The UWI’s Global Tourism Resilience Centre earns World Travel Award 2021 for ‘World’s Leading Tourism Initiative’
The University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) has received special recognition as the World’s Leading Tourism Initiative at the World Travel Awards (WTA) 2021. Held on December 16, in Dubai, the award scheme, which celebrated its 28th edition this year, acknowledges, rewards and celebrates excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. It is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality.
Distinguished by WTA as the world’s leading tourism initiative, the GTRCMC which was established in 2019, is hosted at The UWI Mona Campus, and supported by several local, regional and international stakeholders. It currently has offices in the Caribbean, Africa, and the Mediterranean, and affiliates in over 42 countries. It is focused on assisting travel and tourism organisations across the world in the management and recovery from disruptions that threaten economies and livelihoods linked to tourism. It fosters policies to assist efforts of communities affected by disruptions due to climate change, natural disasters, pandemics, terrorism, economic shocks, political instability and other threats.
The Centre has spearheaded a number of resilience-related projects since its inception. Among them, the Hurricane Maria and Irma Recovery Initiative, in which the Centre mobilised regional support to assist with recovery efforts in Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. Its COVID-19 Social Awareness Campaign raised awareness among tourism workers globally about the pandemic, whilst its Building Vaccine Confidence Project aims to reduce vaccine hesitancy among tourism workers globally. Other projects include the Global Tourism Resilience Sustainability Initiative; the Seismic Impact Assessment: St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and the Building Better Stronger Together Initiative – Community Tourism Capacity Building in Digital Marketing.
“Since the Centre’s inception, we have been working to raise awareness, build capacity and undertake innovative initiatives in tourism resilience in several countries around the world. To be honoured in this way means that we are doing something right and this is indeed motivating,” said Executive Director of the GTRCMC, Professor Lloyd Waller.
In extending congratulations on this global accolade, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles noted, “There could be no greater tangible evidence of our University’s commitment to a global outlook and actions. Here we have it, yet another international honour emerging from the activation of our Triple A Strategy, and more precisely, our Alignment pillar.” Vice-Chancellor Beckles continued, “We are clear and committed in our pledge to enable joint academic, government, and industry partnerships like these for the advancement of critical sectors here in the Caribbean, like tourism.”
According to Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Co-Chair and founder of the GTRCMC, Honourable Edmund Bartlett, “The recognition by the leading authority that recognises and rewards excellence in travel and tourism is heartfelt and highlights the outstanding work that this one-of-a-kind Centre for tourism resilience has been doing.”