WILLEMSTAD, Curacao -- The Caribbean should step up its regional marketing efforts and unite around a single marketing brand, proclaimed a leading tourism expert.
"The time is right for us to get together and promote the diversity of the region under one brand," said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, tourism commissioner of the US Virgin Islands, calling for a fresh approach to regional marketing.
Speaking ahead of the Caribbean Tourism Organization's State of the Industry Conference to be held in St Kitts next week (October 10-12), the seasoned cabinet official said "a rising tide floats all boats" and it was time for both the region's public and private sectors to invest in the Caribbean brand.
"As nations around the world pay closer attention to travel and tourism because of its huge economic returns, we must plan strategically and collectively to ensure the health and sustainability of the Caribbean tourism product."
She cautioned that without the full participation of CTO member governments and members of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) there could be trouble. "We have to keep our region competitive or face some dire consequences, including loss of market share and diminishing returns," said Nicholson-Doty, a board director of the Caribbean Tourism Development Company (the marketing arm of both CTO and CHTA).
Nicholson-Doty, in Curacao this week for the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Cruise Conference and Trade Show, will address the St Kitts meeting on a panel entitled "The Right Product, The Right Message, The Right Time."