Bridgetown, Barbados — The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Curacao Tourist Board have announced the dates for the region’s leading tourism forum, the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) 2015.
Curacao will host SOTIC from 21- 23 October 2015 at the World Trade Center in Willemstad, bringing together senior industry decision makers and interested partners to address the biggest concerns and opportunities for Caribbean tourism.
“We are very pleased to have Curacao as our host in October and we look forward to the excellent Dutch Caribbean hospitality and experience which Curacao offers to our regional and international delegates,” said Hugh Riley, the CTO’s secretary general. “This year the conference will rise to a new level, with the involvement of the UN World Tourism Organization and the World Travel and Tourism Council. The roster of speakers will be impressive, to say the least.”
Riley explained that there are greater benefits to the conference beyond the intense dialogue on the latest trends and challenges in global tourism.
“Just as important as the depth of the dialogue at SOTIC, is affording our member countries the chance to showcase their tourism product to international and regional audiences. It also injects tourism revenue directly into their economies through our delegates visiting restaurants, attractions, hotels and shopping centres, which is a major objective for us when planning these initiatives,” he adds. “For that reason, special partner packages for SOTIC are being arranged in Curacao.”
The CTO and Curacao have already begun planning a programme that will include current issues — some controversial and vexing – as well as opportunities for substantially enhancing the Caribbean’s tourism sector.
“We are very focussed on re-strategising our tourism industry so we have been participating very actively in the CTO conferences. Organizing and hosting SOTIC is a positive sign that we are coming up with new strategies for our industry,” said Stanley Palm, Curacao’s minister of economic development, the government ministry responsible for tourism. “We are very multi-cultural and we will definitely try to show that during the conference.”
The CTO State of the Industry Conference brings together some 300 tourism industry leaders from the 30 member-countries of the CTO, as well as representatives of the regional and international private sector, academics, media, students, travel trade partners and other industry stakeholders from within and outside the region.