NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) — Regional tourism officials attended a three-day conference aimed at exploring the possibilities and opportunities to rejuvenate, recreate and reconnect for new directions in Caribbean tourism.
Bahamas Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis told the opening ceremony of the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) on Tuesday night that “in so many ways the potential of our region is untapped”.
“No matter where you are in the world and no matter which language you speak and however you pronounce the word “Caribbean”; it conjures delight and awe. Our brilliant constellation of people, food, drink, music, multiple international and indigenous languages, culture and natural delights in such a relatively small region is unmatched.
“The world is increasingly recognising the breadth of history and culture of what the late Caribbean Nobel Prize Laureate Derek Walcott described as “the fragments of epic memory”, which constitute our Caribbean experience,” he told the ceremony.
The conference was organised by the Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) and was held under the theme “Rejuvenate, Recreate, Reconnect – New Directions for Caribbean Tourism”.
Among other matters the event considered ways to build a tourism industry that is resilient and able to adapt to changing trends, demands and situations.
Minnis told the ceremony that one of the core objects must be to help to create greater economic benefits from tourism for micro- small- and medium-sized businesses.
“This means greater diversification across various tourism platforms as well as greater linkages with other economic sectors,” he said, noting for example, “when speaking of diversification within tourism, we are still developing much of the infrastructure and facilities which give rise to compelling visitor experiences, memories and storytelling.
“As a region, we are still working to develop and upgrade the museums and heritage sites which depict the traditions and culture of our people, as well as showcasing, in a sustainable manner, the wonders of marine life that highlight the earth's biodiversity.”