The head of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation has said that 2010 presents some challenges and will see an increase in focus of the effects of climate change and sustainable tourism.
In a New Year message, John Maginley, chairman of the organisation, said that its responsibility was to sustain the purity and beauty of the region and grow the tourism sector to its full potential.
An upcoming Sustainable Tourism Conference is due to be announced in which renewable energy strategies and new ideas to support Caribbean-wide sustainable tourism would be discussed, he said.
‘The global landscape has changed and the Caribbean has an opportunity to contribute fresh, forward-thinking ideas while demonstrating leadership in the quest for a green economy,’ he said. ‘We know that the coming year will not be without challenge; but let’s be thankful for the positive signs we’ve experienced in our tourism industry.’
Mr. Maginley noted that there was continued investment in the Caribbean from both air and cruise services and occupancy levels of hotels and villas in the winter season are so far encouraging.
He said that there had been innovative strides taken by attractions, restaurants and amenities in order to enhance quality standards and contribute to the overall vacation experience.
It will be necessary to find new ways of aggressively marketing the region as ‘the world’s foremost warm-weather tourism destination’, he said.
‘As the global economy strives to make up for the losses of recent years, there has never been a more important time for the Caribbean to work closely together and with our partners.
‘To be truly competitive, we must pool our resources and use our combined strengths to our region’s greatest advantage,’ added Mr. Maginley.