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Jamaican hotel sector brushes up on Hurricane preparedness

The Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), with the support of the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA), will be conducting two Hurricane Preparedness & Response Workshops on March 22 and 23 in Jamaica, for the hospitality industry. The workshops are being delivered in collaboration with the Environmental Audits for Sustainable Tourism (EAST) project as part of its assistance to the tourism sector in the aftermath of the passage of Hurricane Ivan.The workshops will be held at Negril Gardens Hotel in Negril and Wexford Court Hotel Montego Bay and are expected to draw about 40 hoteliers. The hoteliers will learn how to prepare a hurricane action plan that can be shared with staff and can serve as a tool to prevent and mitigate the potential hurricane damage that the industry faces each year.

The one-day workshop, conducted by Deirdre Shurland, CAST director, provides information about hurricanes, their form and structure, and covers areas including structural needs, insurance issues, the safety of guests, visitors, and the general public, as well as staffing issues.

It trains, with the help of guidelines, on how to prepare for and respond to a hurricane emergency, and offers a highly participative planning simulation exercise. Today’s training is the second one offered in Jamaica in the last two years, and serves as a review to ensure guidelines are fresh in the minds of participants.

The Environmental Audits for Sustainable Tourism (EAST) project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development and implemented by PA Consulting Group; and the workshops form part of a larger program of technical assistance being provided to the Jamaica tourism sector.Ê