Caribbean tourism professionals need to understand how the region fits into the new global environment in order to find innovative ways to deal with the transformation that is taking place, Karen Ford-Warner, deputy secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has said.
Mrs. Ford Warner was expanding on the theme for the 25th Annual Caribbean Tourism Conference (CTC-25), which takes place in Grand Bahama Island, the Bahamas, on October 28-31, 2002. The theme for this year’s conference is “Reinventing Caribbean Tourism”.
“We cannot continue to do business as we have in the past and expect to reap the successes, or maintain and improve our position because we are not operating in the same environment,” she explained. “For instance, the use of technology is critically important globally and the tourism industry is very ripe for this sort of technological advance. We have to understand how we can use it in order to position and promote ourselves better,” Mrs. Ford-Warner said.
Traditionally, the Caribbean has been a sun, sea and sand destination, but the CTO deputy secretary general said the changes that were taking place in the global environment required that Caribbean tourism officials concentrate on expanding and enhancing the tourism product offerings to include our natural environment, our heritage and the involvement of our communities.
“Product development is another area in which we must reinvent ourselves by creating a clear vision for Caribbean tourism going forward and ensuring that every action that is taken towards benefiting the region is consistent with this vision.
“When faced with these kinds of challenges, such as in a situation of unprecedented change, it is crucial that you know how to use that change to your advantage. Along with the challenge of reinventing Caribbean tourism, come the challenge of reinventing ourselves, and we have to approach this new situation by clarifying how we see this industry and how we are going to carry it forward,” she said.
Packed with dynamic speakers, seminars and workshops, CTC-25 will focus on practical approaches to selling the Caribbean and will discuss concerns affecting the development of a viable and sustainable tourism product.
CTO and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism are preparing to welcome over 1,000 delegates to the event.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and marketing operations in New York, London and Toronto, is the Caribbean`s tourism development agency and comprises membership of 32 governments and a myriad of private sector companies.
The CTO`s mission is to provide to and through its members, the services and information needed for the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people. The organization provides specialized support and technical assistance to member countries in the areas of marketing, human resource development, research and statistics and sustainable development.
The CTO disseminates information on behalf of its member governments to consumers and the travel trade.
For more information, please contact CTO Headquarters at One Financial Place, Collymore Rock, St. Michael, Barbados; tel: (246) 427-5242; fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected] CTO`s New York office is located at 80 Broad Street, 32nd Floor, New York, NY 10004, USA; tel: (212) 635-9530; fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail: [email protected] CTO`s London office is located at 42 Westminster Palace Gardens, Artillery Row, London SW1P 1RR; tel: 171-222-4335; fax 171-222-4325; E-mail: [email protected] CTO Canada can be reached at Taurus House, 512 Duplex Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4R 2E3; tel: (416) 485-8724; fax: (416) 485-8256; E-mail [email protected] Visit CTO on the web at www.doitcaribbean.com and www.onecaribbean.org.