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Global tourism resilience satellite centres for Africa

Monday, September 16, 2019

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EDMUND Bartlett, Jamaica's tourism minister, has announced that the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCM) will be establishing satellite centres in Kenya, Seychelles, South Africa, Nigeria, and Morocco, to expand its reach.
This agreement emanated from discussions held in the margins of the 23rd session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly, which took place in St Petersburg, Russia.
The satellite centres will focus on regional issues and will share information in nano time with the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre. They will then function as think tanks to develop possible solutions.
Each minister has the responsibility of identifying a university in their respective countries, to collaborate with The University of the West Indies, and by extension the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre.
Relevant memoranda of understanding are also being finalised to facilitate this agreement, beginning with the satellite centre in Kenya.
This comes on the heels of president of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta's assumption as honorary co-chair of the GTRCM for Africa, last month.
President Kenyatta joins Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, former president of Malta, who are also GTRCM honorary co-chairs.
The governments of Jamaica and the Republic of Kenya also recently signed a memorandum of understanding to broaden cooperation in tourism. Among the areas listed in the framework for cooperation are the promotion of safe, ethical and sustainable tourism and collaboration on addressing risk related to tourism resilience and crisis management, through research and development, policy advocacy and communication management, and training and capacity building.
While in Russia, Bartlett championed the efforts of the GTRCM. He used his platform to address the General Assembly, speaking about disruptions in the Caribbean, with particular focus on The Bahamas and its recent experience with Hurricane Dorian. His speech was welcomed by the UNWTO General Assembly, which in turn has expressed solidarity with the Government and people of The Bahamas.
The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, which was first announced in 2017, operates in a global context that is characterised by not only new challenges, but also new opportunities for tourism, in an effort to improve the tourism product, as well as to ensure the sustainability of tourism globally.
The ultimate purpose of the centre is to assist destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.
The minister and his delegation were expected to return to the island from Russia on September 14.


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