The Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), is setting in motion a number of preparedness and response measures on behalf of Caribbean hotels, in light of the conflict in the Middle East and the resulting impact on the tourism industry
“From the experience of the Gulf War and the aftermath of September 11, 2001, a drop in demand is to be expected,” said Dominican hotelier Simón B. Suárez, President of CHA. “On the one hand, the industry as a whole must be well prepared to weather a difficult period, whose severity will be determined by how protracted or swift the conflict is. On the other hand, it is those that respond proactively with targeted strategies that will have the edge”.
The Caribbean Hotel Association is moving forward on two fronts.
First, CHA is encouraging its members to put in place policies that protect visitors whose trip is canceled or who find themselves stranded in the Caribbean.
Secondly, CHA is developing a public relations contingency plan to minimize the negative impact on the Caribbean hospitality industry, by underscoring the region’s key attributes in the current climate, such as its geographical proximity to the United States, safety, and the diverse offerings for families to travel and spend time together.
As a part of the plan CHA has added a section in its website, www.caribbeanhotels.org, to serve as a forum for information exchange for members.
CHA is working in cooperation with the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Response Center. “In today’s turbulent times, we feel more committed than ever to work in conjunction with the public sector for a common approach,” said Berthia Parle, 1st Vice President of CHA and Chairperson of CHA’s Advocacy Committee. “We are encouraging Caribbean governments to identify and implement support plans. For example, if a hotel offers reduced room rates to a stranded guest, the government should waive the tax for that room as well.”