News Americas, FORT de FRANCE, Martinique, Weds. Oct. 16, 2013: The Caribbean Tourism Organization(CTO)’s State of the Industry Conference, (SOTIC) will open this evening, in Martinique with a ceremony that is expected to feature addresses from several dignitaries, including Serge Letchimy, the Congressman to the French Assembly and President of the Regional Council of Martinique; the country’s tourism commissioner, Karine Roy-Camille and the chairman of the CTO, Beverly Nicholson-Doty.

The opening ceremony takes place at the Madiana Convention Centre from 7 p.m.

The opening ceremony will mark the kick-off of two days of discussion with leading Caribbean and international tourism experts on a range of elements that are critical to the development and success of the Caribbean’s tourism sector, including training and education, service quality, standards, visitor satisfaction, and regional transportation.

The State of the Industry conference brings together decision-makers from the public and private sectors, academics, government officials, hoteliers, travel professionals and journalists from the region and around the world, runs through to October 18th under the theme, “Perfecting the Experience. Delivering Authenticity.”

The conference is organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in collaboration with the Martinique Tourism Authority. It is supported by Chanflor, Habitation Saint-Etienne, Colibri, Habitation Clement, Chocolat Elot, Travel Zoo, Royal Fruits of Martinique and Opusseven.

In a pre-conference message, CTO chairman Nicholson-Doty, urged delegates to come up with creative solutions to the challenges facing the sector.

“Strong inter-sectoral linkages with industries such as agriculture, construction and the financial services sector, for example, place additional responsibility on all of us in tourism to emerge from this conference with a stronger plan for a more sustainable and more resilient tourism sector,” she said. “Over the next few days we have an opportunity to look clinically at all aspects of our industry and chart the way forward. Creative solutions are needed on all fronts, particularly on matters of increasing taxation; optimizing arrivals and revenues from emerging and existing source markets; airlift stability; the pursuit of sustainability in the face of constrained financial resources; and most importantly pooling our resources to strengthen the Caribbean brand in the marketplace. Lip service can no longer be the order of our days.”

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