Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett is expected to participate in the first Asian Resilience Summit, being held in Kathmandu, Nepal on May 31, 2019.
The Minister received this invitation from Deepak Raj Joshi, Chief Executive Officer of the Nepal Tourism Board, who requested that he join other global leaders of travel and tourism, in a panel discussion on tourism resilience.
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“Jamaica is very happy to share our expertise on tourism resilience at this very critical global conference being hosted in Nepal. We hope to share the best practices learned from this event with the rest of the world through the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center, which will be fully-operational in a few months. I also look forward to sharing insights into the role of the Centre and its significance to global tourism,” said Minister Bartlett.
The overall goal of the Center, which is located at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, will be to assess (research/monitor), plan-for, forecast, mitigate, and manage risks related to tourism resilience and crisis management.
According to organisers, the Minister’s session in Nepal will specifically highlight countries that have harnessed the economic drivers of tourism and ensured resiliency through proper positioning of the sector. Other panellists in this discussion include, Dr. Taleb Rifai, Chairman of the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council; H.E. Jing Xu, Regional Director of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA); and Ian Taylor, Executive Editor of Travel Weekly Group.
Professor Lloyd Waller, Executive Director of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center, was also invited to speak in a panel on communication and training. During the discussions, panellists will share their experiences in communication plans prior to, during and post crisis.
The summit forms part of the activities of the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council (GTTRC) which was developed to provide a platform for professionals from various industries to share information and best practices regarding resilience, crises, and disasters – both man-made and natural – in the context of tourism.
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It will have a strong focus on the benefits of marketing to the intrepid traveller, as well as wider affinity markets, perception, brand management and communication, entrepreneurial spirit, government programs and philosophies that can be developed or deployed for other destinations’ resiliency planning.
During his visit, the Minister will meet with the Former UNWTO Secretary General, Dr. Taleb Rifai, regarding the recovery strategies for Nepal’s post-earthquake programme, at the request of Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Minister Bartlett will later travel to the US Virgin Islands to participate at the Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post- Disaster Recovery during the period June 3-4, 2019. This Action Network brings together leaders from across sectors to develop new, specific, and measurable plans that advance recovery and promote long-term resiliency across the region.
The meeting will outline innovative programmes in the tourism sector and sustainable practices that are inclusive of Small and Medium Enterprises and conducive of economic growth.
The Minister is accompanied by Professor Lloyd Waller, Senior Advisor/Consultant and Miss Anna-Kay Newell his Executive Assistant, in Nepal. Professor Waller and Miss Newell will return to Jamaica on June 1, 2019.
The Minister, however, will return to Jamaica on June 6, 2019, as he will be attending the meeting of the CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery in the US Virgin Islands alone.
The Government of Nepal is funding the Minister’s participation in the Asian Resilience Summit.