Sargassum washing up on Caribbean beaches and the high cost of airline operations were among the critical issues receiving attention from regional tourism officials at the recently ended Caribbean Tourism Week in New York.
The June 5 -8 activity was the first post-pandemic event.
“A critical issue discussed during the ministerial meetings was the persistent problem of sargassum washing up on the region’s beaches, damaging foreshores and negatively impacting tourism,” a Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) release said.
According to the release, CTO Chairman Kenneth Bryan suggested that global warming was responsible for the phenomenon.
Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands, told a news conference that the CTO was seeking to identify strategies to manage the onslaught of the malodorous seaweed.
The strategies included implementing preventative measures or collecting the sargassum for positive uses.
Air connectivity was also a significant point of discussion for the assembled tourism directors, ministers, and tourism commissioners.
The CTO release said the organisation’s Chairman acknowledged the challenges destinations face due to airline operations’ high costs.
“There’s no easy solution,” Bryan declared.
However, in addition to dialogue with the World Bank, CARICOM, and the Caribbean Development Bank, studies are underway to explore solutions for financing increased connectivity in the short- and medium-term.