In a speech in central London on August 12, UK Prime Minister David Cameron described tourism as “fundamental to rebuilding and rebalancing” the UK economy and “one of the best and fastest ways of generating jobs.”
Cameron outlined four key components to create the “strongest possible tourism strategy” which included the introduction of new government policies for tourism, removing obstacles that discourage tourism, and freeing up the red tape and reducing the “excessive business taxes” on the UK’s tourism businesses.
Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) President Josef Forstmayr hopes that Caribbean governments will adopt a similar approach to tourism which is the Caribbean’s top employer.
“It is gratifying to see a country like the UK recognize the true importance of tourism” said Forstmayr in a written statement. “The Prime Minister’s speech could easily be adopted by all of our 35 member destinations – particularly as it relates to the excessive red tape and taxes that burden the Caribbean’s private sector; tourism contributes so much to our local economies.”
CHTA recently launched its own Tourism Is Key advocacy campaign, in conjunction with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) during a recent CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Montego Bay.
The campaign seeks to educate and inform a broad audience from Caribbean Heads of State to ‘the man in the street,’ regarding the importance and impact of tourism on the Caribbean’s economies.