COVID-19 Resources (2020)

Guidelines and Checklists for Safely Resuming Business Operations and Restoring Caribbean Tourism in 2020


View CTO Member Countries Destination Organization Responses to COVID-19 (pdf)

View CTO Member Country COVID-19 Protocols from 2020

CTO webinar - The Future of Caribbean Tourism – Key Considerations for the COVID-19 recovery

Link to webinar video recording on CTO’s Facebook page:

Neil Walters | Secretary General (Acting) | Caribbean Tourism Organization

View presentation:

Virginia Messina | Managing Director | World Travel & Tourism Council

View presentation:

Alejandro Varela | Deputy Regional Director for the Americas | UNWTO 

View presentation:

CTO Podcasts on COVID-19

Episode 1

In this episode Dr. Katija Khan, a clinical psychologist at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine, and a member of the UWI COVID-19 task force, shares some extremely helpful recommendations on hope to cope. She touched on issues that connect work, mental health and the coronavirus crisis. She  linked this to stress (the leading pathway to mental health problems at work), boundaries, mental flexibility, substance use, communication, support from supervisors, exercise and more.

Episode 2

In the second episode of ‘COVID-19 -The unwanted visitor’, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Communications Specialist Johnson Johnrose talks with Carla Santiago, the general manager of Edelman Miami, a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organisations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations.

Episode 3

The Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Communications Specialist Johnson Johnrose speaks to Emile Gourieux,  the Hotel Sector Business Development Executive for STR in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean and Rico Louw, the Senior Account Manager and Client Liaison at STR, Inc., with a special focus in US Central States, Mexico, and the Caribbean region. STR provides clients with premium, global data benchmarking and analytics.

Episode 4

The Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Communications Specialist Johnson Johnrose speaks to Professor Clive Landis, the Chairman of the University of the West Indies Covid-19 Task Force.

Episode 5

The Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Communications Specialist Johnson Johnrose speaks to Peter Cerda, Regional Vice President, The Americas, The International Air Transport Association (IATA). IATA is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 290 airlines or 82% of total air traffic.

Episode 6

In this episode, Dr. Peter Tarlow, the world-renowned tourism scholars and expert who specializes in, among  other areas, tourism risk management and tourism and economic development, says the Caribbean can emerge as the jewel of tourism in the world.

Episode 7

This week we hear from Seleni Matus, the executive director of the International Institute of Tourism at George Washington University. GWU, in collaboration with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, conducted a survey of CTO member countries and the greater Caribbean on preparedness for post-COVID-19 recovery and there are some eye-opening findings.

Episode 8

In this episode, we hear from Ed Limon of Winged Whale Media on how destinations and businesses can use virtual reality to market during COVID-19 and after.

Click to listen.

CTO on Coronavirus

COVID-19 Forces Postponement of CTO’s 10th Tourism Human Resources Conference

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (Date) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) advises of the postponement of the 10th Tourism Resources Conference, which was scheduled to take place in May. The new date for the event, being organised in collaboration with the Nevis ministry of tourism, is 25-27 November 2020.

“In light of the constantly changing nature of the coronavirus crisis and in the wake of the decision by the World Health Organization to declare COVID-19 a pandemic, the CTO and the government of Nevis have decided that postponing the conference is the best course of action,” said Sharon Banfield, the CTO’s director of resource mobilisation and development.

The CTO will continue to diligently monitor the situation and pay close attention to guidance from regional public health officials.

For more information on what the CTO and member countries are doing to limit the spread of coronavirus in the region, visit And for the regional health response, visit

CTO Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (12 March 2020) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) continues to closely monitor the coronavirus virus (COVID-19) situation. We continue to engage our member countries, as well as the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and our tourism partners, to inform travel-related health measures that are proportionate to the public health threat and based on local risk assessment.

While there continues to be a limited number of imported coronavirus cases and no cases of local transmission in the region, the health authorities across our membership are taking the necessary steps to limit the number of new cases and to curb the possible spread among our populations from the confirmed imported cases.

The CTO would like to emphasise that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not called for any travel and trade restrictions as a result of the coronavirus. As a matter of fact, the WHO continues to advise against such restrictions. Local populations and visitors alike are assured that the Caribbean remains open for business.

Consequently, we advise travellers to follow the health and travel advisories issued by the authorities and to take appropriate precautions.

  • Closely monitor and for important information and updates
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid travelling if sick.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available.
  • Follow local authority instructions
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and disposing immediately of the tissue and performing hand hygiene
  • Refrain from touching mouth and nose.
  • Follow proper food hygiene practices

In addition, before you travel, please check whether any travel restrictions have been issued by your intended destination.  You should also consider investing in  comprehensive travel insurance.

