At Half Moon in Montego Bay, the Most Honourable P.J. Patterson, Prime Minister of Jamaica, addressed an audience of travel industry professionals gathered on January 9 for the Opening Ceremony of
Caribbean Marketplace 2005.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Patterson underscored the power of unity in strengthening the region’s economy, commenting:
“The long-standing cooperation of players in the Caribbean tourism sector is yet another indicator that the peoples of the region recognize that when we stand together in unity we are a stronger voice and a greater force in this complex global geo-political and economic environment.”
Reflecting on the growth of tourism in the Caribbean Region, with exceptional increases in tourist arrival figures last year, the Prime Minister additionally emphasised environmental protection, community-based development and an understanding of growth markets as key to ongoing success for the region as a whole.
Looking forward, he stressed the importance of the continued “greening” of hotels and destinations throughout the region, and of “building smartly” to protect and strengthen infrastructure and to ensure long-term sustainability of the tourism
industry for a sound economic future.
A focus on supporting local communities also was named as a major priority in planning. “Tourism must essentially support our communities,” said Prime Minister Patterson, “generating profitable activity on the home front in order to strengthen every one of the Caribbean nations for a healthy and productive future.”