Tourism Minister, Ed Bartlett, is urging CARICOM heads of government to use tourism as a tool for economic integration for Member States.
Regional integration and the non-implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, CSME, were among the key issues discussed at last week’s CARICOM Heads of Government Conference in Montego Bay, St. James.
Minister Bartlett says he’s to echo this appeal to the St. Lucian Tourism Association when he makes a speech in that country soon.
He says the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, CDEMA, and the Caribbean Development Bank, CDB, have both pledged their partnership to establish the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre.
Ed Bartlett, Tourism Minister, speaking on Friday during a media conference at the 39th CARICOM Heads of Government Summit in Montego Bay, St. James.
In the meantime, Minister Bartlett says a committee is to be established with a mandate of expanding the opportunities for local people to play a greater role in the tourism sector.
Mr. Bartlett says tourism recorded growth of 5-point-4 percent for the first half of the year.
But, he says the value added benefit of the sector continues to be reduced, because enough local products aren’t being utilized in the sector.
The Tourism Minister says he’s in discussions with Agriculture Minister Audley Shaw on how this issue can be addressed.