The last CTO (Caribbean Tourism Organization) meeting in St. Kitts has paved the way for greater cooperation between islands of the world. The climate change issues, the air access difficulties, and the new taxes coming from some of the tourist source markets are all points discussed as a group at St. Kitts, but more importantly are points that will need to be discussed by islands from all parts of the world.
For the 2012 CTO meeting, Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, had been invited to join his Caribbean colleagues to discuss tourism as a world industry and one with the potential of creating jobs and alleviating poverty.
St. Kitts & Nevis and the French island of Martinique are part of the Caribbean Islands grouping whereas Seychelles is part of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Organization. These two island organizations sit on the opposite sides of the world from each other but the Tourism Ministers of St. Kitts & Nevis and the Seychelles and the President of Martinique Tourism believe that tourism-dependent islands can and should work together and develop avenues for cooperation in the spirit of togetherness.
Minister Richard O. Skerritt, the St. Kitts & Nevis Minister responsible for Tourism and International Transport; Mrs. Karine Roy-Camille, President of Martinique Tourism; and Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture met during the 2012 Caribbean Tourism Organization State of the Tourism Industry Conference. They exchanged ideas for more joint approaches as island nations dependent on tourism, and they all agreed on the need for long-haul tourism destinations such as the Caribbean islands and the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands to work together to continue to lobby against the UK Carbon Tax, which is working against the continued consolidation of tourism as an industry for these island nations who have worked tirelessly and made sacrifices to protect their environment which is today compensating the carbon emission from the developed world who are today imposing a carbon tax that is affecting tourism and travel, the industry that remains their main industry. The protected environment of these islands remains part of these islands’ tourism attractions.