Above: Tobago (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Caribbean needs to embrace digital marketing, according to Orville London, chief secretary in the Tobago House of Assembly.
The Chief Secretary, who was addressing the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s 7th Tourism Human Resources Conference in Tobago, warned that if the region’s tourism industry was not prepared to cater to visitors in the new digital age, they would lose business to “destinations capable of doing so.”
“We have to train and sensitize our employees, our stakeholders and our citizens that if we do not get on board with the technology the ship will sail to another port,” London said at the conference, which was hosted in Scarborough.
That’s borne out by the numbers.
According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, more than 50 percent of the US public cites the Internet as its main source for national and international news — far above newspapers and radio.
This year’s conference was being held under the theme “Achieving High Performance in Caribbean Tourism in the New Networked Work Environment.”
London lamented what he saw as a failure by many hoteliers and tourism industy players to implement online marketing strategies.
“We have to satisfy the discerning visitor who wishes to experience all the simple pleasures, all the natural ambience, all the scenic beauty and the hospitality of our people that we advertise in our brochures but at the same time is not prepared to be inconvenience by communication and other challenges,” said London, pointing to the importance of digital marketing.