CTO, CHTA call for a ‘Zero Tolerance Goal’ on mosquitoes through aggressive vector control

Undertakes Public Awareness Initiatives Coinciding With ‘Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week’
THE CARIBBEAN (May 18, 2016) – Coinciding with last week’s launch of “Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week,” the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) are calling for a “Zero Tolerance Goal” on mosquitoes in order to prevent the spread of the Zika virus throughout the region.
CHTA and CTO, along with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the University of the West Indies and many of the region’s local public health agencies, are stressing the importance of aggressive vector control initiatives, public awareness campaigns and island-wide cleanups to mitigate the spread of the Zika virus. The local governments and hotel and tourist associations have been proactively implementing the necessary steps to educate residents and visitors on how to protect themselves from mosquitoes.
“As the representative associations for the private and public sectors of the tourism industry, CHTA and CTO have been working together with CARPHA since January to provide our members with the tools they need to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes and ultimately the spread of the Zika virus,” said Karolin Troubetzkoy, President of CHTA. “Tourism is one of the driving forces for the economies of Caribbean countries and we need to do everything we can to protect everyone,” Troubetzkoy added.
“Our governments have been very aggressive in working to mitigate this issue, not only to protect visitors, but to ensure that our Caribbean citizens are not impacted by Zika,” said Hugh Riley, Secretary General for CTO.
With the support of CHTA and CTO, CARPHA has been working with CARICOM, the regional umbrella organization for 15 countries, in support of implementing region-wide strategies to combat the virus. Through CARICOM, the region’s heads of states committed last February to locally advance initiatives to combat Zika.
Recognizing the high cost of stepping up aggressive vector management controls to Governments, businesses and residents, CARICOM has encouraged its member countries to consider adopting temporary tax and duty relief to promote the use of support equipment and products to control mosquitos.
CHTA has assisted the National Hotel and Tourism Associations and Ministries of Tourism to support efforts by local governments, Ministers of Finance, Customs Departments and Government officials to enact temporary tax relief on products used for mosquito control as well as measures that can be implemented to stimulate preventative efforts by businesses, governments and residents.
Both organizations jointly created a Zika FAQ sheet earlier this year which includes guidelines for hotels and travelers to implement in order to minimize the impact of Zika. The FAQ sheet has been updated with recent information and recommendations by CARPHA. CARPHA has also worked with CTO and CHTA to create fact sheets for visitors and residents to ensure they are taking proper personal care to avoid the virus.
CHTA’s Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) continued its free Zika Webinar Series on May 12, focusing on Integrated Mosquito Managementstrategies that have been developed to maximize mosquito control while minimizing adverse environmental impacts.  The webinar is offered by CHTA, CAST, Univar and In2Care. To date, over 400 tourism and hotel representatives throughout the region have participated in three webinar training sessions.
Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week’s objectives are eliminating mosquito breeding sites, avoiding mosquito bites and protecting pregnant women from Zika. Launched by CARPHA, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the CARICOM Secretariat, the annual week was declared at the 17th meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in November 2014. This is the first year that Caribbean countries engaged in this campaign, a joint initiative between member states and the three organizations, that aims to raise awareness of the need to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and use personal protection to prevent mosquito borne diseases.
For more information contact either of the following organizations:
            Caribbean Tourism Organization Headquarters at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail:CTObarbados@caribtourism.com. CTO’s New York office at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax:(212) 635-9511; E-mail:CTOny@caribtourism.com.
Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association at:www.CaribbeanHotelandTourism.com or 305-443-3040. Follow CHTA Facebook.com/CaribbeanHotelandTourismAssociation and Twitter.com/CHTAFeeds.

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