Jamaica's Minister for Tourism Calls for Creation of Global Disaster Management Center

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Edmund Bartlett

Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has called for the creation of a global crises management center that would help coordinate management and recovery following disruption from natural and man-made disasters. The institution would also have enhanced predictive capacity.

Bartlett’s presented his proposasl at the International Travel Crisis Management Summit (ITCMS) in London, last week. He said although the global tourism sector has traditionally been "very resilient," it is also highly susceptible to a wide range of crises related to such events as terrorism, cyber-attacks, climate change, pandemics and disruptions in major source markets.

“Crisis management and resilience strategies are intended to enhance the capacities of those tourism-dependent areas so that they can design, activate and monitor their preparatory and response systems to mitigate the fallout from crises, if and when they occur,” Bartlett said. “Such strategies are important especially in the context of the Caribbean which is the most tourism-dependent region in the world and whose economies have and will continue to suffer greatly from poorly-managed crisis events.”

Bartlett identified the challenges to developing effective systems of crisis management and resilience in the Caribbean calling for the establishment of a center to face these needs. Based at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, the body would be named “The Caribbean Center for Resilience and Sustainability.”

“We live in a world of increasing transnational risks, systemic vulnerabilities, and environmental challenges," he said. "This center is aimed at enhancing regional capacity to manage a range of chronic challenges that can be destabilizing to our societies."

The proposed body would handle risk sssessment, mapping and planning; cyberspace policy and counter-terrorism; resilience-related research collaborations; development of innovation systems; resource mobilization; and capacity building.

Bartlett is chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Group Secretariat (CTRGS) and coordinator of the UNWTO Disaster Recovery Working Group for the Affected States in the Caribbean.

The ITCMS brings together senior leaders from travel organizations, specialist service providers, policy makers and government representatives all of whom are key stakeholders in an effective global response to an increasingly complex and prolific threat.

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