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Tourism Risk Management Models to be examined at 29th Annual Caribbean Tourism Conference

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Delegates attending the Caribbean’s premier tourism information exchange and networking event will examine tourism risk management models as practical planning and management tools for disasters.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is planning a special session on disaster management at the 29th annual Caribbean Tourism Conference (CTC-29) to be held in The Bahamas from 22 – 25 October, 2006.

It is one of several Master Classes planned to afford delegates the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge on areas that are critical to the sustainability and development of the tourism sector.

This Master Class on Crisis Preparedness, Communications and Recovery will strengthen delegates ability to conduct hazard and risk analyses and will offer practical guidelines and working templates for risk management planning that are necessary to reduce the impacts of natural and man-made hazards. Presenters will discuss how to identify the short and long term risks to the tourism industry and how to manage these risks, as well as the sort of risk management strategies that must be put in place to mitigate the damage.

“Because of the increasing ease and lower cost of communications in today’s global marketplace the Caribbean is now open to millions of new eyes and many more potential visitors,” Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, the secretary general of the CTO said. “Along with this benefit, comes the certainty that we will be scrutinized more thoroughly as well. Therefore, we must prepare not only our marketing messages more thoroughly, but also our responses to both internal and external forces that may impact tourism.”

The secretary general said that continued development and diversification of the industry presents immense potential for growth. However, he said, potential shocks and threats that can have significant negative impact on the industry are looming. These threats range from conflicts in the Middle East and terrorism, to bird flu and hurricanes and other natural disasters, and can result in catastrophic financial and economic losses.

“A systematic approach to crisis and disaster preparedness, response and recovery is a necessary and critical component of a sustainable tourism industry. How we respond can save or destroy vital jobs in each of our nations,” Mr. Vanderpool-Wallace stated.

Delegates who attend this Master Class will receive Continuing Education Credits from George Washington University.

The Westin and Sheraton Our Lucaya Resort on Grand Bahama Island is the host hotel for CTC-29, which will be preceded by meetings of the ministers and commissioners of tourism; the Board of Directors and various CTO committees.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Cooperation, Innovation, Rejuvenation: Creating a Brand New Caribbean.”

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