Leading regional and international agencies from the public and private sectors, as well as nongovernmental partners in academia, health and other interests, have come together to jointly host a high-level virtual conference on the future of Caribbean tourism. The day-long event will be held on Monday, 27 September in observance of the Word Tourism Day 2021.
Expanding upon this year's World Tourism Day theme, 'Tourism for Inclusive Growth', established by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) – the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism – the virtual conference will emphasise collaboration as an important element in the growth and development of the region's primary revenue earner.
Themed, "The Future of Caribbean Tourism - Redefining the three S's", the event will explore the challenges, opportunities and best practices for tourism resilience and recovery. The three S's have been identified as social inclusion, sustainability, and smart destinations and businesses, and will inform the thematic sessions to guide the discussions.
This unprecedented collaborative effort brings together 11 agencies and institutions related to tourism and key ancillary sectors, working to address unique challenges posed by COVID-19 and other threats to the future of Caribbean tourism.
Tourism is by far the leading economic driver in the Caribbean, the world's most tourism-dependent region, with impacts far beyond the direct spending by travellers as it fuels economies, spawns new businesses, provides linkages with other economic sectors, and generates the tax revenues essential to the building of infrastructure and provision of government services. Given this pivotal role, the partner agencies want to ensure the three priority areas identified are central in the region's recovery strategies.
This event is expected to build momentum for an action-oriented new dawn of smart partnership and advocacy for the successful, safe, and sustainable restoration of Caribbean tourism.
Organizers of the virtual event include the Caribbean Tourism Organization, The University of the West Indies, Association of Caribbean States, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Caribbean Public Health Agency, Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility, Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre, Inter-American Development Bank, Organisation of American States, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, and the United Nations Development Program for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.