#The Caribbean, November 18, 2021 – With strong health protocols in place and increased air service to several destinations in the region, Nicola Madden-Greig, president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), predicts that the region’s core tourism sector should thrive this winter.
His optimism about the outlook is despite a particularly difficult 2020 season as stakeholders battled the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The worst has been contained,” said Madden-Greig, attributing the Caribbean’s success in containing the virus to strong health security protocols under the leadership of local ministries and departments of health, the Public Health Agency of Caribbean (CARPHA) and other international organizations.
The optimism of the tourism executive is backed by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which recently reported that the Caribbean is recovering faster than any other region in the world, with tourism’s contribution to GDP set to rise further. by 47% this year. In contrast, the global economy is expected to benefit from a 30.7% year-over-year increase in the share of travel and tourism in 2021, accounting for US $ 1.4 trillion and mainly driven by spending. interior. The expected increase in the Caribbean region represents an increase of almost US $ 12 billion, drawn from both international and domestic travel expenses.
Protocols in the region include the requirement for visitors to pre-screen and produce a negative test before boarding Caribbean flights, as well as increasing vaccination rates for tourism professionals. “We have been extremely successful in implementing such protocols, as evidenced by the low positivity rate of returning travelers, and there has been little evidence that visitors require care at local hospitals,” a- she declared. âThis means that we have been successful in leveraging our protocols to protect team members, visitors and the community at large. “
Madden-Greig, who is also the director of group marketing and sales for the Courtleigh Hospitality Group in Jamaica, also praised Caribbean tourism players for quickly implementing health safety training programs for staff, this which enabled well-trained staff in the tourism sector to warn of dangers and know how to avoid them.
Nearly 10,000 supervisors, managers and owners of tourism related businesses in the Caribbean have participated in health safety training designed specifically for the tourism industry by CARPHA in collaboration with CHTA. They in turn trained thousands of other employees in their operations. This complemented and underpinned an aggressive training regime also put in place by local businesses, countries and territories.
“We are ready and able to receive visitors safely,” Madden-Greig said, adding that plans continue to train tourism industry personnel in these safeguards while continuing to provide an excellent service experience. customer. “Our success also depends on the ability of our source markets to continue to control this pandemic as the world collectively seeks to recover and return to normalcy,” she continued.
WTTC research suggests that at the current rate of recovery, the contribution of travel and tourism to the Caribbean economy could see a further 28.7% year-on-year increase in 2022, representing an increase of $ 10 billion. of dollars.