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Tourism experts gather in Nassau

Nassau plays host to the Caribbean Tourism Organization's State of the Industry Conference this week, bringing stakeholders together to discuss technology trends, marketing strategies, infrastructure needs and current challenges. 

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Nassau plays host to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) this week, bringing stakeholders together to discuss technology trends, marketing strategies, infrastructure needs and current challenges.

Stephen McGillivray, chief marketing officer at Travel Leaders International, delivered the keynote speech this morning at Atlantis Paradise Island and spoke of the need to engage travel agents and social media to effectively market island destinations.


“You do not need a multi-million dollar budget to run a highly effective marketing campaign,” he told delegates. “You need to get the right message to the right customers at the right time. When social media is done right, the travellers do the work for you. It is truly the secret sauce of an effective campaign.”

McGillivray also highlighted the need to diversify the Caribbean’s customer base in order to prevent “over-tourism”. He said targetting luxury clients would allow destinations to generate a similar economic impact but without the volume.

“There is a mystique about your islands. We need to preserve what is special about the Caribbean [and] work together to address overcrowding.”

Other items on the agenda for the 2018 SOTIC event include how to create resilient and strong infrastructure so the region can recover quicker from natural disasters. CTO chief executive officer Hugh Riley revealed that the organisation is launching a new short-term marketing campaign shortly to hammer home the message that the Caribbean is open for business, under the tagline The Rhythm Never Stops.

“A natural disaster for us is also an image disaster,” he said, referencing the busy 2017 hurricane season when storms Maria and Irma devastated parts of the eastern Caribbean. “At the CTO we look at how we build back and protect our image. It is incumbent upon all of us to have some sort of rainy day fund to rebuild the image of the Caribbean. This is our livelihood we are discussing here. It is not just a sideline. Tourism is what is going to get us humming again.”

SOTIC 2018 runs until 5 October. Tomorrow’s speakers will address the role of airlines in promoting Caribbean tourism, while Friday will see discussions on the luxury wellness product and how to incorporate the region’s rich culture and history into its tourism offerings.

cmorris@dupuch.com

The government has established a formal policy for public private partnerships (PPP) that sets out definitions and terms to govern the process of identifying, screening, procuring and managing PPPs, including how to treat unsolicited proposals. Read the full policy document here.

Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) board of directors gathered, October 2, in the lead up to opening ceremonies for 2018 State of Tourism Industry Conference at Atlantis Paradise Island being held this week.

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