The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is promising to leave no stone unturned when it comes to tackling challenges facing the region’s bread and butter industry.
This promise has come from CTO chairman Dominic Fedee, who said a “leaner and meaner” operation should be in place by August when the organization completes a full restructuring process.
“What we are seeking to do is to reposition the CTO as an efficient, very lean and mean machine that can better tackle some of the challenges that are impacting Caribbean tourism at this time,” he told journalists as the CTO delivered its annual report on the region’s tourism performance.
The CTO first announced plans to restructure its operations in October last year, saying it would close its two marketing offices in New York City and London and carry out a comprehensive audit of its Barbados headquarters.
The offices in New York and London have been closed and officials are continuing their assessment of the office here.
Fedee disclosed that officials of the CTO have had several meetings with member states who have tasked the organization with placing more emphasis on three top priority areas – marketing of the Caribbean brand, research and product development.
“Our goal is to become a repository for research in the Caribbean and Latin America as it pertains to tourism research,” said the CTO boss.
“We are leaving no stone unturned to beef up our capacity to be able to develop the various product components in the Caribbean,” he pledged.
Fedee, who is St Lucia’s Minister of Tourism, said member states should start seeing some impact from the restructuring and renewed focus of the CTO by June, when its annual Caribbean Week is held in New York.
Pointing out that several changes were on the cards for that event, he said that this year the conference would include an investment component, elevated media attention and engagement, and a reintroduction of the Caribbean Tourism Awards.
Fedee also noted that a renewed CTO would share more of the tourism-related developments taking place in the region and the successes.
With several lingering and emerging issues, the chairman said the organization was gearing up to tackle them head on.
“We will need very strong and potent regional institutions to be able to tackle the challenges that are confronting the industry – issues of climate change; lack of funding for marketing and issues of increased competitiveness on the international scene; and, most recently, the Coronavirus and other health and safety challenges that have afflicted the industry.
“So it is critical that the CTO rebound a lot stronger and come back as an efficient entity that can position itself to be a leader for Caribbean tourism promotion and development,” Fedee insisted.