Jamaica Gleaner /
San Juan, Puerto Rico:
By March 7, Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says the country will present a completed business plan on the Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management at the ITB Berlin in Germany.
The tourism minister, who unveiled plans for the centre to Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association officials in San Juan, Puerto Rico, last Wednesday, said the centre would be housed at the University of the West Indies, Mona.
He was accompanied by the technocrat leading the project, Dr Andrew Spencer, executive director at the Tourism Product Development Company.
Bartlett argued that up to recently, a 7.8 earthquake hit somewhere outside of Hondu-ras, triggering a tsunami underneath the ocean. However, many of the islands in the region learnt of it two hours later.
“The resilience centre would offer us the ability to know and trigger warnings,” said the tourism minister.
He said the centre has been fully endorsed by the UN World Tourism Organization and the World Travel and Tourism Council, with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association signed off, giving its full support and backing.
Bartlett, in his presentation spoke about vulnerability not being about seismic activity, but also about cybercrime and economic shocks.
“We have to build on our capacity, particularly, coming out of a period where we experienced three hurricanes back to back.”
He noted that he projections did not augur well; “2018 may be more difficult a year”.
He said the resilience centre would assist destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.
The centre will provide communication, marketing and branding assistance to destinations hit by disruptions/disasters towards rapid recovery; provide business intelligence and data analytics information to destinations; and monitor the recovery efforts of countries affected by a crisis.