LONDON, England — The Caribbean as a tourist destination took centre stage at the World Travel Market, the largest gathering of global tourism stakeholders. Highlighting the work of its tourism and health programme, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) became the first regional health institution to be represented at this forum.
Dr Lisa Indar, head, tourism and health programme at CARPHA, met with the secretary general and executive members of the United Nation World Tourism Organization at the World Travel Market on Wednesday 9 November in London.
At the meeting, Indar presented the concept and objectives of the tourism and health programme to this international body, taking the opportunity to bring global recognition to the programme and advocate for assistance and collaboration. She also met with officials of Public Health England (PHE) to discuss strengthening collaboration for improving the detection and response to travel related public health events, thereby contributing to enhancing global security.
The World Travel Market is one of the largest gatherings of global tourism stakeholders for the promotion of tourism, as the Caribbean is touted as the most tourism-dependent region in the world, this was an excellent opportunity to meet stakeholders and raise the profile of the region as a premier tourist destination.
With the Caribbean facing health, safety and environmental sanitation (HSE) threats, including disease outbreaks, resulting in declined tourism arrivals, safety and health are key aspect to tourism growth and sustainability.
Representation at this event also allowed for meeting with global health and travel and migrant health officers of Public Health England and the promotion and strengthening of collaboration with respect to the Caribbean Travel and Health Network (CATHNet), which aids in early reporting and response to illnesses among visitors from the United Kingdom.
The CARPHA tourism and health programme is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and highlighting the positive impact of the tourism health project as a vehicle for an enhanced safer and healthier tourism product can help to give the Caribbean a marketing edge over other countries and regions.