Jamaica to host second Global Tourism Resilience Conference from February 16-17

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (right), addresses journalists during a media briefing at the Jamaica Tourist Board in New Kingston on Tuesday, February 13, 2024. Listening is Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, David Dobson. Photo: JIS

Jamaica will host the second Global Tourism Resilience Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James from February 16 to 17.

The Ministry of Tourism and the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) are collaborating to stage the two-day event.

It will feature panel discussions, networking opportunities, presentations, and lively debates on matters relating to building resilience in tourism.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, will address the conference on Saturday, February 17, with the inaugural Global Tourism Resilience Awards slated to be held later that evening.

In his remarks during a media briefing at the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in New Kingston on Tuesday (February 13), Portfolio Minister Edmund Bartlett, said the first day of the conference will be dedicated to the academic and other thought-leadership discussions and discourses.

“The second day will be the day dedicated to discussions on tourism resilience. Now the importance of that day is the [date, the] 17th of February, and that is the day that the United Nations (UN) has designated as Global Tourism Resilience Day,” he stated.

“Jamaica is particularly proud of this designation, as it is because of our Prime Minister’s speech to the UN in September of last year calling for a Global Tourism Resilience Day, [which] followed my presentation to the UN… on the 6th of February 2023, at which 94 countries immediately supported and co-sponsored the resolution,” the minister added.

Bartlett pointed out that this was a “tremendous feat” and achievement for a small country like Jamaica.

Additionally, he said Jamaica is the second developing country that has enabled a date to be established globally for any discipline or any kind of economic or social activity.

Bartlett informed that for World Global Tourism Resilience Day, there will be discussions on education and tourism, with the purpose of exploring the prospect of establishing a Caribbean Tourism Academy.

He advised that UN Tourism Executive Secretary, Natalia Bayona, will also be having discussions with the HEART/NSTA Trust, the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI) and several academics, including GTRCMC Director, Professor Lloyd Waller.

“They’ll be visiting the Centre at the University of the West Indies, and this is going to be a very important development for Caribbean tourism, not just for Jamaica, because the power of the human capital is what we must leverage for our wealth,” Bartlett stated.

He noted that as the world changes, it will require new skills, “and so the traditional… what we call casual work that has characterised tourism over the years, is going”.

“Much of that casual work is going to be replaced by machine intelligence, and the power of people to manipulate machine intelligence is what is going to create relevance. We must be at the cutting edge of it, and this Government knows that; and this is why education transformation is such an important part of our policy direction. Tourism has to continue. It’s the only industry in the world that will survive every technological advance,” Bartlett said.

The much-anticipated conference will be attended by government ministers from several countries, policy advisors, academics, executives of several international organisations, and global business leaders, among other key stakeholders.


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