Not among the many in attendance at the ongoing Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites in Montego Bay, Jamaica? No problem. Here is an excerpt of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) President Josef Forstmayr’s opening remarks:
“Since our last Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference in San Juan, CHTA introduced the 'Tourism is Key' campaign. This is an effort to create greater public awareness of the economic impact of tourism on the economies of Caribbean countries. I am pleased to tell you that this public service campaign has already appeared in 10 countries with the prime ministers and ministers of tourism participating in the launch.
“A successful tourism development program requires several factors. Most prominent among these are investment, product development and promotions. Critical to the success is the absolute need for partnerships. Not only partnerships within the private sector but most importantly, effective partnerships between our private and public sectors. Caribbean tourism leaders must come together to attract the necessary investments which will be needed to allow the Caribbean to maintain its attractiveness and visibility in a highly competitive industry.
“I would like to share with you the closing paragraph in the tourism chapter of the 2010 Caribbean Trade and Investment Report and I quote, ‘Caribbean governments have an important role to play in revitalizing the tourism sector. Besides assisting the industry in intensifying their marketing efforts, there is need to ensure that taxation such as room tax, corporate tax and service charge does not have too adverse an effect on international competiveness. However, it is left to the industry itself, to improve the trendiness of the Caribbean brand.’
“Ladies and gentlemen, CHTA commits to play its role in this partnership with all necessary parties. I am pleased to advise you that we are now actively working to reintroduce the successful 'Life Needs the Caribbean' regional marketing campaign that we launched initially in 2002.”