American Express remains solidly committed to partnerships between the media and the Caribbean’s tourism industry and is demonstrating that commitment with its support for the Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMExPress) in Kingston, Jamaica this week.
Peggy Richardson, who is in charge of American Express Destination Business Development activities in the Caribbean, said that engaging the media and the region’s tourism partners is critical, and her company would once again support this initiative by Counterpart International, the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA)Êand their partners to improve the quality and quantity of reporting of the Caribbean tourism industry.
“A strong, informed media can support development efforts,” said Richardson, “By investing in the skills and responsiveness of Caribbean reporters through workshops like CMExPress, sustainable tourism goals which empower islanders can be achieved even faster.”
American Express, along with CHA, was a founding supporter of the Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx), the biannual gathering of leading Caribbean and international journalists and editors, and movers and shakers in tourism. CMEx strengthens awareness of the importance of sustainable tourism in the region.
The next meeting, titled CMExPress, is a distilled version of previous Media Exchanges, and will be held in Kingston on Friday, November 19, 2004. This one-day event will explore topics ranging from natural disaster response and environmental issues to the impact of HIV/AIDS on tourism to capitalizing on the 2007 World Cricket Cup. CMExPress will also focus on cutting-edge communications concepts.
Counterpart President Lelei LeLaulu thanked American Express for its unstinting commitment to the media and sustainable tourism. “American Express ought to be lauded for their precious work in environmental education, hospitality training and positioning the Caribbean as a top destination,” he noted.
In June 2004, American Express funded a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council, one of the world’s most authoritative tourism bodies, on the impact of travel and tourism on Caribbean jobs and the economy. The report, commissioned by CHA, highlighted the CMEx process as instrumental in spreading the message of travel and tourism’s importance to bettering the lives of Caribbean residents.