By the Caribbean Journal staff
In a significant boost for advocates of an improved Caribbean aviation sector, a new group has been formed to spearhead efforts at regional change.
It’s called the Caribbean Airlift Alliance, and it’s a group of professionals with industrial support aiming to improve airlift and progress in Caribbean air transportation, according to a statement.
The alliance was launched to much fanfare at the Caribbean Aviation Meetup in The Bahamas by Cdr. Bud Slabbaert and Rob Ceravolo, CEO of Tropic Ocean Airways.
The non-governmental, non-partisan organization will be “a response to many airlift dilemmas in the Caribbean region, the emphasis will be on providing information, education, and furthering understanding among all stakeholders in airlift matters and eventually finding solutions,” the group said.
Slabbaert and Ceravolo will be joined in the alliance by Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, one of the region’s leading tourism thinkers and a former Tourism Minister of The Bahamas.
“The Caribbean picture is that tourism represents up to 85% of the revenue of the islands territories,” Slabbaert said. “Governments may exercise the powers given to them by their constituencies. However, they should realize that such power means relative little in a more global perspective. The vacationers and passengers abroad have the full power to decide which destinations they prefer to visit. There are many choices and options. The airlines are in full power to decide what destinations they want to fly to. Those decisions are very much related to the passenger demand. So, what does political power mean when the guests needed for a healthy economy are preferring different destinations. The power of the governments may result in increased competition.”