Caribbean Tourism showed signs of recovery in 2012: CTO

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The Caribbean tourism industry continued to show signs of recovery during 2012, fuelled by improvements in the United States and Canadian markets. However, the region's tourism development agency, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), says the region continues to face challenges in Europe, particularly the United Kingdom market from which the numbers have been falling.

In a Christmas message, CTO Secretary-General Hugh Riley, says 2012 has been both an exciting and a challenging year for the Caribbean tourism industry. Visitor arrivals to the region continued to rise.

According to Riley, the latest figures reveal a five per cent rise in arrivals overall, with clear signs that the performance in the US – the region's main source market – is improving, with arrival numbers up by 5.3 per cent.

Riley says in spite of the many challenges which the Caribbean faces, "we got through 2012 with our chins up and our resolve unfazed", adding that "Many of our member-countries have scored major successes regionally and internationally, often parlaying those wins to the benefit of their tourism sector".

Riley says that as the CTO prepares to enter 2013, the agency looks forward to working more closely with all of members and partners. He points out "We take our responsibility seriously and will use every resource available … to improve the quality of life of all Caribbean people through tourism.

The CTO chief says they're energized by their new vision – "To position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination by 2017".

Meanwhile, recently- elected chairperson of the CTO, Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty has begun her two-year tenure with a pledge to refocus attention on urgent and essential areas including aviation.

She immediately established an Aviation Task Force to develop solutions to the region's aviation problems, including the issue of taxation.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’50″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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