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Caribbean region working together to boost profile

Minister of Tourism and Aviation Vincent Vanderpool Wallace said that airlift is key to establishing the Caribbean brand. The Minister was speaking during a panel discussion at the HVS Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit yesterday. 

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Friday, November 11, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011

“The Caribbean is the world’s best known, unowned brand,”?said Minister of Tourism and Aviation Vincent Vanderpool Wallace Thursday during a panel discussion at the HVS Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit (CHICOS) held in Nassau. He went on to say that the region is moving to not only own, but also boost its profile.

According to Vanderpool Wallace, the Caribbean Tourism Development Company (CTDC)–the marketing and business development unit owned equally by the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)–is developing the “best website that has ever been made for the Caribbean.”

“The CTO and CHA have come together and said: ‘we’re going to own the Caribbean brand and then we’re going to shape it and drive it to the benefit of the people of the Caribbean,’” said Vanderpool Wallace, who is a former CTO secretary-general.

“The image of the Caribbean transcends the image of any individual country. So, to begin to take advantage of that and use it in a very practical sense is something of which we’re very proud.”

The other members of the panel were Paul Burke, chief operating officer at Kerzner International; Kenneth Blatt, principal of Caribbean Property Group, Pedro Fabregas, president and chief executive officer of American Eagle/American Airlines and Chad Meyerson, director of global sales at JetBlue Airways.

The panel tackled the topic: Hospitality leaders: What are we doing wrong? Regional challenges.

The panel discussion pondered critical issues facing the region’s hotel operators and owners. Discussions included the significance of airlift and the steps necessary to increase and support tourism on both a local and regional basis.

Vanderpool Wallace said that beefing up the regional aviation industry is key to the Caribbean rebranding itself as a destination. Airlift is not only critical to attracting more tourists, he said, but also to getting Caribbean people to travel to other countries within their own region.

tblair@dupuch.com

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