The meeting addressed a number of priority matters including (inter alia):
- The 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and the role of Tourism in Strengthening Regional Integration in the OECS;
- The OECS Tourism Marketing Fund;
- OECS Destination Awareness and Perception Survey Results; and
- Operationalisation of the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Tourism.
Head of the OECS Economic Affairs and Regional Integration Division (OIC), Mrs. Jacqueline Emmanuel-Flood noted the success of the meeting in gaining Ministers’ endorsement for the upcoming year of activities and towards the development of a sustainable development model for the region’s tourism product.
“We came out of this meeting with an efficient approach whereby we can promote the OECS Tourism Brand on a sustainable basis, and we are currently putting together a working group that will address how we do this collectively.”
“The issue of joint marketing and the strengthening of the OECS Tourism Brand was discussed and we were able to come together, to get the Ministers’ support and their views, to move forward in operationalising the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Tourism (ECIT) – which is a virtual integrated tourism institute that is comprised of centers of excellence, with different specialties in each Member State.”
“This is a very important project for us, not just for capacity building in the OECS Tourism Industry but also to continue to develop our industry as a center of excellence globally,” Emmanuel-Flood said.
OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules, welcomed the keen participation by Ministers and their representatives and reiterated the Commission’s commitment to joint tourism marketing and promotion, and to establish modalities for greater community participation in the OECS tourism product.
The 6th Meeting of the OECS Council of Ministers of Tourism was held during Caribbean Week in New York – an annual event organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) to promote the region and provide an opportunity for tourism stakeholders to network with international industry influencers.