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Cruise master plan

The draft final report of the Tourism Master Plan is on
the desk of Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, after being promised since 2010.

Sealy says all eight volumes in the 2013-2021 plan will be available to the public, but must first be examined by ministry personnel
and Cabinet.

“We’re just going through the process of making sure we’re happy and doting the i’s and crossing the t’s and taking it from there. Your will have it just after Independence or before Christmas. The master plan will be available to all and sundry,” he said.

A number of the initiatives detailed in the document are expected to be private sector-led with some focus on the number
of visitors the island can accommodate, and ways of increasing visitor spending.

“It deals with issues of man power, sustainable tourism, the robustness of the tourism industry given what happened with the economic crisis and the collapse in 2008. I think that we have to make sure that our industry is on a much more robust footing so that we can deal with the vagaries of international circumstances,”
Sealy said.

“We have something here that I think is quite special and again demonstrates the desire for this government to have more ordered development of our tourism offerings and not simply the ad hoc development that has taken place.”

Last year, Parliament passed
a White Paper paving the way
for the plan.

That other document focuses on sustainable and responsible tourism development, product development, marketing and promotion, human resources development, educational awareness, development of a comprehensive research framework, effective participation, collaboration and access, and standards
and regulations.

Authorities are already facing a 6.7 percent decline in stay-over visitors this year compared to
2012 figures.

Statistics from the Caribbean Tourism Organisation show that 352,895 tourists came to the country between January
and August.

The United States market dropped 10.7 per cent, while Canada was down 7.8 percent.

In contrast, there was a
10.6 percent increase in
cruise passengers.

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