KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett says the Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management is expected to be operational in September of this year, with an official launch scheduled for January 2019, during the Caribbean Travel Marketplace, which will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
The Centre, which will be housed at the University of the West Indies, Mona, is being designed to help vulnerable states across the world, to recover quickly from natural disasters. It will specifically target destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that threaten economies and livelihoods globally, with real time data and effective communication.
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The Minister noted that the space at the University, has now been identified and documentation is already in place to meet the September deadline. The initial build out for the Centre is estimated at US $3 million, which the Tourism Minister says will be funded from international partners.
“On Friday, my advisor Dr Lloyd Waller and I will be going to the UWI to view the space that has been identified for housing this Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre. Then on Saturday morning, I leave for Jordan where we will meet with the former Secretary General of the UNWTO [Dr Taleb Rifai] and a number of other experts. We will also finalise arrangements for the former Secretary General of the UN [Ban Ki-moon] to become a critical player,” said Minister Bartlett.
The Centre has already been endorsed by the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Caribbean Tourism Organization, along with several overseas Universities such as Queensland and George Washington.
One of the first key outputs is the establishment of a journal which will begin the process of educating the world about disruptions and the role the institution will play in assisting the sector – both regionally and internationally. The next outlined step is to build the capacity of the Centre by acquiring the hardware and software required for it to be most impactful.
Underscoring the importance of the Resilience Centre, he said “Political turmoil, pandemics, shifting global economies as well as crime and violence can be equally devastating to travel and tourism. These disruptions present new challenges for the sector, requiring those at the forefront of the field to anticipate, prepare and respond to future shocks and build resilience against them.”
He further stated that “we have to think beyond the theoretical and practical arrangements but to institutional arrangements. Part of this is to ensure that resilience is maintained and built, and that crisis management is able to find its place not as an after-fact but as a proactive arrangement, so that we are prepared and deal with these disruptions that we know are going to come.”
The Centre was first announced during the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism, held in Montego Bay last November during the International year of sustainable tourism for development.
Minister Bartlett made the announcement today during the opening of the OD Transformation Conference being held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. The event is being hosted by the Caribbean Centre for Organization Development Excellence Limited, (CARICODE) in collaboration with the Caribbean Organization Development Network (CODN), the Institute for Organization Development (IOD) in Florida and the Global Institute for Organization Development Network (GIODN).
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