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The cost of Caribbean holidays discussed in CTO conference

Delegates of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) attended the inaugural State of the Industry Conference, held last week in St Martin. Professor Avinash Persaud, among other businessmen, were discussing the price of Caribbean holidays.

The cost of Caribbean holidays discussed in CTO conference

The city of St Martin in Barbados was the proud host of the Caribbean’s opening State of the Industry Conference last week. Delegates of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) attended the event and Professor Avinash Persaud shared his point of view on the most pressing matter: the high cost of Caribbean holidays, and the consequences it would bring the industry on today's current, highly susceptible tourism market.

Professor Avinash Persaud, a finance and public policy expert from Barbados made his opinion clear by pitching his presentation: The Caribbean’s Reality Check. Persaud concentrated on exposing the risks that the Caribbean tourism sector is currently facing, and how to keep it from losing to competition.

Persaud, Chairman of Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences in Barbados, felt it was essential to warn the delegates about the pressing need of of transforming Caribbean tourism’s current business plan, in order to overcome the competition and make holidays in the Caribbean one of the most popular traveller choices again. “Caribbean tourism is at risk of going the way of the sugar industry. We let our competition invest more in service quality, environmental management and safety,” Mr Persaud said.

Delegates taking part in the conference included Caribbean ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, the head of the World Travel and Tourism Council, David Scowsill, and the British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Paul Brummel.

“But it is too easy to lay the responsibility at the door of the government. It is our owners who lack commercial hunger, ill-invest and wait for someone to buy them out,” Persaud explained. He insists on modifying business strategies concerning Caribbean hotels and resorts and raising hotel management level. “If running a hotel is less profitable than selling a condominium, that says more about the quality of our management and labour than it does about our airlift and taxes,” he continued.

The professor has a reputation for developing various concepts, including liquidity black holes, investor’s changing appetite for risk, and the role of variety in liquidity and total risk control. Persaud is just one of the many delegates in the impressive line-up of speakers that shared their opinion at the conference.

The main goal of the State of the Industry Conference in St Martin, is to prevent the Caribbean tourism industry from collapsing and to encourage improvement. This conference, organised in collaboration with the St Martin Tourist Office, gathered tourism interests from the public and private sectors to undertake a series of critical issues. Among these we can find: overcoming obstacles to intra-regional travel, how to make the best use of limited resources and how to grab the attention of wealthy visitors wishing to spend luxury holidays in the Caribbean.

This conference is a wake-up call for the regional tourism sector, which needs to take a step forward and become more competitive in order to sell more Caribbean holidays.

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