Jamaica has been awarded the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA’s) Destination Resilience Award for its recovery efforts during the COVID-19 Pandemic and tourism resilience-building initiatives.
The Caribbean Destination Resilience Award recognises destinations with a deliberate focus on resilience as indicated by their commitments to address some or all of the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO’s) 17 sustainable development goals.
Special emphasis is placed on highlighting destinations that subscribe to a collaborative and partnership-focused approach, engaging public and private sector stakeholders in innovative, needs-driven strategies.
Jamaica was at the forefront of thought leadership at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The island, under the stewardship of the Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, immediately created a COVID-19 Recovery Taskforce with public and private sector stakeholders. Based on the innovative initiatives of this Taskforce, Jamaica reopened its borders in June 2020 and never closed since.
In accepting the award, Minister of Tourism, Bartlett said, “This award is for my entire tourism team and all our private and public sector partners who immediately saw the need to keep the lifeblood of the country open. From the minds and hard work of the team, Jamaica was first out of the blocks on the road to recovery.”
Robust health and safety protocols were implemented to help mitigate the spread of the disease. In fact, these protocols received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ stamp of approval.
With the creation of Resilient Corridors, Jamaica was able to resume tourism activities safely and seamlessly as these designated areas had a strong COVID-19 infrastructure in place.
“It is a pleasure to recognise my home country with this destination resilience award as it validates the countless hours and effort that went into the recovery through our public and private sector partners to ensure the survival of tourism,” said President of the CHTA, Nicola Madden-Greig.
“It was no easy feat to reopen our borders in such a short space of time and this award highlights the importance of partnerships in a crisis,” said Director of Tourism, Donovan White. “We’re truly grateful and deeply honoured to receive this distinction.”