CMEx placing focus on youth involvement in tourism

ST. THOMAS, USVI: The Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) is placing priority on youth to guide the successful development of sustainable tourism in the Caribbean.

Organizers of the 20th edition of the CMEx meeting to be held from December 1 to 5 in St. Thomas announced plans for the development of a CMEx Youth Network to include Virgin Islanders, Caribbean and American students who will bring fresh approaches to the re-invigoration of the region’s tourism product.

CMEx, in partnership with the USVI Department of Tourism, is encouraging younger citizens to participate in the 10th anniversary session of CMEx which starts with a welcome reception hosted by Governor John deJongh Jr. and includes participants drawn from the media, tourism, civil society and academia in the Caribbean, North America and Europe.

USVI’s tourism commissioner, Beverly Nicholson-Doty, said it was important that “the best and brightest of our youth recognize the huge role sustainable tourism can play in conserving our fragile environments while enhancing culture, health, wealth and general quality of life for islanders”.

“CMEx continues to recognize the key contributions of youth,” said CMEx President Bevan Springer, who noted the inclusion of student delegates over the years has led to the formation of an ad hoc CMEx youth wing. CMEx has enlisted the help of New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies to provide structure to the youth engagement. Exploring the theme: “Communicating for Clarity and Prosperity”, delegates will examine how practitioners in the Caribbean’s public relations and marketing sector can help promote sustainable tourism development.

In the current recession, topics touching directly on the industry such as airlift, fuel prices, the environment, tourism linkages and tapping emerging markets have assumed an added urgency.

Since 2001, the Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) has produced 19 conferences and symposia throughout the Caribbean and North America to underscore the value of the region’s largest industry, tourism, in bettering the health, education, culture, environment and wealth of Caribbean communities, at home and abroad, in a climate-friendly fashion.

The upcoming CMEx meeting, hosted by the USVI’s Department of Tourism, is supported by American Airlines, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Barbados Tourism Authority, Barbara Pyle Foundation, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust, Caribbean Broadcasting Union, Caribbean Tourism Organization, Choice Hotels International, 4P Group, Marketplace Excellence, michaelD. Communications, Ruder Finn, Spirit Airlines, Sugar Bay Resort & Spa, Tourism Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago, and The SpeakEasy M.E.D.I.A. Foundation.

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