Antigua and Barbuda and other members of the OECS are seeking to have the Caribbean Tourism Organization reduce its membership fees. The matter was raised last week when Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez
Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Montserrat, Anguilla, and the British Virgin Islands make up the OECS groups the islands.
Fernandez and the other members of the nine-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) made their case at the first business meeting of the CTO held in Curacao last week.
“Although the bigger islands pay more than the smaller islands, if you pro-rate it per visitor, you will find out that we pay more per visitor received than the bigger islands. I find that it needs to be re-calibrated. This has gone on for years and no one has ever raised it,” said Fernandez.
The CTO is responsible for providing to and “through its members the services and information necessary for the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people by developing and promoting regional travel and tourism programs to and within the Caribbean as well as assisting member countries
Another major outcome of last week’s meeting according to Fernandez was a decision by the CTO to write off thousands of dollars owed by Antigua and Barbuda in 2017, taking into consideration the damage caused by Hurricane Irma on Barbuda.
“Although the Hurricane did not hit Antigua, Barbuda is a part of us and they had not given us the credit for that; however, we were able to get that done,” he added.