Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says that the Jamaican-based Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre has begun to mobilize resources to assist the Bahamas following the devastating effects of hurricane Dorian.
Speaking at a briefing at the Jamaica Tourist Board’s New Kingston office yesterday (Sept. 5), the Minister said that: “We have begun the process, from the Centre, to reach out to the global tourism community, to mobilize resources to support the effort of bringing back the economies of our neighbour, as well as, to bring tourism resources.”|
Bartlett also said that the Centre has been in touch with the Bahamas Minister of Tourism, the Hon Dionisio D’Aguilar to discuss the state of the industry and the nature of help that is required.
Following that conversation, the Minister made contact with regional and international partners who are specifically involved in tourism development, to assist the Bahamas in the redevelopment of their tourism industry.
“We are now moving to get in touch with our partners such as major hotels, airlines and all major tour operators who are beneficiaries from tourism and who can in fact provide resource support to enable recovery in countries which are vulnerable and can be impacted,” said Minister Bartlett.
The Minister noted that one such local partner is the Sandals Resorts International (SRI), which has already, began a response mechanism through their SRI Foundation.
SRI’s Deputy Chairman, Adam Stewart told the briefing that: “All three of the Sandals properties in the Bahamas have been unaffected which gives us [SRI] the opportunity to focus on recovery and assisting however we can. We are proud to be working with the Government of Jamaica and the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre to help our neighbouring island of the Bahamas who parts of which were badly affects by hurricane Dorian.”
Stewart also said that: “The foundation, through the efforts of those who have supported us thus far, donated US$10,000 worth of water, as a first gesture to those in Abaco, through our partner the Bahamian non-profit group HeadKnowles … A partner of Sandals has also donated US$100,000 worth of cleaning material which we will also be collecting in the next 48 hours.”
“The establishment of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre at the University of the West Indies was a direct response to these types of disruptions which will come into our space from time to time and impact our economies. More specifically to find ways and means of building capacity to withstand these disruptions but more so to recover quickly and thrive after the recovery,” explained the Minister.
The overall goal of the Centre is to assess (i.e. research and monitor), plan-for, forecast, mitigate, and manage risks related to tourism Resilience and Crisis Management. This is being achieved through five objectives ?— Research and Development, Advocacy and Communication, Programme/Project Design and Management, as well as Training and Capacity Building.
In the Photo
Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right) engages CEO and Deputy Chairman of the Sandals Resorts International Adam Stewart (left) and Director of Tourism, Donovan White in conversation ahead of a press briefing at the Jamaica Tourist Board’s New Kingston office.