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KINGSTON, Jamaica; September 16, 2021: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance for global tourism policy makers and industry leaders to activate a more proactive and decisive approach, to enhance the sector’s resilience.
“Overall, the pandemic has reminded tourism policy makers and industry leaders that they are equally crisis managers. This necessitates a posture that understands and accepts the imminence of various threats to the sector and the resultant need to activate a proactive approach to enhancing its readiness to meet the challenges of the present and future,” said Bartlett.
He suggested that this decisive leadership should be underscored by meaningful partnerships and synergies; data-driven policies; innovative thinking and adaptation and human capacity-building. Other considerations can include aggressive approaches to product diversification; the establishment of effective, real-time information systems; and a commitment to sustainable tourism development that balances multi-interests and future considerations whether economic, social, human, cultural and indeed, environmental.
The Minister made these remarks during a panel discussion at the highly anticipated ‘A World for Travel – Évora Forum,’ a global sustainable travel industry event, which began today in Évora, Portugal.
The panel discussion focused on the theme “Covid-19: A Resilient Sector Drives to a New Deal with New Leadership Demands,” and was moderated by Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor at CBS News. The session explored how governments and industry step up with leadership in a congruous manner allowing the sector to influence policy.
The Minister was joined by His Excellency Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State for Tourism, France; His Excellency Fernando Valdès Verelst, Secretary of State for Tourism, Spain; and His Excellency Ghada Shalaby, Vice Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Arab Republic of Egypt.
During his presentation Minister Bartlett also highlighted that the pandemic has underscored the importance for the tourism sector to establish a task force or an action committee that can be immediately activated at the onset of a crisis.
“This critical asset provides important advantages in crisis management experiences with respect to ensuring swift responses, targetted communication, balance of information between warning and assurance and general cross-sectorial cooperation and collaborations, which allows for the leveraging of diverse strengths, skills and resources to achieve common goals. As a result of strengthened relationships among stakeholders, the capacity to identify risks early and implement effective mitigation and recovery strategies is also likely to be enhanced,” said Bartlett.
The organizers have noted that the first edition of the “A World for Travel – Évora Forum” will focus on key components of the industry where change is mandatory, identifying the steps that need to be taken and consolidating solutions to be implemented.
The conference will approach themes intrinsic to sustainability such as economic model variations, climate impact, tourism’s environmental impact, coastal and marine shifts as well as agricultural and carbon neutral policies.