JIS News

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, is emphasising the need for Jamaica to become responsive to the issues of climate change, which impacts tourism, influencing destination preferences and affecting the kinds of experiences the visitor can have.
In his message for World Tourism Day, which will be observed globally on September 27, under the theme: ‘Tourism Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change’, the Minister noted that climate change dictates that the country develops mitigating strategies, to preserve the environment and ensure the sustainability of the tourism product.
“Climate change will cause rising sea levels, stronger and more frequent storms and extreme temperature events,” Mr. Bartlett pointed out, noting that “these effects will have real impacts on the natural environment as well as man-made infrastructure, which will have implications for their ability to contribute to economic activity and support our quality of life.”
The immediate impact of climate change, he highlighted, would vary across regions and sectors of the economy, leaving Governments, the private sector and citizens, to face the direct and indirect costs accrued from increasing environmental damage and disruption.
Mr. Bartlett said that research has indicated that in less than 25 years, global temperatures are likely to rise, which may result in the loss of shorelines and in extreme cases, making low-lying islands non-existent.
In taking proactive measures, the Tourism Minister pointed out that the sector has been working with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other entities, to facilitate the integration of issues related to climate change and multi-hazard mitigation.
“We are providing training programmes to help our partners make better preparations for the effects of climate change. We feel that by mainstreaming disaster risk management in the tourism sector, we have not only addressed disaster preparedness and recovery matters, but we have also established that environmental awareness is the way we do business,” the Minister said.
To highlight the theme and the issue of climate change, the Ministry will be hosting a seminar and exhibition entitled: ‘Climate Change and the Bottom-line.the Strategic Business Outlook for Jamaica’s Tourism Sector’, on the eve of World Tourism Day (Friday, September 26), at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James.
Key speakers for the event will include Dr. Murray Simpson from the Oxford University Centre for the Environment; Consultant at KPMG International, Raymond Campbell; and representatives from the Ministries of Energy, and Health and Environment.
The seminar and workshop will last from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., followed by an exhibition from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.