Strengthening synergies between the tourism and art and craft sectors is one of the keys to bolstering incomes from Caribbean tourists, while supporting local artisans. This was one of the observations made at an expert group meeting held on 26 July 2017 at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean’s (ECLAC) subregional headquarters for the Caribbean in Port of Spain.
Meeting participants included representatives from the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Arts, and an artisan from Saint Lucia.
During the meeting, participants underscored the importance of creating avenues to allow artisans to have direct interaction with tourists, as well as the need to establish easier financing packages and the necessary infrastructure for artisans who are more business oriented.
These measures would help to strengthen linkages between the arts and tourism sectors, as artisans could benefit from increased tourism-driven earnings, while visitors could gain a better appreciation of the creative and cultural heritage of the subregion. Ultimately, improved interaction between tourists and artisans could result in an enhanced experience for visitors, and in better livelihood opportunities for artisans, who may also benefit from new funding streams made available by public and private sector financial institutions.
The meeting was held in the context of reviewing an upcoming ECLAC report entitled `An Analysis of the Art and Craft Sector and its Potential for Sustainable Tourism Development in the Caribbean’.