Tourism continues to be a major contributor to regional economic development within the OECS. The OECS and UNWTO, through its Americas Commission, have been in dialogue over the past year on mutually beneficial areas of cooperation, culminating in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organisations.
The objective of the Memorandum of Understanding is to enhance cooperation between UNWTO and OECS and to identify areas of mutual interest with a view to support the development of a more inclusive, sustainable & resilient tourism industry in the region.
OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules, in signing the MOU, reiterated the OECS’ partnership philosophy,
“The OECS recognizes the value of collaboration. We are pleased that UNWTO is willing to combine efforts and its expertise with ours towards encouraging the responsible pursuit and management of tourism as a development strategy.”
The UNWTO recognised the importance of deepening relations with other regional organisations and providing an opportunity for networking,
“UNWTO is paying special attention to the recovery of the Caribbean region, focusing its priorities on strengthening SIDS’s capacities to take advantage of its numerous resources and restart tourism in a more sustainable way. Partnerships amongst the key players are crucial for the success of this endeavor and therefore the importance to align priorities and work together with the OECS, as we are already doing with other regional organizations.”
At a joint team meeting held to discuss the plan of action around the areas of cooperation, it was agreed that UNWTO and OECS will cooperate to implement projects to support training to measuring the impact of Tourism; strategies to support programme for tourism MSMEs; Market Intelligence related to niche tourism markets and the strengthening of the OECS Destination Management Organisations.
In finalizing the plan of action, OECS Member States will be further engaged on shared priorities and implementation timelines.