Tourism Awareness Week 2015

Under the theme “One Billion Tourists, One Billion Opportunities”, World Tourism Week was celebrated in the week September 27 to October 3, 2015 with September 27 being observed as Tourism Awareness Day. A big thank you to the Area Chairmen and their team for ensuring that JHTA engaged in various activities island wide to increase awareness about tourism in Jamaica. Here are a few highlights from our Chapters.

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Zika Free - WHO Removes Jamaica And Other Regional States From List Of Countries With Active Transmission Of The Virus

Jamaica is no longer listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) among the countries where the transmission of the Zika virus remains active.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) yesterday announced that the WHO has removed its Zika virus country classification scheme, which categorised most of the Caribbean territories, including Jamaica, as having active Zika virus transmission.

This removal by the WHO comes on the heels of data released by CARPHA, giving evidence that the Zika virus transmission in the Caribbean had been interrupted for more than 12 months, or was at undetectable levels, thereby posing very little risk to residents and visitors to the region.

This was matched by data shared with CARPHA by Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States, which showed that no Zika had been detected for more than 12 months in travellers returning from the Caribbean to their countries.

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Sangster International Airport Lauded with Numerous Awards in 2015

Dear Colleagues and Editors,

Please see attached and below our News Release: Sangster International Airport Lauded with Numerous Awards in 2015. We ask your assistance in publicizing same.

Montego Bay, Jamaica -- 2 February 2016. Sangster International Airport was center stage for multiple awards in 2015, solidifying its position as the leading gateway to the Caribbean. Several affiliated tourism entities that use Sangster International as a base were also lauded for their performance over the past year.

Sangster International, operated by MBJ Airports, was named the Caribbean’s Leading Airport at the 2015 World Travel Awards for the seventh year in a row and was among the nominees for the World’s Leading Airport. The airport’s seamless operations and first-in-class guest services weren’t lost on Caribbean Journal, which put Sangster at the top of its list, The 10 Best Caribbean Airports – 2015.

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CHTA Executive Committee and Board of Directors NHTA Presidents and Executives

We are continuing to monitor the Zika virus situation and have engaged in a regional effort with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization. At the regional level, the destination level, and on property, the matter must be addressed from three points: Mitigation and Control; Public Awareness and Education; and Coordination and Collaboration.

Tomorrow we will hold the second in an ongoing series of Webinars on Zika. This webinar will focus on providing technical advice primarily on mitigation and control. It should be useful not only to owners and operators, but also Associations and Ministry’s and Board of Tourism. Notice was sent on Tuesday and another one with more detailed info is being sent today. You must be registered to participate.

CHTA has created a Zika Resource Center on the CAST section of its website. It is housing useful information and we will continue to add to it. You can access it by going to:

As the Zika virus continues to get attention in the media, a number of questions are being raised about its impact on travel to the Caribbean. The Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association have prepared a series of FAQs which we hope answer some of the questions and addresses some of the fears which have surfaced. The FAQ may also help to guide your communications with the local press, guests and potential guests. While most regional and international reporting has been accurate and balanced, there have been a high number of inaccurate reports which have contributed to misunderstanding and fear by the traveling public and those considering traveling to the region. The FAQ guide is below and attached for your ease of reference.

CHTA President Karolin Troubetzkoy and I will convene a briefing call for next week with you to discuss further initiatives around Zika and also provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and best practices. Details to follow.