Press Release:– Saint Lucia has taken the proactive step as the first country within the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to launch the Tourism Health Program, under the guidance of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), in collaboration with the OECS Commission, and the Caribbean Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHTA).
The program was officially launched on September 18th by Saint Lucia’s Ministers of
Health, and Tourism, during a seminar by CARPHA at the Conference room of the
Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA).
The program’s overall objective is to strengthen the island’s capacity to respond to public health threats, improve the health, safety, and security of locals and visitors, tourism resilience, reputation, and economic sustainability.
During CARPHA’s scheduled visit from September 17th – 24th 2021, environmental
health officers, hoteliers, and restaurateurs, will undergo Advanced Food Safety
Training Certification Workshop.
Additionally, re-sensitization of industry operators in the Tourism Health Information System (THIS) and stakeholder consultation on cruise ship surveillance assessment.
“As a government, we are cognizant of the impact of COVID-19 on the industry’s
sustainability, and it is important that the various agencies combine efforts to continue
to develop and hone innovative ideas that can further propel the destination towards a
full recovery. This program will only add to the many tools we have deployed in the
fight against Covid and will engage the tourism sector in a more data-driven and responsible manner”, said Minister with responsibility for Health, Wellness, and Elderly Affairs, Hon. Moses Jn. Baptiste.
To this end, 53 tourism professionals have registered with the Tourism Health
Information System, and 13 private sector partners have been awarded the Healthier
Safer Tourism (HST) Stamp, which provides the assurance to travelers that Saint Lucia
is implementing and practicing the health and safety protocols set by CARPHA.
In addition, provides marketing opportunities as the HST stamp awardees will be listed on
the CARPHA, CTO, and CHTA websites with links to regional and international health
and tourism stakeholders and affords an opportunity locally for operators to increase
the visibility of their businesses through increased marketing by the Saint Lucia
Tourism Authority (SLTA).
“The severity of COVID-19 underscores the need to explore every opportunity to
combat against further health issues. As a Pioneer for the tourism and health program
in the OECS, Saint Lucia is well placed to be a model for other OECS countries. The
real-time capabilities of the Tourism Health Information System can only augur well
for swift and decisive action in addressing high levels of risks, thereby curtailing any
negative effects”, Said Tourism Minister- Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire.
The Tourism and Health Program will further leverage Saint Lucia’s position, not only
as one of the more celebrated destinations but emphasis will be placed on our ability to
cope with various health threats.
Headline photo: Image from the launch of the programme.