By Frank Martin
TTC Service. – David Jessop, consultant of the Caribbean Council considered that Caribbean professionals from the tourism industry “should ask themselves why the region does not have a vehicle related to that industry capable of analyzing future change to prepare it for the visitor of tomorrow”
The London specialist wrote in News Americas publication this week that the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) would have to be “reinvented” as an agency capable of undertaking such long-term strategic research.
Jessop, a veteran professional in the sector, explained that although statistics vary, reliable Caribbean and international entities suggest that the tourism sector in the region is now delivering an average of 40.6% of the GDP it needs.
He wrote however, that in Aruba, Antigua, Barbados, Bahamas, and most overseas territories, the figure is much higher.
Figures published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest that maintaining the contribution that tourism makes has become essential for the long-term economic stability of almost all the nations of the Caribbean, except Trinidad, Suriname and Guyana.
The expert believes that such an effort would require significant long-term financing and a consistent approach.
He stressed that the Association of Caribbean Hotels and Tourism (CHTA) convene a meeting that is seen on the horizon and that involves governments.
The consultant of the Caribbean Council, a recognized institution, warned, however, that “none of the approaches is likely to be sufficient.”
“The problems involved require policy solutions and” all government “thinking that can be delivered by the public and private sectors both nationally and regionally,” he proposed.
“While some tourism ministers, especially Jamaica, are thinking about how to ensure that the industry disseminates its benefits in a socially and environmentally sustainable way, what is also required is a holistic long-term thinking about the mega trends identified by the OECD.