Caribbean’s umbrella tourism and health agencies sign historic cooperation agreement

Caribbean's umbrella tourism and health agencies sign historic cooperation agreement 1

cto-photo(NEW YORK, NY) 5 June 2014The 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.

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