Recognized for his wide-ranging expertise and accomplishments in the political arena, Honourable Edmund Bartlett has given over thirty-five years of service to Jamaica, working both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives. Mr. Bartlett was first appointed Minister of Tourism in 2007, serving until December 2011.
Prior to this appointment, he already had a solid track record of service as an outstanding legislator in central government in both Chambers of Parliament. While serving in the shadow Cabinet following his first stint as Tourism Minister, Mr. Bartlett traveled the world forging alliances with strategic partners for global initiatives. He returned to the helm of the Ministry of Tourism following his party’s victory in Jamaica’s February 2016 general election.
As one of the world’s leading Tourism Ministers, Mr. Bartlett has represented Jamaica regionally and internationally. He chaired the Board of Affiliate Members of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and during his first tenure as tourism minister he served as Vice Chairman of the Executive Council of the UNWTO, representing the Americas. He is the first to serve on the executive of both the public and private sector arms of this prestigious organization. Mr. Bartlett has also served on the Council of Ministers for the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and as Vice Chairman of CTO. This wealth of experience has made him a much sought-after speaker at tourism-related fora.
Mr. Bartlett is an ardent proponent of public private partnerships (PPPS), which he considers essential to the sustainable development of the tourism industry. These alliances span the various sectors, locally and internationally, that make up tourism, including transportation, agriculture and manufacturing. Some of these partnerships have taken the form of foreign direct investment, particularly in the area of accommodation. Tourism has been positioned by Mr. Bartlett as a catalyst for economic growth and the transformation of communities.
He has established five networks (Gastronomy, Shopping, Health and Wellness, Sports and Entertainment, and Knowledge) to fuel growth and initiated the Tourism Linkages Network within the Ministry to strengthen sustainable linkages between tourism and other sectors of the economy. The region has also benefited from Mr. Bartlett’s innovative thinking, as he views other Caribbean and Latin American destinations not as Jamaica’s competitors but as partners that can use their combined tourism offerings to attract more visitors to experience multi-destination tourism. He has taken bold steps to have this facilitated under a special Memoranda of Understanding between nations in the region.
Mr. Bartlett has copped numerous awards. He was awarded Minister of the Year Worldwide by the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association in March 2018 and Caribbean Tourism Minister of the Year at the Caribbean Travel Awards 2017.
Most recently, Mr. Bartlett received the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Champions in Challenge Award at the International Travel Crisis Management Summit (ITCMS) in London in November 2018. The IIPT awards honour industry leaders who have stood forward in exceptional times of challenge and have made a real difference through their words and their actions.