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Jamaica’s Tourism Minister to launch new book on Global Tourism Resilience Day 2024

Jamaican Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (left) with Secretary General of the UN Tourism, Zurab Pololikashvili at a press briefing at the Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay St. James on February 14 (Photo: Jamaica Information Service)

The conference will also host the inaugural Global Tourism Resilience Awards on the final day, honouring the top 5 tourism leaders across the Caribbean who demonstrated resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA – As preparations intensify ahead of the start of the 2nd Global Tourism Resilience Day Conference, which will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from February 16-17, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has announced the launch of a new book on Day 2 of the event entitled, “Decoding the Future of Tourism Resilience.” The conference, which is being hosted in collaboration with UN Tourism (formerly the United Nations World Tourism Organization, UNWTO) and the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), also aligns with the first anniversary of the United Nations’ official declaration of February 17 as Global Tourism Resilience Day annually.

Speaking in a press briefing recently, Executive Director of the GTRCMC, Professor Lloyd Waller, who co-authored the publication with Minister Bartlett, highlighted that their latest book covers emerging trends in tourism, including space travel and tourism, and how small island developing states can position themselves to benefit. He noted that: “This book is the result of five years of extensive conversations between Minister Bartlett and myself. It represents our commitment to codify these ideas and establish Jamaica as a thought leader in global tourism.”

With the start of the conference fast approaching Prof. Waller outlined the four critical themes that will be explored during the 2-day event: digital resilience, infrastructure resilience, funding tourism resilience, and women in tourism.

Sharing his perspective on the relevance of high-level discourse around issues particularly related to building digital resilience in tourism, Minister Bartlett said: “This conference delves into the intricate relationship between AI, virtual technology, and the tourism sector. It’s crucial to understand how the power of people to manipulate machine intelligence and learning will impact their relevance within the labour market. We will also examine how emerging business models, such as the sharing economy, are reshaping the landscape of tourism.”

He noted that other noteworthy aspects of the conference include the first visit of UN Tourism Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili to the English-speaking Caribbean. The event also commemorates Jamaica’s achievement of joining Nigeria as the only developing countries to successfully lobby for the declaration of a Global Day of Recognition around tourism.

Furthermore, Minister Bartlett stressed that the conference would facilitate discussions related to education and human capital development in the tourism sector regionally, with the goal of establishing the first-ever Caribbean Tourism Academy.

In light of this, Minister Bartlett expressed confidence in Jamaica’s tourism trajectory, adding, “Jamaica remains on track to meeting our targets of welcoming 5 million visitors and earning US$ 5 billion by 2025. With a 42% repeat business rate and performance figures trending 9% ahead of 2023 for the year already, confidence in Destination Jamaica remains high.”

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