Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says that the unveiling of Jamaica’s Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management at last week’s Tourism Summit in Jordan was an astounding endorsement from the international tourism community.
The conference brought together key stakeholders from the private and public sectors to discuss strategies for recovery and developing resilience, brand management for sustainable growth and effective communications.
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It also highlighted how the theory and practice of winning strategies have resulted in resilience.
Bartlett, who was in Jordan for the summit, announced the creation of the centre at the opening ceremony for the Organisational Development Transformation Conference in New Kingston, last month, and again during a panel discussion, the ABC’s of Resilience in Jordan.
Other panellists included Dr Lee Miles, Professor of crisis and disaster management at Bournemouth University; Isabel Hill, director of the National Travel and Tourism Office at the United States Department of Commerce; and Deepak Raj Joshi, chief executive officer at the Nepal Tourism Board.
Hill commented that resilience is one of the most important things to talk about in travel and tourism today.
“There are issues we deal with that can be a matter of life and death,” she noted.
Bartlett pointed out that the centre will ensure that Jamaicans can sustain benefits from the economic, social, cultural, and historic value that tourism has to offer.
The panel focused on resilience as a “rubber ball” factor, the ability to recover from whatever adverse situation occurs. Understanding resilience in the context of travel and tourism is imperative to sustain positive growth, as well as building confidence in travellers.
Bartlett was also invited to participate in a special press conference during the summit to further elaborate on the centre and its mission to carry out policy-relevant research and analysis on destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.
Among global figures attending the Resilience for Tourism Summit were tourism ministers and officials, crisis management companies, insurers, hotel development corporations, destinations, NGOs, government officials, academics, and media. Lending support and endorsements of the event were leading global associations such as United States Agency for International Development, World Tourism Organization, World Travel and Tourism Council, Pacific Asia Travel Association, Tourism Cares, United States Tour Operators Association and Cruise Lines International Association.
The Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management, which will be located at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, is expected to become operational in September, with an official launch scheduled for January 2019, during the Caribbean Travel Marketplace at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.