The mission of the centre is to carry out policy-relevant research and analysis on destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions that impact tourism and threaten economies. It will also play a role in training officials to respond to crises as they evolve as well as developing communication capacities.
The organisation currently has offices in Kenya and Jamaica. Bartlett had earlier met Deepak Raj Joshi, chief executive of the Nepal Tourism Board.
Addressing the opening of the centre, Bartlett said: “Similar to the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific is described as one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world with its extensive coastlines, low-lying territories, mountainous terrains and many small island states. The geographical characteristics of the region make it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels and extreme weather variations. Nepal, in particular, has been singled out as the fourth most at-risk country to climate change impacts in the 2018-2035 Climate Change Vulnerability Index.”
The centre is designed to serve as a focal point to support the efforts of Asian destinations to enhance destination preparedness and to manage as well as to recover from disruptions and crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods in the region.