Known for its tropical climate, vibrant cultures, and unique eco-tourism, the Caribbean is one of the world’s most sought out destinations. However, this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted tourism and continues to pose ongoing public health threats.
The Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA, is eager to get the world traveling back to the Caribbean. With the health and safety of travelers at the forefront, the release of its innovative Traveller’s Health Program (THP) is longed for.
Supported by a number of health and safety standards and policies, the THP provides an early monitoring and response system to public health issues which is currently impacting on tourism. With these measures in place, Caribbean tourism is steaming past other destinations to get travel back to what the world once knew.
CARPHA has developed Proactive COVID-19 Health Measures for Tourism, a Caribbean Travellers Health Mobile App and a Traveller’s Health Assurance Stamp, all aimed at building travelers’ assurance and resilience as well as to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and other public health threats to both residents and visitors.
To ensure a united, harmonised approach to these COVID-19 measures, CARPHA has partnered with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center (GTRCMC) to form the COVID-19 Tourism Task Force.
The Proactive COVID-19 Health Measures includes utilizing the early warning and response travel/tourism information system to capture illnesses in real time and thereby reduce spread and reputational damage.
Certified training in COVID-19 health measures for the hospitality sector (including testing, masks, social distancing, hand hygiene, sanitation & response from visitor arrival to departure), guidelines and checklist and hospitality health safety and environmental operational standards.
The Caribbean Traveller’s Health Mobile App provides travel health information by each travel destination. This information is inclusive of vaccinations, health care facilities, accommodation listings, health alerts of current public health issues, COVID-19 proactive/prevention measures and unique travel requirements by country (testing, health screening, pre-approval and tracking). Being the first of its kind, the Caribbean traveller’s health information repository is designed for both travellers and health and tourism stakeholders.
Linking directly to CARPHA’s COVID-19 situation reports, guidelines and the THP, the app also identifies by name, accommodation and other hospitality facilities within a destination that has been awarded the Caribbean Traveller’s Health Assurance stamp. In 2021 this will be extended to include passenger ships which have been awarded the stamp. CARPHA is uniquely resourced and positioned to provide reliable travellers health information of this detail and magnitude. The app is available through the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The Caribbean’s Travellers Health Assurance Stamp for Healthier Safer Tourism (HST) is a recognition award for tourism entities and destinations which are implementing the recommended proactive COVID-19 health monitoring and safety measures. Caribbean travellers now have measurable and verifiable health assurances for accommodations (hotels, guesthouses) and services (transport, tour operators) which have been awarded the CARPHA-CTO-CHTA-HST Stamp.
Hospitality facilities awarded the HST Stamp will be listed as a preferred safer option on Caribbean Traveller’s Health Mobile App and later will be listed on CARPHA, CTO and CHTA websites, with links to regional and international health and tourism stakeholders.
The Caribbean Traveller’s Health App and Health Assurance Stamp will be launched on November 5th.