With safety and security on the minds of the flying public after the September 11 terrorist attacks and the American Airlines crash, the normally resilient Caribbean tourism industry is suffering. Occupancy and average rates are well below expectations. The Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) is moving forward on certain initiatives to steer the Caribbean hospitality industry through the crisis.

Perhaps the most significant step forward is the approval by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) of a $18 million public/private sector emergency tourism promotion program to rebuild tourism in the Caribbean. The initiative will be spearheaded by CHA and branded "Great Places of the Caribbean."

Now more than ever, CHA Marketplace, to be held January 13 to 15, 2002, in Cancun, Mexico, is one of the most important tourism marketing forums for Caribbean suppliers, hotels, airlines, car rental companies, etc., and buyers (tour operators/wholesalers) from worldwide markets to meet and create business opportunities for the coming season.

On the consumer front, despite the significant decline, people continue to travel. In an effort to create a unified message from the Caribbean’s many resorts and hotels, and, ultimately, increase the number of travelers from the United States to the region, CHA is serving as a clearinghouse of discounts and travel packages.