OECS completes tourism policy

A common tourism policy for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) was set to get off the ground on Oct. 1.

That was among the major successful outcomes of the recent meeting of private and public sector tourism stakeholders, which looked at the draft tourism policy for the OECS.

The OECS Secretariat expects to disseminate the revised policy to officials of member states.

Program Officer at the OECS Secretariat, Dr. Lorraine Nicholas said member states had requested a deadline of Sept. 14 for submission of their final comments and Oct. 1 was the date set for a final Common Tourism Policy document.

The focus on tourism development within the OECS Economic Union and how it further enhances the life of the sector’s thousands of employees, as well as the region’s economies, was high on the agenda of OECS member states at a the recent meeting of private and public sector tourism stakeholders.

The OECS Secretariat said the recent meeting in Antigua and Barbuda was a success as tourism professionals from the private and public sector in the OECS and other stakeholders agreed on the key areas to be addressed in the OECS tourism policy.

The meeting identified the operation of the OECS’s single yachting space as a top priority.

Other key areas include: Harmonization of customs and immigration procedures including the universal implementation of eSeaClear throughout the OECS, improvement in air access to the region, standardization of human resource development initiatives across the region, transportation and enhancement of tourism awareness throughout the region to provide empirical evidence of the economic impact of tourism.

Improved research and statistics as well as attracting greater investment to the region were also examined as major policy measures.

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