The Caribbean’s premier gathering on tourism development issues, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC), will, this year, focus on visitor experience and authenticity.

The conference, which will be held in Martinique from 15-18 October, will have as its theme, “Perfecting The Experience. Delivering Authenticity.”  The theme was announced here at the Caribbean Week in New York closing news conference late today, by the CTO chairman, Hon. Beverly Nicholson-Doty and Martinique’s commissioner of tourism, Hon. Karine Roy-Camille.

The CTO chairman explained that this theme allows delegates to explore a range of elements that are critical to the development and success of the sector in the region. These include training and education, service quality, standards, visitor satisfaction, and community involvement.

“We also expect to deal with matters such as customs and immigration, airport and seaport facilities, taxis, attractions and more, in the understanding that the vacation experience doesn’t begin and end at accommodations,” Ms. Nicholson-Doty said.

The Authenticity part of the theme, she explained, is a natural fit because of the unique experience that the Caribbean offers.

“Visitors come to this region for a uniquely Caribbean experience;  one which is desirable enough to lead to referrals and repeat visits and we have to deliver on this promise of the authentic Caribbean,  ‘the real thing,’ which is a unique blend of vacation elements not obtainable elsewhere,” she added.

SOTIC will be the first major CTO event being hosted by Martinique, and Commissioner Roy-Camille said the French-speaking island will be a proud host.

“We consider hosting the State of the Industry Conference a great honour and we are extremely proud of it. We look forward to welcoming the press and delegates to the Isle of Flowers in October for a taste of our special brand of French-Creole warmth and hospitality.”