In a major boost to its operations, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) and Mastercard have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen cooperation on tourism innovation. The signing took place during FITUR, the largest tourism trade fair in Spain, between Co-Chair of the GTRCMC and Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett and Senior Executives of Mastercard.

“The timing of this MOU is relevant as we seek to build resilience globally in tourism,” said Minister Bartlett. “This will help bolster our mandate of generating and converting new ideas into tangible solutions for resilience building. Because it is through new ideas and innovation that we will be able to adapt, respond and thrive after disruptions in the industry.”

Mastercard, which is the second-largest payment-processing corporation worldwide, has created an innovation hub that works with governments and public sector agencies to accelerate their digitalization efforts, as well as innovate, research, and co-create solutions across the tourism ecosystem. By working closely with governments, public and private sector agencies, and tourism authorities across the world, the Tourism Innovation Hub is helping to create a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient tourism industry.

Minister Bartlett WENT ON: “The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fore the importance of public private partnerships. It is through these partnerships that Jamaica was able to reopen its borders soon after the pandemic hit and remain open. This partnership with Mastercard is a step in the right direction as we bring the best minds and expertise to build tourism resilience.”

The signing comes a few weeks before the GTRCMC and its international partners host the Global Tourism Resilience Conference in Kingston, Jamaica, from February 15-17, 2023, at the Regional Headquarters of the University of the West Indies. Executive Director of the GTRCMC, Professor Waller, said: “As we prepare to welcome over forty international speakers from across the globe, who will provide in depth insights in tourism resilience, the signing of the MOU with Mastercard is timely and will boost our efforts tremendously.”

The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, headquartered in Jamaica, was the first academic resource centre dedicated to addressing crises and resilience for the travel industry of the region. The GTRCMC assists destinations in preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.

Since its inception in 2018, several satellite Centres have been launched in Kenya, Nigeria and Costa Rica.  Others are in the process of being rolled out in Jordan, Spain, Greece and Bulgaria