Tourism Strategic Plan, mandated by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders in December 2001, is to go before the Heads of Government for their
consideration at their July 3-5, 2002 Summit in Georgetown, Guyana. The Secretary General of the
Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Jean Holder, has been asked to present the Plan to the
CARICOM Community Council on July 3. The Council, in turn, is expected to report on the Plan to the
leaders on July 5.
The Plan seeks to address several critical issues facing the region's tourism sector. These include the
competitiveness of the product and aspects of profitability; air and sea access to the region; use of
Information Technology in tourism; the region's image and effectiveness in the marketplace;
protection and promotion of its environment and cultural positioning and the strengthening of
intersectoral linkages. It presents a vision of where the region needs to be in the next 10 years and
contains over 80 recommended actions for governments, as opposed to other actors, to take, to
achieve the objectives of the Plan.
"We are hoping that the Heads of Government will, in general, approve the proposal, and we will take
note of any further mandate by them for completion of the final report due by the end of July," said
Mr. Holder. "We also hope for the endorsement of all other CTO stakeholders so that the plan can
have regional application." CARICOM leaders met in the Bahamas in December 2001 to discuss ways to
assist Caribbean countries to respond to the structural changes and increasing competition in the
global tourism industry and the unprecedented pressures unleashed by the events of September 11,
2001 and its aftermath. They mandated the preparation of a plan to guide the industry's development
over the next ten years. A consultant, Mr. Victor Curtin, was contracted with financial support from the
Commonwealth Secretariat, to assist with the preparation of the Plan. He has had extensive experience
in the region as a Tourism Consultant, and worked with a committee of public and private sector
representatives to prepare a comprehensive proposal. Regional Tourism Ministers and CTO's Board of
Directors discussed and commented on the first draft of the Plan at their meetings in New York during
Caribbean Week held from May 28-31; and established a Public/Private Sector Working Group to review
it further in Puerto Rico during the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA)'s Caribbean Hotel Industry
Conference (CHIC). The Final Draft is now before the Conference in Guyana for approval.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization is the region's tourism development agency comprised of 32
member governments and a myriad of private sector companies with headquarters in Barbados and
marketing operations in New York, London and Toronto. The CTO's primary objective is to provide to
and through its members, the services and information needed for the development of sustainable
tourism for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people. The organization provides
specialized support and technical assistance to member countries in the areas of marketing, human
resource development, research and statistics and sustainable tourism development.
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