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Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism calls for more aggressive human capital development to future proof island tourism

Edmund Bartlett
Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett making his presentation during ‘The New Age of Island Tourism’ panel discussion at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai on Monday May 6, 2024.

At the Arabian Travel Market, Minister Edmund Bartlett emphasized the need for robust human capital development to future-proof tourism in small island states like Jamaica.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett is calling for a more aggressive push for human capital development which is critical to future proof tourism for small island states like Jamaica. The Minister made the call during “The New Age of Island Tourism” panel at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

“The future of tourism will depend on innovation, agility and creativity from our workers who are at the heart of our hospitality machinery. It is through the dedication and commitment of our tourism workers that the industry has been able to recover from the pandemic and grow. For Jamaica in particular, our workers are the backbone of the county’s success including our enviable 42 percent repeat visitor rate,” said Edmund Bartlett.

Hosted by Author Mark Frary, the panel included H.E Sylvestre Radegonde, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism of Seychelles, Dr. Emad Abuelanain, Associate Professor of Tourism – University of Khorfakkan and Nicolas Torio, General Manager, voco Monaco Hotel – The Heart of Europe. The panel looked at the uniqueness of island tourism and its overall contribution to global tourism.

ATM2024

Pictured: Minister of Tourism (center) pauses for a moment with (left to right) Dr. Emad Abuelanain, Associate Professor of Tourism – University of Khorfakkan, H.E Sylvestre Radegonde, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism of Seychelles, Nicolas Torio, General Manager, voco Monaco Hotel – The Heart of Europe and moderator Mark Frary. Minister Bartlett was one of the key presenters for ‘The New Age of Island Tourism’ panel at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

“Small island states like Jamaica are heavily tourism dependent so investment in our human capital development is critical to our growth strategy including building resilience. Our workers are our most iconic attraction and increasing their certification will increase the capacity to earn and contribute to the country’s tourism development. The business of mitigation and adaptation to manage disruptions is important and can only come from building our human capital which we have invested in through the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation,” said Edmund Bartlett.

The Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation was established to provide certification for students and recent graduates studying Hospitality, Tourism or Culinary Arts, as well as persons working in the tourism industry. From April 2023 to March 2024, a total of three thousand three hundred seventy-nine candidates successfully attained certification, representing an impressive 91% success rate.

“We have also targeted high school students with the implementation of the Hospitality and Tourism Management programme to ensure succession planning with the next generation of tourism workers,” added Minister Bartlett.

The Minister is leading a mission at Arabian Travel Market being held in Dubai. Over the last three decades Arabian Travel Market has become a leading global event enabling growth for the travel and tourism industry with thousands of participants attending. Minister Bartlett will be in discussions with several tourism partners and stakeholders as part of his strategic vision of attracting more visitors from this region.

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