Life Needs the Caribbean
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Caribbean tourism industry stakeholders were often reminded of the resilience of the sector and were encouraged of the value of a Caribbean tourism vacation.
Frank Comito, then-CEO and Director General of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), rallied the region with the reassurance that “as the world looks for relief during this most difficult period, we remind you that there is no better place to refresh, renew and heal one’s mind, body and spirit than the Caribbean.”
It is not surprising, therefore, that tourism’s recovery has been robust and is expected to continue along this trajectory, notwithstanding some imposing bumps in the road, such as inflation, supply and labor shortages, and a possible recession.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), along with its member countries, allied and affiliate members and Caribbean tourism interests, are currently celebrating Caribbean Tourism Month, leveraging the region’s sustained position as the place to visit for wellness while highlighting the treasures which can be found within the Caribbean.
CTO asserts that “we have an opportunity to capitalize on our land- and marine-based assets, including our warm tropical climate, pristine oceans and seas, and the abundance of hot springs, waterfalls, rivers and enchanting flora and fauna that can be found across the Caribbean landscape. Additionally, our rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality further sets our region apart from others, while presenting each destination in the Caribbean as a unique and rewarding experience for visitors.”
CTO Chairman Kenneth Bryan, who is the Minister of Tourism and Transport in the Cayman Islands, believes the potential of the tourism sector and several elements which can add to its sustainability remain untapped. “In rethinking tourism, we have to find the right formula to properly and responsibly use these natural and heritage assets to the advantage of our sector and all Caribbean people,” he said.
There is much work to be done, but what is clear is that the Caribbean is in a unique position to help heal weary travelers of the stresses that have prevailed beyond the pandemic peak. And even as the world journeys to normalcy, the polycrises facing mankind will no doubt continue to induce stress.
People are in need of healing and the region must respond to exceed the needs of today’s visitor with intelligent marketing, refreshed products and experiences, an investment in human resources, world-class service delivery, and a steely resolve to tackle the hurdles impeding our success.
Frank Comito is right, there is no better place in the world.
Now let’s convince the world’s inhabitants that “Life needs the Caribbean”.