President, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association is honoured to support the theme and aims of World Tourism Day this year: “TOURISM FOR ALL — Promoting Universal Accessibility.”
Most of our members have recognized the importance of ensuring their properties, facilities and offerings are accessible to all visitors regardless of their physical capacities. They have also have expended time and resources sharing best practices to create the infrastructure and experiences for our guests as well as residents of the Caribbean.
According to Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai, 15% of the world’s population is estimated to live with some form of disability. “That is 1 billion people around the world who may be unable to enjoy the privilege of knowing other cultures, experience nature at its fullest and experience the thrill of embarking on a journey to explore new sights,” he stated.
We also recognize, as Mr Rifai pointed out, that sooner or later, at some point in our lives, we all benefit from universal accessibility in tourism due to an ageing population, or because we travel with family and friends and need to get around unhindered.
For these reasons, we are joining the call to recognize the right of all people to experience worry-free travel to the Caribbean — one of the most desirable places in the world to visit, live, work and do business regardless of our differing abilities.
As we aim to ‘wow the world’ with exceptional service and hospitality, drawing upon the intrinsic sense of pride and service in our people, the members of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association invite you to join us, on this year’s World Tourism Day, in spreading the word of the critical importance of universal accessibility to our communities and our islands.
It is not only a good thing to do, it is the right thing to do.
Happy World Tourism Day!