Published On: Mon, Oct 16th, 2017

GCTRT to lead response hurricane damages in the Caribbean

As the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) State of the Industry Conference(SOTIC) wound down Friday in Grenada, the formation of a Global Caribbean Tourism Recovery Team (GCTRT) is announced as officials address the question: “What’s next?” At a press conference in Grenada on Friday, Joy Jibrilu, chairman of the Board of Directors of the CTO, announced that Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett will lead the GCTRT.

soticfileminimizer“A secretariat will be established, with responsibility for coordinating the technical support, capacity building, communication strategy, multilateral and bilateral agency engagement, as well as the management of public-private partnership arrangements regarding the restoration of the tourism product across the Caribbean,” Ms. Jibrilu declared.

The GCTRT includes representatives from the CTO, the Caribbean Hotel Association, the World Travel and Tourism Council and the UN World Trade Organisation, and is expected to have its first meeting later this month to agree on strategies and a governance structure. Several recommendations are already on the table after intense deliberations at SOTIC 2017.

They will now have to be examined and refined by the GCTRT and other officials and entities – including those who were not in attendance. The recommendations include: 1/Improved messaging/communication before during and after a disaster.  2/ Improved insurance coverage for businesses and households 3/ The enforcement of building codes (some have been on the books for years) 4/ The establishment of a Global Caribbean Tourism Recovery team 5/ Improve crisis management strategies 6/Adopt global best practices Ms. Jibrilu acknowledges the lack of funding for a successful recovery effort and the urgent need to raise finances and to educate potential visitors about the geography of the Caribbean. Officials were taken aback at the limited knowledge of the region on display in some news coverage of the storms.

According to the CTO, the Caribbean was on track for a bumper year in tourist arrivals before disaster struck in September.

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