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25 Jan 2016CHTA Member Update on Zika Virus

CHTA members last week regarding the Zika virus, we urge all national hotel and tourism associations and members in the region to diligently work to mitigate the problem.

CHTACHTA Member Update on Zika Virus
January 25, 2016

Further to our communications to CHTA members last week regarding the Zika virus, we urge all national hotel and tourism associations and members in the region to diligently work to mitigate the problem. An aggressive vector control program by hotels and Governments is essential as is public awareness and training directed towards our employees, businesses and Governments.

CHTA and CTO are working collaboratively with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and this week will begin to roll out additional initiatives to support your on-the-ground efforts.

We are scheduling a Webinar for later this week titled "The Facts About Zika and How to Mitigate Its Impact". Details to follow tomorrow.

The virus is receiving considerable media attention and CHTA has had reports of some cancellations attributed directly to fear of the virus. While precautions and due diligence are absolutely essential when dealing with a matter such as this, we advise members to delicately address the matter with the media should it come up.

NHTAs are asked to monitor the impact of the virus and keep track of cancellations.

Public-Private sector collaboration is essential in successfully addressing this. CHTA, CTO and CARPHA are working together, and we urge all NHTAs and industry stakeholders to collaborate at the local level, particularly on vector control and public education. We are also reaching out to CARICOM and the OECS to be part of a coordinated regional effort. Governments, as well as hotels and other businesses, will need to allocate time and resources towards mitigation.

The US Center for Disease Control has issued a Level Two Alert (practice enhanced precautions) for travelers to the Caribbean and specifies those countries which have confirmed cases to date. Five Caribbean countries are listed on the site and several more are expected to be added this week. The alert and other preventive and helpful information for hotels and travelers can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

Below is a statement jointly issued by CHTA and CTO which can hopefully serve as a guide for any media communications locally.

STATEMENT BY THE CARIBBEAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION AND THE CARIBBEAN HOTEL AND TOURISM ASSOCIATION ON THE ZIKA VIRUS

Public health authorities in the Caribbean are working diligently to mitigate the effects of the Zika virus. Zika, also known as ZIKV, is spread primarily by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

The public-sector-led Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and its private sector counterpart, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) are in close contact with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to monitor and research the Zika cases that have now surfaced in some Caribbean destinations, and to communicate prevention and control measures to residents and visitors.

The CTO and CHTA are in communication with their respective stakeholders and are observing national, regional and international health protocols in dealing with mosquito-borne viral diseases which can be found in tropical countries.

With more than 700 islands in 30 territories in the Caribbean, conditions will vary from one nation to another.

CTO and CHTA will continue to monitor all developments related to mosquito-borne viral diseases and to support appropriate communication, education and prevention initiatives.

Please download the two attachments which outline measures that both visitors and hotels can take to help mitigate the mosquito problem.

ZIKA GUIDELINES FOR TRAVELLERS: http://carpha.org/Portals/0/docs/ZIKA/ZIKA-GUIDELINES-FOR-TRAVELLERS.pdf

ZIKA GUIDELINES FOR HOTELS AND GUESTHOUSES: http://carpha.org/Portals/0/docs/ZIKA/ZIKA-GUIDELINES-FOR-HOTELS.pdf

 

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