By Frank Martin
The UNWTO World Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) defended the effective use of statistics as “essential” for the program to restart that industry in the region.
According to a statement from CTO, the restart that is already underway is very complex due to the prolongation of the Covid-19 epidemic.
The statement recommended greater political commitment and the development of relevant expertise.
The statement was published after a regional virtual workshop that analyzed the importance of tourism data to support the sector.
The Caribbean region must aim for a timely and sustainable restart is one of the recomendations.
The meeting was attended by 130 participants from 23 states, including leaders of national tourism administrations, national statistical offices, central banks and immigration authorities.
“The high level of participants ensures that they will, in turn, disseminate UNWTO’s technical expertise within their own countries, allowing more tourism professionals to understand how best to analyze and use the data to guide decisions” according to the statement.
Experts agreed to mention the relevance of tourism statistics, both to boost the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and for the future of the industry.
One of the analyzed statistics showed a 67% drop in international tourist arrivals in 2020 to the Caribbean islands compared to the previous year.
A central concern about this impact of the epidemic is that many regional destinations are economically highly dependent on the arrival of tourists.
The industry shutdown “has put a large amount of livelihoods and businesses at risk and makes the timely restart of tourism vital,” the workshop warned.
The CTO championed the goal of positioning the Caribbean as the most desirable warm-weather destination throughout the year and a leader in sustainable tourism.
The motto “One sea, one voice, one Caribbean” was reaffirmed.
Among the benefits for its members, the CTO organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, promotion, human resource development, planning and execution of events, research and information technology.