Global Tourism Resilience Group Building Coalition To Aid Abaco, GB
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCM) was created last year as one of the first international organizations dedicated to providing resources and support to tourism-dependent nations in times of trouble. In its first big test, the group is mobilizing efforts to assist the Bahamas following the devastating effects of Hurricane Dorian.
“We are developing a coalition of partners such as major hotels, airlines and all major tour operators who can provide resource support to enable recovery in Great Abaco and Grand Bahama islands,” said GTRCM Co-Chair the Hon Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism of Jamaica.
Former UNWTO Secretary General and GTRCM Co-chair, Dr. Taleb Rifai, stated: “While the damage caused by Hurricane Dorian is truly devastating, the 700 islands that comprise the Commonwealth of the Bahamas are intact and open for business. The GTRCM, along with its partners, will aid in coordination efforts towards restoring normalcy on the islands of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama, the two islands affected by the hurricane.”
In his discussion with the Minister of Tourism of The Bahamas, the Hon Dionisio D'Aguilar, Minister Bartlett and members of the GTRCM board discussed the state of the industry and the nature of help required. He also made contact with regional and international partners involved in tourism development, to assist the Bahamas in future redevelopment of the two affected islands.
Special mention was made of one such local partner -- Sandals Resorts International -- which quickly began raising funds through its Sandals Foundation and welcomed US$145,000 from the public within 48 hours, which it matched for a total of US$290,000.
In addition, Minister Bartlett noted that, through the efforts of those who have supported the GTRCM thus far, more than US$10,000 worth of water has been donated to those in Abaco, through the Centre’s partner the Bahamian non-profit group HeadKnowles.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.