The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is conveying a special meeting to address the impacts of Hurricane Irma and the way forward on the occasion of its 22nd General Assembly taking place next week in China, an announcement said on Friday. The bi-annual event, which takes place in Chengdu, China, on September 11-16, is expected to gather over 1000 participants from around the world.
The UNWTO said it was deeply saddened by the tragic effects brought by Hurricane Irma across the Caribbean.
Dubbed the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade, Hurricane Irma has killed 22 people in the Caribbean and left thousands homeless.
“On behalf of the international tourism community, UNWTO conveys its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims and stands ready to support the affected countries, where tourism is a pillar in the lives of so many people, to recover as swiftly as possible,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
“UNWTO will work alongside the affected countries in all the necessary measures to support them and trust that as in previous occasion the people of these countries will show their resilience as life gets back to normal and they open for business,” added Mr Rifai.
Hurricane Irma is expected to reach the Florida Keys on Sunday morning and the southwestern coast of Florida on Sunday afternoon. A number of airports in Florida have announced flight suspensions due to the hurricane.