Regional Tourism Sector Urged to Continue Diversification of Offerings

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Caribbean Tourism Month is being observed against the background that the regional tourism sector must remain diverse in its product offerings, and ready to withstand any shock; a lesson learnt from the 18 months of uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CAribTO“The potential of the tourism sector and several elements which can add to its sustainability remain untapped. In rethinking tourism, we have to find the right formula to properly and responsibly use these natural and heritage assets to the advantage of our sector and all Caribbean people” said Kenneth Bryan, chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism.

“The reshaped tourism sector in the Caribbean, led by the CTO, in accepting its place as a key economic driver, must remain diverse in its product offerings, and ready to withstand any shock; a lesson learnt from the 18 months of uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

The CTO said that the celebrations for Caribbean Tourism Month continue the focus on Caribbean wellness.

“Considering the World Tourism Day theme of ‘Rethinking Tourism’, as we navigate the post pandemic period, our region, like all other regions, has been tasked with ensuring that the new tourism paradigm takes into account, first and foremost, sustainability as the mainstay of any rethinking process.

“This approach is designed to ensure that we carefully consider the economic, environmental, social and other critical factors which affect or are likely to affect the sector in the foreseeable and longer-term future.”

The CTO said that since the start of tourism in the region, going back to the years shortly after regional countries began receiving European settlers, persons from these countries travelled to the Caribbean to improve their health, seek their fortune, start a new beginning and, in more recent times, for fun, relaxation and ‘wellness’.

It said at the recently held Caribbean Community-based Network Forum, held under the theme ‘Wellness Tourism Beyond the Norm’, feature speaker, Stephanie Rest, the founder of the Caribbean Wellness and Education prefaced her statements by pointing out: “Wellness comes naturally to the Caribbean”.

The CTO said in rethinking tourism in the Caribbean, “we have an opportunity to capitalize on our land and marine based assets including our warm tropical climate, pristine oceans and seas, and the abundance of hot springs, waterfalls, rivers and enchanting flora and fauna that can be found across the Caribbean landscape.

“Additionally, our rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality further sets our region apart from others, while presenting each destination in the Caribbean as a unique and rewarding experience for visitors,” the CTO said, urging all stakeholders to use the month of November to “celebrate the Caribbean’s sustained position as the place to visit for wellness as we embrace and highlight the treasures which can be found within our shores”.