KINGSTON, Jamaica– Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said that people remain at the core of tourism’s recovery and future growth, and noted that there can be no recovery without tourism workers.
“The pandemic has brought with it its own set of disruptions and the retention of staff is one such disruption. Globally we have seen a shift where tourism workers have left the industry for more lucrative and flexible opportunities,” Bartlett said.
“This shift points to the gap in the labour market arrangements and the remuneration of our workers. We need to fix this gap because there is no real recovery without our workers who are at the heart of the industry,” he added.
The minister was speaking on the public private partnership panel at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Travel Marketplace in Puerto Rico. The other panelists included Minister of Tourism and Transport, Cayman Islands, Kenneth Bryan; Minister of Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information, St Lucia, Ernest Hilaire; Chairman, Sandals Resort International and President, Sandals Foundation, Adam Stewart and CEO Discover PR, Brad Dean.
“Tourism workers have also complained about tenure, mobility and portability which highlights the need to professionalise the industry. To do this the building of our human capital through training and certification will be critical to enable workers to demand more and retain the highest levels of skillsets,” added Bartlett.
Jamaica’s response has been the establishment of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation which, as the training arm of the Ministry of Tourism, is set to transform the labour market arrangements within the tourism sector, by producing a highly skilled workforce to meet the growing demands of the industry.
After a one-year hiatus, the CHTA has returned to face to face for its 40th Caribbean Travel Marketplace event being held in Puerto Rico from October 3-5, 2022.