CARICOM Regional Tourism SErvices Strategy

Challenging the Caribbean to Offer Authentic Tourism Experiences - Moving Beyond Sun, Sand and Sea

Project: CARICOM Regional Tourism Services Strategy

Client: European Union, Carib Export, CARICOM

Beneficiary: The Caribbean Region (CARIFORUM: CARICOM + Dominican Republic)

Duration: 1 year

The challenge

The Caribbean region is the most tourism-dependent region in the world. Travel and tourism contributes approximately 15% to the region’s GDP (higher than all other regions in the world).

Changes in consumer demand and technological changes, particular digitalisation brings both challenges and opportunities. How can the Caribbean region better understand their customers and harness technologies to deliver competitive success? How can the region be marketed as One Caribbean? Which strategies, initiatives and actions are required to develop the region’s tourism industry in a sustainable and responsible manner that will continue to drive its competitiveness?

This sustainable tourism development strategy for the Caribbean region focused on a number of key strategic areas for sustainable tourism development that needed to be coordinated among all islands. These included:
• Marketing
• Investment
• Incentives
• Financial requirements
• Technology
• Transportation
• Mitigating Risks in the external environment

• Disaster Risk Management

• Human resource development

• Education and training
• Policy framework
• Legislative and regulatory framework
• Product development and quality management

Activities:

Extensive stakeholder consultation among the 16 CARIFORUM Member States:

  1. Antigua and Barbuda,
  2. The Bahamas,
  3. Barbados,
  4. Belize,
  5. Dominica,
  6. Dominican Republic,
  7. Grenada,
  8. Guyana,
  9. Haiti,
  10. Jamaica,
  11. Montserrat,
  12. Saint Kitts and Nevis,
  13. Saint Lucia,
  14. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,
  15. Suriname,
  16. Trinidad and Tobago.

Close coordination and collaboration with key regional stakeholders including the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), CARICOM Secretariat, CARIFORUM, Carib Export

results

100 Strategic Initiatives

Over 100 strategic initiatives were crafted for the further development of the tourism sector across the Caribbean region.

Over US $20 Million

The strategy proposed several recommendations over a 5 year timeline with an estimated budget of over US $20 Million

Regional Alignment

Alignment of the Regional Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy with the policies and plans of Member States.

Market Diversification

The Caribbean Region was advised to reduce market risk y diversifying into new markets and reducing the over-dependency on the North American market.

Building Resilience and Reducing Risk

Developed a number of strategies to prepare the 16 destinations in the Caribbean region to build resilience and reduce risk, particularly concerning people (Human Resources and businesses), planet (the environment), profits (the economy and finance), product (tourism assets and experiences) and plant (investments and infrastructure).

Beyond Sun, Sand and Sea

Recommendation to move beyond sun, sand and sea to focus on tourism experiences built on culture, creativity, community, and caring (for people and planet).

Move Up the Tourism Value Chain

Recommendation to move up the value chain and offer more authentic experiences that match the needs and wants of the markets; and exploit sectoral linkages with strong focus on innovation and IT.

Effective Marketing

The Region is to focus on the strength of the Caribbean brand and work together towards a cohesive and synergistic marketing front. Strong focus on digital marketing.