(NEW YORK, NY) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) have created a partnership to establish and promote health and safety protocols and practices in the tourism workplace in the region.
The CTO secretary general and chief executive officer, Hugh Riley, the executive director of CARPHA, Dr. James Hospedales and the CHTA director general and CEO, Jeffrey S. Vasser, signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) at a news conference today at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel in New York City, home of the annual CTO Caribbean Week which celebrates Caribbean tourism and the rich heritage and culture.
“As the Caribbean’s principle economic earner, the tourism sector must be vigilant and proactive regarding health and safety issues that can adversely affect the health of our tourism workforce or that of our visitors. As the organization leading sustainable tourism in the Caribbean, the CTO is pleased to partner with the regional public health agency and the umbrella tourism private sector entity to face these challenges head on in a structured and collective manner,” said Mr. Riley.
Dr. C James Hospedales, Executive Director of CARPHA indicated: “The work of the partnership will further improve the quality, resilience and competitiveness of the regional tourism industry with triple bottom line returns; to health, to economic resilience, and to the environment”.
“CHTA has always been a proponent of training and professional development opportunities for hospitality staff and by working with CTO and CARPHA to create the best practices promoting health and safety throughout the tourism sector, we will enhance the knowledge of our workforce thereby ensuring the safety and security of the employees and guests throughout our 600-plus member hotels and more than 30 member destinations,” stated Mr. Vasser.
Through the MOU the three organizations will collaborate in the following areas: food and environmental safety training and certification; public health information, monitoring and response systems for hotels and cruise ships to provide timely alert and a rapid coordinated response to adverse health, safety and environmental issues; health, safety and environmental standards certification and recognition systems to improve the health, safety and environmental quality in the tourism workplace; health and wellness programmes to encourage and promote a healthy tourism workforce; awareness raising and promotion of multisectoral and multiagency approaches to address the health, safety and environmental issues associated with tourism; and partnerships, networks and business strategies for sustainability of the tourism and health programme.
The agreement is for an initial two year period.
About the Caribbean Tourism Organization
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.
Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology.
In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.
Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association
The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) facilitates the full potential of the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry by serving members’ needs and building partnerships in a socially responsible and sustainable manner. CHTA is the voice of the Caribbean hospitality industry for the development of the region in the highly competitive and sophisticated environment of international tourism. Today, tourism is widely recognized as a pivotal industry in the economy of the region – and CHTA functions as the common denominator for this industry in a region of diverse nationalities, languages and styles, identifying mutual problems and marshaling the resources of the active and allied members to devise solutions. CHTA represents all facets of the hospitality industry with more than 600 member hotels and over 300 allied members.