The first meeting of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) Ad-hoc Working Group for the Establishment of the Association of Caribbean Cruise Ship Destinations (ACCD) was due to take place in Managua, Nicaragua.
Following the mandate given by ACS Heads of State and/or Government in their Fourth Summit held in Panama in July 2005, Ministers of Tourism, Tourism High Level Officers, as well as regional specialised organisations met in Havana, Cuba, in October 2006 “to exchange experiences and examine proposals and alternatives regarding tourism public policies, especially those associated with cruise ships, so that the possibilities of this type of tourism providing a greater contribution to the sustainable development of the sector in countries within the zone can be evaluated”.
At this First Meeting of Ministers of Tourism of the Greater Caribbean (TMM-1), and as reflected in the document that compiled the meeting’s conclusions and recommendations, the Declaration of Havana on Tourism in the Greater Caribbean (DHAV), regional tourism leaders agreed to consider the possibility of establishing an Association of Caribbean Cruise Ship Destinations.
Furthermore, in the DHAV Ministers of Tourism “exhort the relevant public and private sector organizations and entities operating in this very important sector of cruise tourism to open more lines of communication, and thus ensure greater regional dialogue”.
The necessity of this public-private sectors dialogue has also been indicated by the cruise ship industry recognising that, in order to enhance the cruise ship passenger experience in the destination, and, as a result, their expenditure on shore, it is critical for destination services providers to collaborate and operate in a coordinated manner.
This first meeting of the Ad-hoc Working Group will discuss the concept and framework for the institutionalization of the ACCD.
The main objectives of the ACCD are aimed at improving the benefits of cruise ship tourism in the Greater Caribbean destinations by facilitating inter-governmental discussions and coordination on this issue and facilitating public-private sector’s service, coordination at these destinations as well as at the regional level.
In order to facilitate the meeting’s deliberations and decision-making process, presentations will be made by the ACS Director for Sustainable Tourism, Gloria de Mees on the impact of the Cruise Ship Tourism in the Caribbean. On behalf of the Member Countries of the Central America Tourism Council (CCT), the Minister of Tourism of Nicaragua, Mario Salinas will present on the status of Cruise Ship Tourism in Central America as well as the policy coordinating initiatives that could be used as examples for the rest of the Greater Caribbean Region.