JAMAICA | A resilient tourism product must protect the environment and support local communities says Bartlett

Jamaica’s Tourism Minister and Chairman of the Inter-American Committee on Tourism (CITUR) in Washing DC, Edmund Bartlett delivers opening remarks at the Fifth Special Meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Tourism (CITUR) in Washington DC, on April 14, at the Organization of American States.  Seated from left are OAS Cultural and Tourism Chief Richard Campbell; OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development Kim Osbourne and Spain’s Permanent Observer to the OAS, Carmen Monton.
Jamaica’s Tourism Minister and Chairman of the Inter-American Committee on Tourism (CITUR) in Washing DC, Edmund Bartlett delivers opening remarks at the Fifth Special Meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Tourism (CITUR) in Washington DC, on April 14, at the Organization of American States. Seated from left are OAS Cultural and Tourism Chief Richard Campbell; OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development Kim Osbourne and Spain’s Permanent Observer to the OAS, Carmen Monton.

WASHINGTON DC, April 16, 2023 - Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund  Bartlett says despite the fact that tourism is one of the most significant contributors to global output by providing jobs, incomes and livelihoods for millions of people, The sector remains susceptible to external shocks and crises, such as natural disasters, economic downturns, and pandemics.

Addressing  the Fifth Special Meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Tourism (CITUR) in Washington DC, last week,  Bartlett who Chaired the meeting pointed out that building tourism resilience was critical to ensuring the sector’s sustainability and its contribution to the economy.

“As the sector continues its recovery, it is important that we acknowledge the importance of putting people first, investing in people and developing the right skills as crucial elements of building tourism resilience over time. It is essential to train and educate the workforce to be adaptable to changing circumstances, such as new technologies and evolving customer preferences,” he said.

“Tourism must also prioritize creating a workforce that reflects the communities it serves to deliver both an enhanced product, as well as to accrue more benefits to a broader range of stakeholders in the tourism value chain,” Bartlett continued.

The tourism Minister pointed out that “as member states in the OAS family, we must recognize the nexus between resilience and sustainable development, and tourism’s role in it. A resilient tourism must operate in a way that protects the environment and supports local communities, including, small and medium-size tourism enterprises, while at the same time ensuring economic viability..”

“Moreover, it is important that tourism practices enhance the sector’s resilience, making it better equipped to withstand crises, while contributing to long term sustainability.

“As a region, we have to position ourselves to take advantage of emerging technologies and to better use the available science and data to inform decision-making, particularly in relation to building tourism resilience, Bartlett declared. 

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