Bartlett calls on tourism leaders to discuss impact of volcanic eruptionMonday, April 12, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett is calling on tourism leaders in the region to meet to discuss the impact of the recent volcanic explosion on the island of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), which is located in the Eastern Caribbean.
After remaining quiet for nearly 42 years, La Soufriere rumbled back into life Friday, April 9.
The eruptions prompted thousands to flee for safety, with around 16,000 people living in areas under evacuation orders. Emergency officials have described the landscape as a "battle zone" and said more damage and destruction are likely.
“A disruption of this magnitude calls for an urgent discussion with regional tourism leaders to examine the implications for Caribbean tourism, given the negative impact this is having on lives, livelihoods and ultimately tourism,” said Bartlett.
St Vincent and the Grenadines' Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, ordered the evacuation of the Red Zone on Thursday and the La Soufriere volcano erupted on Friday.
“In my capacity as chair of the high-level Organisation of American States Working Group, I have been in touch with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the World Travel and Tourism Council regarding short to medium term mitigation.
“We are also in the process of mobilising support for SVG through our international network tourism resilience partners,” Bartlett said.
Support has been pouring in for St Vincent and the Grenadines as families continue to manage the post volcanic effects. Homes across the island, which has a population of around 110,000, have been covered in white-coloured volcanic dust and rock fragments.
“The time to act is now to plan the way forward including resilience building to recover stronger and thrive, and this is where the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre is able to assist," noted Bartlett.
Executive Director of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, Professor Lloyd Waller underscored the need for a collaborative approach is needed to assist the people of SVG.
“These disruptions are not new and seem to be occurring more rapidly with greater devastating effects. We need to collaborate on the way forward, SVG especially as a heavily tourism-dependent region,” Waller reasoned.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login