|Wellness program launched for tourism businesses|
|Written by Richard Greenfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Thursday, 15 September 2011 07:55|
Health and tourism groups have joined forces to create a Health and Wellness Programme for the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Industry.
With 51 percent of all TCI jobs in tourism, the programme aims to ensure a healthier and more productive workforce and their families, said Aldora Robinson, Turks and Caicos National AIDS Programme (TCNAP) Coordinator.
“Words cannot express how excited I am,” Robinson said.
On Sept. 9, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between the Ministry of Health and Human Services; Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Communication; Tourist Board; and Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA).
Each TCHTA member — including hotels, restaurants, taxi drivers, etc. — is urged to develop an individually tailored work plan that promotes healthy lifestyles, behaviours and sexual practices among employees, their families and in their communities.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Judith Campbell said joining forces of health and tourism partners was “a synergistic relationship or approach toward the social ills proliferating in the tourism industry.” The programme will focus on awareness of nutrition, substance abuse, diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases and HIV/AIDS.
“I can only see benefits from this relationship,” she said. “It’s really a win-win solution. A healthier staff member means a more productive worker.”
Director of Tourism Ralph Higgs said the program was essential in this small, vulnerable population of the TCI and would affect all sectors of society and the economy, not just tourism.
TCHTA President Karen Whitt, general manager of the Regent Palms, said the tourism sector was proud to enter the partnership to help provide awareness, outreach and education through the program.
Also on Sept. 9, the Regent Palms became the first TCHTA member to officially join the program.
Robinson said the initiative was made possible by the U.K. Department for International Development, which contracted Options Consultancy Services to improve capacity in the TCI and other British overseas territories.
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