Tourism could deliver even more economic and social returns to the Caribbean. That is the view of Regional Public Relations Manager for Sandals Resorts International in the Eastern Caribbean and recently nominated candidate for the main opposition United Workers Party Anse La Raye/Canaries constituency seat, Dominic Fedee.Fedee spoke on the subject “The Role Tourism Can Play in a Sustainable Caribbean Economy” at a recent conference in the UK dubbed “New Thinking for the Caribbean 2030.”
According to him, the Caribbean has failed to optimize the enormous benefits tourism can contribute toward the development of the Caribbean region.
He posited that the time for the mobilization of the entire society to engage the tourism sector more effectively is now.
“There is an urgent need for the Caribbean agriculture and manufacturing sector to explore inter-sectorial linkages with the main economic driver of the Caribbean more effectively. The consumption pattern of the industry is enormous, amounting to hundreds of millions,” Fedee said.
He continued to note that innovation and new thinking are required to overcome the obstacles blocking inter-sectorial linkages to stimulate growth, reduce unemployment and improve the general quality of life in the Caribbean.
During the Wilton Park conference, which saw the attendance of politicians, academics and prominent members of the private sector from the Caribbean, Fedee said that tourism would continue to be the Caribbean’s lead sector for the foreseeable future. Therefore, the region must embrace tourism more purposefully.
Further, the UWP nominee for the Anse La Raye/Canaries constituency cites greater cohesion among the key economic sectors in the region as a major strategy for development.
“There is no point that we continue to focus on expanding tourism arrivals while other sectors continue to be far removed from the industry’s success,” Fedee said. “Creating the linkages is the key to leveraging more economic opportunity from the sector, not overburdening it with taxes. Send a strong signal to tourism that agriculture, manufacturing, cottage industries, financial services, transportation, and other key sectors are ready to exceed its expectations.”
Added Fedee: “Building on the promise of the opportunities now can help the Caribbean to look forward to tourism playing a stronger role in its collective economy with optimism.”