The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The Caribbean Ho­tel and Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion is hon­oured to sup­port the theme and aims of World Tourism Day this year: "TOURISM FOR ALL - Pro­mot­ing Uni­ver­sal Ac­ces­si­bil­ity".

Most of the as­so­ci­a­tion's mem­bers have recog­nised the im­por­tance of en­sur­ing their prop­er­ties, fa­cil­i­ties and of­fer­ings are ac­ces­si­ble to all vis­i­tors re­gard­less of their phys­i­cal ca­pac­i­ties. They have also have ex­pended time and re­sources shar­ing best prac­tices to cre­ate the in­fra­struc­ture and ex­pe­ri­ences for guests as well as res­i­dents of the Caribbean.

Ac­cord­ing to Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral of the United Na­tions World Tourism Or­ga­ni­za­tion, Taleb Ri­fai, 15 per­cent of the world's pop­u­la­tion is es­ti­mated to live with some form of dis­abil­ity. "That is 1 bil­lion peo­ple around the world who may be un­able to en­joy the priv­i­lege of know­ing other cul­tures, ex­pe­ri­ence na­ture at its fullest and ex­pe­ri­ence the thrill of em­bark­ing on a jour­ney to ex­plore new sights," he stated.

CHTA also recog­nises, as Mr. Ri­fai pointed out, that sooner or later, at some point in our lives, we all ben­e­fit from uni­ver­sal ac­ces­si­bil­ity in tourism due to an age­ing pop­u­la­tion, or be­cause we travel with fam­ily and friends and need to get around un­hin­dered.

For these rea­sons, CHTA is join­ing the call to recog­nise the right of all peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence worry-free travel to the Caribbean - one of the most de­sir­able places in the world to visit, live, work and do busi­ness re­gard­less of our dif­fer­ing abil­i­ties.

As they aim to 'wow the world' with ex­cep­tional ser­vice and hos­pi­tal­ity, draw­ing upon the in­trin­sic sense of pride and ser­vice in our peo­ple, the mem­bers of the Caribbean Ho­tel and Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion in­vite you to join them, on this year's World Tourism Day, Septem­ber 27, in spread­ing the word of the crit­i­cal im­por­tance of uni­ver­sal ac­ces­si­bil­ity to our com­mu­ni­ties and our is­lands.

It is not only a good thing to do; it is the right thing to do.

Karolin Troubetzkoy pre­sented her ad­dress on Septem­ber 27 - World Tourism Day

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