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KINGSTON, Jamaica; February 14, 2022: Jamaica’s drive to secure a share of the lucrative tourism market in the Middle East, takes a key step forward today with Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett commencing a series of engagements with major decision makers and travel partners in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Minister Bartlett will follow up on investment and new market opportunities first broached while in the Middle East in October, 2021.
“Over the past two years Jamaica and Dubai have forged a very strong bond allowing for the creation of linkages that have been paving the way for a meaningful tourism partnership,” says Minister Bartlett who departed the island for Dubai on Saturday to fulfil a series of official engagements over the next few days in the UAE. Among his high-level engagements are meetings with Jordan’s Minister of Tourism, His Excellency Al Fayez and decision-makers of Royal Jordanian Airlines.
Minister Bartlett’s tight schedule also includes the World Travel Awards event being held today (February 14), travel to Abu Dhabi tomorrow for crucial discussions with representatives of Etihad Airways, officials from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority; bilateral meetings on Wednesday and Thursday with the Dubai Tourism Authority, Emirates Airlines and investors, and on Friday, February 18, a special Jamaica Day programme at the Dubai Exhibition Centre.
High on Minister Bartlett’s agenda is the launch by the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) of ‘Global Tourism Resilience Day’ on February 17, 2022, the day before Jamaica Day celebrations at Expo 2020 Dubai. Minister Bartlett is founder and Co-chair of the GTRCMC, which will inaugurate the recognition of the annual day to highlight the need for destinations to build their capacity to respond to international crises and disruptions.
The GTRCMC, which is based at the University of the West Indies, Mona, will host a Global Tourism Resilience Forum to mark the occasion. The event will be chaired by Executive Director of the GTRCMC, Professor Lloyd Waller. Among the speakers are Prime Minister, the Most Hon Andrew Holness, the Hon Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, who will both join virtually, as well as several Ministers of Tourism, who will highlight best practices for global tourism resilience and recovery.
Minister Bartlett will participate in a panel discussion on: “Enabling Resilience and Sustainability to Accelerate the Recovery of the Global Tourism Industry.” During the event, the Minister and Prof. Waller will also officially launch their book entitled: “Tourism Resilience and Recovery for Global Sustainability and Development: Navigating COVID-19 and The Future.”
Other Jamaican participants include Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon Kamina Johnson-Smith, who will participate in a panel discussion under the theme: “How are Women Central and Contributing to Transforming the Global Tourism Industry and Increasing its Resilience?” while Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts, Adam Stewart will participate as a panellist on the topic: “Building Resilience to Attract Investments in the Global Tourism Industry: The New Challenges and Issues.”
“Our tourism partners in the Middle East have truly embraced the GTRCMC conceptualized by Jamaica and during this week the centre will be launching the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional satellite centre of the international GTRCMC, located at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Jamaica,” Minister Bartlett revealed.
“This new GTRCMC-MENA regional centre will be located at the Middle East University in Jordan. This is a signal honour for Jamaica. The importance of the GTRCMC-MENA is borne out in the fact that it will cover Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, UAE, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Mauritania and by extension, broaden the scope of the centre’s influence,” Minister Bartlett added.
Minister Bartlett, who is accompanied by Director of Tourism, Donovan White, is slated to return to the island on February 22, 2022.