Jamaica to Host OAS Policy Forum on Building Resilience in Tourism

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has announced that Jamaica will host a high-level Organization of American States (OAS) policy forum this week to focus on protecting the region’s tourism sector from disruption, including an impending recession.

Highlighting the importance of the meeting due to take place July 20-21, Bartlett said “it is primarily about building the resilience of Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs) to withstand disasters and external shocks.” .

He also said that “the capacity building initiative will go a long way as we seek to protect the sector for the future” against an impending recession and other future shocks the industry may face, adding that “we we have to be able to develop our capacity to respond to it.”

Emphasizing that the Caribbean’s reliance on tourism “looks forward to any discussion around the need for this type of resilience building,” the Minister of Tourism said that if SMTEs are unable to manage looming recession, the tourism industry will feel the full effects. effects of it.

Bartlett said SMTEs make up 80% of industry stakeholders.

Meanwhile, he added that the OAS meeting will provide tools to the countries that are under its umbrella, to help them better manage disruptions, including those of a climatic and economic type.

The event is organized in collaboration with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).

Bartlett further said that the two-day meeting “will showcase Jamaica as one of the countries that has been extremely successful in preparing its stakeholders for disasters in line with the pandemic,” among others.

He said this will lead to discussions on issues such as barriers and challenges faced by small tourism businesses, crisis communication, business continuity planning tools and the creation of community response teams. emergency (CERT).

The Minister of Tourism pointed out that the high-level discussion is sponsored by the OAS with the support of the United States of America and will see many countries represented at the event, which will be held at the Holiday Inn in Montego Bay.

Bartlett was recently elected Chairman of the OAS Inter-American Tourism Committee (CITUR). The meeting of high-level delegates this week is one of the first items on his agenda during his presidency.

Jennifer C. Burleigh