All India, February 18, 2022: The Global Tourism Resilience Forum held today in Dubai at Expo 2020 in the DP Pavilion was an outstanding example of ‘taking the bull by its horns’. Minister of Tourism for Jamaica and the Co-Chair of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), Honourable Edmund Bartlett spear-headed the event with a powerful opening purpose-made video setting the scene for the dramatic day to unfold.

Watch the video here:

The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica delivered remotely, a powerful and thoughtful opening speech explaining the importance of preparedness and resilience. “The recovery of the global tourism industry is a critical determinant of the overall pace of economic recovery but particularly for the most tourism dependent regions of the world”. He continued, “the pandemic has brought opportunity for stakeholders to collaborate more closely, to identify best practices, strategies and innovation that will promote the recovery and build overall resilience for the future.”

Throughout the day speakers from the public and private sectors drew on their experiences to share with the international audience of travel and finance professionals. Minister Bartlett’s mission is to ensure the industry is delivering through action and deeds and he made that abundantly clear.

Four strategic actions were revealed today, the launch of a campaign to name February 17 as internationally recognized, Global Tourism Resilience Day. It is an initiative that will be a year in the making but has already started with the support of the United Nations and major trade associations across the world. Thus, adding to global awareness of the travel and tourism industry but drawing focus to preparedness and resilience activities. The second action was the announcement of the ambitious expansion plans of the GTRCMC. Just within the day, two agreements were signed with Canada and Bulgaria and a third to be signed in Jordan on the 20th of February to establish remote Centres.

The third action was the announcement of a book published on resilience entitled, “Tourism Resilience and Recovery for Global Sustainability and Development” which is a collaboration of PhD and graduate students with the forward by former UNWTO Secretary General, Dr. Taleb Rifai and edited by Professor Lloyd Waller, Executive Director of the GTRCMC and Minister Bartlett. And finally, not the least of which is Minister’s vision to create a global tourism fund from where destinations or industry stakeholders with limited resources can draw assistance in the case of disruption. A collection of actions that are as large in scale as the feats ahead. The speakers of the forum reiterated that disruptions will be ongoing so industry responses must be visionary and constant to meet the challenges.

“Before the pandemic, no one spoke of resilience – sustainability was the topic du jour. We have forged ahead through these critical actions of expansion, thought leadership, publication and Global Tourism Resilience Day,” concluded Minister Bartlett. But with a smile and an eye of more to come, he beamed at the audience thinking of “the establishment of an international fund, global multi-national support and funding campaigns, new tool development, technological innovations, events and publications. We will strive to affect the lives and livelihoods of millions for the better.”