Fifty representatives of the regional health and wellness sector took part in a Stakeholder Consultation at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Barbados on September 22, coordinated by Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export).  The consultation examined the role of regional and national authorities, international donors, policy makers and private enterprises in executing project activities for the sector.


The Honourable Richard Sealy, Minister of Tourism for Barbados urged the meeting, “to promote health and wellness not just for visitors but for the region’s citizens who contribute to regional development.”  He also highlighted the need for the development of standards and the improvement of quality and service standards in the sector.


Jan Wimaladharma, of the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), welcomed the consultation noting that stakeholders will develop, “a clear strategy to diversify the region’s tourism product and create a unique Caribbean brand identity for the region’s spa and wellness sector.” 


As a follow-up, three regional symposiums will take place in 2011 on the key areas of Market Research and Strategy; Marketing and Promotion; and Standards Development.


This project to develop and promote the Caribbean Health and Wellness Tourism Sector is funded by the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund). The CARTFund is administered by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and financed by DFID.


In other news, JAMPRO, the Jamaica government’s trade and investment agency with technical assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat will develop a road map for the growth of its health and wellness tourism industry. A consultant will work with the Agency (as well as the Ministries of Tourism and Health) to identify the critical success factors for the industry and to develop a strategy and action plan to attract investment and drive industry development. JAMPRO is also eyeing the global medical tourism industry, which is worth billions of dollars.