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KINGSTON, Jamaica; June 24, 2020: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says global tourism players must prepare to meet the new demands of the post-COVID generation, whose return to travel will be crucial to the recovery of the global economy.
Making his sectoral debate presentation in Parliament earlier today, the Minister noted that: “As we get to the fulsome recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming weeks and months or even a year, we will all have had a shared global experience that is intergenerational. We are now all part of Generation C - the post-COVID generation. GEN-C will be defined by a societal shift in mindset that will change the way that we look at and do many things.”
He added that: “Post-social distancing, we will go back to offices and workplaces, and eventually back to a world that will include seeing friends and family, perhaps smaller gatherings, reimagined cultural and sporting events, and eventually to GEN-C travel. We must therefore prepare to welcome these GEN-C travellers in a safe and seamless way, to protect lives while securing our livelihoods.”
The Minister pointed to data that shows that the impact of their return to travelling will be significant, as across the world, travel and tourism account for 11% of the world’s GDP and creates more than 320 million jobs for workers serving 1.4 billion travellers annually.
“These numbers do not tell the whole story. They are just part of a connected global economy of which travel and tourism are the lifeblood — various sectors from technology, hospitality construction, finance, to agriculture are all interdependent with travel and tourism,” said Minister Bartlett.
One key initiative that the Ministry of Tourism has undertaken to facilitate GEN-C travel is the formulation of world-class tourism health and safety protocols. The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), an agency of the Ministry, along with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), formulated the tourism protocols, following extensive consultation with the Ministries of Health, National Security and Foreign Affairs as well as other local and international partners.
Minister Bartlett explained that “our protocols have received the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) ‘Safe Travels’ stamp, which will allow travellers to recognize governments and companies around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standardized protocols.” He underscored that the fundamental elements of the tourism protocols include sanitization, face masks and personal protective equipment, physical distancing, training and real-time health monitoring and reporting.
Another key initiative, which is critical to restarting the tourism economy and GEN-C travel, is the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre. The Centre, which is housed at the University of the West Indies, has so far developed satellite centres around the world, including in Seychelles, South Africa, Nigeria and Morocco.
The Centre is set to host a virtual panel discussion tomorrow (June 25), with experts from around the world, who will be sharing ideas and solutions around issues vital to restarting the global travel industry.