CASTRIES, St. Lucia Nov 26—The nine-member Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is collaborating with the government of Mexico to explore and develop Sustainable Strategic Tourism Master Plans (SSTMP) for the sub-region.
OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules said the OECS has enjoyed strong relations with Mexico across a number of functional areas of cooperation and the potential now existed to deepen that commitment through the elevation of SSTMP’s as a key driver of economic growth in the OECS.
“The potential exists for a deeper diversification of the OECS tourism product and the SSTMP’s will be imperative in creating a sustainable framework to identify and then capitalise on these unique opportunities” said Jules.
Head of the Tourism Desk at the OECS Commission Dr. Lorraine Nicholas said that Mexico’s tourism industry has performed remarkably well in the past few years with the Spanish-speaking country welcoming a record of number of 32 million tourists last year, a 10 per cent increase over the 2014 figure.
“Revenue from the sector also grew by eight per cent which accounted for surplus of seven billion US dollars and the Ministry of Tourism in Mexico strongly attributes this impressive performance in the Tourism sector to effective planning” said Nicholas.
“Tourism master plans were developed by tourism professionals in Mexico for each of the main tourist destinations (cities) in Mexico and the development of the sector has been guided by these plans.
“The government of Mexico is now keenly interested in replicating the concept of one of Mexico’s major tourism product “los Pueblos Mágicos” – Magical Towns in the OECS.