The Global Tourism Resilience & Disaster Management Centre (GTRCMC) has sought to redefine the international response to calamity during an event at Expo 2020.
The little country with a big voice, Jamaica, a delegation to engage the tourism world in Dubai.
Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism for Jamaica and co-chair GTRCMC, was supported by contributions from tourism ministers from Kenya, Bulgaria, Barbados, Spain,
Botswana and Bahrain, as well as former United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) secretary general, Taleb Rifai,
Delegates enjoyed digital contributions Jamaica prime minister, Andrew Holness, and president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta.
Each supported the designation of February 17th as Global Tourism Resilience Day.
The day will be an annual reminder that destinations and members of the travel ecosystem must maintain laser focus on researching, evaluating, mitigating, responding, recovering and re-evaluating the crises that are bound to occur in their region.
“In following the five steps to resilience, they will minimise crisis impact, recover quicker and eventually thrive,” explained Bartlett.
Bartlett impressed the audience as well with his plan to start a ‘tourism recovery fund’ that will be accessible to those destinations or tourism businesses that have been affected by a crisis and have resource constraints.
The cash will be managed by the GTRCMC and funded by governments, multinationals, philanthropic and international organizations.
The Global Tourism Resilience Day will also be used to drive funding, spotlight case studies and share best practices.
Finally, to close the day for the participants both in person and online, Bartlett presented the Tourism Resilience Declaration of Dubai inclusive of 17 statements, key areas of focus target the enormous macroeconomic impact of the tourism industry on the ability for global economic recovery; the need for training and capacity building and the development of financial tools to mitigate the impact of disasters specifically for the tourism sector.
With industry-wide endorsements, the next step is UNWTO submission.
Watch highlights from the event below:
The Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre, headquartered in Jamaica, was the first academic resource centre dedicated to addressing crises and resilience for the travel industry of the region.
The body assists destinations in preparedness, management, and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.
Since its inception in 2018, several Satellite Centres have been launched in Kenya, Canada, Jordan and Bulgaria.
Others are in the process of inscription in Costa Rica, Nigeria, Spain, Greece and Ghana.