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CTO Secretary General urges Caribbean to look within to grow tourism | Buzz travel

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Leaders in the Caribbean tourism industry have been advised to embrace and develop the strengths of their people to keep the industry among the most competitive in the world.

The charge came from the acting secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Neil Walters speaking at the Grenada Tourism Authority’s inaugural awards ceremony held at the Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada.
“Yes, we can have the most beautiful properties, the best airports, the best seaports, but it is the people who make the Caribbean tourism product what it is. It is your welcoming and hospitable spirit which encourages visitors to return,” said Walters.

The acting SG said demands from visitors for experiences beyond the traditional ‘sun, sea and sand’, only served to enhance the need for the industry to equip the hospitality workforce to perform at the highest level.

“If we took a snapshot of tourism at this point in time, we will see that one of the strongest reasons for the continued growth in the number of persons visiting our shores is the spirit exuded by the amazing individuals who get up and go out and work on the front line every day. The individuals who don’t just see it as a job but see the value of the service they are giving. That is the thing success stories in this industry are made of,” said Walters.
He said the trends towards experiential tourism call for the industry to shift away from excessive standardisation and embrace the unique culture of the destinations in the Caribbean.

The acting SG admonished tourism leaders to leverage the natural beauty and infrastructural edge the region has to develop emerging areas such as community-based tourism.

“In all the examples of community-based tourism I have seen, the key selling point for the visitor has been the chance to come and be in that community, to experience that community, to experience the people of that community. These communities create the unified voice necessary to market and sell the product, and, in turn, sustain the community’s project,” said Walters, who emphasised such an approach must build on the existing model of hotels which form the bedrock of the thriving Caribbean tourism industry.

“What we have to strive for is stronger links between this model with its sea and sand and the experiences which lie sometimes unlocked, away from the sea shore. As we change to match the demands of the times and embrace the treasures of experiences which exist inland, we must re-educate ourselves to see the value that we often overlook. Facets of traditional life that we may see as less than noteworthy, visitors may see as fascinating,” said Walters.

Walters said the Caribbean must embrace its identity and take pride in elements of its culture that can also serve to boost the attractiveness of destinations to the modern day visitor.

“I know that in recent times, across the Caribbean we have seen food festivals emerging which promote indigenous cuisine, which are popular with visitors. Well, let’s not hold back on the traditional delicacies which we are sometimes hesitant to unleash on visitors. I am sure many of our visitors would love those experiences. Some of our countries have communities skilled in pottery. We may need to move away from just selling pottery to giving pottery lessons. These are just a couple examples of the ways the things we do and how we live can become added value as we enhance our tourism industry” said Walters.

The acting CTO SG said the direction of the tourism industry calls for a rethink of how we maximise the value of our natural and intrinsic assets to create better selling points for the destinations and to do this people must be empowered to keep driving the industry forward.

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Caribbean & World

Breaking News: Twely Joseph guilty of Capital Murder

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

A 12-member jury this evening found 19-year-old Twely Joseph guilty of Capital Murder in the death of 8-year-old Ariel Bolah of Frequente, St George.

Joseph is expected to be sentenced on 31 January 2020.

Complete story to follow.

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Peter David meets with UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation

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by Linda Straker

  • Support for dialysis machine for Grenada’s General Hospital discussed
  • Grenada has consulate and diplomatic representation in Dubai
  • Participated in third Expo 2020 Preparatory Meeting

Foreign Affairs Minister, Honourable Peter David, from 28-29 November was in Dubai and met with Minister Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimi who is the UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, as well as the managing director for Expo 2020.

The two ministers, among other matters, discussed support for a dialysis machine for Grenada’s General Hospital and Dubai’s contribution to assist in financing Grenada’s participation and delegation to attend the expo.

While in Dubai, Minister David also held bilateral meetings with other officials of the Dubai Government, during which the parties agreed on close cooperation during the preparatory work and during the Expo 2020 exhibition, which, according to the Minister, will see Grenada on full display. Grenada and The UAE already have strong ties, for a relatively new relationship.

The UAE has stepped up in the last five or so years, to show their support for Grenada’s development. This was demonstrated through their huge grant donation to assist with the rebuilding of Grenada’s premier democratic institution, the Houses of Parliament, which was opened in June 2018.

Grenada even has a consulate and diplomatic representation in Dubai now. So, the relationship is definitely growing, and the UAE has a strong commitment to ensuring that developing countries, such as Grenada, fully benefit from the World Expo 2020.

While in Dubai last week, Minister David, and Shanta Cox, of the Ministry of International Business, also participated in the third Expo Preparatory Meeting, which was held over the two days.

More than 15 local manufacturers have already registered with the Grenada committee to attend the Expo, which will run from October 2020 to March 2021. International Business Minister Nickolas Steele said that Grenada will be having its own booth/pavilion for the Dubai event. Previously Grenada’s products were displayed with the Caricom booth.

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Grenada represented at CDEMA’s annual CDM conference in Sint Maarten

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A five-member team is representing Grenada at the eleventh Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) annual Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) conference in Sint Maarten.

The conference is held under the theme, “The Road to Resilience Checkpoint 2019 – Safeguarding Our Communities, Livelihoods and Economies.”

The team consists of Acting Disaster Management Coordinator Supt. Sylvan Mc Intyre; Youth Representative Donte Mc Gillivary from Carriacou; Jamilla Lewis-Samuel, Communication Supervisor, NAWASA and two members from the Youth Emergency Action Committee (YEAC).

McIntyre said the conference provides an opportunity for disaster managers across the CDEMA framework to reflect and review the just-concluded hurricane season, analysing lessons learnt, best practices and identifying strengths and weaknesses.

“It is also a platform for showcasing disaster risk reduction initiatives, new equipment, new ideas and new spectrum for ensuring that we prepare for disaster and the events in the Caribbean that can affect us negatively,” Mc Intyre said.

One of the highlights of the conference is youth involvement. The youth representatives from the region will be engaged in debates, tours, school visits explaining to students and their peer’s aspects of Comprehensive Disaster Management.

The youth representatives are expected to be ambassadors in sharing the message of comprehensive disaster management in their respective countries.

The conference which has attracted over 400 representatives from across the region will conclude on Friday.

About the CDM Conference

The CDM Conference is the Caribbean region’s premier event on Disaster Risk Management and is hosted in collaboration with the Government of Sint Maarten. Over the years, the CDM Conference has showcased best practices emerging from CDEMA’s 18 participating states.

The event has also provided a space for the convening of professional development sessions for DRM Practitioners, Planners, Environmental Scientists, among others, within the CDEMA Participating States as well as stakeholders beyond our region. It has emerged as a platform for the engagement of niche groups/sectors in the DRM dialogue, physical planners, meteorologists, climate change stakeholders, researchers, educators and public and private financial experts; facilitated inter-stakeholder exchanges/networking and new policy ideas. As such, the CDM conference is viewed as an important mechanism for stakeholder engagement and intersectoral exchanges

For additional information, please contact Oslyn Crosby Public Relations Officer NaDMA on 440-8390-4 & 440-0838, cell: 533-0766, or email: nadma@spiceisle.com and nadmapr@gmail.com .

NaDMA, the official source for all disaster-related information in Grenada. 

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