Jamaica Awarded CHTA's Destination Resilience Award

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – 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.

BUCUTIreMinister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (second from left), holds the award with (left to right) CHTA president Nicola Madden-Greig, owner of Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort Ewald Biemens, and Director of Tourism at the Jamaica Tourist Board Donovan White.The Caribbean Destination Resilience Award recognizes 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 which subscribe to a collaborative and partnership-focused approach, engaging public and private sector stakeholders in innovative, needs-driven strategies.

The CHTA said Jamaica was at the forefront of thought leadership at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. It noted that under the stewardship of the Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, the island immediately created a COVID-19 Recovery Taskforce with public and private sector stakeholders. Based on the initiatives from this taskforce, Jamaica reopened its borders in June 2020 and never closed since.

In accepting the award on Wednesday during the CHTA’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace, Minister 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. Those 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.

Director of Tourism Donovan White said “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. We’re truly grateful and deeply honored to receive this distinction,” he said.

President of the CHTA Nicola Madden-Greig, in her remarks, said “it is a pleasure to recognize 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”.