Bartlett calls for global oversight of travel advisories at World Travel Market

BY HORACE HINES
Staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

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LONDON, United Kingdom — Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has expressed the need for global oversight of travel advisories issued for destinations.

“There should be a global body which offers some oversight in the area, and would intervene on behalf of some of these countries, to have adjusted advisories that reflect a more accurate picture as to what is happening,” Bartlett said.

Just last month the Canadian Government issued a travel warning for citizens visiting Jamaica, due to an increased threat of violent crime. The advisory was posted in response to the Jamaican Government declaring a state of emergency in several regions around the country.

On Monday, speaking at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London on a panel discussion entitled: 'Taking responsibility for Safety and Security', Bartlett stressed the importance of tourism to countries heavily dependent on the industry.

“This call for global oversight is being made in the context of the significance of tourism as a main economic driver in an increasing number of countries, and implications that these advisories can have on the economic viability and stability of countries who are heavily tourism- dependent,” a release from the tourism minister stated.

“Travel advisories weigh heavily on the decisions of tourists to visit destinations. Many times, these advisories do not have timely review and consequently continue to carry a perspective on the destination which may long have changed, thus putting at risk the economic viability of those communities.

“ Travel warnings or advisories are issued by governments to enable travellers to make an informed decision about a particular travel destination, and to help travellers prepare adequately for what may be encountered on their trip.

Bartlett, who also made the call at the launch of the World Travel and Tourism Council's Crisis Readiness Report, in partnership with Global Rescue which was held during WTM, said whilst Jamaica has not been severely impacted by travel advisories there are other countries who have been.

Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala also agreed with the sentiment, and highlighted the negative impact of old information regarding security and safety issues remaining for years on platforms such as websites, even after the events have passed. Tourism represents 10 per cent of global GDP and employs one in 10 workers of the world.

Some small and highly dependent tourism countries have GDP dependence of up to 90 per cent as is the case in of a number of Caribbean countries. The WTM is a major promotional platform for the Jamaica Tourist Board. It will feature many Jamaican companies, creating the ideal opportunity to meet industry professionals and conduct business deals.

Through its industry networks, the WTM also creates personal and business opportunities while also providing customers with quality contacts, content and communities.

During the WTM, Minister Bartlett will also seek to increase outbound travels from the UK, northern Europe, Russia, Scandinavia and Nordic region to grow arrivals from these markets. Bartlett is expected to return to the island on November 8, 2019.


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