Tuesday 17 September, 2019

Tourism minister bemoans lack of plan to handle cyber-attack threats

Bartlett argued that the age of digitization means that global destinations now have to be mindful of not only tangible threats but also the growing invisible threats associated with electronic activities. 

Bartlett argued that the age of digitization means that global destinations now have to be mindful of not only tangible threats but also the growing invisible threats associated with electronic activities. 

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett is bemoaning the absence of any support plan to deal with that the threat of cyber-attacks in the majority of global tourism destinations.

"We have seen where sophisticated cyber terrorists have even caused system-wide disruptions to essential services in some major countries in recent times. It is, however, an unfortunate fact that most tourist destinations currently do not have any backup plan to deal with cyber-attacks," Bartlett expressed.

He argued that the age of digitization means that global destinations now have to be mindful of not only tangible threats but also the growing invisible threats associated with electronic activities. 

"Most tourism-related commerce now takes place electronically from destination research to bookings to reservations to room service to pay for vacation shopping. Destination security is no longer simply a matter of protecting international tourists and local lives from physical danger but now also means protecting people against cyber threats such as identity theft, hacking of personal accounts and fraudulent transactions," the tourism minister stated.  

The tourism minister touted the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, established at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus Jamaica as the region’s first resilience centre.

"The facility, which is the first of its kind, will assist with preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten sector-dependent economies and livelihoods," Bartlett stated.

He noted that the centre is focused on four key deliverables at the moment, one of which is the establishment of an academic journal on resilience and global disruptions.

The other deliverables include drafting of a blueprint for resilience; creation of a resilience barometer; and establishment of an Academic Chair for resilience and innovation. 

"The centre will be staffed by internationally recognised experts and professions in the fields of climate management, project management, tourism management, tourism risk management, tourism crisis management, communication management, tourism marketing and branding as well as monitoring and evaluation," Bartlett said.

He was delivering the keynote address at the Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery in US Virgin Islands, last Tuesday.

The Action Network brings together leaders from across sectors to develop new, specific, and measurable plans that advance recovery and promote long-term resiliency across the region.

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