T&T tourism sector to benefit from US800,000 grant for tourism health program
January 28, 2016: Trinidad and Tobago is one of six (6) Caribbean countries to benefit from a US$800,000 Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Grant to develop and implement a regional tourism health information, monitoring and response system. The other countries Caribbean nations that are beneficiaries of the IDB Grant, as disclosed at the January 27 Grant Signing Ceremony, are Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Jamaica.
The Caribbean region is the most tourism dependent region in the world and the recent pandemics – SARS in 2000, HINI in 2009, Chikungunya in 2013 and now the zika virus has accelerated the need to monitor and respond to travel related illnesses and support the tourism sector to adopt comprehensive and effective health and environmental sanitation practices.
In welcoming this three year regional tourism health initiative, the Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe pledged the support of the Ministry of Tourism as “strengthening the public health system will strengthen our tourism product”. Minister Cudjoe pointed to the project’s enhancement of our national health system through the implementation of health, safety and environmental standards, a training and certification programme to build capacity in food and environmental safety as integral to reducing outbreaks and other health issues that all negatively impact upon the local travel and tourism sector.
Dr. Lisa Indar, Head Tourism and Health Programme of CARPHA, stated that the key benefit will be fewer and less costly outbreaks and other negative public health events occurring in the tourism industry; resulting in a healthier and safer Caribbean for both citizens and overseas visitors.
Also speaking at the project grant signing ceremony were:
- Mr. Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation
- Mr. Frank Comito, Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association
- Dr. C. James Hospedales, Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)
- Dr. Akenath Misir, Principal Medical Officer of Health Trinidad and Tobago
- Mr. Julian Belgrave, Chief Operations Officer, Trinidad and Tobago IDB Country Office
The Regional Tourism Health Information, Monitoring and Response program is a collaborative project of Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), who has direct responsibility for the execution of the project, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel Association (CTA). Also involved in the roll-out of this highly commendable initiative are the national focal points and private-public teams in each designated benefit country.
For further information please contact:
The Corporate Communications Unit
Ministry of Tourism
868-624-1403 ext 248