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Get Up and Stand Up! Jamaica is the New World Super Power in Tourism Resilience

Governments, Academics Identify Tension Affecting Tourism Recovery

“Get up and Stand up” is the famous Bob Marley tune from Jamaica. The Hon. Minister of Tourism from Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett, is excited about an important upcoming event. He is taking his prime minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, and the Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts, Adam Stewart, to the World Expo in Dubai to join in with other dignitaries to launch Global Tourism Resilience Day.

The first-ever Global Tourism Resilience Day is set to be launched at Expo 2020 Dubai by Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, and Co-Chair of his brainchild the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre. As the destination prepares to mark Jamaica Day on February 17, it will also launch Global Tourism Resilience Day.

This is an example of what can be achieved if tourism players in the world work together. However, it needs leadership, and the stars here are the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, and the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center, (GTRCMC) Executive Director, Professor Lloyd Waller.

The travel industry is and always has been fragmented – 90% are SMEs, and studies show that the majority are not prepared to respond to crises. Destinations must lead. The GTRCMC is tackling that concern in a big way. By launching an annual tribute to the resilience and naming a day as such, the Centre is bringing the need for the travel industry to focus on preparedness, crisis management, recovery, and ongoing resilience to the fore. 

Coupled with the launch of the Day, the Centre has partnered with the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council and the International Tourism Investment Corp. to provide an in-depth forum on resilience. How to prepare, plan, and ensure travel entities minimizes the impact of crises and thus destinations can rebound and recover quicker. The day will stress the need to implement, not just talk.

Jaimaca tourism Sandals
A winning team from Jamaica

“The focus will be on the ability of countries to build capacity to respond to international shocks and to be able to predict with greater certainty their responses. It will also aid countries in understanding and mitigating the effects of these shocks on their development, but most importantly, it will help them manage and recover quickly afterward,” Minister Bartlett explained. 

The global tourism industry was generally described as “resilient” because the accumulated wisdom from past experiences indicated that the sector bounced back quickly after a crisis. However, Minister Bartlett noted: “Over the past two years, the pandemic has tested this presumed industry resilience more than any previous disruptive event in modern history. It has forced all destinations, irrespective of size, location, and attributes into survival mode.”

“It has also heightened consciousness; the industry cannot afford to be taken off-guard again. Instead, it is called upon to urgently adopt a methodological, collaborative, and institutional approach towards resilience. Destinations need to build the skills and knowledge for anticipating, preparing, responding, managing, and learning from all disruptive events to ensure they are ready for the next event,” he added. 

“The GTRCMC is thrilled to have an annual day, February 17, dedicated to resilience.  We will strive to identify best practices, lessons learned, and services that assist the industry in building resilience. Through the Centre and its partners there will be academic rigor to support the shared knowledge around good practices,” commented the GTRCMC Executive Director, Professor Lloyd Waller.

“In this regard, Dubai Expo offers a perfect space to showcase our work and build global partnerships with key decision-makers continuing our mission to provide guidance to global, regional, and national tourism stakeholders,” GTRCMC and Resilience Council Co-Chair, Dr. Taleb Rifai added. The Expo has just surpassed 10 million visitors and has 108 countries represented in individual pavilions.

Global and regional speakers will share key information.

Hozpitality Group is getting ready to welcome Dubai Expo 2020

Case studies will be highlighted by speakers such as the Most Honorable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica; the Honorable Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya; Minister Reyes Morato of Spain; Minister Al Fayez of Jordan; and Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International; as well as Julia Simpson, CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council, along with many others. 

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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