Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett met, today, with the immediate past President of the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO), Dr. Ryoichi Matsuyama, who is also the current Trustee of the prestigious International University of Japan, as part of his engagements with senior level officials of Japan’s Tourism Sector, to further deepen cooperation between Jamaica and Japan’s tourism, as well as forge partnerships in the establishment of the Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management in Jamaica. The meeting was convened in the margins of the 2018 Japan Tourism Expo, which was held in Tokyo, Japan, from 20th to 23rd September 2018.
Minister Bartlett acknowledged the significant efforts made by Japan in promoting the country’s ever-growing Tourism product both regionally and globally, as well as reaffirmed Jamaica’s support during the recent series of natural disasters that have affected the island state.
Given the common geological vulnerabilities of Jamaica and Japan, the Minister used the opportunity to share Jamaica’s vision for the establishment of a Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management in Jamaica, with the former President of the JNTO, Dr. Matsuyama, during whose Presidency this important initiative received support.
The establishment of the Centre also featured as an important outcome of the recently concluded United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in November of last year, in its outcome document entitled the Montego Bay Declaration.
The purpose of the Centre, which will be housed at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus (UWI), Kingston, will be to assess, plan-for, forecast, mitigate, and manage risks related to tourism resilience and crisis management, through the following objectives: (i) Research and Development, (ii) Advocacy and Communication, (iii) Programme/Project Design and Management, and (iv) Training and Capacity Building.
Given the shared recognition of the importance of the Centre, the Minister highlighted the mutually beneficial opportunities for partnership with Japan in its establishment, which was equally acknowledged by Dr. Matsuyama, who in accepting the membership to the Board of Governors, noted that the Centre would be an important step towards increased resilience in Global Tourism Resilience.
Japan’s significance with regard to its partnership with the Centre resides in its leadership in global resilience building as reflected in its capacities to recover, quicker and better, from natural and man-made disasters as well as the many disruptions it has faced over the years.
The Minister met on Saturday 22nd September, with Mr. Hiromi Tagawa, Chairman of the Board of the JTB Corporation, to continue discussions on the establishment of the Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management in Jamaica.
The Minister is joined in Tokyo by Director of Tourism, Donovan White and his Executive Assistant Anna-Kay Newell. They returned to the island on Sunday September 23, 2018.