Airbnb awards US$250,000 sustainability grant to UWI-hosted Global Tourism Resilience Centre

by February 17, 2023

The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), hosted by The University of the West Indies (The UWI) was recently announced as a recipient of a sustainability grant from Airbnb, the online marketplace for short-term homestays and experiences.

The Centre was awarded US$250,000 as part of Airbnb’s Community Fund to support sustainability and conservation programs. Launched in 2020, the Fund aims to distribute US$100 million through 2030 to help strengthen communities around the world.

The US$250,000 grant will be used to support the Building Climate Knowledge, Attitudes and Awareness across the Caribbean (Project: C-KAP) led by the Centre, to help raise awareness among Caribbean Micro, Small and Medium Sized Tourism Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) about the importance of climate-responsible practices in their operations, as well as encourage them to take urgent action to combat climate change.

Project C-KAP’s overall goal is to assess research/monitor, plan for, forecast, mitigate, and manage risks related to tourism resilience and crisis management. This will be achieved through four objectives which include research and development; policy advocacy and communication management; programme/project design and management as well as training and capacity building.

A statement on behalf of the Centre’s Board of Governors noted, “We are excited to partner with Airbnb whose climate action corporate sustainability framework (which is committed to making Airbnb a Net Zero company by 2030), is in sync with one of the GTRCMC’s mandates; that is, building tourism resilience capacities for climate action and for global sustainability.”

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI is among the Centre’s Board of Governors, together with Professor Lloyd Waller from The UWI who also serves as Executive Director and the Honourable Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism.

Within the Centre’s workplan is the hosting its inaugural conference, the Global Tourism Resilience Conference—from February 15 to 17, 2023 at The UWI’s Regional Headquarters in Mona, Jamaica. The conference is a first of its kind, a three‐day event, designed to bring the global tourism community together to discuss investment opportunities, discuss and debate solutions to today’s most pressing challenges, and increase cooperation for greater global resilience across the industry.

On the opening day of the conference, the Centre officially launched Global Tourism Resilience Day, which was initiated by Professor Lloyd Waller and designated by The United Nations General Assembly as an annual observance on February 17.