The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association’s (CHTA) President Nicola Madden-Greig, and the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Chairman the Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism for the Cayman Islands, have joined with Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, to support the official designation of February 17 as Global Tourism Resilience Day.
The announcement comes following recent impact of hurricanes Fiona and Ian that caused damage to Puerto Rico and South Florida.
By joining with these two important industry leadership groups representing the Caribbean region, an invitation was also extended to the rest of the world to help make Global Tourism Resilience Day a historic and annual observation.
“As the Caribbean is well-known to be the most tourism-dependent region on earth, having both CHTA and CTO join the call to support Global Tourism Resilience Day is critical to our efforts to build the sector back stronger,” said the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica. “Their participation in the 3-day summit to be held in Jamaica this coming February 2023 to celebrate the Day will also be a very welcome one.”
“We must now truly harness the power of our knowledge, our human capital and resources to overcome our challenges,” said CHTA President Nicola Madden-Grieg.
Most recently, Jamaica’s Prime Minister The Most. Hon. Andrew Holness, made a call for the observation of Global Tourism Resilience Day during the September 22 session of the United Nations General Assembly.
In accordance with Prime Minister Holness’s recommendation, Minister Bartlett has further proposed support for the establishment of a Global Resilience Fund. This fund would help destinations that are recognized as facing high vulnerability to disruptions, both natural and man-made, but have insufficient financial capacity to prepare for and quickly recover from disruptions.
Both the proposed observance of a Global Tourism Resilience Day and the Fund would be designed to help build a more resilient and sustainable tourism industry worldwide.
As recent history has shown – whether it be through the pandemic or the aftermath of powerful and more frequent storms such as Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian – the tourism industry is vulnerable to disruptions.
While the tourism industry is resilient and is already well on the road to recovery from these recent disruptions, obstacles will continue to arise. For this reason, destination preparedness and management are imperative.
“We are stronger when unified and I support Minister Bartlett’s call to focus on tourism resilience in the Caribbean. To mitigate the worst case scenario, we must be proactive and deliberate. This will require support from political leaders in enacting the necessary legislation to adequately prepare for disasters of all types,” said the Hon. Kenneth Bryan.
Tourism destinations and entities worldwide must work together to achieve greater resistance to disruptions, and it is the hope of CHTA, CTO and Jamaica that these steps will help to achieve that goal.