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Rebuilding travel in 102 countries includes COVID Resilient Tourism Zones

Written by gaytourism is a little more than two weeks young and already many of the who’s who in the global travel and tourism industry is part of the group. Yesterday, the group had members in 99 countries, today it increased to 102 countries.

Who is part of ?

Supporters include sitting ministers of tourism, heads of tourism boards, association leaders, academicianss, aviation and hospitality leaders, travel companies, cruise lines, consultants, researchers, and friends of the media.

Today’s virtual meeting was the start of the COVID Tourism Resilient Zone project.

It was the third meeting today within in the last two-and-a-half weeks, and it resulted in announcing a first global initiative.

 The first meeting was attended by 27 people, and today, 378 tourism leaders registered.

COVID Tourism Resilient Zones (CTRZ) 

Presented and endorsed by the former UNWTO Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai and Andrew Spencer speaking on behalf of the Hon. Minister of Tourism Bartlett from Jamaica, COVID Tourism Resilient Zones will be a partnership with the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Center currently based in Jamaica, Malta, Nepal, Kenya, South Africa, and Japan, and inspired by Project Hope of the African Tourism Board.

More partnerships are on the horizon, according to Juergen Steinmetz, who is the founder of this grassroots movement. Steinmetz is the chairman of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) and CEO of the Hawaii-based Travel News Group. Steinmetz is also the founding Chair of the African Tourism Board and together with Dr. Taleb Rifai and as a member of the ATB Executive Board was involved in the creation of Africa’s Project Hope initiative.

Dr. Taleb Rifai

Yesterday the Hon. Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett for Jamaica who also leads GTRCM told eTurboNews:

“As we adapt to the new normal in the travel industry, we know that in order for us to reopen, we have to be proactive in our approach and ensure that tourism and hospitality are COVID resilient. We want to make certain that workers are safe, while also restoring the much-needed confidence of visitors to come to our destinations when the borders of the world fully re-open.”

The project leader is Dr. Peter Tarlow, an international expert in tourism safety and security and head of .

Dr. Peter Tarlow & Dr. Andrew Spencer

In today’s meeting, Dr. Andrew Spencer from Jamaica and head of the Tourism Product Development Company in Jamaica released more details.

Cuthbert Ncube, Chairman of the African Tourism Board voiced his support.

Cuthbert Ncube

Dr. Walter Mzembi, head of the ATB Safety and Security Committee gave his feedback and vision based on his long years of experience as a Minister of Tourism for Zimbabwe. 

Dr. Walter Mzembi

Raed Habbis, representing the Royal Highness Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Nasse Al Saud from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, offered his assistance in setting up a global framework.

Raed Habiss

Ibrahim Ayoub of Tourism Investment Forum voiced his support but warned to not proceed to open the tourism industry until the virus is truly under control. 

Jan Larsen, CEO of offered his communication platform for this initiative.

There is no charge for leaders of the travel and tourism world to work within the platform.

Click here to become part of the rebuilding travel grassroots movement.

The group uses hashtag #rebuildingtravel

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