Jamaica to Play Key Role in Global Tourism Recovery

Jamaica will play a key role in restoring global tourism when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ends, says Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett.

He said that the country is not only working on recovery efforts locally, but is also reaching out to assist its counterparts in the Caribbean region and elsewhere.

“Jamaica is not just talking about itself…Jamaica is not just talking about how we build back our product…Jamaica also has an international role that we are playing in helping to build back global tourism,” the Minister noted, while addressing a digital media briefing on Thursday (April 9).

Bartlett informed that the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre established in Jamaica, is being called upon “to provide global responses.”

He noted for instance, that Jamaica is in the process of working with the African Tourism Board on an ‘Africa Hope for Tourism’, which is a continent-wide response and the Resilience Centre is being asked “to formulate the strategic approaches for that”.

The Centre, located on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) is aimed at assessing, forecasting, mitigating and managing risks related to tourism resilience, caused by various disruptive factors. These disruptions may include climate change and natural disasters, cybercrime, cybersecurity, pandemics, terrorism, war, population and the changing funding models.

In the meantime, Minister Bartlett noted that the newly established COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Task Force, which he chairs, has been mandated to provide, among other things, a recovery and growth stimulation framework for Jamaica’s tourism sector.

“The Tourism Resilience Centre will be playing a very definitive role in this recovery exercise, because much of the research that is going to be done, much of the academic work is going to be carried through by the Centre,” he said.

The Task Force, which comprises 21 members, has also been mandated to develop scenarios and models for multiple versions of the future, post COVID-19.

This is in order to determine how to allocate resources, and what actions will be required to bring Jamaica at the forefront of the world market once the recovery happens.

It will establish the strategic position for the tourism sector as well as a broad direction of the journey back to growth, and the actions and strategic imperatives that will be reflected across various scenarios.