It gives me a biggest pleasure to acquire all of we from opposite a segment on this special occasion, a 2nd Meeting of a OECS Council of Ministers of Tourism. we acquire specifically those of my colleagues who, like me, have recently insincere shortcoming for a Tourism portfolio and are attending their initial Council of Ministers Meeting. Welcome to Pure Grenada, a Spice of a Caribbean. Today we accommodate underneath a thesis “OECS Economic Union: Pushing a Tourism Envelope” – a thesis that calls us all into movement during a time when a Caribbean as a whole is confronting many hurdles in a Tourism sector. With rising prices, increasing foe globally, changeable informal geopolitics, discontinued resources overall, and a product increasingly noticed as cloyed and ragged and in need of regeneration, a injection of investment and creation as it relates to product offerings is an comprehensive imperative. There is indeed a need to pull a envelope, here referencing not usually a financial envelope, in terms of a gain from a industry; though also a diversity of products and services that we are means to mix as a charity that will support in specifying us from a rest and ensuring that we can accommodate and transcend a expectations of a visitors. We need to demeanour for new ways of doing aged things; of putting new booze in both aged and new wineskins. we contend aged wineskins since in reaching for what is new we contingency not forget ourselves, who we are and what unequivocally creates us singular as a Caribbean people. In this box we do not design that these skins will tear, though instead improved safety and enlightenment a new adoptions so that they too will simulate a loyal Caribbean spirit, a warmth, a flamboyance, a creativity, a confidence and passion for life. These contingency all be partial of a pouch that we offer to a rest of a world. Within a ambit of a OECS Union, we have prolonged famous a need to come together and to have a common proceed to a tourism development. As distant behind as 2011, we looked during a doing of a common tourism policy, some areas of that sojourn unfulfilled, though that are still applicable and should be revisited. The overarching objectives of that process were to grasp offset expansion and expansion of a tourism zone opposite a OECS member states; to grasp together what away was some-more formidable to achieve; to swell towards a tolerable and self-sufficient tourism economy and to minister towards a wider bargain and recognition of a value of tourism to a governments and citizenry of all a States. The feat of these objectives sojourn vicious and necessary, however aware of a incompatible levels of swell in a particular sister States. Allow me to remind we of some of a areas that have been identified for collaborative action: · Investment and Product Development · Community participation, sectoral linkages and corner buying · Human apparatus expansion Tourism recognition · Research and statistics to surprise formulation · Access and travel · Environmental and informative sustainability, among others. These areas are being addressed within and outward a context of tourism, though are vicious for a expansion of this important, buttress of a economies. There are many hurdles that can stop a progress, issues of accessibility, of a miss of resources to deposit in a sector; a miss of recognition on a partial of a nationals of a critical purpose this zone plays in a maintain of a economies and a purpose they contingency play in defence a courtesy and creation it sustainable. At a wider level, Prime Minister Christie in his residence to a recently hold Caricom Heads meeting, urged member states to place incomparable concentration on Tourism, as a biggest earner of unfamiliar exchange, for many of a islands. He cited a zone as not usually a income earner though also a biggest resolution to a problem of girl stagnation in a region, a cause we are all faced with. Thus we contingency demeanour during this courtesy by a scold lens and give it collectively a courtesy that is due. Some of these issues we know are down for contention currently and we demeanour brazen to exploring with we a solutions and a proceed brazen to implementing those solutions, so that as a segment we can tackle a hurdles together. Let us indeed pull a pouch – a pouch of cooperation, of insight, of pooled resources to obtain a pouch of endless gain that we all desire. Coincidentally, this past month my Ministry, as partial of a incomparable open use far-reaching effort, has been intent in building a vital devise to beam a operations over a subsequent 3 years. Deliberately, many of these same issues that we as a organisation have highlighted are down for movement in a entrance period. We have highlighted a issues, now it is time to understanding with these issues. We have a full day forward of exploring and examining together a trail for tourism expansion in a OECS. We will demeanour both during a swell we have done and during a shortcomings. we wish to titillate that wherever we brand a problem, that we should also find accord on a solution. This is a call for action, a call to make this 2nd assembly of OECS Ministers of Tourism a suggestive exercise, a branch indicate for us, so that we will after be means to demeanour behind and contend a work unequivocally started here, a movement changes unequivocally began with this meeting. We are good famous in a Caribbean for meeting, even for planning, though reduction so for a execution of those plans. Let us recommit ourselves currently to doing some-more than deliberating; to meditative by a solutions and a skeleton for movement and to essay diligently for a fulfilment of all a goals we might set today. we wish to be partial of a action, a “making a difference” team, a bringing together of a ideas, a efforts and a resources towards creation a OECS a indication of formation for a incomparable Caribbean and beyond–on how a one proceed to expansion is truly a answer for a islands. Again, we take this event to acquire we and to contend that we design your brief stay here will be a Purely noted one and that we will lapse whenever we feel a need to reinvigorate and to reenergize in a pristine piquancy of a Caribbean. we wish us all a successful meeting.
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September 15, 2016
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