In recognition of the high fares and inadequate access plaguing intraregional travel in the Caribbean, a special session on regional transportation will take place during the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) planned State of the Industry Conference Oct. 10 to 12 at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Spa.
The CTO and tourism officials have long acknowledged that the problems in travel within the region have hindered tourism growth.
The session on Oct. 11, “The Challenge of Regional Transportation: Where Is the Solution?” will examine air and sea transportation options and challenges as a means of connecting destinations within the region.
“Regional travel is a focal point of concern for our member countries. The volume of intraregional visitors is decreasing, and it is a major concern to us,” said Hugh Riley, secretary general.
“Caribbean people want a service that is convenient, reliable and affordable. There is a perception that often it is cheaper to travel from the Caribbean to the U.S. than from one Caribbean country to another. There’s something wrong with that,” he said.
The latest CTO figures show that in 2011, nearly 1.5 million Caribbean nationals visited neighboring regional destinations, a 3.2% jump over 2010. However, the 2011 statistics were below those of 2007, when slightly more than 1.53 million arrivals were recorded.
Figures for 2012 year to date are not available.
For information on the CTO State of the Industry Conference, visit www.onecaribbean.org.