MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica — Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has announced that Jamaica will host a resilience summit with key global stakeholders and thought leaders on September 13 at the University of the West Indies, Mona. The date was selected to commemorate hurricanes Irma and Maria, two of the most devastating weather systems to have affected the region.
“This summit forms part of my ministry’s efforts to build resilience within the region and globally. Resilience building has become even more crucial in a world that is hyper connected and as such more susceptible to climate change, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism and cybercrime,” Bartlett said.
The resilience summit, to be held under the theme ‘Tourism Resilience through Global Synergies’, will seek to assess existing and emerging disruptions related to tourism management globally; examine the risk of these disruptions to the global tourism product; and identify a synergetic strategic and operational framework for mutual partnerships between and among major governmental, non-governmental and business entities to address as well as develop mitigation strategies for these global disruptions.
Speaking at a press conference in Montego Bay to announce the summit, Bartlett added that this is “A precursor to the official launch of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre in January next year and this centre will be the global hub to assist destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that affect tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.”
The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre was one of the major outcomes of the Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism under the partnership of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the government of Jamaica, the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Slated to be housed at the University of the West Indies, Mona, the Centre will have a chairman of the board of directors and vice chairmen include Dr Talib Rifai, former UNWTO secretary general and Bartlett. Dr Mario Hardy, chief executive officer of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Professor Lee Miles, professor of crisis management at Bournemouth University, England will be members of the board of directors.