Beating competition is focus of tourism industry conference

POSTED: 07/27/11 1:26 PM

MARIGOT – Policymakers, executives and other practitioners in the tourism industry will explore ways to beat the global recession, when they meet in St. Martin in September for the first ever Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) state of the industry conference.
The CTO – which organizes the conference in collaboration with the St. Martin Tourist Office – has announced that discussion on this issue will revolve around a theme that demonstrates the Caribbean’s determination to overcome the current challenges and to develop solutions to some of the most urgent issues facing the tourism industry in the Caribbean. The CTO has chosen as the conference theme: How to win in a competitive environment.
For two full days – 16 & 17 September – tourism officials from the public and private sectors, led by a variety of experts, will tackle a number of critical issues including overcoming the hurdles to intraregional travel, how to use limited resources to the greatest advantage, how to influence the affluent traveler, and being truly competitive. The new Chief Executive Officer of British Airways Keith Williams will also present a world view of the state of the industry.
“The state of the industry is not only about challenge, it’s also about opportunity,” said Hugh Riley, secretary general of the CTO, the region’s tourism development agency representing over 30 Caribbean countries.
“Therefore, we want to come out of this conference with some answers as to what’s next, how to spot the opportunities to move forward, how to beat this recession. The tourism business is fiercely competitive and the Caribbean has to win.”
The inaugural State of the Industry Conference is the CTO’s industry convocation of Caribbean tourism practitioners and strategic partners. It builds on the success of the Leadership Strategy Conference held in Barbados last year, and satisfies a need felt among the membership, including travel agent partners, for such a gathering, annually.
The general conference sessions will be preceded by a series of meetings on September 14 and September 15 involving ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, as well as private sector tourism partners. The conference headquarters hotel is Le Domaine on French St. Martin.

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