Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett. Photo courtesy Jamaica Information Service (JIS).
KINGSTON, Jamaica--As global tourism stakeholders and policymakers celebrated the first official Global Tourism Resilience Day, Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett issued a call on Friday for the creation of a global tourism resilience fund to support tourism-dependent nations in periods of disruption, according to a press release from the Jamaica Ministry of Tourism.
The call came as key players in tourism from around the world, including the Caribbean and Africa, devoted the third day of the first-ever Global Tourism Resilience Conference to continuing discussions on the Road to Global Sustainability and Development.
Minister Bartlett expressed that “while we talk about building resilience for tourism, we have to focus in the wider perspective on social, economic, political, health and security disruptions.”
However, he outlined that the most important of all was building human capacity to “predict, mitigate, manage disruptions when they arise, recover quickly and to thrive thereafter.”
He underscored the need to also build financial resilience while highlighting tourism’s responsibility in enabling highly tourism-dependent countries “to be able to gain an insight into their own capacity to grow, to expand and to enjoy prosperity,” the release states. To this end, Bartlett made the call for the establishment of the special tourism resilience fund.
He said, “We as an industry have the capacity to enable this fund to happen seamlessly because we are the most consumption-driven activity on planet Earth.”
The minister indicated that one way in which the fund could be financed is through a voluntary Resilience Tip given by the 1.4 billion consuming travellers and “that contribution stays in the recipient countries and builds that fund to enable capacity for resilience.”
General Manager for the Caribbean, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Tariq Ali also underscored the importance of building tourism resilience. He warned that even as tourism was recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, “while we would like to see more economies diversifying, a high-performing tourism sector is needed to see further economic growth and recovery.”
He therefore warned that “we must be cautious while optimistic” as there were still several threats that could undermine achievements made so far, the release concludes.