Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says that the Jamaican-based Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre has begun to mobilize resources to assist the Bahamas following the devastating effects of Hurricane Dorian.
Speaking at a media briefing at the Jamaica Tourist Board’s New Kingston office today, the Minister stated that “we have begun the process, from the Centre, to reach out to the global tourism community, to mobilize resources to support the effort of bringing back the economies of our neighbor, as well as, to bring tourism resources.”
He also shared that the Centre has been in touch with Minister of Tourism in Bahamas, the Hon Dionisio D’Aguilar to discuss the state of the industry and the nature of help that is required.
Following this conversation, the Minister has made contact with regional and international partners who are specifically involved in tourism development, to assist the Bahamas in the redevelopment of their tourism industry.
“We are now moving to get in touch with our partners such as major hotels, airlines and all major tour operators who are beneficiaries from tourism and who can in fact provide resource support to enable recovery in countries which are vulnerable and can be impacted,” said Minister Bartlett.
The Minister noted that one such local partner is the Sandals Resorts International (SRI), which has already, began a response mechanism through their SRI Foundation.
Speaking at the press conference, Deputy Chairman of the SRI, Adam Stewart shared that, “All three of the Sandals properties in the Bahamas have been unaffected which gives us [SRI] the opportunity to focus on recovery and assisting however we can. We are proud to be working with the Government of Jamaica and the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre to help our neighbouring island of the Bahamas who parts of which were badly affects by hurricane Dorian.”
He also shared that “This morning the foundation, through the efforts of those who have supported us thus far, donated US$10,000 worth of water, as a first gesture to those in Abaco, through our partner the Bahamian non-profit group HeadKnowles… A partner of Sandals has also donated US$100,000 worth of cleaning material which we will also be collecting in the next 48 hours.”
First announced during the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Sustainable Tourism in St. James in November 2017, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre has partners from across the world. These partners include the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); World Travel and Tourism Council; Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association; Caribbean Tourism Organisation; and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA).