George Brown becomes first Canadian partner of global tourism think tank, opening new opportunities for students

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Jamaica tourism MOU signing

George Brown College is the first Canadian partner of a Jamaica-based global tourism think tank that focuses on building resilience in the industry in response to disruptions such as the pandemic, climate change and other world events. 

George Brown President Dr. Gervan Fearon and Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett signed a memorandum of understanding on March 25 that formalizes a partnership between the college and the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) based at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. 

Partnership will create applied research and student exchange opportunities 

Bartlett and former Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization Dr. Taleb Rafai established GTRCMC in 2008 to help global tourism centres prepare for and recover from industry disruptors. As part of the partnership with George Brown, the college will establish a satellite centre in Toronto with a focus on research and development, policy advocacy, program/project design and management, and training and capacity building in various areas. 

Fearon said this partnership presents incredible opportunities for the college, but particularly for the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the recently established Brookfield Sustainability Institute that is focused on providing innovative solutions to problems caused by climate change.  

“This collaboration includes international learning exchange, joint teaching between our institutions, as well as industry-focused student exchange and applied research activities,” Fearon said. “This partnership provides the opportunity for our students, faculty and staff to contribute to tourism sustainability in a real and tangible way at a global level.” 

Bartlett said this is a “critical time in history” to forge new partnerships to strengthen resiliency in the tourism sector.  

“We are thrilled to embark on this partnership with George Brown College as they establish a GTRCMC Satellite Centre in Canada,” he said. “It will be a Centre of excellence for research related to tourism resilience and an opportunity to exchange knowledge between our countries to benefit global tourism.”