OECS Tourism Ministers take measures to boost the sector in the sub-region

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, OCTOBER 24TH 2011 (CUOPM) – OECS Ministers of Tourism are to undertaking a competitive analysis of the sub region’s tourism sector, with a view to agreeing on the specific areas to be targeted for attracting increased investment to the area.

This was one of several decisions taken by the OECS Council of Tourism Ministers during a video conference to discuss progress on the mandate given at a meeting in St. Kitts last AOECS region.

In charting the way forward a list of priorities was strategically selected for immediate focus from the ten broad areas proposed in the Tourism Policy.

The areas that were highlighted include: Investment, Tourism Awareness, Research & Statistics, Air Transportation & Marketing.

It was agreed to develop a Regional Tourism Awareness campaign to be implemented nationally in each of the OECS Member States, joint representation at major trade shows, starting with World Travel Market held annually in the United Kingdom, conduct airlift capacity studies to empirically assess the air service needs of the region, and to guide OECS Member States’ efforts at attracting and sustaining airlift.

Brimstone Hill Fortress (St. Kitts)

OECS Tourism ministers will also develop Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSAs) in OECS Member States with a view to more accurately measuring the impact of Tourism and improve the ED cards used in Member States with a view to adopting a standardized and more visitor-friendly card.The OECS Secretariat has allocated funds under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) OECS Economic Integration & Trade Project, to assist in the implementation of the Common Tourism Policy.

In addition to the activities undertaken at the regional level by the Secretariat’s Tourism Desk, a number of proposed actions will be undertaken at the national level.

The OECS Council of Tourism Ministers convenes an annual face-to-face meeting, with Video conference meetings being held as deemed necessary.

The next face-to-face meeting of the OECS Council of Tourism Ministers is scheduled for Anguilla in April 2012.

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