Agreement reached on priorities for Common OECS Tourism Policy
The OECS Council of Tourism Ministers has agreed to areas for immediate implementation.
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Friday October 21, 2011 - The OECS Council of Tourism Ministers has set out an action plan for the implementation of the recently finalised Common Tourism Policy for the sub-region.
The ministers have suggested that a competitive analysis be undertaken of the region’s tourism sector with the ultimate aim of attracting increased investment.
“The idea here is that if we are able to identify what our strengths and weaknesses are via this competitive analysis, then the region would be better placed to make more informed decisions when seeking to attract investments into the tourism sector,” explained Dr. Loraine Nicholas, Programme Officer at the OECS Secretariat.
The Council has also recommended that a Regional Tourism Awareness campaign be developed and implemented at the national level in each OECS Member State, as well as Tourism Satellite Accounts to more accurately measure the impact of the industry.
“As it relates to tourism awareness, when the consultants did the project the general perception was that there was a lack of awareness, a lack of understanding and appreciation of the region’s tourism sector. And so, the council agreed with the proposal in the policy to develop a regional tourism awareness campaign that would be implemented locally in member states,” Dr. Nicholas added.
The council agreed there should be joint representation at major trade shows; it also wants studies undertaken on airlift capacity to assess the air service needs of the region, and to guide OECS Member States’ efforts at attracting and sustaining airlift.
Implementation of the tourism policy is being funded under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) OECS Economic Integration & Trade Project.