Public and private sector representatives of CARIFORUM’s Spa and Wellness sector met in Dominica on June 12 and 13 to discuss and adopt a joint strategy to guide the development of the sector. The meeting counted with the presence of Honourable, Mr. Douglas Minister of Tourism and Legal Affaires of the Commonwealth of Dominica and saw the active participation of over 40 professionals of this high-value-added sector of the region’s tourism industry.
This initiative was made possible via the joint efforts of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Caribbean Spa and Wellness Association (C-SWA) and Caribbean Export in the framework of a comprehensive programme in favour of development and competitiveness of the Caribbean’s Spa and Wellness Industry implemented under the UK’s Caribbean Aid For Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund).
This programme also counts with the support of the European Union, the CARIFORUM Directorate, the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ ‘German development cooperation’ Agency (GIZ), the Caribbean Tourism Association (CTO), CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and the University of West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus.
Representatives to the meeting agreed that Health and Wellness (H&W) has great potential of contributing to the diversification of CARIFORUM’s tourism product by taking advantage of region’s unique cultural heritage and natural resources.
The international growth of H&W industry and its links to other sectors such as agribusiness, cosmetics, architects and engineers and cultural industries makes it a sector of interest in the region’s quest to boost economic development, increase jobs and achieve greater integration of its economy.
During the meeting H&W experts from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, Thailand and India were able to exchange their experiences with Caribbean professionals contributing to the definition and implementation of a regional development road map for the sector.
The next actions of the CARTFund H&W programme will be the development and implementation of an international marketing campaign, including the revamping of C-SWA’s website, and setting the basis for the adoption of harmonised regional standards for the sector.