In his first act as president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), Josef Forstmayr has launched the Tourism Is Key advocacy campaign underlining the importance of travel and tourism to local Caribbean economies, which are more tourism-dependent than any other region in the world.
The advertising campaign was launched this week in Jamaica, which is hosting the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting. The CHTA campaign will target a broad audience from Caribbean Heads of State across the region to Caribbean citizens who often do not realize the indirect role tourism plays in their lives every day.
The first official advertisements for the Tourism Is Key campaign and appearing only in Jamaica to begin with – supported by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and CHTA – will appear in the Jamaica Gleaner and the Jamaica Observer. The three-page public service announcements will illustrate the following key points: the impact of tourism on the wider economy, the impact of tourism on jobs and the impact of tourism on investment.
“In order to remain viable in the future, we need to ensure the sustainability of our tourism industry today,” said Forstmayr, who is also managing director of Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in a written statement.
The 2004 WTTC Caribbean study, commissioned by the CHTA, says travel and tourism will make an extraordinary contribution to the Caribbean over the next 10 years, but the impact of the industry is generally not understood by public officials, the industry itself, or the communities where it takes place.
“Travel and tourism is a major economic and social driver in the Caribbean,” said Jean-Claude Baumgarten, president and CEO of WTTC, in a written statement. “It is essential that its value is recognized by governments and the public at large, and that governments help to unlock its full potential for the benefit of all stakeholders in the Caribbean.”