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The New World’s Leading Tourism Initiative is in Jamaica

The University of the West Indies (UWI) Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) has received special recognition as the World’s Leading Tourism Initiative at the World Travel Awards (WTA) 2021.

Held on December 16, in Dubai, the award scheme, which celebrated its 28th edition this year, acknowledges, rewards and celebrates excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. It is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality. Distinguished by WTA as the world’s leading tourism initiative, the GTRCMC which was established in 2019, is hosted at The UWI Mona Campus, and supported by several local, regional, and international stakeholders. It currently has offices in the Caribbean, Africa, and the Mediterranean, and affiliates in over 42 countries. It is focused on assisting travel and tourism organizations across the world in the management and recovery from disruptions that threaten economies and livelihoods linked to tourism.

It fosters policies to assist the efforts of communities affected by disruptions due to climate change, natural disasters, pandemics, terrorism, economic shocks, political instability, and other threats.

The Centre has spearheaded a number of resilience-related projects since its inception. Among them, the Hurricane Maria and Irma Recovery Initiative, in which the Centre mobilized regional support to assist with recovery efforts in the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. Its COVID-19 Social Awareness

The campaign raised awareness among tourism workers globally about the pandemic, whilst its Building Vaccine Confidence Project aims to reduce vaccine hesitancy among tourism workers globally. Other projects include the Global Tourism Resilience Sustainability Initiative; the Seismic Impact Assessment:

St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and the Building Better Stronger Together Initiative – Community Tourism Capacity Building in Digital Marketing.

“Since the Centre’s inception, we have been working to raise awareness, build capacity and undertake innovative initiatives in tourism resilience in several countries around the world. To be honored in this way means that we are doing something right and this is indeed motivating,” said Executive Director of the GTRCMC, Professor Lloyd Waller.

In extending congratulations on this global accolade, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles noted, “There could be no greater tangible evidence of our University’s commitment to a global outlook and actions. Here we have it, yet another international honor emerging from the activation of our Triple-A Strategy, and more precisely, our Alignment pillar.” Vice-Chancellor Beckles continued, “We are clear and committed in our pledge to enable joint academic, government, and industry partnerships like these for the advancement of critical sectors here in the Caribbean, like tourism.”

According to Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Co-Chair and founder of the GTRCMC, Honourable Edmund Bartlett, “The recognition by the leading authority that recognizes and rewards excellence in travel and tourism is heartfelt and highlights the outstanding work that this one-of-a-kind Centre for tourism resilience has been doing.”

World Travel Awards (WTA)

WTA was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the WTA brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

The University of the West Indies

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the center of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, a global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St.

Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and 10 global centers in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificates, diploma, undergraduate, and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences,

Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and the wider world.

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). In the latest World University Rankings 2022, released in September 2021, The UWI moved up an impressive 94 places from last year. In the current global field of some 30,000 universities and elite research institutes, The UWI stands among the top 1.5%.

The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean, it is also in the top 20 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old). The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the

17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

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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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