BLUEPRINT for sustainability

by May 9, 2022Pulse

A landmark MOU signed between Jamaica and Saudi Arabia is seen as a vital step, at the United Nations level, in crafting a blueprint for developing sustainable tourism on a global level.

The agreement, inked by the two countries’ tourism ministers, Edmund Bartlett from Jamaica, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Khateeb will see their countries collaborating on the development of sustainable and resilient tourism. The signing took place on May 5 at the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the UN, on the occasion of the UN High Level Thematic Debate on Tourism.

“The importance of this agreement is signalling the first collaboration between a country from the Middle East and a Caribbean country on tourism development, tourism strategies, and sustainability and resilience arrangements,” said Bartlett.

“This important agreement that brings a mature destination such as Jamaica with a new tourism destination such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is going to be critical in the value of exchanging important best practices and very useful guidelines that can benefit both countries,” he added.

Saudi Arabia has investing significantly in its own emerging tourism market while assisting the world of tourism. Jamaica has been a key partner country in this development and is part of the group of countries that has joined together to develop an alternative approach for the future of world tourism.

“The resources available to share in sustainability strategies and action, as well as resilience and the building of capacity for countries such as Jamaica which are least resourced to manage the vulnerability they face is going to be critical,” said Bartlett.

Saudi Arabia’s incredible new sustainable hotel, the Habitas Al-Ula

“I think our two countries, one in the east and one in the west, joining will demonstrate that together we can provide thought leadership to strengthen sustainability and build resilience,” he added.

Resilience has been the trademark of Jamaica’s tourism minister since he formed the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center (GTRCMC).

Co-founded in 2018 by Bartlett and former secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Taleb Rifai, the GTRCMC, headquartered in Jamaica, was established to address disruptions and crises in tourism. The centre is based at the University of the West Indies, and is the first academic resource centre dedicated to addressing crises and resilience for the travel industry in the Caribbean.

The body assists destinations in preparedness, management, and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.

Since its inception, several satellite centres have been launched in Kenya, Canada, Jordan and Bulgaria. Others are in the process of inscription in Costa Rica, Nigeria, Spain, Greece and Ghana.


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