Jamaica recovery faces supply chain barriers

Jamaica is suffering from severe supply chain issues which are threatening to create a disruption greater than the Covid pandemic, according to the country’s tourism minister.

Edmund Bartlett warned that disruptions caused by both the pandemic and the war in Ukraine are having a severe effect on tourists and locals, as supplies of commodities and labour are affected.

Bartlett is co-chair of the Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council and founder of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) in Jamaica.

He told Travel Weekly: “We are facing huge challenges to recovery due to damaged supply chains, which are threatening to create a disruption greater than the pandemic itself.

“The world has to recognise that tourism is at a vulnerable point with this supply chain disruption, and we are getting to a stage where there is real competition between tourists and locals for supplies.

“Additionally, from a tourism perspective, we are in short supply of tourism workers because people have moved into other jobs, which has led to a huge demand in training for new employees.

“But training takes time, and there are concerns it will take so long to train new staff that we won’t be able to deliver a quality product to tourists in the meantime.”

Despite the challenges the country is facing, Bartlett said 2022 is set to be a record year for UK tourists visiting Jamaica, with February marking a historic monthly high for UK arrivals.

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