Executive Vice President of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, Sue Springer, says the biannual Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx) meetings, staged by international NGO Counterpart International, are making a positive difference to the quality of journalism in the Caribbean.
“The journalists who have been exposed to CMEx have definitely taken a different attitude towards reporting tourism,” said Springer, who observes more journalists participating in tourism events and symposia on island and has noticed that they are conscientiously fact-checking their stories before they hit the press.
CMEx, the brainchild of both Lelei LeLaulu, president of Counterpart International, and ex-Air Jamaica VP Allen Chastanet, is a biannual gathering of leading journalists and editors from the Caribbean as well as Europe and North America in an environment that encourages the lively exchange of ideas between movers and shakers. Cutting edge developments growing from the interaction between media, business, governments and the hospitality industry continue to emerge. The next CMEx meeting will be held in Barbados, December 4-8, 2003 at Almond Beach Resort.
Springer advocates that industry officials should work more closely with the media in congratulating the general public for their contributions to tourism. “I personally have a vision that instead of telling people what they`ve got to do for tourism, we should start thanking people for what they do do for tourism,” she said, highlighting painters, fishermen and farmers as some of the unheralded stakeholders of the Caribbean`s top foreign exchange earner.
“The press definitely can play a major role (in developing tourism awareness) and we need to invite you more into all of our tourism events,” said the hotel association executive. Springer says CMEx is a step in the right direction.
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