UWI Vice Chancellor Beckles to represent Caribbean at new global tourism center

Hilary Beckles

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Hilary Beckles, has been named as one of two Caribbean representatives on the board of directors of the Global Center for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management (GCTRCM).

Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said the chief executive officer of the Jamaica National Group, Earl Jarrett, is the second regional representative to the GCTRCM that along with a virtual Observatory, emerged from discussions at last November’s United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference held in here in Montego Bay.

One of three outcomes

It is one of three tangible outcomes contained in the 15-point Montego Bay Declaration, and aims to assess, plan-for, forecast, mitigate and manage risks related to tourism resilience and crisis management. These include climate change, epidemics and pandemics, cybercrime, political instability and terrorism.

It is expected that the targeted interventions will be realized through research and development; advocacy and communication; program/project design and management; training; and capacity building.

The Observatory, to be housed in the Center, aims to support policymakers and businesses in developing better strategies for a more competitive global tourism sector.

Located at UWI, Mona

Bartlett said that the GCTRCM, which will be sited at the UWI Mona Campus, will be formally launched and full Board announced during a conference coinciding with the Caribbean Marketplace Expo in Montego Bay, from January 29-31, 2019.

He said the other board members include Professor of Crisis and Disaster Management, University of Bournemouth, United Kingdom, Lee Miles; chief executive officer of the Chesterfield Group of Hotels, one of Europe’s well-established hotel chains, Brett Holman; chief executive officer at Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), and former United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General, Dr. Taleb Rifai, who will serve as Chairman pro tem (temporarily).

“So, the (composition of the) board is seeing some really powerful persons across the world offering to assist and we continue with partners to get a few others. We are looking at (appointing) no more than 13 persons,” Bartlett said, adding that there are other names but they have not committed as yet.

Bartlett said that several universities have agreed to partner with the Government on engagements involving the Center, including the UK-based Bournemouth University; Queensland University in Australia; the Hong Kong Polytechnic; and the US-based George Washington University.

He said representatives of these universities will be involved in the development and publishing of an academic journal focusing on tourism industry disruptions, crisis management and resilience.

Bartlett said the publication, which will be the first output following the launch, will be supported by published academics on various aspects related to the subject areas.



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