Resilience And Readiness: Caribbean Tourism Takes a Spotlight in the 2016 Disaster Management Workshop Series

Washington, D.C. –  The 2016 Disaster Management Workshop Series (DMWS) will launch on April 5 in the United States Virgin Islands, and will continue over the following months in the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Dominica, and Trinidad and Tobago. This year the DMWS will welcome partners from the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), and will integrate issues impacting the national hotel and tourism associations of the host countries into the DMWS agendas.

Tourism is a key generator of revenues and jobs throughout the Caribbean region, and when there is an interruption to the industry, as a result of a natural or man-made disaster, the impact is immediate and resonates across the economy. In 2015 alone, the region was impacted by Tropical Storm Erika in Dominica, the presence of sargassum seaweed on some beaches in multiple countries, and the emergence of the Zika virus, to name just a few. All of these have an impact on the tourism industry and, by extension, upon the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Caribbean citizens.

According to CEO and Director General of the CHTA, Frank Comito: “The Caribbean tourism industry strives to always be prepared to respond to whatever disasters might emerge. Not just to protect the guests that visit our shores, but also for the workers, and for the communities that we live in. Being a part of the DMWS is another building block towards ensuring that our tourism family is an integral part of the “whole-of-community” approach to disaster resilience.”

Series co-hosts Caribbean-Central American Action and Tropical Shipping, together with DMWS partners at the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, and CHTA, will be engaging with the national hotel and tourism associations in each workshop destination, together with stakeholder organizations from the public and private sectors.

The dates and locations for the 2016 DMWS are:

  • April 5: United States Virgin Islands (St. Croix)
  • April 6: United States Virgin Islands (St. Thomas)
  • April 15: Turks and Caicos (Providenciales)
  • May 4: The Bahamas (Nassau)
  • May 5: The Bahamas (Freeport)
  • June 7: Trinidad and Tobago (Port-of-Spain)
  • June 9: Dominica (Roseau)

The 2016 DMWS will focus on “Building Risk-Aware and Resilient Communities”. The negative economic impact of non-existent or weak coordination among stakeholder communities in disaster preparedness and response cannot be understated, and, conversely, the positive benefits of joint private/public partnerships in disaster readiness are well established.

Updates with additional information on the destination workshops will be issued. In the interim, if you have any questions or would like to receive additional information, please contact Sally Yearwood at or 202 464-2029.

* Please note: the dates for the USVI were originally listed as April 5 in St. Thomas and April 6 in St. Croix. The above dates are correct.




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