MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, June 7, 2018: With more than 70-members strong, the Insurance Association of the Caribbean (IAC) has endorsed the Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management, which will be housed at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. The IAC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and growth of the Caribbean insurance industry through research, education and advocacy, and has both regional and international reach. Addressing the IAC’s 38th annual conference held recently at the Hyatt Ziva Resort, President Eric Hosin said the small islands and low-lying states in the Caribbean basin were among the most vulnerable at this time and noted “climate change and its impact on the insurance industry, travel, tourism and hospitality industry are all related.” Announcing to the large gathering at the conference that “the IAC is giving full endorsement to the tourism resilience programme,” Mr. Hosin added, “We think it’s a fantastic thing and it is what we need because so many of us, not just here in the Caribbean but around the world, depend on tourism to strive as economies.” Mr. Hosin said, “As an industry, this is critical to our success and survival in the Caribbean and, I think, around the world, and we’re hoping that our insurers and reinsurance companies will come onboard because it is something that we have been hoping for.” “As an industry we are endorsing and supporting it and whatever we can do we want to encourage the Minister to really make this a reality,” the IAC President said. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, giving opening remarks at the conference, welcomed the insurance industry’s endorsement, noting that it was the first Caribbean entity to show tangible support for the tourism resilience and crisis management centre. He said it is expected to be operational in September and launched officially in January 2019 at Caribbean Marketplace, which will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Center. Minister Bartlett posited that the centre was long overdue and would support vulnerable states in the Caribbean and beyond. “We want to put the Caribbean on the map in this regard, not only as thought leader but also as a repository of a whole series of information that can guide best practices, communication as well as marketing arrangements for tourism that has the fastest turnaround after a disaster,” he said. While the possibility for fast turnaround was evident for Caribbean tourism, in particular, Minister Bartlett said what was needed “is the ability to recover quickly.” It was therefore important to build properly and be able to manage disruptions so as to have the resilience and capacity to manage available resources.
The centre will assist vulnerable states in destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that threaten economies and livelihoods globally with real time data and effective communication.
Campaigning for the centre has been taken worldwide “with good effect,” said Minister Bartlett with interest and commitment coming from a number of multi-national companies and institutions, including several internationally recognized universities. Also backing the initiative are global agencies such as the World Tourism Organization, the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Caribbean Tourism Organization as well as Pacific Area Tourism Authority, which is the umbrella organization that deals with tourism activities across Asia and the Pacific.