Affordable Air Transport Needed to Keep Caribbean Tourism Alive

The Caribbeanå‘s tourism industry cannot survive and the regionå‘s economic development will be stymied without reliable and affordable air transportation from all source markets, Jean Holder, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) has said.
Mr. Holder’s comment comes ahead of a series of meetings in New York next week at which ministers of tourism from CTO’s 32 member countries and the CTO board of directors will discuss the important issue of air transportation service to the region and what is expected of Caribbean governments to ensure adequate air access. 

“Without air transportation from all source markets at affordable prices and on a sustained and reliable basis there can be no tourism industry,” said Mr. Holder. “If there is no tourism industry there can be no economic development in this region on a scale that we all think is desirable since Caribbean countries are very dependent on the tourism industry for their socio-economic development and for maintaining the quality of life of their peoples.”
“We have seen major foreign carriers go into bankruptcy. We have seen household names in air transportation seriously discuss liquidation. The situation with our regional carriers is grave. Therefore, the ministers have invited airlines to meet with them and to discuss the prospects for the sustainability of air transportation to the region,” added Mr. Holder.

The meetings of the ministers of tourism and the CTO
board of directors are among several important business meetings scheduled to be held during Caribbean Week in New York from June 1 - 6th, 2003.