By Cathy O'Gara on 20th March, 2013

Zhivargo Laing

Photograph available at:

NEW YORK (March 20, 2013) – A former finance minister hailed the joining together of tourism organizations across the Caribbean to revamp the regional website, as a “wonderful and much needed show of unity in an increasingly crowded global market.”

“This is the best way to stay competitive as competing destinations in other regions move aggressively,” stated Zhivairgo Laing, former finance minister of the Bahamas.

“Kudos has to go out to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) for recognizing the need for a common approach to marketing and a common electronic presence,” he added.

“As a former finance minister, I know full well that tourism is by far the biggest driver of our economies – and as a region we have to keep moving it to another level to ensure our treasuries have the resources to look after our families and our environment – and the new helps us do that,” stated Laing.

The website was created by the Caribbean Tourism Development Company (CTDC), jointly owned by the official organizations of the region – the CTO representing the governments, and the CHTA with hundreds of hotels across the region as well as wider tourism partners.

Laing congratulated Beverly Nicholson-Doty, CTO Chairman and Commissioner of Tourism for the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Richard Doumeng, President of CHTA for the revitalized website.”We expect that our revitalized website will set a new standard for promoting our Caribbean region and become the cornerstone of our cooperative regional marketing strategy for the Caribbean brand under the ‘Life Needs the Caribbean’ theme,” said Nicholson-Doty, CTDC’s co-chair. “This is an unprecedented level of regional cooperation between governments and the private sector in tourism,” she added.

Doumeng, CHTA president and CTDC co-chair, stated: “The website’s advanced searching capabilities will make it easier than ever for consumers to find the ideal Caribbean destination and resort. Restaurants, attractions and other visitor activities now have the ability to showcase their properties like never before.”

The website launched a few weeks ago with 33 destinations, nearly 400 hotel listings, and more than 100 restaurants and attractions.

Source: Laing Consulting and Research Group