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Onsite: CTO Stresses Need for Regional Marketing at CHTC

June 18, 2007 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent

MIAMI-Travel Agent was on site as the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Conference kicked off Sunday night at the Hyatt Regency in Miami, where Caribbean Tourism Organization Chairman Allen Chastanet reiterated his position that the regions of the Caribbean need to work as one. As keynote speaker for the ceremony, Chastanet expressed frustration with the region's lack of continuity in the marketplace. According to Chastanet, if the region does not start promoting the Caribbean as a region, all islands could be in trouble once U.S. tourists have gotten their passports. "Once everyone has their passports in the next three to four years, they will be able to go anywhere," he said, referring to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, the passport restriction enforced by the U.S. government in late January. "They will be able to go anywhere...and we could be in real trouble." Chastanet noted that the Caribbean was willing to spend $750 million to host the recent Cricket World Cup, but still could not come up with the necessary funds for regional marketing. "We still have time to win this race," he said. "We need to stop measuring success based on what our competition is doing, but rather based on our potential. I don't believe there is a region in the world that has what people want more than the Caribbean."

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