BRIDGETOWN: The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will celebrate its 25th anniversary next month amidst a call for the region to be promoted as a single destination.
CTO Chairman, Beverly Nicholson-Doty, said that her wish for the sector in 2014 was that Caribbean countries commit themselves to promoting the region as one destination.
She is hoping that Caribbean nations would each commit a percentage of their annual tourism budgets towards the marketing of a strong Caribbean brand “so that the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, which we own jointly with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, can bolster our campaign for the region’s benefit.
“There is a major opportunity awaiting us in both traditional and emerging markets. At the recent State of the Industry Conference in Martinique, we learned much of what we need to do to successfully pursue new sources of business while also solidifying our mainstay markets,” she said.
She lauded destinations which have begun to invest in language training and long haul airlift in preparation for new visitors in 2014.
Nicholson-Doty expressed hope that the region would address taxes that are hurting the travel sector.
“While we will not soften our stance on requesting the British authorities address the Air Passenger Duty in a manner that is equitable, we cannot ignore the effects some of our own tax regimes are having on intra-regional travel,” she said.
Nicholson-Doty said that, in January, the CTO celebrates 25 years of existence and during the year-long celebrations “it is hoped we will be able to harmonize our efforts to boost travel to and within the region.
“Let us enter 2014 as proud nations and territories of the Caribbean ready to work together in harmony to achieve results we richly deserve.”