Makeover Suggestion 5: Marketing Regional Accessibility Policy in the Caribbean

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MS Majesty of the Seas, one of Royal Caribbean...

Image via Wikipedia

The primary sources of tourism income for the Caribbean economy are also the countries with the highest tourist expectations of physical accessibility, disability-aware customer service, and legally-mandated disability rights practice: 

    • USA 
    • Canada
    • The countries of the European Union

Do Caribbean states measure up to customer needs once passengers disembark en masse from the cruise ships, saunter leisurely from yachts, or tumble expectantly from airborne sardine cans?

Although there is little evidence as prominent as Barbados' Fully Accessible Barbados each island has a degree of awareness. To what degree is this awareness institutionalized in the policy, staff, and programming of the Caribbean Tourism Development Company? 

So far, accessibility information is not there on CTCD's Caribbean site:

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) are relaunching their marketing and business development unit, known the Caribbean Tourism Development Company (CTDC), a jointly owned and operated, private, for-profit entity created in 2007. The revitalized CTDC will market the Caribbean brand through licensing, merchandizing, advertising, and the sale of vacations via its website. The website, which will be redesigned, will include among other features, an integrated booking platform that specifically caters to the Caribbean's smaller hotels.

One of the new CTDC's emphases in the initial stages will be on reviving intra-Caribbean vacation travel. Funding for the CTDC will come from both the public and private sectors, with the joint owners each committing seed funding to be supplemented by CTO member countries. The new CTDC board of directors will include six members each from the CTO and the CHTA, with the leaders of the two organizations, CTO Chairman Richard "Ricky" Skerritt and CHTA President Josef Forstmayr, as co-chairs.

The CTDC is a marketing and business development unit owned equally by the CHTA and CTO. Its mission is to own, promote, protect, advance and enhance the Caribbean brand. The CTDC combines the resources of the Caribbean region's destinations, accommodations and service providers to create a cohesive business unit that is able to identify commercial opportunities and allow the members of CHTA and CTO to benefit collectively from those opportunities in ways that individually they could not. In all its endeavors the company will engage only in activities that honor the Caribbean brand and benefit the members of CHTA and CTO. 

For more information, visit

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1 Comment

I am a travel agent here in NY, who happens to be blind, and I am always having issues finding places for my clients to go, in fact, a friend of mine who is not blind, but lived and worked in St. Maarten for years told me that they have not handicapped parking, no braille, no idea of a service animal, etc. I am a little confused with the statement above, there is a local chapter of the CTO here in NY and I live on long Island, so I would like to know is the statement meaning that they are revamping there website with is updating to include travel for people of all disabilities. I am just trying to verify what is being written. Thank you.

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