Caribbean Tourism Day Speech

Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication,

The Honorable Ernest Sams

Residents of St Maarten,

The month of November has been designated Caribbean Tourism Month and November 3rd this year, being the second Tuesday of the month, has been declared Caribbean Tourism Day by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

Under the theme “One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean”, The Caribbean Tourism Organization is empowering the countries of the region to plan a better future so that we can attract millions of visitors to our shores to enjoy our beaches, our cultures and our natural environments and by so doing, maintaining our communities, the creation of jobs and the protection of our environments.

In short, this internal focus is geared mainly towards raising awareness among out people about the importance of tourism in our region and its impact on our economic, social and cultural wellbeing.

Caribbean Tourism Month gives us the people of the Caribbean the opportunity to perform the control function on ourselves. That is, we take a serious look at the quality of our product, we review the strategies we employed in managing the sector, we compare our achievements relative to the standards we set and we take corrective action to counter our short falls and implement measures to better our product.

This period gives us the opportunity to remind the rest of the world that though we are one Caribbean and we have the same sea, sun and sand, and though we compete for the same markets, we are diverse in many ways and each country offers unique experiences to its visitors.

This period gives us the opportunity to reflect on where we are as a Caribbean force and where we would like to go as a brand in positioning ourselves as the world’s most desirable tourist destination. This involves lots of collaborative efforts and initiatives, some of which, though more beneficial to some countries than others, collectively benefits us as “one Caribbean”.

As we in St Maarten prepare to celebrate Caribbean Tourism Day and Caribbean Tourism Month, let us reflect on where we are as St Maarten people and the product that we offer, where St Maarten is relative to the rest of the Caribbean and where the Caribbean is positioned relative to the rest of the world in our quest to attract visitors to our shores in a manner that meets and surpasses their overall expectations.

As we prepare for the upcoming tourist season, let us all as industry workers and partners take time out to celebrate our achievements and accomplishments over the last year. Let us then ready ourselves and our respective teams in terms of knowledge, training and development so that we can effectively face the challenges before us with one voice in one Caribbean.

Have a Happy Caribbean Tourism Month