Regional Heads call for urgent meeting of COTED to address air transport issues
Posted in: Regional News | 20 February 2017 | 1228
Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have called for an urgent meeting of the Council for Trade and Development (COTED), to address air transport issues in particular, those that affect the tourism sector.
Making this announcement on Friday was CARICOM’s Chairman, President David Granger at a press conference to mark the conclusion of the 28th Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM.
The two-day confabulation was held at the Marriott and the Pegasus Hotels in Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana.
President Granger stated that CARICOM Heads recognise that tourism is a vital sector in the economies of Member States and welcomes the proposals from the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) for advancing a Regional Tourism Agenda particularly through Public /Private Sector Partnerships.
“We acknowledged the importance of transportation and facilitation of travel, human resource development, the creative industries and marketing as well as competitiveness and financing for the sustainability of Tourism in CARICOM.”
He continued, “We also asked that the marketing campaign(s) encompass, in particular, the tourism product of the mainland Member States – Belize, Guyana and Suriname.
The Prime Minister of Grenada, Keith Mitchell, also emphasised the importance of citizens of member states maintaining contact with each other.
“I think it is clear that as we talk and do everything to advance our cause of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the issue of contact between amongst our citizens is an extremely important one. The availability or lack of it – of adequate transport – within our region, affects the availability of our citizens to interact more and to know more about each other.
“In addition of course, it affects the tourism product…So I think the feeling was, that we must treat this at the highest possible level and it was agreed that a meeting of COTED will be convened soon to look at the issue of transport and we’re not just talking about air transport, we’re talking about air transport in general,”
The Prime Minister also spoke about the advancement of a more integrated form of transport in the region.
“Whether it’s LIAT, whether it’s Caribbean Airlines, whether it’s Bahamas Air – no matter what transport it is, we need to look at how we advance a more integrated form of transport in the region and clearly, a more cheaper form of transport that allow our citizens to access individual countries more,” the Grenadian leader stated.
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