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‘Strength’ in Brand Caribbean

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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Barbados and its Caribbean neighbours are being urged to push the Caribbean as one destination in major emerging markets.
The advice is coming from chairman of the Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization’s board of directors, Chantal Figueroa of the United States Virgin Islands.
With this month being recognized as Caribbean Tourism Month, Figueroa said: “We encourage all of our stakeholders to see this month as the start of a new era for our sector – one characterized by ideas, action and results. Starting November 1, we must be prepared to walk the talk on matters of sustainability. We urge you to use this month to renew your commitment to our mantra – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.”
Figueroa said there was a need to use one Caribbean brand to attract visitors from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, known as the BRICS, to the region, noting that these rapidly industrializing countries “continue to show great potential as new tourism source markets for the Caribbean”.
“During our recent State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC 2013), travel marketing expert Paul Cohen purported that the Caribbean has much work to do to sensitize these countries about our tourism product. He also added that we must invest in tourism marketing, air services and travel trade agreements, revise our visa policies, provide industry workers with language training, make menu adjustments, augment our banking services for new currencies, etc.,” the official said.
“We can make great strides by promoting ourselves under Brand Caribbean and as eager to partner with interested territories to develop a marketing strategy grounded in sustainable tourism principles in order to capitalize on these new opportunities.
“As the most tourism dependent region in the world, we have much to be thankful for and we salute those who are celebrating Caribbean Tourism Month at the national level. At the same time, let us increase our dedication to implementing our many great ideas on how we can improve our tourism sector. The time to take action is now,” the chairman added. (SC)