Prime Minister Andrew Holness is to make the headline address at the highly anticipated Global Tourism Resilience Conference to be held from February 15-17, 2023 at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica.

Holness is to address a slew of government ministers from several nation states, policy advisors, international travel stakeholders, academics, executives of several international organisations, international business leaders, among other key stakeholders.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett highlighted the significance of the conference.

“As we exit the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism resilience has become the epicentre of national development priorities. While travel and tourism have been traditionally considered one of the most resilient segments of the global economy, it has also proven to be simultaneously and disproportionately prone to shocks, due to the impact of disruptive events on perceptions of destination attractiveness and security,” said Bartlett.

“Such disruptive events include natural disasters, climate change impacts and bio-diversity loss, food insecurity, political instability and conflicts, the threat of terror attacks, cyber-crime and cyber security issues, economic recessions and, indeed, epidemics and pandemics, as exemplified by the current crisis,” he added.

The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), which is in part piloting the conference, continues to work on building tourism resilience in the Americas, Africa and the Middle East. Through its work in these areas, it has recognised the need to consolidate learnings and build tourism resilience strategies to prepare for the next disruption to the travel and tourism space.

Bartlett said Jamaica should once again prove itself to be a pioneer when it launches the first ever Global Tourism Resilience Institute in February. The institute’s launch is to coincide with the observance of Global Tourism Resilience Day on February 17.

Executive Director of the GTRCMC, Professor Lloyd Waller, indicated that the institute will provide several offerings.

“We are in the process of establishing an institute to focus on resilience and not just tourism resilience. We will be offering short certificate courses, diploma courses, as well as an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) to provide persons with the skills and knowledge in terms of methodologies for being resilient,” said Waller.


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