Jamaica News: Nine of the 13 persons who will constitute the Board of the Government’s proposed Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management, have been confirmed.
They include: University of the West Indies (UWI) Vice Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles, and Jamaica National Group Chief Executive Officer, Earl Jarrett, who will be the Caribbean representatives.
This was announced by Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, during a media briefing at the UWI’s Regional Headquarters, Mona, St. Andrew, on Thursday (September 13).
He indicated that the Centre, which will be sited at the UWI Mona Campus, will be formally launched and full Board announced during a conference coinciding with the Caribbean Marketplace Expo in Montego Bay, from January 29-31, 2019.
Mr. Bartlett said other Board members include: Professor of Crisis and Disaster Management, University of Bournemouth, United Kingdom, Lee Miles; Chief Executive Officer of the Chesterfield Group of Hotels, one of Europe’s well-established hotel chains, Brett Holman; Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Dr. Mario Hardy; and former United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General, Dr. Taleb Rifai, who will serve as Chairman pro tem (temporarily).
The Minister said there are other names but they have not committed as yet. “So, the [composition of the] Board is seeing some really powerful persons across the world offering to assist and we continue with partners to get a few others. We are looking at [appointing] no more than 13 persons,” the Minister added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bartlett advised that several universities have agreed to partner with the Government on engagements involving the Centre.
They include: Bournemouth University – United Kingdom; Queensland University – Australia; Hong Kong Polytechnic; George Washington University – US; along with the UWI.
The Minister indicated that discussions are underway with a sixth institution, Nova Southeastern University, in the USA.
He noted that representatives of these universities will be involved in the development and publishing of an academic journal focusing on tourism industry disruptions, crisis management and resilience.
Mr. Bartlett said the publication, which will be the first output following the launch, will be supported by published academics on various aspects related to the subject areas.
“We will set up an Editorial Board which will be chaired by Professor Miles and will mainly comprise representatives from these universities,” he said.
The Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management, along with a virtual Observatory, emerged from discussions at last November’s UNWTO Global Conference in Montego Bay.
It is one of three tangible outcomes contained in the 15-point Montego Bay Declaration, and aims to assess, plan-for, forecast, mitigate and manage risks related to tourism resilience and crisis management.
These include climate change, epidemics and pandemics, cybercrime, political instability and terrorism.
It is expected that the targeted interventions will be realized through research and development; advocacy and communication; programme/project design and management; training; and capacity building.
The Observatory, to be housed in the Centre, aims to support policymakers and businesses in developing better strategies for a more competitive global tourism sector.
Source: JIS News