Quotable Caribbean – June 19, 2011
Sir Royston Hopkin, Chairman, Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenada

“We need a joint marketing program, not only for the U.S., but for all of North America, the UK and Europe. And it needs to be policy driven. Once our governments agree on a consolidated program that is policy driven, the entire private sector will get behind it – the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, the airlines, all tourism stakeholders coming together as one unit. We’ve been talking for two decades, but have achieved little momentum because we’re competing against each other instead of pooling our resources. And as we are fragmented, so has been the private sector’s support for our largest industry. And now it’s reached the point where we’re falling behind as a region. The world is in such dire financial crisis, we can’t afford to continue with business as usual. As the backbone of our economies, tourism deserves more than just lip service. Now is the time to come together. It’s a simple matter of survival.”- Sir Royston Hopkin, Chairman, Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenada

“To be frank, many Chinese are not familiar with the Bahamas. So when I told my friends I would go to the Bahamas to take the post, they thought I was going to Panama…Because Chinese know Panama well because of its canal, and many Chinese are not familiar with the world-famous scenery here in the Bahamas. So we need to advertise to the Chinese people and let them know more about the beautiful scenery here in the Bahamas.” – Ambassador Hu Shan, China’s new ambassador to the Bahamas (Tribune)

“While it is wonderful to think these people will fly half way around the world to visit the Bahamas, it is just not the case. In order to make us more attractive we are working on combining trips to the Bahamas with North America and offering it as a package deal.The airfare alone is expensive and when you factor in hotel and transportation it is just not feasible for them. Therefore we are working on ways to lessen the cost and adding on the Bahamas into their travels may be more cost effective, rather than making us their primary destination.” – Senator Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Bahamas Minister of Tourism and Aviation (Tribune)

“This new service from the Boston market represents a significant increase in weekly airlift and will help us effectively meet the growing demand for travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands from the New England region. We look forward to working closely with the JetBlue team to make this new service a success for both the airline and the destination.” – Beverly Nicholson-Doty, U.S. Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism

“We have launched a number of initiatives and activities to proactively support the trade and drive business. We are pleased by the momentum in visitor numbers and would like to thank the many travel agents that sell our destination. We expect to have a rebound year in 2011.” – Hilary Modeste, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Director, UK and Europe

“Having spoken to Mr. (Butch) Stewart, and I spoke with him (Monday), he is concerned about some of the reports reaching him. He has indicated to me that he very much wants to do the (Beaches Resorts) project but not if people of Antigua do not want the project. If the people want it he will be able to work with government and the people to make sure we get the project started later this year.” – Harold Lovell, Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Finance and Economy (Antigua Observer)

“In the hearts of every Barbadian, Rihanna is known as the girl down the road, but to the world she has become a musical sensation and social phenomenon. She is a great source of national pride to Barbados and we are thrilled to enter into this formal partnership to promote Barbados as a leading tourist destination.” – Richard Sealy, Barbados Minister of Tourism

“Quotable Caribbean” is compiled by Marketplace Excellence, a full service, integrated marketing firm committed to  excellence in the fields of public relations, marketing and media coaching.