The president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has painted an optimistic picture for the region’s tourism outlook for 2021.
In a New Year’s message, Pablo Torres predicts that the Caribbean will see a return of tourism “faster than many parts of the world”.
He credits this to the protocols and partnerships implemented throughout the region to help lessen the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saying 2021 would be a year of recovery, Mr Torres declared: “Tourism is our key to recovery, to restoring the livelihood of thousands of employees in our industry, to reopening our doors, and welcoming our guests.”
In addition to replenishing tax revenues to cash-strapped governments, the CHTA head noted that a tourism revival would “refresh and renew the minds, bodies and spirits of millions of travellers who will discover that the Caribbean is the best place on earth to recover from the ravage of this pandemic.”
Applauding the Caribbean’s response to the pandemic, Mr Torres praised the “countless health heroes” whose dedication and sacrifices he said had averted a great deal of human suffering and have helped to set the stage for the economic recovery the region will be experiencing in the coming months."
He also feels the region’s rapid response coordinated by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) helped to contain the spread of the virus more effectively than many other parts of the world.
The hospitality industry veteran lauded CHTA’s “key partners in health”, including National Hotel and Tourism Associations, the Caribbean Public Health Agency, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the UN World Tourism Organization, and the World Travel and Tourism Council.
“Through collaboration and sharing insights and expertise we all help one another,” he stated.
He also commended industry workers across various sectors linked to the tourism industry saying they have “led by example, providing exemplary services while adhering to essential health safety protocols. We are all in debt to your service.”
Mr Torres noted that the Caribbean’s hospitality sector has gone to great lengths to protect and ensure the health and safety of both residents and visitors.
Recalling that the Caribbean and its tourism sector has weathered many crises over the years and has always rebounded, the CHTA chairman described 2020 as a year when CHTA members were challenged to do more with less, including significant revenue shortfalls.