Tourism officials work to build climate resilience
The regional tourism industry took another step towards creating linkages with other sectors, when the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) signed a Letter of Agreement with the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), for early warning information systems.
The three organisations inked the documents yesterday at the Hilton Barbados Resort, on the sidelines of the State of the Industry Conference.
With the signing, the two tourism entities will join other regional agencies representing climate sensitive sectors as joint tourism partners on the Consortium of Regional Sectoral Early Warning Information Systems Across Climate Timescales (EWISACTs).
Under this agreement, the tourism sector is expected to become more resilient to extreme climate events, while also enhancing various aspects of its business operations.
“The CTO recognizes that there is an urgent need to develop initiatives to enhance tourism sector resilience to climate variability and extremes utilising a very holistic and proactive approach.
“Through this partnership, we will seek to develop climate information tools and services which can be used by the tourism industry, particularly public and private sector decision-makers to direct marketing efforts, inform policy formulation and guide decision-making,” CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley said.
President of the CHTA, Karolin Troubetzkoy, also affirmed the engagement of the hotel sector saying, that the CHTA remains committed to being proactive in ensuring Caribbean tourism is more resilient.
“This agreement recognizes the need for smart, effective partnerships that will allow us to develop strong, strategic policies and practices for addressing climate impacts,” she said.
In the coming months, other regional agencies, including the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI), the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA), and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) will follow the lead of the CTO and the CHTA and sign the Letter of Agreement to formalize their participation.
Dr. Farrell noted that the signing by the representatives of the regional tourism sector “places the region at the leading edge of research and development activities geared at identifying, designing and delivering climate services solutions to advance the regional tourism sector”.
The agreement makes the Caribbean the first region globally to officially create and implement a joint commitment between climate-sensitive sectors and a climate services provider to build climate resilience.