In the last decade we have heard a great deal about private
sector-led development, to the point where many of the
international development agencies have sought to incorporate this
doctrine into their aid policies often, I regret to say, without
paying enough attention to the realities of the capacity of the
private sector. ...
It is not surprising that this debate should have reached a high
point of intensity with respect to the tourism sector, which lends
itself so naturally to an integrated public/private sector approach
and, therefore, there has been much debate at both the regional and
national levels about the roles of the public and private
Overlaying this debate is the fact that many aspects of
globalization and information technology are transforming the way
in which many aspects of tourism development are taking place.
The challenge of our tourism sector ... is to ascertain what are
the best practices (that) will result in creating levels of
excellence in Caribbean tourism. This is the purpose of our seminar
and, while it is billed as a tourism exercise, I suggest that it
will have many lessons for a much wider audience of public/ private
sector actors in different fields across the region. ...
We see this seminar as a first step in helping to transform
Caribbean national and regional tourism organizations into modern
and relevant structures with the ability to operate efficiently and
effectively in a fiercely competitive and dynamic world.
We see similar activities taking place at the national levels
and (the tourism organization) hopes to be able to play a part in
this process of change.
We hope that the national and regional tourism mechanisms of the
future will be so integrated with respect to public and private
sector activity that much of the current debate will, in fact,
become irrelevant and a thing of the past.
We are not unaware of the difficulties (that) we, the public and
private sectors, face in achieving these objectives but, from what
I hear people saying, they are ready for a change.
Jean Holder’s statement was made July 9 during preparations for
the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Conference on Public/Private