PRIME Minister Andrew Holness; former Prime Minister PJ Patterson; Organisation of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro; and Adam Stewart, executive chairman of Sandals Resorts International and the ATL Group, will headline an impressive list of presenters at the historic Global Tourism Resilience Conference taking place in Jamaica starting today .
The conference, which runs until Friday at the Regional Headquarters of The University of the West Indies, Mona, in St Andrew, is gearing up to showcase some of the best minds on tourism resilience and sustainability, investment, and economic development.
Other notable speakers include Kenneth Bryan, minister of tourism for the Cayman Islands; Dr Taleb Rifai, chairman of ITIC Ltd and Invest Tourism Ltd, and co-chair of the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre; and Nicola Madden-Greig, president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).
There will also be strong representation from the North American, African and Caribbean regions, with several ministers of tourism and industry leaders.
This group of experts in their collective fields will gather to collaboratively discuss issues that are central to future-proofing travel and tourism against various disruptions moving forward — from natural disasters to health pandemics, economic recessions, and other such shocks that can impact the industry — with the goal of charting a course for increased resilience.
Among the topics the experts will be discussing are human capital development; how to prepare for and manage future disruptions; investing in infrastructure; fostering private and public sector partnerships; the importance of air connectivity to tourism growth; and much more.
“I am extremely pleased to have the participation of so many respected professionals as panellists and moderators for this inaugural Global Tourism Resilience Conference,” said Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett.
“It is a testament to the importance of building tourism resilience for the future through sustainable and responsible growth for Jamaica, the Caribbean, Africa, and countries across the world so that their respective economies — particularly among nations that are heavily dependent on tourism as a contributor to gross domestic product — can become more impervious to shocks,” added Bartlett.
“We are indeed looking forward to the rich discussions and positive outcomes from this conference,” said Professor Lloyd Waller, executive director of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre.
Taking place over a three-day period, the Global Tourism Resilience Conference will include panel discussions, networking opportunities, presentations, and lively debates on matters of building resilience in tourism.
On Friday, February 17 Global Tourism Resilience Day will be celebrated for the first time with a commemorative ceremony including special performances by Jamaican entertainers, recognising the official adoption by the United Nations on February 6 of the resolution to observe the day each year.