Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has called for a full debate at the United Nations and other relevant agencies on the challenges to global tourism’s recovery, with a focus on resilience-building through funding for small island developing states (SIDS) that are highly tourism-dependent, but weakly resourced.
Bartlett said the issue of supply chain disruptions in terms of goods and services, as well as human capital, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has made the prospects of an equitable recovery challenging.
“It is necessary to develop short, medium and long-term strategies to boost tourism’s resilience and increase its sustainability during times of crisis and beyond,” the tourism minister remarked.
“The growth and stability of small and medium tourism enterprises (SMTEs) underpin the survival of the sector. In this regard, Jamaica continues to deliver critical assistance to SMTEs that constitute 80 per cent of the tourism experiences delivered to our visitors,” he added.
The tourism minister, who along with a supporting team is on a global travel blitz to boost tourism arrivals to Jamaica, was on Wednesday delivering an address at the United Nations General Assembly Roundtable in New York.
During the high-level thematic debate on tourism under the theme: ‘Putting sustainable and resilient tourism at the heart of an inclusive recovery’, Bartlett said, “people must be considered and consulted.
“People must be included and involved. People must be at the heart of the policies, programmes and practices, because people are and will always be the foundation and heartbeat of our societies, structures, systems and sector.”
The debate was organised in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).