Caribbean Delegates to world travel markets to discuss impact of current economic climate on travel

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The possible impact on travel of the current global economic crisis will be among major issues discussed by a panel of travel experts at a key event facilitated by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in London this month.

The CTO’s European Marketing Forum is held annually ahead of the international travel trade show, World Travel Market (WTM). This year’s forum is scheduled to be held on November 9th at Glaziers Hall in London Bridge.

The European Marketing Forum will give Caribbean delegates to WTM – including ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, as well as private sector representatives – an opportunity to hear top industry speakers talk about key issues which will affect how the Caribbean can compete in what is projected to be an extremely difficult marketplace next year.

“This year the global economic downturn, rising unemployment and the collapse of XL Leisure Group have all taken their toll on consumer confidence,” said Julia Hendry, the CTO’s director of Marketing for the UK and Europe.

In this context, CTO has invited the leading consumer research agency, eDigital, to find out how holiday makers buying decisions will be affected next year; where and when they will travel; and how the Caribbean will feature in their plans, and to share their findings at the forum.

Delegates attending the gathering will also hear from the UK’s leading travel trade media group, Travel Weekly, how the financial downturn is affecting the travel industry and how this will affect the way in which the Caribbean does business with suppliers and intermediaries both on and off line. The findings of the 2008 UK Tour Operator Survey and market reports on continental European markets will also be revealed at the gathering.

The theme for this year’s European Marketing Forum is , The Economy, The Industry and The Consumer.

“The Marketing Forum is a very good way for Caribbean delegates to find out what really is happening in the UK and European marketplace and to prepare themselves for the week ahead at WTM,” Ms. Hendry said.

For the second consecutive year, Debbie Hindle, the managing director of the communications and marketing agency, BGB, will moderate the forum.

Over 30 Caribbean destinations, including scores of private sector representatives, will exhibit Caribbean culture, art, food and music at WTM, described as the world’s second largest tourism trade show behind ITB in Berlin. Over 5,000 leading suppliers and 45,000 industry professionals from 202 countries will be at the 10 – 13 November show.

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