It’s uncharted territory for the Caribbean region (and the world) right now, but the region’s top tourism leaders are pointing to the Caribbean’s past experience with major disruptions as hope for its future.
The Caribbean has “considerable experience in managing disruptions and risks,” according to Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association CEO and Director General Frank Comito and President Patricia Affonso-Dass.
“We demonstrated this post 9-11, through SARS, Zika, hurricanes and other natural disasters over the past two decades, all while experiencing unprecedented growth,” Comito and Affonso-Dass said in a joint statement.
They admitted, though, that “nothing compares to what the region and the world are experiencing with the coronavirus threat.”
The CHTA has been actively working to implement monitoring, awareness, and education initiatives across the region, it said, work that began immediately upon understanding the threat of COVID-19.
The pair said that while much of what happens is beyond individual control, the “duration and intensity of the pandemic” can be managed through “sound collective actions by companies, organizations, communities and governments.”
“Difficult decisions which are made today will help us to recover sooner and ultimately be stronger,” they said.
The two tourism leaders predicted that the Caribbean would emerge and “use lessons learned” to help make the region even more desirable.
“Despite the temporary dark clouds, the sun shines in the Caribbean and will continue to do so. As we come through this, the world will need the Caribbean to help it to heal,” they said.
They also urged travelers that the Caribbean would be ready to welcome them back soon.
“”A trip to the Caribbean, with over 30 incredible and diverse destinations, is one of the best remedies for wiping away stress and anxiety – refreshing, renewing and warming your heart and soul in the process,” they said.