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 Caribbean Hotel Association Study Concludes More than 188,000 Travel & Tourism Jobs Could Be at Risk
Due to New United States Passport Regulation
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CHA advocates extension of time

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (June 2, 2005) – The Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) has released the findings of an economic impact study of the new United States passport regulation that will require US citizens visiting the Caribbean to be in possession of a valid US passport to re-enter the US, effective January 1, 2006.  The study, conducted by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) on behalf of CHA, considered the market share of visitors from the United States to the Caribbean and the percentage of those visitors that do not use a valid US passport - and examined these figures against total visitor exports earnings in the region, which total US$20.7 billion. 

The study concluded that in the Caribbean, as much as US$2.6 billion of visitor export earnings and more than 188,000 Travel & Tourism jobs could be at risk.  These findings were presented today at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Board of Directors meeting in New York.

“CHA can appreciate US concern for its security, but cannot lose sight of the impact of the new regulations on Caribbean travel and tourism, which will be a permanent realignment of traffic, with spontaneous, last minute travel significantly reduced,” said CHA President Berthia Parle, MBE.  “Our position advocates an extension of time for the Caribbean to the same introductory date as Mexico and Canada, January 1, 2008, to allow the region’s tourism to prepare better.”

For his part, Jean-Claude Baumgarten, President of the WTTC said, “The United States’ new passport requirement for the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada is likely to change the nature of regional Travel & Tourism and cause significant hardship for several destinations that have grown to rely on a more open movement of visitors.  Of course security is a major issue for nations around the world - and Travel & Tourism must contribute - but government officials must also recognize the economic impact their decisions are likely to make on economies far and wide.  The US passport issue is one of those issues that must be clearly reviewed and discussed with Travel & Tourism leaders to mitigate the impact.  We deserve no less.”

The Caribbean Hotel Association is dedicated to excellence in hospitality, leadership in marketing, and sustainable growth in tourism, to the benefit of its membership and that of the wider Caribbean community. The members of CHA represent the entire spectrum of hospitality industry’s private sector, from over 800 member hotels with more than 126,000 hotel rooms in 35 national hotel associations, to allied members including airline executives, tour operators, travel agents, trade and consumer press, hotel and restaurant suppliers, and others.

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Contact:
Lorraine J. Ortiz-Valcárcel
Communications Director
Caribbean Hotel Association
1000 Ponce de León Ave., 5th Floor
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00907
T + 1 787 725.9139 x244
www.caribbeanhotels.org
Also See: United States Travelers to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean Will Soon Need Passports / April 2005
Business Travelers Feel Safe and Value Security Assurances / April 2005

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