Minister Bartlett Calls for a Concerted Global Effort to Boost Sustainable Tourism

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has called for a united international effort to bolster sustainable tourism practices as he addressed the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) first-ever Sustainability Week in New York, this morning.

The week-long initiative, being held from April 15-19, focuses on achieving a sustainable future for all, with a specific emphasis on the tourism industry’s role. Jamaica Tourism Minister Bartlett, a leading advocate for sustainable development in tourism, will address the High-Level Thematic Event on Tourism twice, on April 16.

In opening his address, Minister Bartlett said: “Allow me to express Jamaica’s appreciation for the support provided by the Member States of the United Nations in the General Assembly last year for the adoption of the resolution establishing February 17 as Global Tourism Resilience Day.”

The tourism minister continued by acknowledging the historical vulnerability of the tourism industry to global crises but highlighted its remarkable ability to recover and drive economic growth.

“In Jamaica, our focus has shifted towards sustainable tourism that respects both our natural resources and cultural heritage, ensuring long-term economic viability and sustainability,” Minister Bartlett explained.

He continued:

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“Protecting global tourism, especially in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), requires a concerted, international effort to implement adaptive, forward-thinking policies that not only mitigate risks but also promote sustainable practices.”

Minister Bartlett also used the forum to reiterate his call for the establishment of a Global Tourism Resilience Fund.

“It is our shared responsibility to fortify the tourism sector against the inevitable challenges of the future. We must foster a global environment where resilience in tourism is not just an aspiration but an achievement,” he said.

“The establishment of the Global Tourism Resilience Fund is a critical step towards this goal. It embodies our collective commitment to a sustainable, resilient and prosperous future for all nations reliant on tourism,” Minister Bartlett stressed.

Minister Bartlett’s address at the UNGA echoes his previous call for a special voluntary visitor contribution-driven fund to support tourism resilience initiatives. He has expressed that the establishment of a dedicated Global Tourism Resilience Fund seeks to ensure that vulnerable destinations are not only prepared for future crises but are also empowered to leverage tourism as a sustainable development tool.

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Linda Hohnholz