FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique, Wednesday October 16, 2013, CMC – Caribbean and international tourism officials will hold two days of discussions on a wide range of issues affecting the regional tourism industry as the Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization(CTO)’s State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) opens here later on Wednesday night.
The two-day conference in this French speaking Caribbean island will be addressed by several dignitaries, including Serge Letchimy, the Congressman to the French Assembly and President of the Regional Council of Martinique; Tourism Commissioner, Karine Roy-Camille and the CTO chairman Beverly Nicholson-Doty.
Nicholson-Doty has already indicated that the conference at which delegates are expected to critically discuss issues such as training and education, service quality, standards, visitor satisfaction, and regional transportation, will provide an opportunity for creative solutions to the challenges facing the sector.
“Strong inter-sectoral linkages with industries such as agriculture, construction and the financial services sector, for example, place additional responsibility on all of us in tourism to emerge from this conference with a stronger plan for a more sustainable and more resilient tourism sector,” she said in a statement ahead of the official opening.
“Over the next few days we have an opportunity to look clinically at all aspects of our industry and chart the way forward. Creative solutions are needed on all fronts, particularly on matters of increasing taxation; optimizing arrivals and revenues from emerging and existing source markets; airlift stability; the pursuit of sustainability in the face of constrained financial resources; and most importantly pooling our resources to strengthen the Caribbean brand in the marketplace.
“Lip service can no longer be the order of our days,” said Nicholson-Doty, who is also the Commissioner of Tourism for the United States Virgin Islands (USVI).
The SOTIC which brings together decision-makers from the public and private sectors, academics, government officials, hoteliers, travel professionals and journalists from the region and around the world, will be held under the theme “Perfecting the Experience. Delivering Authenticity”.
It is being organised by the CTO in collaboration with the Martinique Tourism Authority and supported by several French-based organisations.