UNWTO and the Caribbean Tourism Organization join forces to address challenges

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For two days, a regional virtual workshop analyzed the importance of tourism data to support the sector in the present and help tourism to restart in the Caribbean in a timely and sustainable manner. The workshop brought together some 130 participants from 23 states, including leaders from National Tourism Administrations, National Statistical Offices, Central Banks, and Migration authorities. The high level of participants ensures that, in turn, they will spread UNWTO’s technical expertise in their own countries, training more knowledgeable tourism professionals on how best to analyze and use data to guide decisions.

Through the sessions, the Caribbean tourism community gained a better understanding of the fundamentals of tourism statistics. They were also provided with an overview of the UNWTO Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) data, as well as guidance on how it can be used to guide decision-making.

Welcoming technical assistance from UNWTO, Neil Walters, Acting Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, said: “We recognize the importance of data and statistics in the development of COVID-19 recovery programs and comprehensive sustainable tourism strategies. We thank UNWTO for supporting our capacity building efforts in the analysis and reporting of tourism statistics in the Caribbean ”.

The workshop also emphasized the relevance of tourism statistics, both to inform the sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and also, looking to the future, for its role in guiding sustainable development in the Caribbean region. As in all other regions of the world, the crisis has hit the Caribbean hard. According to the latest UNWTO data, Caribbean destinations experienced a 67% drop in international tourist arrivals in 2020 compared to the previous year. Given the dependence on many destinations in the sector, this has put a large number of livelihoods and businesses at risk and makes the timely restart of tourism vital.