Speaking at the World Travel Market’s Ministers’ Summit in London today, Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Bartlett, who is also a Vice Chair of the UNWTO Executive Council, highlighted that the future of the travel and tourism industry relies on its workers and their ability to innovate and create new ideas.
Adding to his remarks on global workforce issues he made at the ITB trade show when Minister Bartlett explained the formation of a Tourism Employment Expansion Mandate (TEEM) project, which is a cross-sector collaborative effort to understand the workforce deficit in the travel industry.
At ITB it had released new global research that indicates the situation is more critical than ever.
Today in London at the ministeral summit during the World Travel Market, the Jamaica Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett was urging destinations to invest in their human capital development, which will be critical to the industry’s future and survival today in London at WTM.
“Jamaica has always been a thought leader in driving human capital development because our most important resource in tourism is our workers. “They are the ones who, through their high touch service, hospitality, and creativity, have kept visitors returning at a 42% repeat rate and have become a core part of our growth strategy,” said Minister Bartlett.
The Ministers’ Summit at World Travel Market was executed in association with UNWTO and WTTC under the theme ‘Transforming Tourism Through Youth and Education’ and featured Tourism Ministers from across the globe. Ministers gave their perspective on the importance of training and development of the youth in tourism and the various programs being undertaken in their countries.
“Through our training and certification arm, the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation, we are training our high school students in fourteen colleges and tourism workers, to become certified. Since 2017 over 15 thousand certifications have been awarded to Jamaicans in the areas of customer service, restaurant servers, and executive chefs to name a few,” said Bartlett.
“If we train our young people, then they can be classified which will change the labor market arrangements to allow them to be rewarded based on merit and equity,” he added.