Media Center

Press Release


  June 30, 2005

Caribbean tourism is set for another major boost, under a tripartite agreement signed today in Washington, D.C., by the Organization of American States, the Barbados government and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

The agreement for the “Provision of Specific Services of Technical Cooperation for the Strengthening of the Caribbean Tourism Organization” was signed at OAS headquarters by Ambassador Michael King of Barbados; Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, the new Secretary General of the CTO; and Brian Stevenson, the OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development. The agreement renews an existing partnership to develop the Caribbean region’s tourism sector.

Ambassador King underscored his government’s commitment to continuing a partnership he described as being of great benefit to the Caribbean region’s important industry. He also commended the Barbados-based CTO itself, for setting “the standard in the world, for the management of tourism in a particular sub-region.”

The Ambassador said the delegation of Barbados stands ready to help raise additional resources to strengthen the program, to assist the CTO in developing “an outstanding program that will benefit not only the Caribbean countries in the short term, but [which also] in the long term [will] benefit the whole hemisphere as a model for cooperation among three sides with similar interests in this organization.”

Thanking the Barbadian government and the OAS for their support in this venture, Mr. Vanderpool-Wallace stated: “It’s so very important that we begin to take full advantage of some of the opportunities that are available for the development of the Caribbean states through tourism, and certainly this recognizes exactly that.”

The newly-appointed CTO Secretary General went on to stress tourism’s importance to Caribbean economic development, asserting that “It is going to be the driver for the economy of the Caribbean for a long, time to come.” He also touched briefly on CTO plans that emphasize how tourism can contribute to the peoples of the Caribbean.

The OAS’ Stevenson noted, meanwhile, that the Organization recognizes that “tourism in the Caribbean is a vital socio-economic activity.” He added, “We fully recognize the importance for the OAS to continue to work with the CTO in executing the development mandate of the CTO and the OAS in the tourism sector throughout the region.”

Reference: E-131/05