Major Tourism stakeholders and Journalist from across the region have been challenged to explore the possibility of integrating culture with tourism in a meaningful way throughout the region.
Ralph Taylor, Chairman of the Caribbean Hotel Association noted that the region’s significant Arts and Craft community continues to struggle without any cohesive plan to integrate them with tourism; while reasoning the same could be said for the entertainment industry.His comments came during the Caribbean Media Exchange - CMEx V - which is being held at the Almond Beach Village in Barbados. “Musicians perform at Caribbean hotels, but are not integrated into the main stream,” he said.“At Almond Beach, we’ve been fortunate to strike a chord among the local entertainment fraternity. For almost six years, our entire nightly entertainment presentation has been delivered by our own full-time staff of over 30 persons.”To this end, Mr. Taylor further called for the scope of CMEx to be broadened, noting that it must go beyond the Caribbean and encompass the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe. “We need a stronger effort in the Caribbean Diaspora to get our message across. There is a trend emerging in the rank and file of the business media where the emphasis is on the listed companies, but some consideration must be given to equally compelling stories about small business development, entrepreneurs and the linkages that abound.”