The Global Tourism Resilience Conference Looks at Building a More Sustainable Industry

by Khaila Gentle

The President of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association says that she wants to see a regional tourism industry that benefits local residents more. Nicola Madden-Greig, who in addition to being the association president is a Jamaican hotelier herself, spoke at the first ever Global Tourism Resilience Conference earlier this month. There, according to Caribbean Journal, she said that she hopes to one day see Caribbean nationals benefitting more from the tourism industry. This, in turn, could lead to greater generational wealth for residents.

The First Ever Global Tourism Resilience Conference

The historic Global Tourism Resilience Conference was held on February 15th to 17th in Kingston, Jamaica. The conference, the first of it’s kind, was held to discuss ways in which the industry could build better resilience in the face of unexpected disruptions (like the COVID-19 pandemic)

In the aftermath of the COVID19 pandemic, the notion of “tourism resilience” has been thrusted to the forefront of the global discourse on the future and sustainability of international tourism.


One solution discussed during the conference was the establishment of a global tourism resilience fund to support tourism dependent nations like Belize, Jamaica, and other Caribbean nations.

Boats on the shores of Jamaica by Caspar Rae/Unsplash
Republic Day in Barbados
Bamboo Rafting down Jamaica’s Martha Brae River. Photo via Lovicarious
Photo by Belize Tourism Board

But one standout moment during the conference was the speech given by the CHTA’s President. One fundamental pillar in building a sustainable and resilient tourism industry, said Nicola Madden-Greig, should be ensuring that those working in the industry can build generational wealth for themselves.

“As we continue to grow, we have to make sure that we use tourism to build out our entrepreneurial class … but also to look at generational wealth and not solely be employees, but become owners of the product and the experience,” said Madden-Greig, according to a report by Caribbean Journal.

The Caribbean publication also noted that Madden-Greig called for no one to be left behind, recalling that “tourism in the Caribbean was started by ‘the mom and pops in the small communities’ and was followed by the ‘big players’ who saw the huge potential of tourism.”

To commemorate the first ever GTRC, the United Nations declared that February 17th will now be observed annually as Global Tourism Resilience Day.

Featured Photo by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash

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