Jamaica to host historic Global Tourism Resilience Conference in February
Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, provides details about the first-ever Global Tourism Resilience Conference scheduled to be held in Jamaica. He was speaking during the event’s launch on Thursday (January 12), at the Jamaica Tourist Board in Kingston. Photo: JIS

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Approximately 200 people have been invited to physically attend the inaugural Global Tourism Resilience Conference, scheduled for February 15 to 17 at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in St Andrew.

Other participants will be able to register at no cost and join virtually.

This was announced by Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, during the conference’s launch at the Jamaica Tourist Board in Kingston, on Thursday.

Among those expected to attend are aficionados and technical teams, theoreticians, academics, ministers of government, investment gurus and other stakeholders involved in the tourism industry from the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean.

“This is an earth-breaking international event. We’re excited that Jamaica is hosting this very important global activity and we invite you all to share with us as together we chart a new path as we recover better and stronger in tourism from COVID-19,” Minister Bartlett said.

He informed that the conference will focus on sustainability and investment, as well as “the varied areas that are part of the mosaic of connectivity that enables tourism”.

“The inclusion of an investment component in the conference, along with a discussion on the future of employment in the tourism sector, are critical factors, as they underpin the very resilience that we seek to build for tourism against global shocks,” Bartlett added.

He pointed out that natural disasters, climate-change impacts and biodiversity loss, food insecurity, political instability and conflicts, the threat of terror attacks, cybercrime and cybersecurity issues, economic recession, epidemics and pandemics are among the disruptive events that lead to global shocks affecting travel and tourism.

Bartlett further informed that the three-day conference will include 40 international speakers, who will bring insight on various topics.

“Our Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, will have a very special session at this conference, in which he will engage with Peter Greenberg of CBS TV and Radio to have a Fireside Talk. He will be talking about resilience and the impact and importance of building resilience in the Caribbean and globally,” he said.

Bartlett indicated that a major highlight at the conference will be the African-Caribbean component.

“We’ve asked the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, who heads the Africa Caribbean Institute at the UWI, the Most Honourable P J Patterson, to keynote that summit element of the conference,” he further informed.

Additionally, Bartlett said there will be a series of panel discussions with the ministers and leaders of Africa and the Caribbean.

The Minister of International Affairs from Saudi Arabia is also expected to participate in the conference, as the discussion on the Middle East will be infused in the general discourse.

Bartlett said a key component of the conference will be a discussion on the Labour Market Arrangements in Tourism.

Meanwhile, Chairman, Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and Minister of Tourism and Transport for the Cayman Islands, Hon Kenneth Bryan, is encouraging all regional ministers and directors of tourism and other stakeholders involved in the industry to attend the conference.

“Knowing Minister Bartlett, I am confident that the conference will not be a talk fest, but rather a gathering that will seek to advance these important discussions and identify concrete solutions to issues that are central to our economic and the social well-being of our territories,” he said.

The conference is being jointly organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), CTO, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), International Tourism Investment Conference, Jacobs Media and the World Travel Awards.

For more details on the conference, individuals may visit the GTRCMC website at www.gtrcmc.org.

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