Published On: Fri, Nov 1st, 2013

Caribbean Tourism Month -Theme: One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean

CaribbeanBRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CTO) -- Tourism is truly the treasure chest of the Caribbean and we at the Caribbean Tourism Organization have designated every November as Caribbean Tourism Month.

We encourage all of our stakeholders to see this month as the start of a new era for our sector – one characterized by ideas, action and results.  Starting November 1, we must be prepared to walk the talk on matters of sustainability.  We urge you to use this month to renew your commitment to our mantra – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

One Sea -Our People As Our Ambassadors

We are excited about the trend emerging among our member countries where a number of territories are developing educational and incentive programs 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.

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 programs for the mutual benefit of all of our member countries.

Building One Voice For The Future -The Youth Factor

Succession planning is a matter of great interest to us all.  It means developing leadership and management skills among our youth from the earliest possible age so they may have a solid appreciation for the tourism industry.  At the basic level, we encourage all destinations to support the CTO Foundation, whose funds are used for scholarships for those keen on pursuing further studies in travel and tourism.  We also want to see more youth participate in the Tourism Youth Congress at the national level, thus increasing the level of participation at the annual CTO Tourism Youth Congress.

Destination Management Organizations, universities and tourism associations are challenged to move beyond open-house days and island tours to develop more meaningful opportunities for our youth on tourism matters of national importance.  Whether you bring in leading airline executives to deliver special lectures; host youth town halls to discuss tourism policy; or provide more internships; let us commit to providing creative programs at the national level.

Targeting Emerging Markets Using The One Caribbean Brand

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – known as the BRICS – continue to show great potential as new tourism source markets for the Caribbean.  During our recent State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC 2013), travel marketing expert, Paul Cohen, purported that the Caribbean has much work to do to sensitize these countries about our tourism product.  He also added that we must invest in tourism marketing, air services and travel trade agreements, revise our visa policies, provide industry workers with language training, make menu adjustments, augment our banking services for new currencies, and so on.

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.

As the most tourism dependent region in the world, we have much to be thankful for and we salute those who are celebrating the Caribbean Tourism Month at the national level.  At the same time let us increase our dedication to implementing our many great ideas on how we can improve our tourism sector. The time to take action is now.  www.onecaribbean.org

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