NewsAmericas, Marigot, St. Martin, Fri. Sept. 16, 2011: The inaugural state of the industry conference from the Caribbean Tourism Organization opened last night with much pomp and ceremony in Marigot, St. Martin.
With the global economy in crisis and competition rife for the almighty tourist dollar, industry experts from the region are gathering to discuss ways of remaining a competitive destination.
At an event that featured many dignitaries from both French and Dutch territories and a bevy of cultural performers, President of Tourism for St. Martin, Ida Zin-Ka-Ieu, called for Caribbean nations to “work in unison,” to promote the sector across the region.
The call was echoed by Franklyn Meyers, minister of tourism for St. Marteen, who insisted: “We must come together as brothers or we will perish as fools.”
President of the parliament of St. Martin, Frantz Gumbs, urged the CTO and all regional governmental officials to push to end the administrative distances between countries, while illustrating that even the CTO chairman, Ricky Skerritt, would be hampered by such a system since he needs a visa to enter The French territory.
Skerritt for his part used the inaugural opening ceremony to urge all ministers of tourism and those who are part of the sector to raise standards across the region in service, since more and more, in the tough global economic climate, visitors are seeking more value for their dollars.
“We need a strong commitment to service excellence throughout the Caribbean,” said
Delegates and guests to the fabulous cocktail welcome reception, held under superbly decorated tents on the Marina in Marigot, were also treated to a phenomenal performance from the Imbali dance troop, the Bottleneck boy and company and mojo jumbie dancers. The presentation took attendees through the various culture of the islands through dance.
The Jolly Boys also provided entertainment as guests dined on an array of hors d’ourves and washed it down with rum punch or champagne.