SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) President Pablo Torres is predicting that the Caribbean will see a return of tourism “faster than many parts of the world” thanks to the protocols and partnerships implemented throughout the region to help lessen the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” a CHTA news release quoted Torres.
He argued that, in addition to replenishing tax revenues to cash-strapped governments, 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”.
Describing COVID-19 as an unprecedented challenge, he applauded the Caribbean’s rapid response to the pandemic, which helped to contain the spread of the virus more effectively than in many other parts of the world. He saluted the “countless health heroes” whose dedication and sacrifices 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.
Torres commended not only health care professionals but also front- and back-of-house workers across many industries, including tourism, airports and airline personnel, immigration and customs officers, and ground transportation workers.
“You have led by example, providing exemplary services while adhering to essential health safety protocols. We are all in debt to your service,” he said.
The hospitality industry veteran lauded CHTA’s “key partners in health”, including national hotel and tourism associations, the Caribbean Public Health Agency, Caribbean Tourism Organization, the United Nations World Tourism Organization, and the World Travel and Tourism Council.