The handbook for tourism policymakers and businesses provides information and outlines actions and approaches for disaster management in tourism.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, is soon to create a tragedy risk management (DRM) guide for the region’s tourism sector within its objective to foster a culture of preparedness in destination management.
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The publication, which targets tourism policymakers and businesses, can help guide the tourism sector’s preparedness, recovery and response from the multiplicity of hazards that impact and/or potentially threaten the spot.
The manual provides guidelines for climate change adaptation and mitigation, showcase international and regional guidelines in comprehensive disaster management, and present approaches for effective response protocols before, after and during a tragedy.
“The existing and future impacts of climate variability and climate change which include a rise in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, such as for example hurricanes, droughts and flood, among others, ensure it is imperative that countries, the regional tourism sector particularly, be equipped to get ready for adequately, react to and get over climate related hazards,” Amanda Charles, the CTO’s sustainable tourism development specialist.
The handbook, month and launched early 2019 that is likely to be finalised next, is one element of the ongoing project, “Supporting a Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry (CSSCTI)”.
This project carries a group of training workshops in disaster risk climate and management resilience, aimed as sharing knowledge and guidelines on strategies linked to climate change adaptation and mitigation, along with identifying sound DRM approaches, to improve tourism sector preparedness, resilience and reaction to climate-related hazards.
A team of consultants from the University of Technology of Jamaica (UTech) has been engaged by the CTO to create the ‘Disaster Risk Management Guide for the Caribbean Tourism Sector: A Practical Handbook for Tourism Business and Policymakers’, also to facilitate the workshops – two days of training on DRM accompanied by a one-day training programme for trainers to greatly help build local capacity. The mark audiences are tourism decision-makers and practitioners from the general public and private sectors, and representatives from key ancillary sectors such as for example air and sea port authorities and disaster management agencies who play an integral role in tourism disaster management.
In this first phase, five countries: The Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica and haiti are profiting from this training, with workshops having been held in the Bahamas already, Belize Jamaica and Haiti, as the workshop for Dominica will be held in the coming weeks.
“Given the vulnerability of the tourism sector to climate-related disruptions, the CTO is very happy to deliver this training to your member countries within efforts to aid climate sensitisation and capacity enhancement in disaster management. Once we move towards realising the vision of a business that’s climate smart and resilient, we should remember to decrease the risks of climate change and related hazards by effecting the required policies and being trained to respond swiftly and efficiently to control and mitigate risks” said Hugh Riley, CTO’s secretary general.
The CSSCTI project is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) through resources allocated beneath the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)- EU (EU)- CDB Natural Disaster Risk Management (NDRM) in CARIFORUM countries programme.
“CDB recognises the enormous contribution of the tourism sector to the socio-economic development of the Caribbean and is very happy to support CTO’s initiatives to market a climate smart and sustainable Caribbean tourism industry. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report-Global Warming of just one 1.5 0C underscores that climate change impacts on natural and human systems have been completely observed because of approximately 1.0 0C of global warming from human activities, and climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth are projected to improve with global warming of just one 1.5 0C and increase further with 2 0C. Therefore, building local, national and regional capacities of key tourism stakeholders is essential to improve resilience to climate-related risks also to ensure the sustainability of the tourism sector”, said Dr. Yves Robert Personna, project manager ACP-EU-CDB NDRM programme.
Other activities of the CSSCTI project include updating the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework and creating a compendium of GUIDELINES in Sustainable Tourism; a continuing regional tourism awareness and education campaign delivered through social media marketing and a televised video series; and a feasibility study to see the needs linked to climate services in tourism. Furthermore, month a regional workshop happened last, which brought together hotel and tourism association executives and officials from ministries of tourism and tourism authorities from CTO member countries. The workshop facilitated the validation and overview of the disaster risk management guide, the updated Caribbean sustainable tourism policy framework along with other project related manuals, by the tourism sector decision-makers, which aimed to acquire their input, enhance awareness and foster utilisation of the updated manuals. The project is likely to be concluded by mid-2019.