WTTC offers helping hand in Irma’s wake

LONDON, 15 September 2017: World Travel & Tourism Council’s chairman and its president and CEO issued a joint statement in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, offering full support for impacted destinations.

Chairman Gerald Lawless and president & CEO Gloria Guevara offered the services of WTTC and called upon WTTC Members to come forward and find ways in which assistance can be provided to the devastated destinations in the Caribbean and southern United States to ensure a rapid recovery for their essential tourism industries.

WTTC also offered to send a high level delegation and advisors, when it is appropriate to do so, to evaluate and provide recommendations for solutions to assist with the recovery process.

WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevara
 WTTC chairman Gerald Lawless

Guevara said: “Tourism is a significant driver of the Caribbean countries’ economies and local livelihoods, and the Caribbean has been a popular and high profile destination for many years. WTTC therefore commits to play a part in the region’s recovery, standing by to assist with the restoration of tourism markets and infrastructure as the Hurricane passes, impacts are measured, and the rebuilding can commence.”

Travel and tourism generated 15% of the Caribbean’s GDP and 13% of the region’s employment in 2016.

Commenting on the disaster the WTTC chairman said:  “I strongly believe that both the travellers and the destinations will show their resilience and that once damage is assessed and the businesses re-open, travellers will return. WTTC offers to help in all stages of recovery.”