Caribbean needs to invest to secure business in 2004

The Caribbean needs to consider the need for investment in several key areas if it is to secure business from Europe in 2004, a senior British travel expert has advised. Sue Biggs, managing director of European tour operator, Kuoni, said the Caribbean had performed relatively well in the United Kingdom market in 2003 due in part to the fact that other regions were negatively affected by global events like SARS and the war in Iraq.
But, she warned that early bookings for 2004 showed Britons were beginning to travel again to the United States and Asia and that the Caribbean needed to be wary of price increases and should consider the need for investment to secure business in 2004.“You must invest in great customer service, imaginative and innovative cuisine and quality hotels,” MS. Biggs advised some 100 ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism and representatives from Caribbean tourist boards, tour operators, airlines and hotels at a recent European Forum in London, organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). On the issue on branding, Ms. Biggs suggested that the Caribbean should decide “what you want the image of the Caribbean to be and stick to it in promotions and advertising, in deciding air lift, in approving developments and deciding who your ‘dance partners’ are.“The forum was organised to give the visiting Caribbean delegates an overview of the European market, with emphasis on the key issues facing the long haul travel sector.