Despite the acute challenges facing the Caribbean`s tourism industry, the region is well-poised to recover given the wealth of talent within the private, public and non-governmental sectors, says Lelei LeLaulu, President and CEO of Counterpart International.
Speaking at the close of this month`s third Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx III) at Half Moon Golf, Tennis and Beach Club in Montego Bay, Jamaica, LeLaulu said he was impressed with the solution-oriented approach taken by regional panelists and presenters to address marketing and management aspects of the industry - the theme of this biannual Counterpart-produced conference.
“We received greater insight into fully embracing tourism as a professional service industry, fostering mutually-rewarding partnerships between the government, the private sector and the media, and pursuing strict environmental standards that will preserve the region for generations,” said LeLaulu .
“A sustainable recovery needs all stakeholders in the tourism industry—Governments cannot do it alone. It is possible to recover and to prosper,” but he said this was only possible if industry leaders work collectively and with the public sector players.
After producing three media exchanges in one year, LeLaulu is pleased that Caribbean journalists and editors are being exposed to the inner-workings of the industry and can also enlighten tourism stakeholders about the media`s world. “With the strength of these kinds of partnerships, the Caribbean must now move into action mode,” said LeLaulu, who is working with several organizations on a mini-blueprint for crafting a strategic future for sustainable tourism development.
Some of the many distinguished speakers who addressed the media meeting included John Bell, Caribbean Hotel Association`s Director-General; CHA President, Simon Suarez; CHA First Vice President Berthia Parlle; Bahamas Director-General of Tourism, Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace; Allen Chastanet, Air Jamaica`s Vice President of Marketing and Sales; President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, Josef Forstmayr; Jag Mehta of SuperClubs; Hugh Riley, North American Director of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation; Andrew Gledhill, President of Ground Zero Advertising; Hetty Sarjeant, Caribbean Representative of the United Nations Population Fund; Dr.
CMEx III, produced by Counterpart International, its affiliate Counterpart Caribbean, Air Jamaica, Caribbean Hotel Association, Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism, CHA Charitable Trust (“Life Needs the Caribbean”), EarthVoice and Caribbean Broadcasting Union, was supported by Almond Beach Resorts, American Express, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Barbados Tourism Authority, Bay Gardens Hotel, Caribbean Star Airlines, Cable and Wireless, Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Dunn`s River Falls, Glamour Tours, Half Moon Golf, Tennis and Beach Club, Island Village (Reggae Explosion Museum), Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, Jimmy Buffet`s Margaritaville, St.