Jamaica News: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he has every confidence that the tourism industry will get back to full strength at some point, but devoid of some of its traditional norms and certainly not with a ‘business as usual’ approach.
In a podcast on March 27, titled ‘Tourism Resilience and Recovery’, Mr. Bartlett said the coronavirus (COVID-19) will inevitably subside, but how quickly will depend on guidelines being followed and citizens putting country above selfish impulses.
“As we continue to fight this crisis together, we are reminded that we have been here before and like we overcame in the past, so shall we again,” the Minister said.
“How quickly we do so will depend significantly on the extent to which we, as citizens, are able to act selflessly and obey precautionary measures, on the one hand, while the State and the private sector must work collaboratively, on the other hand, to deploy resources and lead initiatives to encourage economic resilience as well as to help those who are suffering the greatest,” he added.
Mr. Bartlett said that to this end, individuals must continue to practise social distancing and limit interactions that will increase exposure to infections.
“We must also continue to observe regulations about public gatherings, while desisting from circulating misinformation or fake news that can contribute to more panic and confusion,” he emphasised.
“Also, we must continue to sterilise infrastructure and public facilities, while supporting the Government’s efforts to allocate public funds to support the preservation of jobs in both the public and private sectors,” the Minister said.
Mr. Bartlett, in the meantime, said he is of the view that the COVID-19 pandemic will easily be the game changer of this millennium, adding that while the world has witnessed other deadly pandemics in recent history, such as the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918 and the H1NI outbreak of 2009, never before has a pandemic so quickly and frighteningly rendered countries across the world so powerless and helpless in such a simultaneous and indiscriminate manner.
“Suddenly, all the advanced and seemingly impenetrable technological, scientific and military capabilities that some countries have developed to bolster self-defence and geopolitical supremacy have become useless against this indomitable invisible threat, appropriately called the great equaliser,” he noted.
The Minister argued that in many cases, crises are always followed by opportunities and “we have to position ourselves to rebound from this global pandemic, which starts with the rebuilding of confidence.”
Source: JIS News