BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) says it is moving to further develop its digital technology resources so as to better promote the “many exciting and diverse travel choices” visitors can experience throughout the region.
“Digital technology helps us to customise our product, so that discerning travellers can decide what they want to do and what they want to experience,” said CHTA president Patricia Affonso-Dass in a message to mark World Tourism day on Thursday.
“The Internet has fostered our economic growth through tourism by shortening the trip planning and purchase process, bridging the gap between dreams and the decision to book, allowing small operators to show their wares and answer questions, and allowing online bookings and follow-up,” she added.
Affonso-Dass said the Caribbean’s tourism sector is uniquely important to economic and social life in the region, and that stakeholders in the Caribbean “are leveraging digital technology to attract visitors and keep them coming, and also transferring those skills to our wider economy”.
She said data driven marketing and promotion allow suppliers to understand guest preferences so travellers can connect with the destinations even before they land in the Caribbean.
“CHTA members are investing heavily in digital technology and we look forward to the upcoming launch of The Rhythm Never Stops marketing campaign as we, along with our partners in the public sector, build our region’s brand and let the world know more about the many exciting and diverse travel choices they can experience today throughout the Caribbean.
“As the preeminent private sector travel and tourism association in the Caribbean, we will continue to lead the search for innovative ways to market our destinations and to improve the product and the profitability of the industry,” she added. World Tourism Day highlights the importance of digital technologies to the sector and the CHTA said that the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) also hails the power of innovation to boost growth for a more sustainable and responsible tourism sector.
“We welcome World Tourism Day with vibrant Caribbean enthusiasm and pledge our region’s support for, and involvement in, technological innovation,” Affonso-Dass said.