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

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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