Fifty participants from 10 islands, including ministers of tourism, port authorities, ships’ agents and attractions, are part of the Caribbean Village, according to adviser Julie-Anne Burrowes, who said the purpose of this umbrella group is to jointly market the region, foster sustainable development and share best practices.
'We are all interdependent'
‘We have the great examples of Cruise Europe and Cruise Baltic, and we as destinations cannot be insular. We are all interdependent,' Burrowes said. 'It’s not about competing between destinations but collaboration and cooperation.'
Besides hosting meetings with cruise line planners, the Caribbean Village participants provide information to the travel trade and network to learn from other regions of the world.
'A Taste of the Tropics'
Once again, the group will host ‘A Taste of the Tropics’ welcome reception, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 11, at the Caribbean Village booth in the exhibition. The reception, which has become a fixture of the event, features local rums and liqueurs that give a flavor of the destinations represented.
Marketing Initiative finalist
Creating demand for the Caribbean is ‘something the cruise lines have asked us to do through the years,’ Burrowes said. To that end, she's pleased the Caribbean Village has been shortlisted for the Seatrade Cruise Awards’ Marketing Initiative of the Year, sponsored by Cruise Baltic.
‘It is fantastic to be recognized on a global level,’ Burrowes said. ‘That validation of our efforts is … truly an honor.’
Seatrade Europe falls during the most active time of the Atlantic hurricane season, and some attendees this year will recall being in Hamburg during the agonizing days in 2017 when Hurricanes Irma and Maria were ravaging their islands. Burrowes considers the destinations’ recovery a testament to the Caribbean’s resilience.
And, now, the Bahamas have been devastated by Dorian. ‘Our hearts, our prayers go out to the people of the Bahamas,’ she said. ‘We know that, unfortunately, it could happen to any of us. A number of destinations have pledged their assistance. It’s also heartwarming to see the cruise lines helping with aid.’