Tourism and health stakeholders to meet in the Bahamas at month-end
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Dr. Joy St. John
Balancing the importance of maintaining healthy communities within a thriving tourism-based regional economy will take center stage at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)’s 67th annual Health Research Conference set for the Bahamas from April 27 to 29, 2023.
Held in partnership with the Government of the Bahamas, through the Ministry of Health and Wellness, delegates to the longest-running health research conference in Latin America and the Caribbean region will explore the theme, “Caribbean Health and Tourism: Pathways to Recovery and Resilience”, at the popular Atlantis Paradise Island Resort.
Travel and tourism are crucial to the sustainability and resilience of Caribbean economies as they drive revenue, employment and foreign exchange. But the sector can also be a catalyst for the introduction and spread of disease, as was the case during the COVID-19 pandemic, which negatively impacted Caribbean health security.
The Bahamas conference aims to highlight all the ways that the region is working toward addressing concerns, challenges, lessons learned, and innovations in the health and tourism arenas.
Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director of CARPHA, stated: “The Caribbean is known for its desirable tourism product and as a fabulous tourism destination. The Bahamas is one of the most sought-after spots and the Caribbean is one of the most tourism-dependent regions in this world. CARPHA therefore sees the partnership with the Ministry of Health and Wellness in co-hosting the appropriately themed ‘Caribbean Health and Tourism: Pathway to Recovery and Resilience’ Annual Health Research Conference, as a serendipitous collaboration,” she said.
The goal of the conference is to facilitate and promote communication and the sharing of scientific outputs among health scientists, policymakers, and related professionals in the wider Caribbean region.
On April 24, before the start of the conference, CARPHA will stage its third Regional Tourism and Health Steering Committee and Stakeholders Meeting at the Atlantis. The one-day event is the regional initiative for enhancing health, safety and security as well as the economic recovery and resilience of Caribbean tourism, especially as the emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic has elapsed.
At this meeting, regional and international health, tourism and development stakeholders, will seek to cultivate sustainable practices related to CARPHA’s innovative Tourism and Health Programme (THP), strengthen health and tourism partnerships for the THP, and advocate and promote for THP implementation and its multifold impacts.
The THP is a multifaceted program that addresses the health, food safety and environmental sanitation solutions to the related threats which impact sustainable tourism development.