Jamaica minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has argued the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre will be charged with driving the recovery of tourism in the destination and elsewhere in the region post Covid-19.
Speaking to Jamaica Information Service News recently, Bartlett noted that: “While nobody knew that a pandemic like no one has ever seen would bring global tourism to a virtual standstill, the GTRCM, fortunately, was created to deal with recovery and in whatever form.”
He added: “When world leaders, legislators and academics from around the world convened in Montego Bay last year January to commemorate the opening of the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre, we were thinking about the possibility of hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding and other disasters that we have experienced in the past - nothing like the coronavirus.
“While we were cognisant that there could be pandemics and other threatening diseases, nobody could have foreseen anything of this magnitude where an invisible enemy… a phantom, basically… would emerge that would close borders, shut down airports and seaports, close hotels, essentially shutting down travel, and having everybody retreat to the confines of their homes.”
The minister said it is incumbent on countries to have a strategy for recovery in place, so as to be ready to get the industry rolling again when things return to normal.
“This is where the GTRCM, will come into play,” he noted “serving as a reference point for information, communication and research on best practices in tourism recovery, which will effectively provide the road map on where we need to go to get back on our feet.”
Bartlett said that the facility will liaise with various stakeholders to promote resilience and build human capacity “so that growth can be recovered in the fastest possible time”.
In noting the sector’s resilience, he added: “Of all the major industries globally, none face greater exposure to disruptions as the tourism industry, which has proven again and again that it has the greatest capacity for recovery.”
The Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre, which is based out of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, is a tourism resource centre dedicated to conducting policy-relevant research and analysis on destination preparedness, management and recovery due to disruptions and crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods.
It involves collaboration with domestic and international policymakers and practitioners at all levels of government, private and non-profit sectors and academia.
Bartlett said that the facility will be even more committed to making Jamaica and the Caribbean among the safest destinations in the world.
“We will continue to focus on four core areas of challenge – climate change and disaster management, security and cybersecurity, entrepreneurial management and data analytics, and pandemic and epidemic management,” he concluded.
Minister Bartlett earlier spoke to Breaking Travel News about the actions the world must take to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.
Take a look at his thoughts here.