Vanderpool-Wallace says media is helping promote tourism

According to Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Director General of Tourism for the Islands of the Bahamas, the Caribbean’s media is helping accelerate action on important tourism matters in the region.Crediting Counterpart International’s Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx), Vanderpool-Wallacesaid tourism has moved from “denial to an embarrassment, to grudging acceptance to acknowledgement to promotion” by sharing information with regional reporters.

“I can tell you that in my short stint here in The Bahamas, we have seen
tourism move from the social pages with photos of industry people at parties
to serious discussions of tourism on the business sections of the paper with
discussion of tourism strategy and tactics,” the director said.

Tourism sustainability, says the Harvard-educated Bahamian, requires the
broadest possible coordination of efforts in order to effect any changes and
in order for it to be successful:

“The impingement of all government departments, many private sector entities and all of a nation’s citizens on tourism has yet to be fully recognised and addressed. So when we speak about certain strategic initiatives, unless we have the broadest possible action from all sectors on the execution of that strategy, we are often seen to be
more about talk than action.”

“CMEx is beginning to make all of us more aware of the need for massive
coordination by pointing out that tourism cannot be seen as being the same
as the sugar or bauxite industries ... it’s much more complicated,” said
Vanderpool-Wallace.

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With the “luxury of small size”, the region has a greater chance of success
than communities far larger. “I suspect that we are on the verge of
accelerated action on tourism matters in our region. I see it happening in
The Bahamas and I have no reason to believe that it is any more difficult
elsewhere,” he said.
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