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BARBADOS ADVOCATE – The Caribbean continues to maintain its appeal to the European cruise market, was the conclusion following the participation of 14 islands in the Seatrade Cruise Convention in Germany in September.
More than 65 representatives from ministries of tourism, port authorities, tourist boards and the private sector, were on hand to update cruise lines on new port developments and promote the wide variety of attractions in the region.
The Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board was in the spotlight, as they were selected as a finalist for the Seatrade Cruise Awards Destination of the Year.
The European market continues to be essential to cruise sector development in the region, said Julie-Anne Burrowes, Business Development advisor to the Caribbean Village joint marketing initiative. Destinations were able to engage cruise lines in a meaningful way and explore new market opportunities,she added.
The islands are aggressively seeking to grow market share and respond to increased competition through the collective effort. Most major global cruising regions, such as Europe, the Mediterranean and the Baltic, already have established cruise marketing partnerships to more-capitalise on synergies and extend their reach within the industry.
Collaboration is central to the survival of the Caribbean. Other regions understand this and are employing joint marketing strategies very effectively, especially in crafting innovative itinerary options, Burrowes said. This is why the Caribbean Village initiative is so important.
Participating destinations in the Caribbean Village included Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago.