JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Tourism interests in the Caribbean must remain on the cutting edge, to cope with competition from other areas.
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller argued that investors should not fear competition, otherwise they cannot survive.
  • The Prime Minister said that repositioning the industry across the region means that States must accept the competitive challenge.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has emphasized that tourism interests in the Caribbean must remain on the cutting edge, to cope with competition from other areas.

She pointed out that competitors, such as those in the Mediterranean, act on that basis, while tourism establishments within Latin America are rapidly embracing that approach.

“The CARICOM (countries) must also reposition (themselves) along those lines, by building on frameworks and institutions (they) have already established,” the Prime Minister suggested.

Mrs. Simpson Miller argued that investors should not fear competition, otherwise they cannot survive.

The Prime Minister was delivering the main address at the opening ceremony and awards presentation of Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2014, on January 12, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in Rose Hall, St. James.

“The Caribbean tourism vision on competition is both narrow and clouded. The vision is narrow, because it does not accept that we must compete for primacy of the total product,” she said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller pointed out that to compete effectively, there must be innovative policies, with strategies that embrace concepts of sustainability, and cited the country’s Tourism Master Plan as an example.

The Prime Minister said that repositioning the industry across the region means that States must accept the competitive challenge, and embrace the idea that cooperation on certain issues need not mean surrender of individual advantage.

Mrs. Simpson Miller warned that the “go-it alone approach” is not sustainable in the long term.

Caribbean Travel Marketplace is the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) premier tourism trade event, which brings together numerous tour operators from across the globe and supplier companies from various Caribbean countries, as well as other tourism interests.

It is viewed as the largest and most important business to business marketing event for the region’s hospitality industry.