“A Focus on the Future: The Challenge of Branding the Caribbean”
A Keynote Presentation to the Association of Travel Marketing Executives (ATME)
Secretary General & CEO
Caribbean Tourism Organization
Las Vegas, Nevada
Good morning. Thank you for inviting me.
Three weeks ago, I was from The Bahamas. Last week, I had a rebirth. This week, I am from the Caribbean.
I remember a friend of mine who might be in this audience telling me some years ago that if the world ever came to its end, he would want to be in the Caribbean. Needless to say, as a Caribbean man, I was most flattered to hear this and thanked him profusely for this obvious admiration of our physical beauty and stimulating culture. He replied: “No, No, No . . .you don’t understand. If the world ever came to an end, I would want to be in the Caribbean because everything always happens 10 years later in the Caribbean”. That’s the first impression of our brand that we have to fix.
Continued . . .
Diversifying the Bahamian Economy: Fact, Fiction and the Real Alternative
BAHAMAS BUSINESS OUTLOOK
Minister of Tourism & Aviation
Let me say from the outset that I am a strong supporter of the idea of economic diversification. Who could be against it? Who could possibly be against increasing the number of sectors that undergird an economy, especially the small economy of 350,000 hard working and hard striving citizens. Should Walmart with its 1.4 million selected employees in the United States alone diversify beyond retailing? Should IBM with its 400,000 selected employees diversify beyond computing? Should Toyota with is 320,000 selected employees diversify beyond automobile manufacturing? Should Bank of America with its 284,000 employees diversify beyond its narrow focus on banking?
Never mind the United Nations study that shows that wealthy small nations in this increasingly globalized world are those that focus on doing a few things very well. Never mind the New York Times article of a few years ago about Finland, a country with 5.5 million people being lauded for concentrating in music and telecommunications. According to the Times: ““ . . . the Finns, like the citizens of many small nations, have learned that the best way to make a splash on the global scene is to specialize”. Never mind that, we should diversify. We forget the large scale experiments of the 1960’s conglomerates of LTV, ITT, Litton Industries, Gulf+Western and TransAmerica. All are gone as it became clear that success comes from focusing on core competencies not from conglomeration or diversification. Never mind that, we should diversify.
Continued . . .
Irish Tourist Board Keynote