The Steering Committee of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Tourism Health and Safety Program (THP) under the TCI CARE National Initiative met on Tuesday 28, January, 2020 at Blue Haven Marina to discuss issues pertinent to the enhancement of health and safety in the tourism industry.
The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Human Services and Sports and the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Maritime, Gaming & Disaster Management; with the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board and the Turks and Caicos Islands Hotel and tourism Association (TCHTA) in attendance discussing matters of health and safety of both the visitors and residents. The programme promotes the six features of the TCI tourism, namely, Safety, Security, Service and Sun, Sand Sea based on the safety (health) component of TCI CARE.
In solidifying the partnership, Minister of Health, Hon. Edwin Astwood stated echoed his ministry’s commitment to the programme and thanked all participants for their support since the start of the programme in 2016. He expressed gratitude to CARPHA for guidance over the years and said this project will surely benefit the TCI from a health surveillance standpoint.
THP offers the best solution to health, safety and environmental sanitation challenges being faced by Caribbean tourism. The regional THP is a solution for both Tourism and Health, since it includes a real time early warning and response system whereby negative health events in the tourism industry would be rapidly addressed; health safety and environmental sanitation protocols, standards and certification; and an intense training and education initiative. The key benefit of THP will be fewer, less costly outbreaks and a healthier, safer, more reputable destination. Joint implementation from all tourism and health stakeholders is necessary for THP’s success.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Ralph Higgs, stated his pleasure in the continual efforts put forth by all agencies involved. He also said that the is true stewardship in action as there is a lot of behind the scenes efforts that both the public and private sector carry out daily, resulting a quality product.
CARPHA is the Caribbean Integrated Public Health Agency, serving 24 member Caribbean countries and territories. CARPHA is mandated by Heads of Government to Prevent disease, Promote Health, Respond to Public Health Emergencies. CARPHA in partnership with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) and Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) established Regional THP in January 2014. The goal of the regional THP is to enhance the health and safety of visitors and locals and the quality and sustainability of the Caribbean tourism industry, thereby contributing to the industry being more competitive, resilient and sustainable.