A Call To Arms in The Caribbean

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – “A Call To Arms” to embrace the concept of one Caribbean region with the goal to becoming the premier tourism destination in the world was the message sounded by Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, and Allen Chastanet, CTO chairman, to the more than 630 delegates attending the opening ceremony of the 30th Annual Caribbean Tourism Conference Oct. 21 at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan.

Delegates comprised of Caribbean tourism ministers and officials, hotels, cruise lines, travel agents, tour operators, strategic partners and media representatives heard an optimistic message for the industry’s future growth, but also were challenged by both Vanderpool-Wallace and Chastanet to help continue the development of the tourism sector. “Let us take what we do in the name of our individual countries and put it aside and instead let us begin thinking about what is best for the entire Caribbean.” said Vanderpool-Wallace.

The key to a successful tourism product for the region is the design of plans “that understand both the perspective of the Caribbean people and the perspective of our customers. We don’t want to build walls that impede our customers from experiencing our region, but instead speak with one voice and build a bridge to our customers,” said Chastanet. Terestella Gonzalez Denton, the PRTC’s executive director, said that the conference “is the chance to unify for a common regional perspective. We feel certain that if we must face an increasingly competitive global market, we must face it together.” (Source: Travel Weekly 10-23-07)

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