Jamaica minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has argued there is need for global oversight of travel advisories issued for destinations.
The minister made the call at the World Travel Market, which is being staged in London.
Speaking on a panel discussion, Bartlett said: “This call for global oversight is being made in the context of the significance of tourism as a main economic driver in an increasing number of countries and implications that these advisories can have on the economic viability and stability of countries who are heavily tourism dependent.”
Travel warnings or advisories are issued by governments to enable travellers to make an informed decision about a particular travel destination, and to help travellers prepare adequately for what may be encountered on their trip.
Bartlett, who also made the call at the launch of the World Travel & Tourism Council Crisis Readiness Report in partnership with Global Rescue, said, while Jamaica has not been severely impacted by travel advisories, there are other countries who have been.
Kenyan cabinet secretary for tourism and wildlife, Najib Balala, agreed with the sentiment and highlighted the negative impact of old information regarding security and safety issues remaining for years on platforms such as websites, even after the events have passed.
Globally, tourism represents ten per cent of global GDP and employs one in ten workers of the world.
Some small and highly dependent tourism countries have GDP dependence of up to 90 per cent as is the case in of a number of Caribbean countries.
“Travel advisories weigh heavily on the decisions of tourists to visit destinations.
“Many times, these advisories do not have timely review and consequently continue to carry a perspective on the destination which may long have changed thus putting at risk the economic viability of those communities.
“There should be a global body which offers some oversight in the area and would intervene on behalf of some of these countries to have adjusted advisories that reflect a more accurate picture as to what is happening,” Bartlett said.
During the WTM, Bartlett will also use the opportunity to increase in outbound travels from the UK, northern Europe, Russia, Scandinavia and Nordic region to grow arrivals from these markets.