Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Visitors want to embrace their destination’s culture

Although the Caribbean is known for its incredible landscape and beaches, visitors also want to be a part of their destination’s culture.

This is according to Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Beverly Nicolson-Doty, who recently noted that more and more visitors are celebrating the history, the culture, and the authentic attributes of their individual destinations.

“People want to come to a destination and feel like they have been a part [of the community] – they [want to] experience the food [and] experience the music; they [want to] experience the culture. Those are the things that I think we are seeing more of in the tourism industry. We are putting those elements out as a part of our overall marketing strategy where we may have relied heavily on our beaches and certainly our beauty. We are also now really looking at our people, our culture and our history and integrating that into the marketing strategy,” she explained.

Responding to what are the benefits of promoting the region as one destination and why, she stated: “First of all, I think when you look at the competitive landscape, I think the ‘why’ is, we cannot afford not to.

“When you look at other regions of the world and what they have done with their tourism product, I think that places that never would have been considered competition for the region, because we have such natural God-given beauty, are now in our competitive set,” the CTO Chairman pointed out.

Nicolson-Doty further stressed that the region has to come together. “None of our individual countries have the resources to go up against some of the big tourism destinations that we have seen emerge, so it is important for our survival, for us to have a collective brand that is the Caribbean,” she said.

“We know that we have the product but it is getting it out to market that is important, and so... by working together we can increase our interest and bookings to the region and we feel like we have more than 30 reasons for people to keep coming back to the Caribbean over and over again.” (TL)

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