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Caribbean Marketplace 2009 deemed a major success

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Contact: Adhara King

Wednesday, 21 January 2009 – The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Caribbean Marketplace ended Tuesday in Saint Lucia with applause for the successful staging of the event. The spectacle, held in the OECS for the first time ended with a showcase of local musical talent and a performance from Trinidad and Tobago’s Machal Montano.

Caribbean Marketplace was conducted at the Pigeon Island National Landmark and provided business people in tourism locally, regionally and internationally to meet in on place to discuss and pursue future business.

Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Honourable Stephenson King has echoed the island’s commitment to Tourism, with its hosting of the marketplace. Caribbean Marketplace is considered the most important event on the Caribbean region’s tourism calendar.

“I therefore trust that we have successfully imparted our determination to rise to the occasion and exceed expectations and challenges. We are all poised for the fight of our life. Not unlike years gone by when rising oil prices and terrorism foretold doom,” he said.

Amidst these challenges, the Prime Minister said, there needs to be a strong resolve to focus on maximizing the region’s potential. He urged participants to capitalize on the vast opportunities afforded by the marketplace.

“Our brave expectations are that Saint Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean region will rise to meet this challenge, as they have met previous challenges, and will continue to harness positive returns from tourism into the foreseeable future,” said the Saint Lucia.

Saint Lucia’s Minister for Tourism, Senator the Honourable Allen Chastanet is charging regional tourism officials with the duty to capitalize on changes in the global environment. Mr. Chastanet placed emphasis on maximizing opportunities instead of dwelling on doubts.

“We are living in unchartered waters and in these situations what we must do is focus on what we can change. Focus on what we can impact. All our energies are going to be required. Let us apply our energies. No longer can the hoteliers by themselves cause the change or maximize the opportunities of what tourism has to offer. Start recognizing that workers, taxi drivers, vendors, agriculturalists all play a huge part in what we call Tourism,” the minister said.

The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences announced, at the event’s opening on Sunday, that Saint Lucia was the winner of its Star Diamond Award. The award was received by prime Minister Honourable Stephenson King.

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