The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is seeking to strengthen its relationship with Emirates Holidays, the largest tour operator in the Middle East, as it seeks to broad the Caribbean’s appeal in the Arabia Market.
Officials of CTO, the region’s tourism development agency, recently met with tour operators during Arabian Travel Market (ATM), to build relationship which began last year when the CTO conducted an in-house training program in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 40 Emirates Holiday reservations, sales and operation staff to familiarize them with the Caribbean product.
This was after Emirates airlines had announced flights from Dubai to Ft Lauderdale, Florida, with a code sharing agreement with Jet Blue that opened up numerous Caribbean destinations to the United States.
The CTO recently returned from hosting six Caribbean roadshows in France, visiting the cities of Rouen, Caen, Rennes, Nantes, Angers and Tours.
These partners had the opportunity to network and present their destinations and products to over l00 travel agents and tour operators at the events, which attracted key industry professionals from the French market, all interest in learning more about the Caribbean region, the CTO said.
The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) recently held a trade mission in St. Lucia, Martinique and Dominica in a bid to strengthen intra-regional and international trade.
Minister of Agriculture for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Saboto Caesar led the delegation.
Among the key areas of regional and international trade discussed were; international market opportunities, Certification, Transportation, Marketing, Research and Development, Production and Technology (agro processing).
The OECS trade delegation met with key stakeholders in St. Lucia, Martinique, and Dominica to discuss existing market conditions and each island’s particular strengths and weaknesses as it relates to the production, and preparation for export, of agriculture produce.
The delegation spent three days in Martinique to evaluate the market and determine the potential for importation of produce from the OECS region.
Vincent Duville, director of the Cabinet of President Alfred Marie-Jeanne said trade among Caribbean islands is a major opportunity.
The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is seeking to expand its German market share. The island is currently experience year on year growth in the market.
GTA CEO, Patricia Maher recently visited Germany to meet with travel agents, tour operators and airlines that are Grenada partners.
Maher was able to meet with head of network, development long haul for Condo Airlines Wilken Bellman and it was agreed that focus should be placed on the growing winter season bookings.
She said Condor is partnering with Caribbean Airlines and are in negotiations with LIAT for connecting fights in time for summer 2017.
The GTA official said Germans can check-in Frankfurt and connect seamlessly with luggage on LIAT to Pure Grenada. Condor is also code sharing with Air China so it makes Frankfurt a hub to Asia for Grenada.
Discussions were held with tour operators to promote Grenada as a destination.
Senior officials from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) recently met in Jamaica with counterparts from the German Development Bank and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to discuss a regional Coastal Protection for Climate Change Adaptation project which is being implemented in four Caribbean states.
The teams held talks with partner organizations and visited four sites that have been approved for funding under the project for the local adaptation measures aimed at improving the ability of vulnerable communities to withstand the impacts of climate change.
The project seeks to minimize the adverse impacts from climate change by restoring the protective services offered by natural eco-systems like coastal mangrove forests and coral reefs in some areas while restoring and building man-made structures such as mangroves.
The Local Adaptation Measures projects in Jamaica are being managed by a mix of non-governmental and government institutions.
There are l6 areas being targeted in the Caribbean, among them are Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Canadian government–funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) project recently hosted three technical advisory group (TAG) meetings in Gros Islet, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia.
The meetings sought to assist the project as it seeks to finalize its plan for Year Four under the legislative and treaty policy making component, legal profession and education component and the project’s alternative dispute resolution component.
Persons who were selected to sit on TAG meetings represent various government offices and NGOs across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and include representatives from ministries of legal affairs and chambers of attorneys general, chief parliamentary counsel, a solicitor general, representatives of bar association, including a judge and Guyana Commissioner of Police.
At the TAG meetings, discussions were held for the proposals for drafting a new model legislation for CARICOM member states, review of the IMPACT Justice Model Community Mediation Bill and Model Legal Profession Regulations; making plans for the establishment of community mediation associations and restorative practices associations in countries where the project has had training and plans to offer further advanced training in these areas.
Last year, the IMPACT Justice TAG meetings were held in Belize City, Belize.
Turks and Caicos Islands
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will be hosting a seminar later this month to review the Caribbean’s gains in climate adaptation and mitigation and to examine the implementation of the Bank’s Climate Resilience Strategy 2012-2017.
The event will be held during the 47th annual meeting of CDB’s board of governors meeting in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.
The group will discuss the region’s climate strategy and implementation plan, and share perspectives on the agreed upon nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement — the targets countries have committed to meeting to stop global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius.
Participants will discuss the NDCs from the perspectives of their own priorities, trade-offs and examine the realities of meetings these goals.
During the past five years, CDB has sharpened its focus on addressing climate change vulnerabilities in its borrowing member countries.
Two opposition United National Congress (UNC) attorneys are preparing to challenge the controversial Property Tax in the Port of Spain, Trinidad, High Court which the government has introduced.
The two attorneys, representing four home owners are asking to have the courts review the implementation process of the tax while they are also seeking a judicial review and constitution challenge to the property tax.
One of the home owners, who was a former minister in the Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration, is asking the government to hold its hand on the implementation of the Property Tax until it amends the legislative provisions and before the court determines the actions.
The government has been given until next week to respond otherwise the property owners will approach the courts with their legal challenges. So far the government has not responded and has extended the deadline date to June 5, 2017.
— compiled by Azad Ali