CTO Brings Together Tourism Leaders and Agencies on the Frontline of Battle to Confront Coronavirus

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (5 March 2020) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has brought together tourism leaders and a key agency on the frontline of battle to confront coronavirus (COVID-19).

The CTO yesterday organised an information session for member governments, facilitated by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

During the session, CARPHA assured ministers and directors of tourism and other senior tourism officials, that while there have been no cases of local transmission – the two cases reported in St. Martin and one in the Dominican Republic were all imported – it was working closely with member countries and Caribbean coordinating partners such as the CTO on mechanisms to prevent further transmission from any possible imported cases.

Yesterday’s session was part of the CTO’s programme of full engagement in the regional response to the COVID-19 outbreak, in collaboration with CARPHA, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Global Tourism Resilience Centre.

The CTO’s web site, provides updated information from member countries and links to the CARPHA site (  which is monitoring the virus and providing regular, reliable updates.

The organisation is also utilising a range of sources to track the global and reported regional impact of the virus, which has affected 93,090 people in 76 countries (80,422 in China alone), according to the latest World Health Organization figures.

In the meantime, travellers are advised to:

  • Closely monitor and  for important information and updates
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid travelling if sick.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available.
  • Follow local authority instructions
  • Stay informed about the virus situation in any country to which you are travelling

Caribbean Tourism and Health Stakeholders Forge Alliance to Safeguard Visitors and Residents from COVID-19

MIAMI (March 5, 2020) – The leaders of the Caribbean tourism and health sectors, who are working together to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the region, are implementing readiness and response measures to prevent and contain the virus.
While there has been no local spread of the virus in the Caribbean, community transmission is now reported in many other countries than China, some of which have nonstop flights to Caribbean States.

Therefore, due to the current increased risk of importation of COVID-19 to the region, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has upgraded the risk of Coronavirus disease transmission from “low” to “moderate to high”.

In light of this, CARPHA Executive Director Dr. Joy St. John is urging health authorities of CARPHA Member States to shift their mindset from preparedness to readiness and rapid response and continue to do all that is necessary to strengthen their capacity to respond to possible importation of cases.

The recently established COVID-19 Caribbean Tourism Task Force comprises representatives from CARPHA, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC).

In a statement issued by the leaders of the task force member organizations, they indicated that a Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed upon by the organizations to foster closer collaboration.

“Recognizing the essential need to safeguard the health and safety of residents and visitors to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 threat to the Caribbean; and further recognizing the importance of building upon the collaborative efforts which are already underway, and the need to pool organizational resources to do so; we have agreed to formalize our efforts and messaging through the establishment of the COVID-19 Caribbean Tourism Task Force (CCTTF),” the MOU reads.

The organizations acknowledged concerns about the high level of misunderstanding about the virus which has elevated the panic at the global level and resulted in the dissemination of a high level of misinformation.

The CCTTF will focus on raising awareness and sharing accurate information; strengthening monitoring at airports, seaports, and hotels and accommodations; improving coordination among stakeholder organizations and locally between tourism and health officials; sharing best practices; training, education and capacity building; and conducting tourism impact research.

“Tourism is the lifeblood of the Caribbean so we’ve come together as organizations already engaged in readiness programs to pool resources so we can ensure the people of our region, and our visitors, remain safe from this viral threat,” read the task force’s statement, which adds “our ability to quickly contain any outbreak will be determined by how efficiently we can pool information and capacities – this agreement allows us to plan for an emergency and move our resources rapidly.”

Dr. Lisa Indar, CARPHA’s Assistant Director for the Surveillance, Disease Prevention & Control Division, explained that the organizations already collaborate, but in view of the spread of the virus in other regions, CARPHA and other task force organizations wanted to proactively solidify cooperation and ensure the task force had what it needed to keep COVID-19 from threatening the health of residents and visitors and the economies of the Caribbean.

The establishment of the Caribbean COVID-19 Tourism Task Force follows a Special Emergency Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government with health and tourism officials and cruise associations in Barbados last weekend, where they agreed to set up a regional protocol with the cruise industry.

As an immediate proactive measure to help fight the importation and spread of this novel viral illness, the CCTTF is urging hotel and tourism accommodation providers to register for CARPHA’s Tourism Health Information System (THiS), which was developed several years ago to provide support information, and to help identify and confidentially manage early warning symptoms by employees and guests in a rapid manner.

Since January, over 50 additional hotels have joined THiS. To register, visit or Visitors are also encouraged to self-report at, and click on the self-reporting tab to the bottom left of the screen.

CARPHA advises residents and visitors that the best preventative measures are individual ones they can take by exercising hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, social distancing (staying one meter away from persons with flu) as well as avoiding eating raw and undercooked meats.

CARPHA Situation Reports


WHO Resources


UN Tourism Resources


Other Resources