Caribbean

Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Calls for Global Oversight of Travel Advisories

http://www.caribbean360.com/
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett

LONDON, United Kingdom, Thursday November 7, 2019 – Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says there is a need for global
oversight of travel advisories issued for destinations, as he noted that some
advisories issued in the past have not been based on current information could
impact countries.

He made the call at the World Travel Market (WTM) which
is being held in London this week.

Speaking on a WTM panel discussion on ‘Taking
responsibility for Safety and Security’, he said: “This call for global
oversight is being made in the context of the significance of tourism as a main
economic driver in an increasing number of countries and implications that
these advisories can have on the economic viability and stability of countries
who are heavily tourism-dependent.”

Travel warnings or advisories are issued by
governments to enable travellers to make an informed decision about a
particular travel destination and to help travellers prepare adequately for
what may be encountered on their trip.

Minister Bartlett, who also made the call at the
launch of the World Travel and Tourism Council Crisis Readiness Report in
partnership with Global Rescue which was held during WTM, said while Jamaica
has not been severely impacted by travel advisories there are other countries that
have been.

“Travel advisories weigh heavily on the decisions
of tourists to visit destinations. Many times, these advisories do not have
timely review and consequently continue to carry a perspective on the destination
which may long have changed thus putting at risk the economic viability of
those communities,” Bartlett said.

“There should be a global body that offers some
oversight in the area and would intervene on behalf of some of these countries
to have adjusted advisories that reflect a more accurate picture as to what is
happening.”

Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Najib
Balala, also agreed with the sentiment and highlighted the negative impact of
old information regarding security and safety issues remaining for years on
platforms such as websites, even after the event shave passed.

Globally, tourism represents 10 per cent of global
GDP and employs 1 in 10 workers of the world. Some small and highly dependent
tourism countries have GDP dependence of up to 90 per cent as is the case in of
a number of Caribbean countries.

During the WTM, Minister Bartlett will also use the opportunity to increase in outbound travels from the UK, Northern Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, and Nordic region to grow arrivals from these markets.

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