Tourism Minister confident that industry will rebound

March 30, 2020
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has expressed confidence that the industry will rebound at some point – but it will not be a “business as usual” approach.

In a recent podcast on titled ‘Tourism Resilience and Recovery’, Bartlett said the coronavirus (COVID-19) will inevitably subside, but how quickly will depend on guidelines being followed and citizens putting country above selfish impulses.

“As we continue to fight this crisis together, we are reminded that we have been here before and like we overcame in the past, so shall we again,” he said.

“How quickly we do so will depend significantly on the extent to which we, as citizens, are able to act selflessly and obey precautionary measures, on the one hand, while the State and the private sector must work collaboratively, on the other hand, to deploy resources and lead initiatives to encourage economic resilience as well as to help those who are suffering the greatest,” he added.

The Tourism Minister said that to this end, individuals must continue to practise social distancing and limit interactions that will increase exposure to infections.

“We must also continue to observe regulations about public gatherings, while desisting from circulating misinformation or fake news that can contribute to more panic and confusion,” he emphasised.

“Also, we must continue to sterilise infrastructure and public facilities, while supporting the Government’s efforts to allocate public funds to support the preservation of jobs in both the public and private sectors.”

Bartlett, in the meantime, said he is of the view that the COVID-19 pandemic will easily be the game changer of this millennium, adding that while the world has witnessed other deadly pandemics in recent history, such as the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918 and the H1NI outbreak of 2009, never before has a pandemic so quickly and frighteningly rendered countries across the world so powerless and helpless in such a simultaneous and indiscriminate manner.

“Suddenly, all the advanced and seemingly impenetrable technological, scientific and military capabilities that some countries have developed to bolster self-defence and geopolitical supremacy have   become useless against this indomitable invisible threat, appropriately called the great equaliser,” he noted.

The Minister argued that in many cases, crises are always followed by opportunities and “we have to position ourselves to rebound from this global pandemic, which starts with the rebuilding of confidence.”

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