With this in mind, the government of Jamaica has established The Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management, a first-of-its-kind resource based in the Caribbean at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Led by Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, The Centre’s mission is to carry out policy-relevant research and analysis on destination preparedness, management, and recovery from disruptions or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.

Today, the Global Tourism Resilience Centre announced that Dr. Taleb Rifai, former Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will serve as Chairman of the Board. Dr. Rifai has an extensive background in international and national public service, the private sector and academia. He served as Secretary-General of the UNWTO from 2010-2017, where his focus was Travel and Tourism's contributions and responsibilities in a rapidly changing global scene.

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett will serve as co-chair.

Ms. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, the President of Malta, has given her full support of Centre, with further discussions of her role as Honorary President of the Centre to be held in Malta on October 28, between Min. Bartlett and Dr. Rifai.

Additionally, HRH Prince Sultan Bin Salman, President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, a man who commands tremendous respect from the International tourism community has pledged his commitment to fully support the Centre.  While not being able himself to join the board, due to time constraints, he is to name a representative from the Commission to the Centre’s Board.

Other Board members of the Centre include:

  • · Dr. Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
  • · Mr. Brett Tollman, Chief Executive Officer, The Travel Corporation
  • · Mr. Lee Miles, Professor of Crisis and Disaster Management, University of Bournemouth, United Kingdom
  • · Ambassador Dho Young-shim, Chairman, UNWTO Sustainable Tourism – Eliminating Poverty Initiative (ST-EP)
  • · Mr. Ryoichi Matsuyama, President, Japan National Tourism Organization
  • · Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies
  • · Mr. Earl Jarret, Chief Executive Officer, Jamaica National Group 

The mission of the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre is to carry out policy-relevant research and analysis on destination preparedness, management, and recovery from disruptions or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.

The Centre, which will be sited at the UWI Mona Campus, will be formally launched during the Caribbean Marketplace Expo in Montego Bay, from January 29-31, 2019.