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‘Region’s tourism needs collective approach’

‘Region’s tourism needs collective approach’

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The region has to be committed to a collective approach to tourism, if we want to maximize our full potential in the sector, says a Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) official.{{more}}

Mareba Scott, a Sustainable Tourism Specialist with the CTO, spoke to SEARCHLIGHT, following the opening ceremony of the recently concluded two day consultation with tourism stakeholders in the Southern and Eastern Caribbean here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The consultation is expected to present feedback and comment on the draft Regional Policy Framework of the European Union (EU) financed Caribbean Sustainable Development Programme (CRSTDP).

Scott said that as we move more and more into a globalized world, the region is forced to work closely together, if we are to be successful.

She said that while we are dealing with individual sovereign states, key to the success of tourism, and a crucial part of the development of a sustainable tourism policy, would be for individual territories to be prepared to adopt the best practices of each other, learning from what the different territories may have mastered.

Scott also said that it would be beneficial and desirable to see some social issues, like how the region deals with gay cruises, policies on gambling and the like, dealt with on a regional level; but accepts that this may not happen quite yet.

“Those things would require regional discussion,” she said.

Some 40 regional participants joined 20 local tourism stakeholders for the consultations.

Ian Salter, the coordinator for the consultation, told participants that the Caribbean is the world’s best unknown brand, and that working at a regional level gives the region extra leverage, in the competitive tourism market.

He said that tourism is a complex industry, which comprises many different sub sections.

In his brief address at the consultation, Minister of Tourism Glen Beache said that it is important that the tourism industry is developed to such a point that it will last for generations to come.

He said that some tourism destinations have become tired and spoilt, and warned stakeholders to ensure that this doesn’t happen in their territories and as a region on the whole.

He also noted the need to ensure that our people are properly educated about tourism.

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