He says the rapid return of tourism will be due to the protocols and partnerships implemented throughout the region to help lessen the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Declaring that 2021 would be a year of recovery, Torres said: “Tourism is our key to recovery, to restoring the livelihood of thousands of employees in our industry, to reopening our doors, and welcoming our guests.”
In addition to replenishing tax revenues to cash-strapped governments, Torres noted that a tourism revival would refresh and renew “the minds, bodies and spirits of millions of travelers who will discover that the Caribbean is the best place on earth to recover from the ravage of this pandemic.”
Torres applauded the Caribbean’s rapid response to the pandemic, which helped to contain the spread of the virus more effectively than many other parts of the world. He saluted the “countless health heroes” whose dedication and sacrifices had averted a great deal of human suffering and have helped to set the stage for the economic recovery the region will be experiencing in the coming months.
Torres commended both health care professionals and front- and back-of- house workers across many industries, including tourism, airports and airline personnel, immigration and customs officers, and ground transportation workers:
“You have led by example, providing exemplary services while adhering to essential health safety protocols. We are all in debt to your service.”
Torres also thanked CHTA’s “key partners in health,” including National Hotel and Tourism Associations, the Caribbean Public Health Agency, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the UN World Tourism Organization, and the World Travel and Tourism Council.