The Caribbean has received the proposal of a deeper collaborative approach to tourism development in the region that will allow to combat shared threats and risks, and remain globally competitive.
One of the most active regional tourism minister, Edmund Bartlett from Jamaica said in the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) annual Caribbean Week in New York last week that island-states are uniquely positioned to benefit from this phenomenal tourism growth that is anticipated to occur globally at rate of 4-5 per cent over the next several years, providing that certain arrangements and strategic planning are put in place on a region-wide basis.
The CTO Tourism Ministers and Commissioners meeting was at the Wyndham New York.
“Regional leaders in tourism- hoteliers, government officials, marketers, aviation authorities, must identify a multi-dimensional collaborative framework that is best suited for enhancing tourism products and services in the region”, the minister added.
He also warned that failure to steadfastly and purposefully adopt this depended collaborative approach may be detriment of the long term competitiveness of our highly tourism-dependent regional economies.”
The Caribbean experienced 30 million visitors, which resulted in US$37 billion in total visitor spending last year.
Bartlett called for “policymakers to strengthen cooperation aimed at identifying and developing strategies and innovations to consolidate and expand the region’s market shares of international visitors and also to make tourism more beneficial to local communities.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London comprising 26 countries and territories as well as a myriad of private sector allied members.
The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination. Its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean
Bartlett has called for a new architecture as it relates to Caribbean tourism so as to add more value to the touristic experiences and increase growth.
Highlighting the global competitiveness of the sector and the dependency of the region on this economic activity, Bartlett urged CTO member states to seek a more collaborative approach in ensuring not only sustainability but resilience within the region.
The CTO’s Caribbean Week is the largest regional tourism activity in the New York area. This year, the event has attracted over 6000 participants, from over 24 member countries, engaging in a series of regional discussions on the future of the industry.