Tourism Awareness Month 2021 is extremely important especially in context of COVID-19, says PS Henry-Morton

Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 05, 2021 (SKNIS): Carlene Henry-Morton, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Tourism, said that this year’s celebration of Tourism Awareness Month, which runs from November 01-31, is of significant importance especially in the context of COVID-19.

“Tourism Awareness Month 2021 takes on extra special significance and importance and so we are using this month to shine the spotlight on tourism, to sharpen and intensify our collective focus and attention on the tourism sector,” said Mrs. Henry Morton on the November 03 edition of ‘Working for You’. “The past 18 months they should have… crystalized for all of us the critical importance of this very transversal tourism sector and its undisputed, social, critical, political and economic value especially as we continue the journey of recovery, gaining momentum in resetting and recalibrating how to conduct the business of tourism.”

PS Henry-Morton highlighted several critical areas that the ministry is focusing on.

“There are some areas that we really want to drill down in – job creation and retention, retooling and upskilling of our stakeholders, operators and persons who provide goods and services in the sector,” she said. “We want to help ourselves and our stakeholders to adapt to new business modules that are emerging and we want to place greater emphasis on innovation and creativity so that we remain competitive and appealing as a destination. We want to make sure that we continue to generate decent livelihoods for our citizens and we have to begin to adjust our attitudes, actions and ways of doing business in the sector to meet the demands of a transformed and ever-changing tourism landscape,” Mrs. Henry-Morton added.

The permanent secretary said that “true sustainability and resilience will require ongoing dialogue as a precursor to action…” and to assist in making “practically informed decisions to help us to be solutions-driven to address what the needs, challenges and opportunities are on the ground.”

Reflecting on the theme for Tourism Awareness Month 2021, “Tourism for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Economic Recovery,” PS Henry-Morton said that it “reflects and paraphrases” the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #8 which reads: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, as well as Goal #11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

“So, we are talking about balance in the industry so that it delivers benefits that are more equitably spread across sectors and within our communities so that the benefits are enjoyed more widely and fairly by all citizens and residents,” she said. “An excellent example of inclusion is a phased approach to recovery that is well underway – our all of society approach that I think came in for high commendation by PAHO, the approach to handling the Pandemic.

PS Henry-Morton added that the phased approach is at the “heart of the” Federation’s “strategy to kick start the recovery process” of the tourism industry.

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