Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

Top US economist says regional tourism cooperation can be a 'game changer'
Published on February 22, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Alison Lowe
Nassau Guardian Business Editor

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- The founder of one of the United States’ top economic think tanks has urged Caribbean nations to cooperate regionally in order to tap into the Chinese tourism market, in a way which he believes can be a “game changer” for the region’s economic fortunes.

Dr C. Fred Bergsten, founder and director emeritus of the widely respected Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington DC, told an audience in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Wednesday evening that if a number of Caribbean countries could come together to offer “package trips” which would allow them to island hop throughout the region in a convenient way this could be the key to capturing more of the booming market in Chinese tourists in particular.

He added that, while developing a single market and economy in the region, as has been proposed but never fully realized, the possibility of Caribbean nations cooperating more closely with each other to promote certain sectors in which they have obvious comparative advantage, such as tourism, is more feasible and could yield huge returns.

His comments echo some recently made by the Washington DC-based Inter-American Development Bank in which it suggested a study it undertook had shown that benefits would accrue to Caribbean nations, including The Bahamas, if they were to cooperate to subsidize and establish a “Brazil air bridge” that would launch direct service from the South American country into the region.

Once up and running, the collectively subsidized service could eventually become self-sustaining, the bank proposed, generating a significant new pool of arrivals from outside of traditional tourism markets.

Meanwhile, noting that the tourism industries of Caribbean countries had suffered in recent years as the sector’s global landscape has become more competitive and its regular source markets less economically dynamic, the IDB also pointed to China and a direct air link between The Bahamas and other Caribbean countries and the developing economic giant as having the potential to “reset [The Bahamas’] course for future economic growth”.

Bergsten, currently the first visiting fellow at the Central Bank of Barbados, where he is undertaking a six week sabbatical, made his comments about the Asian nation’s capacity to affect a tourism revolution in the Caribbean in response to a question from the audience at a Caribbean Economic Forum held at the Central Bank on Wednesday evening about how islands in the region can diversify as a means of achieving greater and more sustainable economic growth going forward.

The distinguished economist, a member of the US President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations, who once coordinated US foreign economic policy in the White House as assistant for international economic affairs to Henry Kissinger, said that rather than diversifying into a variety of different economic sectors, he sees the key to long term sustainable growth for Caribbean countries as the ability to “do more of what you do best.”

“If you are a small economy you really do have to emphasize those few things you do best and try to make sure you do them really well. And really well means on a globally competitive basis. I see enormous opportunities for Barbados and other small island economies in the Caribbean. Small is beautiful. The fact that you are small means that if you got only a very tiny share of such a huge market, it could be a game changer for your economy.

“If the Caribbean countries can get together... to pool resources in a sector where you clearly do have comparative advantage... I do think that some of those principles are very important in developing your economic strategy.

“And so if you can develop targeted strategies for increasing airlift from China to the Caribbean via either Europe or the West coast of the US; if you could put together package deals where Chinese tourists could go for three days to Barbados, three days to Antigua, three days to Saint Lucia, etc, the same way Chinese tourists love to hop from Paris, to London, to Zurich, to Rome and see a few sites and go home and say they’ve done it, if you can put together what I think would be somewhat new creative devices of that type, you might be able to tap a huge new market,” said the economist.

Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian
 
Reads: 2668





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

Jon Doe:

20 years ago i told Anguillians that when white people from America decline coming to the islands for tourism vacation, what are they going to do... they should market towards Asia, but they did not listen. They are fed by the American media about the African myth and that the Chinese are 'Mud' people.' Hello! wake up and smell the coffee! Now they are scrambling to sleep in the economic bed with the Chinese, the same people they called, 'Mud People' in America, now it's too late!


Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.



Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: