Tourism Minister says new generation of post COVID-19 travellers will reshape sector
Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says a new generation of post COVID-19 travellers (Generation C or GEN-C), will reshape the way global tourism is marketed for the conceivable future.
Bartlett said that tourism-dependent countries like Jamaica will have to take the lead and be more proactive in their approach in what will amount to “a new way of thinking in an entirely new ballgame”.
He warned that failure to embark on a strategic pathway could result in being squeezed out or left behind in what, undoubtedly, will be an even more increasingly competitive tourism industry.
“We have now become one generation, unified and defined by our experience during this devastating COVID-19 global pandemic,” Bartlett explained.
Bartlett said that the GEN-C concept was officially rolled out on Wednesday at the Annual General Meeting of the UK Chapter of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) by his Ministry, where Jamaica made clear its intention to play a lead role in getting tourism back on track in the aftermath of COVID-19.
“There is no question that tourism is among the sectors hit hardest by this crisis, but it is also at the heart of the recovery,” he argued.
Bartlett emphasised that a return to travel is critical for the global economy, pointing out that across the world, travel and tourism account for 11 per cent of the world’s GDP and create more than 320 million jobs for workers serving 1.4 billion travellers annually.
He said that Jamaica is pioneering this new perspective because of the country’s well-earned reputation in the art of resiliency and also knowing the importance of recovering quickly from difficult conditions.
Bartlett said that currently, global tourism ministries are working on policy frameworks that are essential to tackling the health and safety, transport, destination and overall approach to tourism resilience.
“The most resilient economies will be driving the recovery, and travel and tourism will be a multiplier and an employment engine across all sectors,” Mr. Bartlett said.
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