Barbados is bracing itself to welcome regional and international media luminaries to the island for the 5th Counterpart International-produced Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx V).
President of the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA), Oliver Jordan expressed Barbados` pride at being able to host the media and tourism talks for the first time, after supporting the biannual event from its inception in October 2001. “We think it`s a really positive way of bringing the media and tourism players together to look at the issues we continually face in the industry,” said Jordan, who called on regional governments to be more proactive in safeguarding the industry that is their primary source of revenue at CMEx IV in Jamaica this year. Previous editions of CMEx have been held in the Bahamas and Jamaica.
CMEx assembles leading journalists and editors from the Caribbean, as well as Europe and North America, in an environment which encourages the lively exchange of ideas between tourism`s movers and shakers in government and industry. The next CMEx will draw more than 75 regional and international media and industry officials who will explore the theme: “Tourism and The Media: The Next Generation”. Previous conferences have focused on environmental, business, marketing, management and economic aspects of tourism and as a result have generated newspaper articles, radio shows, television features, coral reef restoration initiatives, public-private sector collaboration and other international partnerships.
Jordan underscored the importance of the biannual dialogue: “The media are the lens through which people in the Caribbean see the tourism industry, and there is need for people to be constantly aware of the industry and its role, particularly some of the challenges we are facing and some of the initiatives that are taking place to address them.” He stressed that tourism affects the current and future generation.
On the local front, the BTA president disclosed that tourism in Barbados has improved for the first eight months of the year, and while the fall season appears weak, the Barbados Tourism Authority is in the process of launching major market initiatives to ensure overall growth in 2003.
“Winter seems particularly strong,” declared Jordan, who expects a boost in arrivals and revenue when the England cricket team tours the Caribbean in March, April and May. This winter, additional airline seats from London on British Airways (11 flights per week), coupled with daily service on Virgin Atlantic will help strengthen the island`s top foreign exchange earner. “We are in a fairly good position at this point, barring any unexpected circumstances.”
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(05/08/03) Barbados to Play Host to CMEx V