Media and Caribbean Tourism Require a Win-Win Relationship
Continued collaboration between media operatives and Caribbean tourism representatives will eventually lead to greater benefits for the media fraternity in the region and Caribbean
societies, Wesley Gibbings, the President of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM), said a week before Counterpart International’s Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism meeting (CMExPress), to be held at Sandals Antigua on Tuesday, June 14. CMEx seeks to increase the input of the media in the design of sustainable tourism policies, and highlight how essential tourism is to the economies of small island states.
Gibbings noted that apart from the information sharing aspect of the current relationship, there are some clear benefits that media workers could eventually realise if the industry became more supportive of the development of journalists and their profession.
He said that hoteliers and other industry representatives need to understand that better-informed journalists can only assist in promoting higher standards in the industry and ensuring that the best interests of our societies are pursued. He suggested that the required support could include industry-specific training at the regional level and greater interaction between journalists and industry leaders.
At the St. John’s meeting, media representatives will join the public and private sector to examine the state of the region’s preparations for Cricket World Cup 2007, to be held in the Caribbean for first time, as well as regional preparations for the impending hurricane season. In addition to these timely and instructive subjects, Gibbings called for the examination of other issues at future exchanges, including rural development in the face
of the growth in tourism, achieving true press freedom in the Caribbean, and the nexus between tourism and agriculture. The ACM also proposed dialogue on the growing influence of the NGO movement in Caribbean development and the role of the Caribbean’s youth.
To ensure that the relationship between promoters of the tourism trade and the media continued to prosper, the president suggested CMEx help facilitate the development and implementation of recommendations which would allow CMEx, ACM and the tourism sector to work even closer together.
“Towards this end we would like to see the inclusion of more media-specific issues on the agenda, organizers making greater use of journalists as resource persons presenting on media issues and providing access to professional resources in the area of media law to ACM members.”