Jamaica News: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says several key targets have been shortlisted for delivery by the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre over the next six months.
These, he said, are: publication of an academic journal on resilience and global disruptions; drafting of a blueprint for resilience; creation of a resilience barometer; and establishment of an Academic Chair for resilience and innovation.
This is in keeping with the Centre’s mandate to create, produce and generate toolkits, guidelines and policies to guide the recovery process following a disaster.
The facility, which is the first of its kind, will assist with preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten sector-dependent economies and livelihoods.
It will be housed at The University of the West Indies Mona Campus in St. Andrew.
Speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank, Mr. Bartlett said the journal’s publication, coupled with the establishment of an Editorial Board, will be led by representatives of Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom.
They will be supported by counterparts at George Washington University in the United States.
“The blueprint for resilience will have a compendium of best practices and key points of guidance for small and medium countries, particularly those that are in island states and have the greatest level of vulnerability to climatic disruptions, and also those with the highest vulnerability for seismic events,” Mr. Bartlett explained.
Regarding the resilience barometer, the Minister pointed out that it will measure countries’ resilience, citing this as imperative to providing data and intelligence for marketing and visitor education.
“So this is saying that there is to be no second-guessing by the visitor as to the integrity of the promise that is made in the market for a safe, secure and seamless experience. We are going to ensure that through these mechanisms of measurement, we will be able to give information that brings comfort and assurance to visitors when they go into destinations,” he emphasised.
Additionally, Mr. Bartlett said mechanisms will be in place to deal with disruptions when they happen.
“So if you get sick, what [will happen] is there [will be] mechanisms to deal with it. All of these are going to be important elements in helping to determine the extent of resilience… in terms of… how we can respond to disruptions and how quickly we can recover and move forward,” Mr. Bartlett outlined.
In relation to the Academic Chair, the Minister indicated that there are already expressions of interest from three parties.
He further informed that a document has been prepared, outlining the requirements and resources needed for the Chair’s establishment.
Come January 30, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre will be formally launched at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, heads the local and international government leaders and officials slated to attend.
Major partners in the undertaking include: the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Caribbean Tourism Organization (WTO), and Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA).
Source: JIS News