Potential global economic downturn, sargassum real threats to tourism, says Bartlett

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Potential global economic downturn, sargassum real threats to tourism, says Bartlett

Thursday, August 15, 2019

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ST JAMES, Jamaica —Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett has indicated that Jamaica is taking note that a potential global economic downturn and the ongoing sargassum phenomena pose real threats to the local tourism industry.

"We recall the recession of 2008 that impacted economies globally and recognize the need to strategise in light of data and trends. Despite this global recession, Jamaica's tourism grew by an average 3.5 per cent and we will need to learn from those lessons," Bartlett said in a statement from his ministry.

There is general concern that the global economy may be on the verge of a slight downturn and possible recession. There is also concern regarding sargassum, which is a type of seaweed that can negatively impact tourist destinations when washed up on shore, the statement said.

“The possibility of a global economic downturn can have a devastating impact on not only Jamaica's tourism but the region's tourism. Coupled with this potential threat is now the impending influx of sargassum on our shores. What this means is that we must act decisively and swiftly to collaborate on the best way forward to get ahead of these threats,”Bartlett argued.

Hewas speaking at a meeting with members of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association today at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, to discuss the threat of sargassum on the island's tourism. The meeting included senior officials from the ministry and its agencies, key hotel stakeholders and president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourist Association.

Bartlett used the opportunity to have partners from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology make a presentation on their suggested strategy to cut off the sargassum prior to it reaching our shores and to get feedback from regional hoteliers.

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