CHTA issues statement on World Tourism Day
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association joins the UNWTO in the commemoration under the slogan "Tourism for Inclusion Growth"
Vanessa Ledesma, interim CEO and General Director of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has issued a statement that we share below:
We are pleased to join the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in commemorating World Tourism Day 2021 (September 27) with the theme “Tourism for Inclusion Growth”.
The topic is particularly relevant this year because all areas of our Caribbean destinations have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and weather-related disasters. Our industry, which attracts valuable foreign exchange earnings, has suffered severely, and the economies and people of our region have been hit hard as a result.
That is why we welcome this year's theme. Tourism is the main breadwinner for the Caribbean and everything that affects tourism affects the region as a whole. So as an association of private sector stakeholders in tourism and business, we are pleased to support and actively participate in the continued push to return our sector to its diverse and dynamic pre-COVID state and drive its recovery with a particular focus on inclusive growth.
Tourism and hospitality especially have a unique ability to drive development that is diverse, inclusive and sustainable. No other sector can promote the aspirations of locals to live with dignity, economic independence and respect as effectively as tourism. Its links with almost all spheres of society make inclusive tourism development an important, if not the most important, priority for countries, territories and regional and international organizations.
A thriving tourism sector feeds and nurtures many other stakeholders and this is especially true in the Caribbean, the most tourism-dependent region in the world. We see this in abundance throughout the region as a growing number of Caribbean citizens have aspired to senior management and ownership positions in tourism-related businesses and the many other businesses in their communities that are possible due to the cascading impact of spending. of visitors.
CHTA members and associates are well established in their respective places and can quickly determine the needs of the surrounding communities. In fact, tourism contributes to all the Sustainable Development Goals identified by the member countries of the United Nations, which cover economic growth, food security, consumption and production, as well as the responsible use of the oceans and resources. marine.
The COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters have disrupted social and economic activities with marginalized groups, with the most vulnerable being the hardest hit.
As we saw in New York after the terrible attacks of September 11, 2001, and have witnessed repeatedly after hurricanes and other crises in our region over the past 50 years, tourism is the sector that recovers the fastest from adversity. , so the focus on getting travel and tourism back on track will help all other parts of the economy and society as a whole.
The total restart of tourism will be the fastest and most productive way of recovery and growth. It is essential that the benefits this will bring are widely and fairly enjoyed, and that no one is left behind.
On World Tourism Day, CHTA is honored to engage with our public sector partner, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, leaders from government, the private sector, and non-governmental, academic, health and media organizations in a one-day virtual conference on the future of Caribbean Tourism.
The virtual conference brings together tourism leaders to highlight challenges, successes, and best practices on "The Future of Tourism in the Caribbean - Redefining the Three S's": Social Inclusion, Sustainability, and Smart Destinations and Business.
This impressive collaboration among key stakeholders in the region supports our mission to address the unique challenges presented by the pandemic and build the capacity of tourism-related businesses, particularly small and medium-sized businesses and budding entrepreneurs, to survive. and prosper in the future.
We anticipate bouncing back and bouncing stronger and stronger as we move forward together.