The health of Caribbean economies is closely related to the health of its tourism industry given that the Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region in the world., Enhancing sustainable tourism is essential for promoting economic development, poverty eradication and improvement of quality of life in small islands developing tourism dependant states like the Caribbean region.
The Regional Tourism and Health/Travelers Health Program (THP) is a novel, innovative, multi-sectoral, multifaceted program that is addressing the health, safety and environmental sanitation (HSE) threats to tourism with the aim of strengthening countries capacity to prepare for and respond to public health threats which can transcend national boundaries and negatively affect access to goods and thereby enhance the health and safety of visitors and locals, regional health security, and the quality, reputation and sustainability of Caribbean tourism
It is being executed by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean’s sole public health agency responsible for preventing disease, promoting and protecting health, in collaboration with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and countries.
This unique programme is using a multi-faceted and multisectoral (real time early warning and response tourism and health information system (THiS), regional guidelines for response to traveler health issues in accommodation and passenger ship settings , capacity building in food safety capacity , hospitality health safety and environmental standards, policy) (regional and international health and tourism partners) approach for implementation. The program has built capacity and equipped countries with regional tools that supports preparedness and response to public health threats like COVID -19.
This program comprises: A comprehensive network of traveller’s health information from THiS (for air travelers) hospitals/health centres, accommodations, cruise ships, laboratories and environment, media reports and international health and tourism agencies public health agencies via the Caribbean Travel health Network (CATHNET) Together, this multipronged approach stimulates a rapid and coordinated response to public health threats
This is the first integrated program of its kind, setting an international precedent for improving sustainable tourism and regional health security
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