The resilience of tourism-dependent countries to issues such as climate change must be central to the travel industry’s growth plans.
That was the message from Jamaica’s tourism minister and co-chair of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) Edmund Bartlett, who has renewed his call for an international relief fund for tourism communities threatened by a wide range of disruptive forces, most notably climate change, but also pandemics, terrorism and war.
While climate change has commanded headlines for decades, with Australia’s bushfire crisis the most immediately visible recent example, Bartlett stressed there were always new threats emerging, such as cybercrime.
“We want to start a global conversation on tourism resilience and crisis management,” Bartlett told TTG.
“Tourism is the fastest-growing industry in the world, accounting for 10% of global employment and an equal percentage of global GDP.
“Several regions have become hugely tourism-dependent, with the Caribbean recognised as the most dependent.
“More than 80 countries now have tourism dependence of 10% or more, so we need to start by recognising the need for this kind of institutional support for less-resourced countries.”