Developing effective systems of crisis management in the Caribbean

Jamaica’s Minister Bartlett Calls for Global Resilience Center to Combat Disruptive Events and Strengthen Capacity to Predict and Manage Crises

LONDON, England – Last week, (Nov. 9th) Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, in his capacity as chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Group Secretariat (CTRGS) and coordinator of the ‘UNWTO Disaster Recovery Working Group for the Affected States in the Caribbean’, addressed the International Travel Crisis Management Summit (ITCMS) in London.

Minister Bartlett’s topic was Planning for Crises, Mitigating Impact, Managing Risks and Increasing Resilience, where he highlighted that while the global tourism sector has traditionally been very resilient, it is also a sector that is nonetheless highly susceptible to a wide range of crises related to such events as terrorism, cyber-attacks, climate change, pandemics and disruptions in major source markets.

“Crisis management and resilience strategies are intended to enhance the capacities of those tourism-dependent areas so that they can design, activate and monitor their preparatory and response systems to mitigate the fallout from crises, if and when they occur,” remarked Minister Bartlett.  “Such strategies are important especially in the context of the Caribbean which is the most tourism-dependent region in the world and whose economies have and will continue to suffer greatly from poorly-managed crisis events.”

Minister Bartlett Addresses Delegation at the International Travel Crisis Management Summit in London, England on November 9, 2017.  Photo by Steve Dunlop

During the presentation, Minister Bartlett identified the challenges to developing effective systems of crisis management and resilience in the Caribbean calling for the establishment of a centre to face these challenges. Based at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, the centre would be named “The Caribbean Centre for Resilience and Sustainability.”

“We live in a world of increasing transnational risks, systemic vulnerabilities, and environmental challenges. This centre is aimed at enhancing regional capacity to manage a range of chronic challenges that can be destabilizing to our societies,” said Minister Bartlett.

The role of the Caribbean Centre for Resilience and Sustainability will include: Risk Assessment, Mapping and Planning; Cyberspace Policy and Counter-Terrorism; Resilience-Related Research Collaborations; Development of Innovation Systems; Resource Mobilization; and Capacity Building.

The ITCMS brings together senior leaders from travel organisations, specialist service providers, policy makers and government representatives all of whom are key stakeholders in an effective global response to an increasingly complex and prolific threat.

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