As the region celebrates Caribbean Tourism Month during November, Minister of Tourism and International Transport and Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Richard Sealy, is urging those in the sector not to be complacent.
In a message to commemorate the month, the Minister noted that the region was performing well and attracting visitors at a greater rate during the first half of the year than any other region in the world.
???During that period, the Caribbean outpaced the global average by 1.7 per cent, and we were the only region to register growth of five percent ??? our 5.8 per cent rise being nearly a full percentage point above Europe, the next best performing region,??? he explained.
However, he listed a number of reasons why it was imperative that persons not rest on their laurels. ???We ought not to be satisfied because growth in the second quarter slowed somewhat to 4.9 per cent, compared to the six percent growth experienced during the first quarter. We ought not to be satisfied because despite outpacing the rest of the world, our share of the world market is approximately 2.8 percent.
???We cannot be satisfied because there is still so much left to be done in the areas of product development, the facilitation of travel to and through the Caribbean, taxes, partnerships, and innovation in order to be competitive.
We certainly cannot be satisfied until we become the world???s most desirable year round, warm weather destination, and until every citizen of the Caribbean is positioned to benefit from tourism,??? the Minister asserted.
To this end, Mr. Sealy urged tourism entities to introduce new ideas, methods and products and to insert innovative and revolutionary thinking and to generate fresh energy into the sector.