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Caribbean Tourism Organisation to close overseas offices

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation has announced it will close its offices in New York and London as it seeks to rebalance its finances.

There will also be a comprehensive audit of the Barbados office, the organisation announced.

Dominic Fedee, chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, said: “Over the past two decades, there has been much discussion surrounding the promotion and development of tourism in the Caribbean, the world’s most tourism dependent region.

“While there have been many visions, plans, papers written and philosophies espoused, there has been widespread acceptance that much improvement is needed to elevate tourism development in the region.

“Some of the most discussed aspirations range from marketing the Caribbean as a single brand, more in-depth research, and a greater uniformed approach to policy formulation and product development.”

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He added: “The Caribbean Tourism Organisation therefore recognises that it plays a most essential role in the changes required to achieve the long-held view to enhance tourism’s role as a tool for sustainable development among member states.

“Consequently, we are of the firm view that in order to play a stronger role in the new era of tourism development, we have to reinvent and reposition the organisation as a pillar upon which tourism advancement can rest.”

This restructuring exercise is expected to significantly reduce the operational expenditures of Caribbean Tourism Organisation, giving it more capacity to undertake its key functions of regional marketing, statistics and product development.

A press release also noted the exercise will lead to some “displacement”.

However, it was hoped the move “represents a strong revitalisation of the organisation”.

“This is a necessary process to ensure tourism plays its most vital role as a means to bring about opportunity and prosperity for the people of the Caribbean,” Fedee added.

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation is the region’s tourism development agency, with 24 Dutch, English, Spanish and French country members and a myriad of private sector allied members.

The ambition of the group is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination.