The WTTC is in full support of the decision taken by Caricom to devote a full day during its regular meeting of heads of government in July to focus on travel and tourism.
This is the first time that tourism has been given such high priority at governmental level in the Caribbean, despite the industry being one of the main contributors to economic wealth.
According to WTTC research, travel and tourism contributes 14.8 per cent of total GDP in the Caribbean, 12.9 per cent of total employment, approximately two million jobs and 18.2 per cent of export earnings from international visitors and tourism goods.
Overall the TSA results reveal moderate growth for travel and tourism demand in the Caribbean in 2008, growing at a rate of 2.3 per cent. Long term forecasts point to a stable phase of growth between 2009 and 2018 averaging 3.2 per cent per annum.
However, these forecasts are falling below the 2008 world average of 3.0 per cent, which itself has decreased as a result of the global economic downturn, with a long term forecasts over the next 10 years reflecting an average annual growth rate of 4.4 per cent.
Considering these forecasts, WTTC president Jean-Claude Baumgarten explained, “The Caribbean undoubtedly depends heavily on the travel and tourism sector for economic wealth and as a job creator. Globally we are seeing a major slowdown in mature economies, the impact of which is being cushioned by the rapid growth from emerging markets.
“These new destinations are undertaking massive tourism related investment programmes and regions such as the Caribbean must focus on its long term development in order to compete and to fully realise and maintain its full economic potential.”
Regionally the Caribbean receives the highest contribution towards travel and tourism from government expenditure - 9.2 per cent in 2008, compared to a global average of 3.8 per cent. Expressing his support of Caricom’s recent decision to prioritise tourism, Baumgarten said, “Travel and tourism is vital to the Caribbean and it is crucial that decisions to drive this sector forward come from the highest levels of government. All the while maintaining private sector investment based on sound economic research.”
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.