Developing winning strategies to beat the many odds that the region faces is the challenge facing government tourism ministers and attendees at the State of the Industry Conference, sponsored by the Caribbean Tourism Organization at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Spa Oct. 10 to 12 in St. Kitts.
The theme is relevant due to the fact that the Caribbean is the world’s most tourism-dependent region, according to Hugh Riley, CTO secretary general.
“We have to win,” Riley said. “For us, this is not a sideline, this is not a hobby, this is the core of our livelihood, and we had better know how to develop strategies that win in the extremely competitive tourism industry. So we are fighting.”
The conference will bring together more than 300 tourism industry leaders from the 30-plus CTO member countries as well as representatives of the regional and international private sector, academics and media to discuss and debate the biggest issues affecting the region’s primary revenue earner.
In recognition of the high fares and inadequate access plaguing air travel to and within the Caribbean, a special session on regional transportation will take place during the conference to examine the problems that hinder development of the regional tourism market.
The session also will examine sea transportation as a means of connecting the region’s destinations.
Congresswoman Donna Christensen, nonvoting delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. House of Representatives, will deliver the keynote address.
Alain St. Ange, Seychelles minister of tourism and culture, will lead a panel session to discuss the role of national tourist offices and examine the Seychelles branding initiatives as they pertain to the Caribbean.
The new CTO chairman for the next two-year term will be elected on Oct. 10, succeeding Ricky Skerritt, St. Kitts minister of tourism.
For conference details, visit www.onecaribbean.org.