Minister Bartlett Underscores Need to Boost Global Tourism Resilience and Sustainability

Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett has underscored the need to boost resilience and sustainability in the global tourism industry.

He explained that this could be accomplished by engaging players of all sizes in the tourism value chain. In providing a template Minister Bartlett outlined several initiatives being undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism and its public bodies to support small and medium tourism enterprises (SMTEs) while “holding them accountable to sustainable business practices aligned with industry standards.”

Speaking during a panel discussion on the margins of the Arabian Travel Market under the theme: “Strategic Sustainability Planning – Where Does the Supply Chain Start?”, the tourism minister said:

“The essence of tourism as we know is the small and medium enterprises.”

“They are 80% of the services and the experiences that visitors have when they come to the destination.”

Minister Bartlett also explained how the strategy and policy direction of the Ministry have been positioned to bolster Jamaican SMTEs.

“We spend a lot on training and developing the capacity of small players to be firstly, more creative and innovative and secondly, to be resourced financially. So, we established a JM$1 billion window for lending to small and medium enterprises through the EXIM bank in Jamaica,” stated the tourism minister.

Technology was further highlighted as a major tool being utilised by the Ministry of Tourism in its drive to build resilience and substantiality in tourism and connect the smaller players in the industry to the larger enterprises.

In stressing the success of the Tourism Enhancement Fund’s (TEF) Agri-Linkages Exchange (ALEX) initiative, Minister Bartlett added: “We established a platform called ALEX which connects the small farmers of 1 acre to 5 acres in deep-rural regions to purveyors and procurement officers in the hotels all across Jamaica. So, on their smartphones, they can work out prices and delivery systems that allow for produce to be brought directly from farm gate to hotel.”

Minister Bartlett also emphasized the collective responsibility of tourism stakeholders to protect the environment and renewed his call for the establishment of a global tourism resilience fund.

“Our objective in tourism must not be net zero but net positive. Tourism must now, in COP 28, make its voice heard that it has a plan to mitigate, adapt and enable recovery. So, a proposal for funding is important and there’s a need for the establishment of a tourism resilience fund voluntarily financed by each individual that travels,” Minister Bartlett noted.


Corporate Communications Division

Ministry of Tourism

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Linda Hohnholz