CARICOM heads focus on regional strategy for tourism
Following a presentation, prepared in collaboration with the CHTA, and delivered by CTO secretary General Hugh Riley to the Caribbean leaders at their 28th intercessional in Guyana last week, the Heads of Government supported the advancement of a series of steps addressing transportation and the facilitation of travel, human resource development, building the creative industries, and the marketing of the Caribbean brand.
They called for an urgent meeting of the Council for Trade and Development (COTED) to address air transport issues in particular, including those related to the tourism sector; and supported the establishment of an interim tourism working group to coordinate with regional public and private sector stakeholder groups, the development of specific solutions which can be advanced in priority areas.
The CARICOM leaders also agreed that public-private sector partnerships, guiding the development and marketing of tourism for the Caribbean, needed to be more effective and requested that the marketing of tourism encompass, in particular, the eco-tourism product of mainland member states of Belize, Guyana and Suriname.
The CHTA and the CTO say they firmly believe that tourism is a proven tool to lower unemployment, stimulate indigenous entrepreneurial activity, increase foreign exchange earnings, and grow tax revenues for our treasuries.
But they say it is a fiercely competitive business, noting that they facing the stark reality that they must find ways of maximising the collective strength of the Caribbean, if any and all of us are to truly succeed.