“Removal of barriers to entry needed for connectivity around the Caribbean” – Secretary General, CTO
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, March 21, 2018
With aims to connect the Americas through sustainable tourism, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary-General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Hugh Riley said the reduction and removal of certain barriers to entry around the Caribbean and all restrictions affecting tourism planning and promotion need to be addressed.
Riley, who was speaking at a press briefing at the 24th Inter-American Ministerial Congress, explained that tourism is the economic driver for most of the Caribbean countries and members of the Organisation of American States (OAS).
The Secretary-General also noted the importance of tourism in poverty alleviation since it employs “nearly two and a half million people in the Caribbean and is helpful to increasing the standard of living that we have across the Caribbean.”
Riley further explained that while the creation of employment is vital in reducing poverty, connectivity among the Caribbean countries is also needed in the process.
“Intra Caribbean tourism is critical, but that has to work hand-in-glove with connecting people who want to come into a particular catchment area of the Caribbean and enjoy the benefits of intra-Caribbean tourism,” Riley explained.
“So, the whole business of twin destination or multi-destination tourism has to be properly explored and has to be properly implemented. This means we have to fix the connectivity,” he added.
The Secretary-General is expected to make a key presentation on the topic of Building Resilience in the Tourism Sector in the Americas, at the congress on March 22.
The theme of this congress “Connecting the Americas through Sustainable Tourism” is particularly significant given the fact that within the latter months of 2017, several countries in the hemisphere of the Americas felt the devastating impact of hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes. In fact, 2017 is regarded as a record-setting year for natural disasters in the Caribbean in terms of the severity and financial costs.
By: Crystal Stoll