Rethinking Tourism World Tourism Day 2022 Message Harold Lovell Political Leader of the United Progressive Party

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Rethinking Tourism 

World Tourism Day 2022 MessageHarold LovellPolitical Leader of the United Progressive Party

Tourism is the heartbeat of our economy and as we celebrate World Tourism Day 2022, we must focus on getting people back to full employment and ensure that tourism businesses of all sizes and across all sectors, can recover and realize their full potential.

This year’s theme “Rethinking Tourism” calls on all of us — citizens and residents, hospitality workers, large organizations, micro, small and medium enterprises and government officials — who serve the tourism industry, to rethink how the industry can better serve us.

As one of the Caribbean’s premier destinations, we must reimagine how to better manage, market and measure our tourism industry. This will require a visionary Tourism Masterplan that prioritizes infrastructural upgrades, public education, financing for tourism businesses, linkages to other sectors of the economy and social protection for tourism workers. It is also time to increase digitalization throughout the tourism workforce to upskill the sector and increase our competitive edge as a destination.

COVID-19 has caused a major disruption in the tourism industry worldwide, revealing many possibilities for tourism development, diversification of our national economy and the creation of jobs and new visitor experiences.

Antigua and Barbuda must develop a solid plan for resiliency that will allow us to act and not merely react. As part of our long term plan for tourism, the UPP will:

– Create a financial climate that will attract reputable foreign, local and Diaspora investments.

– Accelerate the completion and refurbishment of tourism projects and infrastructural upgrades.

– Activate policies that will generate growth in the tourism sector, by strengthening niches such as health and wellness and community tourism to attract a new client mix.

– Oversee the implementation and of a sustainable national tourism strategy, that will leverage our unique selling points like our culture to meet our economic and social needs.

By “Rethinking Tourism” we will fuel the industry with innovative strategies to better manage our resources and strengthen our brand in all sectors — accommodations, aviation, cruise, yachting, attractions, food and beverage, transportation and entertainment.

Antiguans and Barbudans, let us all come together to pool our ideas, resources and talents to make our tourism product the best brand in Caribbean tourism. When residents value the benefits that our tourism industry provides to their families and communities, it makes it easier for guests to appreciate the unique tourism experiences that we have to offer as a destination.

Happy World Tourism Day to those who invest in, work, or contribute directly or indirectly to our tourism industry. Let us protect the industry that serves as a vital part of our economy and livelihood.