The 27th Annual Caribbean Tourism Conference (CTC-27) opened on Aruba on Sunday night with calls for closer cooperation among tourism stakeholders.
Ê“We must forge closer partnerships among the players in the tourism sector, both locally and regionally to create a world-class tourism product,” Aruba’s Prime Minister Nelson Oduber told some 700 delegates gathered at the Radisson Hotel for the opening of CTC-27.
The Prime Minister, who delivered the keynote address, stressed that cooperation among the sectors was one sure way to further positive developments of the region’s tourism industry.
“By resolving discrepancies amongst us and strengthening areas of common action, we will be able to move forward joint programmes, which will enable the region and each island individually to build on its recent recovery and growth and to maintain these gains well into the future,” Prime Minister Oduber said.
He also called on Caribbean governments to adopt a strong role in tourism management even as the private sector is expected to develop the commercial facilities and services of tourism.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)‘s acting secretary general, Karen Ford-Warner, in her opening address, also emphasised collaboration and cooperation, promising that CTO was committed to a genuine partnership between the private and public sectors.
She told delegates that the conference theme, Caribbean Tourism: Driving Business in a Global Economy, recognises the potential for and expectation that the Caribbean tourism industry will present the region with its best opportunity to be competitive in the global economy.
And she said that united action among all stakeholders would help realise this potential.
“Being economies that are built on tourism, we have the opportunity, through creative, courageous and united action to cement our place as the undisputed world leaders in tourism,” Mrs. Ford-Warner said. “We must embrace that challenge and the Caribbean Tourism Organization, through its unique, diverse and powerful membership, must lead the way.”