Plans to establish the world’s first Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) are ahead of schedule, a second meeting of the centre’s board was told last week.

The honourable Edmund Bartlett, tourism minister for Jamaica and chairman of the centre, gave an update at the meeting held during the ITB 2019 trade show in Berlin.

He said: “I am very happy to announce that we are ahead of schedule for many of the plans that we have for the establishment and operations of this very important global institution.

“Our partners have been very active in securing important potential investors, as well as in the development of our key initiatives.”

The centre, based at the regional headquarters of the University of West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, was formally opened on January 31, a board of governors drawn from supporting governments and leading travel firms having been established in August 2018.

Alongside the creation of the centre the GTRCMC has agreed four key objectives in the areas of research and development, policy advocacy and communication management, programme and project design and management, and training and capacity building.

The vision is that the centre will provide all regions globally products and services that address tourism resilience and crisis management acknowledging different regional challenges and requirements but building on the expertise in the Caribbean.

The centre will also be home to a Virtual Observatory that will provide access to information, data and analysis on current trends in the tourism sector and be managed by the United Nations World Tourism Council (UNWTO).

The centre will be responsible for the International Journal of Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management (IJTRCM), a peer-reviewed publication that will focus on research and best-practice and establish a Global Tourism Resilience Barometer that will give a measure of countries’ preparedness for crises.

The GTRCMC is looking to appoint two professorial chairs who will conduct research for the centre to help it develop policies, with a focus on government collaboration, civil society and the private sector, and the role of international organisations.

Other key objectives for 2019 include the development of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Tool-Kit and a Global Tourism Resilience Measurement Framework for Global Tourism Resilience Readiness.

The Centre has also been working with EastPark Drive to develop partnerships and raise funding for other projects including the Tourism Seismic Readiness Study of International Airports across the Caribbean and two campaigns for small island developing states: the Tourism Climate Resilience Awareness Campaign and the Tourism Health and Wellness Audit.

The Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council, which was established in 2016, is a strategic partner for the centre and as a result minister Bartlett will attend and be a speaker at the two regional events it will be running this year in Nepal in May and South Africa in July as well as the annual summit held in London during the week of World Travel Market in November.

Daniela Wagner, Jacobs Media Group head of international partnerships, who head up the Resilience Council, said: “The council’s regional events are vital in promoting the work of the centre and in helping to establish best-practice across the globe, so we’re delighted that minister Bartlett will be sharing his experiences of establishing this vital centre in the Caribbean.”