KINGSTON, Jamaica; April 11, 2021: Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, is calling on tourism leaders in the region to meet to discuss the impact of the recent volcanic explosion on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) which is located in the Eastern Caribbean.
Thousands of residents have been sleeping in emergency shelters since Friday [April 9, 2021] following evacuations. Emergency officials have described the landscape as a “battle zone” and said more damage and destruction is likely.
“A disruption of this magnitude calls for an urgent discussion with regional tourism leaders to examine the implications for Caribbean tourism given the negative impact this is having on lives, livelihoods and ultimately tourism,” said Minister Bartlett.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, ordered the evacuation of the Red Zone on Thursday and the La Soufriere volcano erupted on Friday.
“In my capacity as Chair of the high-level Organization of American States Working Group, I have been in touch with the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the World Travel and Tourism Council regarding short to medium term mitigation.
We are also in the process of mobilizing support for SVG through our international network tourism resilience partners,” Minister Bartlett said.
Support has been pouring in for St. Vincent and the Grenadines as families continue to manage the post volcanic effects. Homes across the island, which has a population of around 110,000, have been covered in white-coloured volcanic dust and rock fragments.
“The time to act is now to plan the way forward including resilience building to recover stronger and thrive, and this is where the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre is able to assist,” added Minister Bartlett. 
Executive Director of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, Professor Lloyd Waller, also said, “These disruptions are not new and seem to be occurring more rapidly with greater devastating effects. We need to collaborate on the way forward especially as a heavily tourism dependent region.”
For more information contact
Professor Lloyd Waller, Executive Director, GTRMC
Lloyd.waller@gmail.com