Bartlett appoints McNeill to COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Taskforce
Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, has expressed pleasure that the Opposition Spokesperson on Tourism, Dr Wykeham McNeill, has accepted his offer to be a member to the COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Taskforce.
“I am very pleased to announce that we have the support of Dr McNeill as we collectively tackle the impact of COVID-19 and find solutions that can best help the vulnerable people of our sector who were most impacted. I know that with his help and the help of other key experts, we will develop a sound recovery and growth stimulation framework for the tourism sector. We truly need all hands on deck,” said Bartlett.
According to a release from the Tourism Ministry, the taskforce is to establish a realistic view of the sector’s baseline or starting position; develop scenarios for multiple versions of the future; establish the strategic posture for the sector as well as a broad direction of the journey back to growth; establish actions and strategic imperatives that will be reflected across various scenarios; and establish trigger points to tackle action, which includes a planned vision in a world that is learning to evolve rapidly.
“The Taskforce includes members covering all our tourism sectors, which will be our overall policy and strategy development team. The second layer is a working team, which is more technical in nature and will include divisional leaders from the Ministry of Tourism,” said Bartlett.
Dr Wykeham McNeill
The Bartlett-chaired committee, which has Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Jennifer Griffith, as deputy, includes: hoteliers Adam Stewart, Josef Forstmayr, Lee Issa and Kevin Hendrickson; Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Chairman, John Lynch; Director of Tourism, Donovan White; Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) President, Omar Robinson; Senior Advisor/Strategist, Delano Seiveright; CEO of the Sangster International Airport, Shane Munroe; and St Ann's Bay Mayor and Chairman of the National Cruise Council, Michael Belnavis, among several other leading tourism stakeholders.
There are also two sub-committees - the COVID-19 General Tourism Working Team, chaired by Price Waterhouse Coopers’ senior partner, Wilfred Baghaloo, and the COVID-19 Cruise Working Team, chaired by Port Authority of Jamaica President, Professor Gordon Shirley.
“The team will do the legwork, the hard nuts and bolts work of not just creating the framework, but doing the research that is necessary to bring out the data, analyse and present data for us to make management decisions,” said Bartlett.
Members of the taskforce will be required to serve for a period of one year, and may be re-appointed for another term by the Minister of Tourism.