“Jamaica’s Tourism is a Culture not an Industry”, says Bartlett

KINGSTON, JamaicaJamaica’s Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett urged more Jamaicans to embrace tourism as a cultural asset, in order  to improve the growth of the tourism industry as well as the country’s earnings.

Speaking Thursday (Sept. 13) at the closing session of the inaugural Tourism Resilience Summit of the Americas, the Minister explained that, “tourism is not a business, not a sector, but it is a culture. In order for us to build a culture of tourism, it must become a way of life for the Caribbean. This is how we are going to grow, as it is the essence of our economic being and any denial of that puts us in fantasy land.”  

“I want us to leave from this summit today fully empowered, not just with the knowledge, but also with the certainty that from this day, we are going to be advancing our culture through tourism,” he continued.

Recently released provisional data from the Jamaica Tourist Board outlines that gross foreign exchange earnings from the beginning of the year to July, increased by 6.3 per cent with approximately US$2 billion, compared to the same period last year.

The Minister believes that Jamaicans can further strengthen this strong performance by further embracing the industry as a major part of their lives and as an opportunity for generating a steady income.

He went on to share that “the facts are there to show, that tourism has been for more than 50 years, a mainstay of this Caribbean country. It has overtaken all other industries, no question about it – by way of: employment, foreign exchange generation, contribution of GDP and transformational activities of many of the resort areas.”

The summit was a precursor to the official 2019 launch of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre which was one of the major outcomes of last November’s UNWTO Global Conference on Sustainable Tourism in Montego BayIts mission is to carry out policy-relevant research and analysis on destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.

During his closing remarks, the Minister also announced that former Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Dr Taleb Rifai would act as the Chairman Pro Tem  of the the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, to help guide the development of the Centre until it is launched in January.

Minister Bartlett noted that a blueprint is going to be developed in the upcoming months, using data garnered from the discussions at the Summit. This document will help to guide the world in discussing and treating with disruptions of the nature and type that we have indicate.

Under the theme of “Tourism Resilience through Global Synergies”, the summit forms part of the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts to build resilience in a world that is hyper-connected and, as such, is more susceptible to events that disrupt tourism, such as climate change, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism and cybercrime and natural disasters.

Jamaica Tourism is a Culture not an Industry says Bartlett

Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right) engages in conversation with Professor Lee Miles, Disaster Management Centre, Bournemouth University, UK (left) and former Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Dr Taleb Rifai following the highly-successful staging of the inaugural Tourism Resilience Summit of the Americas.

Headline speakers included Professor Lee Miles, Disaster Management Centre, Bournemouth University, UK; Professor Aldrie Henry-Lee, Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) and Dr Barbara Carby, Director of Disaster Risk Reduction Centre at the University of the West Indies.

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