Destinations such as Jamaica, St. Lucia and the Dominican Republic have reported declining U.S. arrivals in 2007.
Suspension of passport law pleases the region
By Gay Nagle Myers
The Caribbean Tourism Organization, representing 32 nations
across the region, applauded the
actions of the U.S. government to
temporarily ease the passport requirements of U.S. air travelers returning
to the U.S. through Sept. 30 if travelers can
produce evidence that they have applied for
but not received their passports.
The CTO also said that a proposed law
delaying the requirement that cruise passengers hold passports would help ease
That requirement, scheduled to take effect in January, could be pushed back to
June 2009 due to a huge backlog of passport applications.
The CTO urged that the law requiring
U.S. air passengers to travel with a passport
be delayed until June 2009, too.
“The evidence now is overwhelming
that tourism and commerce in the Caribbean region have suffered considerably as
a result of the Western Hemisphere Travel
Initiative passport rules, as was predicted
by the U.S.’ own study by the Customs and
Border Protection in August 2006 as well as
by a study by the World Travel and Tourism
Council,” said Allen Chastanet, CTO chairman and St. Lucia’s tourism minister. “By
excluding the Caribbean from further delay
in its implementation, the consequences
will be severe.”
Caribbean destinations such as Jamaica,
St. Lucia and the Dominican Republic have
experienced a declining number of U.S.
visitors in the first four months of 2007,
Cayman Summer Splash
CTO’s head man
Continued from Page 57
rotating alphabetic order; a search feature
by amenities and properties that gives equal
billing “to a four-room inn on Tortola as it
does to Atlantis on Paradise Island”; a Find
an Agent section and booking engine; video
selections; a currency converter; a vacation
planner; and a Google Earth function that
will display specific property locations.
The Web address will be announced at
the time of launch.
• Efficient distribution of pertinent information.
“The biggest failure in the Caribbean is
the dearth of information regarding visitors,” Vanderpool-Wallace said.
He called for streamlining the processes
used to obtain immigration data, sharing
visitor evaluations and obtaining timely research on the financial performance of the
• Forestall, reduce and eliminate impediments to sustainable growth.
“In a world increasingly concerned about
the environment, the Caribbean must be
seen as refuge: fresh air, naturally clean,
green and serene,” he said.
He urged a further extension beyond
Sept. 30 of the recently eased passport entry requirements for U.S. air travelers (see
story above) and advocated tax-free weeks
for visitors to the region in September and
October, traditionally slow travel periods
during which hotel and attraction admission taxes would be waived.
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feature 5 nights at the cost of 4 and kids stay free and eat free.
Choose among over 250 scuba diving sites with shallow reefs and schooling fish, or sink
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Image courtesy of the Cayman Islands Department
of Tourism. Used by permission.