Trinidad and Tobago collaborates with CARPHA on regional health and tourism study

February 02nd, 2016


PORT–OF–SPAIN, TRINIDAD: Trinidad and Tobago is one of six countries in the Caribbean which has pledged support for the implementation of a regional project aimed at developing health monitoring systems and standards to enhance Caribbean tourism and protect the health and safety of visitors and locals.

Officially launched at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Headquarters on January 27, the “Regional Tourism Health Information, Monitoring and Response Systems and Standards to Enhance Sustainable Tourism” project is being financed by the Inter–American Development Bank (IDB) and will be executed by CARPHA, in collaboration with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Health and Tourism Association (CHTA) in Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

“The health of Caribbean economies is closely related to the health of its tourism industry given that the Caribbean is the most tourism–dependent region in the world,” said Dr. Lisa Indar, programme manager for regional tourism and health at CARPHA.

Designed to address health, safety and environmental threats, the project is considered a priority for the Caribbean as the overall aim is to improve the region’s capacity to provide cost–effective, quality health and environmental products associated with tourism.

The fundamental purpose of the project is threefold:

  • To develop a regional tourism health information, surveillance, monitoring and response system (THMRS);
  • To produce credible regional HSE tourism standards with accompanying certification and;
  • To establish a training program to build capacity in food and environmental safety.

The project will be implemented through a Project Coordination Unit (PCU) and a Regional Project Steering Committee, along with national focal points and a private–public team in each participating country. The PCU will be located within CARPHA, and is expected to have direct responsibility for the execution of the project.

The Regional Project Steering Committee will comprise key stakeholders related to the tourism and health sectors including CARPHA, the International Development Bank, CTO, the Caribbean Hotel Association, regional Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) and Permanent Secretaries.

With the proposed reorganisation of the health agenda and repositioning of regional public health responsibility, CMOs are tasked with coordinating the project steering committees and managing the implementation phase in their individual countries.

“The concept of well–being tourism is now a strategic priority for many regions and the TDC is excited by the prospect of partnering with CARPHA to advance sustainable tourism and support the health of the Caribbean population and its visitors,” said Keith Chin, TDC’s Chief Executive Officer.

At a national level, the Tourism Development Company Limited will be one of the stakeholder groups tasked with facilitating implementation of the project in Trinidad and Tobago.