Bartlett urges global support for hurricane-impacted Bahamas

Sunday, September 15, 2019

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TOURISM Minister Edmund Bartlett has urged members of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly to express solidarity with the Government and people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, following the passage of Hurricane Dorian.

Addressing the members of the 23rd Session of the UNWTO General Assembly in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the minister said, “The Bahamas is a key partner in the UNWTO network and served as chair of the Americas. We think this General Assembly should take note of the current situation there and resolve to offer all the support that is possible to ensure a speedy and effective recovery.

“I further call upon the UNWTO to support in the reconstruction process with a focus on 'building back better' and thriving, which is the essence of resilience.” In his official address, the minister also stated that the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, located at The University of the West Indies in Jamaica, stands ready to serve as a vehicle of implementation for the collective efforts of the UNWTO.

“It is real experiences such as this that inspired the establishment of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre. For decades, we have championed resilience in words, now is the time to act,” said the minister.

The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre's mission includes assisting global tourism destinations with destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that affect tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.

He also noted that resilience efforts for the tourism sector should be founded on effective crisis communication to build awareness and public education for informed messaging. The UNWTO is an agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

It includes members from 158 countries, six territories and over 500 affiliate members from the private sector. It also offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.

The minister also used the opportunity to invite the members of the General Assembly to further show their support for The Bahamas by booking their next vacation to the island.

“We emphasise and reiterate the position of the prime minister of The Bahamas, that indeed the best way to support The Bahamas is to visit The Bahamas as a tourist. Minister Bartlett and his delegation were expected to return from Russia yesterday.


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