(L-R) Southern Caribbean tourism ministers Cecil McKie (St Vincent and the Grenadines); Alexandra Otway-Noel (Grenada); Stephen Cadiz (Trinidad and Tobago) and Samuel Henry (Tobago House of Assembly)
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (GIS) -- Grenada’s minister of tourism, civil aviation and culture, Alexandra Otway-Noel was one of the tourism heads attending an all-day pioneering planning committee meeting for Southern Caribbean tourism ministers in Trinidad and Tobago on August 20.
Hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Tourism, Stephen Cadiz, and attended by other tourism representatives from Grenada, St Vincent, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago, the meeting discussed the challenges and opportunities faced by the region’s cruise industry and plotted the way forward for increased cruise routes to the Southern Caribbean region.
Differentiation and improvement of the tourism of product, as well as shared marketing were both major concerns discussed in the morning session, with Otway- Noel being one of the tourism ministers intent on establishing consensus and complete agreement among the Southern Caribbean states by memoranda of understanding.
Viewing team spirit as paramount for the initiative to reach its full potential, Cadiz stated, “Only through collaboration can this initiative be successful.”
“We must view each other not as competitors, but as partners in promoting our tourism brand to the rest of the world,” he said.
Fiscal attractiveness and the hardline economic realities, reliability, immigration and customs, quality standards, room stock, ship size, home port development and the overall logistics of the increased cruise service were also major topics of discussion agreed upon during the planning sessions.
Also in attendance were Cecil McKie, St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Minister; Samuel Henry of the Tobago House of Assembly; Tourism Development Company Ltd chairman, Brian Frontin; Liam Grant and Balkaran Maharaj of the Trinidad and Tobago Port Authority; and Nikoyan Roberts, head of product development and customer services of the Grenada Board of Tourism.
Important outputs of the meeting were a draft marketing proposal, and a draft cruise itinerary to be taken to chief players Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Lines, “to sell the southern route to them and create a positive outcome,” according to Cadiz.