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Jamaica Tourism Hero is one out of 50 new Global Icons of Travel and Tourism

Vaccine politics and tourism

The Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) in Sri Lanka recognized the Hon. Edmund Bartlett for his wide-ranging expertise and accomplishments in the political arena, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett has given over forty years of service to Jamaica, working both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives. 

Bartlett was first appointed Minister of Tourism in 2007, serving until December 2011. Prior to this appointment, he already had a solid track record of service as an outstanding legislator in central government in both Chambers of Parliament. While serving in the shadow Cabinet following his first stint as Tourism Minister, he travelled the world forging alliances with strategic partners for global initiatives. He returned to the helm of the Ministry of Tourism following his party’s victory in Jamaica’s February 2016 general election. 

As one of the world’s leading Tourism Ministers, Bartlett has represented Jamaica regionally and internationally. He served as Chairman of the Board of Affiliate Members of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Vice Chairman of the UNWTO Executive Council, as well as Vice Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). He is presently the Chair of the Regional Commission of the Americas (CAM) since being appointed in May 2019 and the founder and Co-Chair of the Global Tourism and Resilience Crisis Management (GTRCM) Centre at the University of the West Indies, Mona. 

He is the first to serve on the executive of both the public and private sector arms of this prestigious organization. This wealth of experience has made him a much sought-after speaker at tourism-related fora. 

Bartlett is an ardent proponent of public-private partnerships (PPPS), which he considers essential to the sustainable development of the tourism industry. These alliances span the various sectors, locally and internationally, that makeup tourism, including transportation, agriculture and manufacturing. Some of these partnerships have taken the form of foreign direct investment, particularly in the area of accommodation. 

PATWA Award ITB Berlin 2019

Tourism has been positioned by him as a catalyst for economic growth and the transformation of communities.

He has established five networks (Gastronomy, Shopping, Health and Wellness, Sports and Entertainment, and Knowledge) to fuel growth and initiated the Tourism Linkages Network within the Ministry to strengthen sustainable linkages between tourism and other sectors of the economy. The region has also benefited from the minister’s innovative thinking, as he views the other Caribbean and Latin American destinations not as Jamaica’s competitors but as partners that can use their combined tourism offerings to attract more visitors to experience multi-destination tourism. He has taken bold steps to have this facilitated under a special Memoranda of Understanding between nations in the region. Bartlett has been conferred numerous awards. He was awarded Minister of the Year Worldwide by PATWA in March 2018 and Caribbean Tourism Minister of the Year at the Caribbean Travel Awards 2017. 

Most recently, he received the International Institute for Peace through  Tourism (IIPT) Champions in Challenge Award at the International Travel Crisis Management Summit (ITCMS) in London in November 2018. The IIPT awards honour industry leaders who have stood forward in exceptional times of challenge and have made a real difference through their words and their actions. 

In November 2018, Bartlett was appointed to serve as a member of the board of sitting ministers for the African Tourism Board. He was also the recipient of the 2016 Caribbean Tourism Minister of Distinction award at the recent African Diaspora World Tourism Awards. In 2016, he was awarded Caribbean’s Leading Personality for Outstanding Services to Tourism at the 23rd World Travel Awards.

In 2012, Bartlett was conferred with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) for outstanding and important services to Jamaica and in 2010, was conferred with the Commander of Number of the Order of Civil Merit of Spain on the order of the King of Spain. 

He was officially presented with the 2019 TRAVVY Awards inaugural Chairman’s Award for Global Tourism Innovation for the development of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) during the launch of the Centre on January 30 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. 

The Honourable Minister was recently applauded by PATWA and awarded as Tourism Minister of the Year (2018) for Sustainable Tourism during the ITB Travel Trade Show in Berlin on March 7, 2019.

In 2020 Jamaica’s minister became a tourism hero. He was accepted as a Tourism Hero by the World Tourism Network at the World Travel Market in London in 2021.

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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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