CTO President Hugh Riley

(BROOKYN, New York): The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, is soon to publish a disaster risk management (DRM) guide for the region’s tourism sector as part of its objective to foster a culture of preparedness in destination management. The publication, which targets tourism businesses and policymakers, will help guide the tourism sector’s preparedness, response and recovery from the multiplicity of hazards that impact and/or potentially threaten the region.

The manual will provide guidelines for climate change mitigation and adaptation, showcase regional and international best practices in comprehensive disaster management, and present strategies for effective response protocols before, during and after a disaster.

“The current and future impacts of climate variability and climate change which includes an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, flood and droughts, among others, make it imperative that countries, particularly the regional tourism sector, be equipped to adequately prepare for, respond to and recover from climate related hazards,” Amanda Charles, the CTO’s sustainable tourism development specialist.

The handbook, which is expected to be finalized soon and launched early 2019, is one component of the ongoing project, “Supporting a Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry (CSSCTI)”. This project includes a series of training workshops in disaster risk management and climate resilience, aimed as sharing knowledge and best practices on strategies related to climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as identifying sound DRM approaches, to enhance tourism sector preparedness, response and resilience to climate-related hazards.

“Given the vulnerability of the tourism sector to climate-related disruptions, the CTO is pleased to deliver this training to our member countries as part of efforts to support climate sensitization and capacity enhancement in disaster management. As we move towards realizing the vision of an industry that is climate smart and resilient, we must make every effort to reduce the risks of climate change and related hazards by effecting the necessary policies and being trained to respond swiftly and efficiently to manage and mitigate risks” said Hugh Riley, CTO’s secretary general.

The CSSCTI project is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) through resources allocated under the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)- European Union (EU)- CDB Natural Disaster Risk Management (NDRM) in CARIFORUM countries program.

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