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SVG still benefits from Pirates of the Caribbean

SVG still benefits from Pirates of the Caribbean

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines continues to benefit from the exposure of the filming and showing of the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”. That’s the word from Acting Director of Tourism Vida Bernard.
She was outlining her activities of her department following a planning meeting which wound up here earlier this month. {{more}}
The planning meeting, held at the Anglican Pastoral Centre in New Montrose, saw presentations from overseas sales representatives as well as public relation agencies in New York and Canada. Input also came from “The Resource Factory”, an advertising agency based in Trinidad and Tobago.
Bernard described the session as “successful”. She looks forward to 2005 as a major year for promotional activity by her department.
One aspect of the planning session was a presentation by guest speaker Karen Ford-Warner, deputy general of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation based in Barbados.
Ford-Warner, of Jamaican extract but one of genuine Caribbean ilk, underlined the importance of the tourism industry to the well-being of the region.
She stressed the challenge with which the region was confronted in its quest to attract more and more visitors and she is counting on the use of more Internet facilities as a promotional tool for the tourism industry.
She pointed out: “The Internet has already become a major force in delivering tourism information and in doing travel business.” She noted that the trend was growing worldwide and warned hotel owners: “If you are not already into Internet marketing or preparing to take that journey, you will be left behind.”
Ford-Warner pointed to increases in Caribbean arrivals, up by seven per cent in 2003, compared with 2002, and an extension by eight per cent for the first quarter of 2004, compared with the same period in 2003.
She also pointed to enlargement of stop-over visitors for January of this year and an increase in room occupancy during January to March this year.
And the outlook for the summer looks positive, according to Ford-Warner. But she does not want stakeholders to be complacent.
“There are several challenges on the horizon such as the sharp increase in crude oil prices, which have reached US$40 per barrel for the first time since the first Gulf War and which is already being reflected in higher airline ticket prices and declining airline stock prices.”
She also noted resurgence of competition from the Middle East, Asia and the United States.
The planning session also heard addresses from Hotel and Tourism Association President Leroy Lewis, and Tourism and Culture Permanent Secretary Andreas Wickham.
Presentations also came from public relations agencies’ Chris Spring in New York and Arie Raif from Canada. Advertising agent Douglas Gordon joined in the presentations as well as overseas sales representatives Celia Ross from the USA, Marilyn Browne, Canada and Rachel Charles, United Kingdom.

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