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Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism renews call for special tip to finance Global Tourism Resilience Fund

GTRDC 2024
Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett gesticulates as he renews his call for a special tip to fund tourism resilience initiatives, as he addressed the 2nd Global Tourism Resilience Day Conference, which was held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from February 16-17, 2024.

Having closely examined the question of where the funding is to come from, Minister Bartlett pointed to the fact that some 1.5 billion visitors traversed the world in 2019 and “it is expected that in the next 25 years from now, 1.5 billion more people will traverse the world.”

MPMTEGO BAY, JAMAICA – Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett has renewed his call for visitors across the world to be asked to support the financing of tourism resilience initiatives via a special tip. While urging the international community to urgently unite to establish a Global Tourism Resilience Fund, Minister Bartlett outlined that “the money collected in each destination from this tip would contribute to the fund and aid in boosting tourism resilience.”

Funding tourism resilience was one of the pressing issues explored at the just concluded 2nd Global Tourism Resilience Day Conference, which was held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from February 16-17. With an international panel of experts, the discussion focused on how international organizations create and execute tourism resilience financing strategies.

Leading off the deliberations, Minister Bartlett said tourism offered investment opportunities for all interest groups “but the more important point that we want to focus on is investment in resilience; how do you present to a destination the resources necessary to enable them to be able to forecast and track disruptions, how to mitigate against it, how to manage, recover and recover quickly and how to thrive.”

“Investment in these areas is not necessarily sexy,” Minister Bartlett added as their return on investment was not easily measured. However, he said: “We are going to build capacity in this area; we’re going to be training people, educating, building structures to enable the education of people to do these things and the building of tools to be able to manage and overcome these pressures.”

Faced with the questions of where those 3 billion people will be coming from and where they will be going, he said this raised the issue of personal responsibility on the part of visitors for resilience building. Stressing that tourism is arguably the most consumer-driven activity on Earth, Minister Bartlett said: “If we were to say to each visitor who travels, leave a resilience tip behind at every point of consumption, consider what 1.5 billion visitors leaving a tip at every point of consumption, with their propensity to consume, could do to individual destinations.”

He explained that the money left in each destination from this tip would be unfettered by the bureaucracy that often comes with multi-national engagements and the difficulty of navigating those processes as well as challenges faced in defining which countries or entities would be able to access these funds.

“It’s an opportunity for us to think through, and perhaps something that the UN Tourism Secretary-General might want to look at” Minister Bartlett noted. “One hundred and fifty countries are involved here and so we can broaden the scope of available resources for resilience funding and sustainability by making a personal commitment for each tourist travelling across the world, in terms of the consumption pattern and carbon footprint that flows from those consumption patterns and to create a fund that may very well be the answer for building capacity for mitigation, adaptation and the building of human capacity,” said Minister Bartlett.

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