OECS Commission Tourism Specialist, Ms. Maria Fowell said in an era of both emerging tourism destinations and source tourist markets such as Asia, it was incumbent upon all Caribbean tourism professionals to augment the region as one of the world’s most iconic destinations.
“Tourism is the lead economic sector in the OECS, contributing as much as 85% and 94% to GDP and employment respectively in some island states” said Ms. Fowell.
“OECS economies are highly dependent on the sector with direct tourism receipts accounting for 50 percent or more of export earnings.
“We are delighted with the appointment of Minister Fedee to continue the work achieved thus far and welcome the insights he will bring to the role in strengthening the Caribbean Tourism brand for greater impact of tourism, an important development driver for our national economies.
“We look forward to working with the CTO and Minister Fedee to tackle some of the issues facing the region such as harmonizing standards and practices that will facilitate travel and make the region and its tourism experiences more accessible to visitors.
“We also look forward to examining new investments in areas such as web-based sales and infrastructure to support the needs of our in-bound tourists as the industry continues to grow.
“The OECS Commission will continue working closely with our partners to ensure that our regional tourism products are not only sustainable but work for the benefit of every citizen across the OECS as part of our broader regional integration movement” said Ms. Fowell.