Jamaica PM underscores need to strengthen linkages between tourism and other sectors to enhance resilience & boost economic growth globally.
Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said: “Tourism acts as a catalyst for economic growth and development mainly through its induced economic impact through the creation of vital linkages with several other segments of national economies… As part of building the sustainable and resilient tourism which we all want, these linkages must be strengthened and the net value added to local economies from tourism enhanced.”
The Prime Minister was giving the keynote address at today’s opening of the three-day Global Tourism Resilience Conference being hosted by Jamaica at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in Kingston. His comments come even as Jamaica continues to lead the charge through the work of the Tourism Linkages Network (TLN), a division of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), which has been strengthening tourism linkages across Jamaica.
He told his international audience of Ministers of Tourism, senior executives in the industry and sector partners that: “Given its tremendous global contribution, there is a clear case to be made for the tourism sector to be protected as a global asset.”
Mr. Holness drew attention to the fact that: “The sector is increasingly exposed to volatility and disruptions arising from a range of both traditional and non-traditional threats, including natural disasters, climate change and global warming, terrorism, insecurity and political instability, cyber vulnerabilities, economic recession, epidemics and pandemics; indeed, tourism is affected by almost every global shock.”
Boosting the resilience of the sector is a major thrust of the conference, which is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Tourism and the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC).
According to Prime Minister Holness, “the Government of Jamaica is proud to endorse this crucial forum that will provide a platform for fruitful engagement among stakeholders, policymakers, industry leaders, innovators, scholars, and researchers from all fields.”
Prime Minister Holness stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had underscored the importance of a proactive, cross-cutting approach to building resilience across the entire tourism value chain. “This entails integrating the latest research findings, innovations and technology to create sustainable tourism practices. It requires a shift to more sustainable consumption, production and energy use practices,” he said.
GTRCMC to Develop Resilience Barometer
Meanwhile, speaking in a fireside chat with Peter Greenberg of CBS News, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett revealed that the GTRCMC will be developing “a resilience barometer” to be able to measure the level of resilience of countries, organizations and companies. “This is very important because that’s going to give valuable information for huge management decision-making, also for investment decisions,” he said. It will also be relevant to tourists, providing information on when to travel and where to travel and how to prepare themselves for their intended destinations.
Minister Bartlett explained that developing the barometer was a big task and a lot of work had already gone into it “but we have to do much more and we need to get a lot of help also from some of our multi-lateral partners because this is not something the university here and us alone can do.” He said experiences will have to be pulled from many parts of the world adding that “we will have to draw on the talent, skills and knowledge as well as data that is now available to get a good sense of what are the key touch points and how do we prepare a document which enables people to follow clearly and to be able to act properly.”
Corporate Communications Division
Ministry of Tourism
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Ministry of Tourism
64 Knutsford Boulevard
Tel: 920-4926-30, ext.: 5990
Cell: (876) 505-6118