Caribbean countries are asked to re-examine their tourism policies to ensure the survival of the industry as the region observes Tourism Month in November.
Chairman of the board of the Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Chantal Figueroa said there was also a need to invest in tourism marketing, air services and travel trade agreement as well as revise our visa policies, provide industry workers with language training, make menu adjustments, augment our banking services for new currencies.
We can make great strides by promoting ourselves under Brand Caribbean and are eager to partner with interested territories to develop a marketing strategy grounded in sustainable tourism principles in order to capitalize on these new opportunities, the CTO official said.
Figueroa also said the region should also continue to explore market potential in the soc-called BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa which he said continue to show great potential as new tourism source markets for the Caribbean.
Figueroa said that tourism continues to be the mainstay of the economic development of regional countries and that all stakeholders should be encouraged during the month to renew their commitment to the sector, which is being promoted as One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.
We are excited about the trend emerging among our member countries where a number of territories are developing educational and incentive programmes to turn citizens and those living in the Diaspora into tourism ambassadors. Imagine the success our regional tourism industry can accrue if we all created national ambassador strategies, he said.
We are keen on sharing best practices with all of our member countries and enabling a regional movement in this respect. Share your case studies with us at the CTO so we can communicate these ideas for the benefit of all members. The Caribbean Tourism Organization is committed to providing guidance in developing and executing these programmes for the mutual benefit of all of our member countries, he added.