As Caribbean tourism officials meet this week in Trinidad to assess the financial sustainability of their “Life Needs the Caribbean,” regional marketing advertising campaign, one of America`s powerful travel authorities has acclaimed its effect.
Describing the effort to build the Caribbean brand as “the right way to go,” Richard Copland, President and CEO of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), states that, ‘cooperation between the public and private sector of the Caribbean strengthens the travel and tourism product, as opposed to, (destinations), wasting money competing with one another.”
“It`s time to understand we are all in it together,” he said, explaining that his membership is equally committed to cooperation for the benefit of the traveling public. Copland, co-founder and CFO of Hillside Travel in the Bronx, New York, predicted that Caribbean tourism will do well in 2003. “The American traveling public wants to travel closer to home, they want quality time with family and friends and the Caribbean is ideal for this,” he noted. ASTA members report that the last three months have produced strong Caribbean business. “So once we can somehow remove the spectre of a possible war in Iraq, I think you are going to see a very strong season in the Caribbean,” Copland affirmed.
Last fall, the Caribbean Hotel Association Charitable Trust (CHACT) launched a US$16 million campaign to market and promote the Caribbean as a single destination. CHACT, a public/private sector conglomeration of major hotel chains, airlines and credit card companies, joined forces with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, CARICOM and non-CARICOM nations for the campaign, whose second phase of an extensive US television campaign is now being aired.
The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and its affiliated organisations is to enhance the professionalism and profitability of members worldwide through effective representation in industry and government affairs, education and training, and by identifying and meeting the needs of the traveling public. The Society is the world`s largest and most influential travel trade association with over 20,000 members in 140 countries.
To find out more about `Life Needs The Caribbean` visit www.gocaribbean.com