The recently established Global Tourism & Crisis Management Centre is set to partner with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to conduct research on the potential threat of sargassum to the destination and wider Caribbean.
Sargassum is a type of brown seaweed.
Numerous species are distributed throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world, where they inhabit shallow water and coral reefs.
Minister Bartlett, who made the announcement at the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association’s annual general meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Montego Bay today, said: “The issue of managing sargassum has become more urgent since large quantities of different species of the algae accumulated along the shores of many of the countries on the Caribbean Sea in 2015.
“Sargassum, as a disruptive phenomenon, can negatively impact our destination as when washed up on shore, it often causes a foul odour, releasing fumes of sulphur compounds that rust metals, and damage modern conveniences.”
The Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre, which will open its door in October at the University of the West Indies, Mona, is tasked with assessing, planning-for, forecasting, mitigating, and managing risks related to tourism resilience and crisis management.
“The centre will be partnering with MIT, one of the leading research institutions out of the US, to explore the best possible strategies that Jamaica and the Caribbean can implement to be proactive and prevent sargassum from populating our shores,” added Bartlett.