Approximately one hundred and fifty delegates from all over the Caribbean, United Kingdom, and United States, including two from Belize, gathered at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino for the 16th Annual Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference, held April 24th to 26th, in Puerto Rico. This three days event incorporated some of the Caribbean Tourism Industry’s top decision makers, allowing them the opportunity to share their perspectives on investment opportunities, and development in the region. Participants ranged from architects to designers, developers, financial advisors, hotel owners, hotel chains executives, to tourism and government officials.

With the Caribbean showing signs of recovery, there was no better time to focus on the investment opportunities that lies ahead for the region. Delegates were primarily provided with the latest statistics, analysis, prediction and projections for the Caribbean’s tourism industry.

When it came to the discussion session, critical topics were placed on the table. They were knowledgeable, conversant and analytical panelist present, which included four members of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism, which is the highest decision making body of the region’s tourism development agency.

Topics discussed included challenges facing the Caribbean, new opportunities to be tapped into, as well as the power of branding, and using social media. The importance of having greater collaboration between the public and private sector was emphasized also, and feasible approaches were identified to foster future collaboration.  Since many hoteliers and other stakeholders have been facing crucial quandary particularly with regards to their assets, strategies and options to deal with troubled assets were identified.

Overall, we must mention that with Tourism being the most pivotal industry within the economies of the region, it is imperative that the industry expands, specifically by attracting new investment. This is extremely important in order for the region to be able to maintain its competitive advantage as the leading and most reliable warm- weather destination in the world.