism sector,” said Bartlett.
He also shared a detailed 3-step plan, which included ensuring that the industries are protocol compliant; restore customer confidence to attract the new Generation C (Gen C) market; and increase sharing of technology and information across borders.
Expounding on the strategy for destinations, airlines and cruise to be protocol-compliant and ready to welcome customers, Minister Bartlett said, “There are opportunities, notwithstanding the difference in operations and destinations, for synergies in effective science-based protocols that restore the safety, security and seamlessness in travel and stays for tourists.”
He noted that once the industries are protocol-compliant, robust marketing campaigns should then be implemented.
“More strategic and sensitive marketing campaigns to acknowledge the global shift and to offer a well needed escape will be key… Multi-destination agreements and arrangements can also be used to provide greater value to the traveler, particularly travelers from long-haul destinations, could be considered,” he said.
The working group is one of four, which were announced during the second special session of the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Committee on Tourism (CITUR) held on August 14, 2020, to facilitate the effective and timely recovery of the travel and tourism sectors.
The first meeting of the Bartlett-Chaired group took place on December 10, 2020 with representatives from various international bodies and countries in the region, including Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Honduras, Peru and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Organization of American States is the premier regional forum for political discussion, policy analysis and decision-making in Western Hemisphere affairs. It dates back to the First International Conference of American States, held in Washington, D.C., from October 1889 to April 1890.