The impact of natural disasters in the Caribbean
A Special Meeting was organized on the occasion of the UNWTO’s 22nd General Assembly in to discuss how to support the destinations affected by Hurricane Irma and the earthquake that struck the southern coast of Mexico.
The impact of these natural disasters on infrastructure and natural resources has been significant. Tourism is the main pillar of the economies and lifeline of Caribbean destinations. The meeting identified three lines of action:
• Supporting the recovery of the affected destinations through the private sector and aid agencies. IT was noted that special attention should be given to SMEs due to their lack of means to rebuild and recover.
• Sharing experiences on resilience and crisis management.
• Developing strong and coordinated communication.
The group also agreed to propose that the General Assembly to adopt a special resolution expressing solidarity and support to the affected destinations and calling for the support of the international community.
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The UNWTO Secretary-General will convey the concerns and needs of the tourism sector in the region to the coming meeting of the UN Chief Executive Board which gathers the heads of the UN system.
A working group was created to follow up on the meeting’s discussions in close coordination with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and the recovery of affected destinations will take center stage at the UNWTO/Government of Jamaica/ World Bank Conference taking place in Jamaica later this year.