Funding is being sought for the first regional campaign for the whole of the Caribbean since the September 11 attacks.
The Caribbean Coalition for Tourism Promotion Challenge Fund has just been set up by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association and the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
The last time a campaign was run for the whole of the Carribbean was after the 2001 attacks, under the tag line ‘Life Needs The Caribbean’.
Governments and the private sector across the Caribbean are now being asked to contribute to raise $1 million for a social media campaign to remind consumers the region is open for business following hurricane Irma and drive bookings for 2018.
So far St Lucia has pledged $75,000 from public and private funds and it is hoped other Caribbean islands will follow in the next few weeks.
CHTA president Karolin Troubetzkoy, said: “What we need to do now as a region is get together a campaign to remind people the Caribbean is not destroyed and is open.”
Tourism represents 14.9% of total GDP in the Caribbean and 2.3 million jobs rely on it.
Visitor numbers were up 4% to the Caribbean for the first half of the year but dipped 2% to 3% for the second half, she said.
Troubetzkoy hopes the fund will continue longer term with annual funding to promote the Caribbean region.
She said:”There is no doubt there has to be a regional marketing initiative in place. It will help drive visitor arrivals in good times but more so in bad times.
“Even before hurricane Irma we were saying a yearly fund was needed to have sustained campaigns. We feel it needs $10 million on an annual basis.”
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