The Tourism Ministry is to establish a Recovery Task Force, which will be charged with developing a blue print for a post COVID-19 tourism industry.
This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister Edmund Bartlett, during a digital press briefing, held today (April 2) to provide an update on the sector.
“This is very important to us, as we know that the world is going to change after COVID-19. We know that there is going to be new paradigms that will emerge,” Bartlett said.
“We know also that there are going to be new markets that are going to emerge and some of the demographics that now drive the tourism experience are going to change,” he added.
Bartlett further noted that focus will be placed on new innovative drives that are going to influence new products/experiences, “and more importantly, who are going to be the new tourists who are going to come post COVID-19”.
“I think that this is very important, as we also want to look at how the airlines and aviation is going to be configured in this new paradigm.
We are talking with the market, and I must tell you the market is not as pessimistic as some people think,” the Minister said.
“We are seeing that the appetite for travel has not died. For example, bookings for May and June are still very strong. People have bought vacations sometimes a year in advance, people are members of clubs and people have rewards programmes that they are benefiting from, and all of these are impacting on the way that the appetite for the industry is still holding,” he added.
Bartlett noted, however, that everything is dependent on how the world manages the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“If we do what we have to do in Jamaica, we can flatten the curve and our recovery period can be short,” he emphasised.