Caribbean hoteliers develop disaster preparedness manual

MIAMI, Florida (CMC) — The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) says it has produced a Disaster Preparedness Manual, which it intends to release to industry stakeholders as this year’s hurricane season approaches its peak months.

“The purpose of the guide, financed by both the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund and Expedia, is to supplement local efforts to develop communications preparedness and the response and recovery process for CHTA members, national tourism organisations, and public and private sector industry stakeholders before, during and after a potential disaster,” the CHTA said in a statement.

Last September, Hurricanes Irma and Maria passed through the Lesser Antilles severely damaging a number of hotel properties and the CHTA said that it has continued the rebuilding exercise, participating in the second formal meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery held earlier this month.

“As part of CHTA’s multi-pronged and ongoing efforts to help islands recover from last year’s devastating hurricane season, the Association’s representatives contributed to many executive sessions which focused on continuing preparations for this year’s storm activity and on addressing long-term recovery needs.”

CHTA president Patricia Affonso-Dass said ‘this second meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative was extremely beneficial and we were pleased to engage with diverse partners as CHTA continues to actively participate in the recovery of hurricane-hit Caribbean destinations.

“We are now assessing potential opportunities for collaboration to support our strategic focus areas and member needs and, over the coming months, CHTA looks forward to further outreaches to connections made during this important event,” she added.

The CHTA said its involvement in CGI’s deliberations followed closely on the heels of its announcement with non-profit organisation, Tourism Cares, that their joint initiative – the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund – has raised more than US$275,000 in charitable donations to build long-term recovery and enhance the ability of hurricane-impacted destinations to rebound as quickly as possible.

“Donors’ generosity has facilitated assistance to Caribbean nationals for training and education, restoring destination capacity, the physical restoration of tourism-related infrastructure, social enterprise development, job creation, hotel training, volunteerism, marketing and public relations support, and the environment,” the CHTA said.

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