Tourism Officials Discuss Successes, Roadblocks
December 12, 2011
A panel of travel and tourism officials from the North American region shared the strategies, successes and frustrations faced by the countries they represent and by the region as a whole.
The panel included the following officials:
- Ricardo Anaya, Under Secretary of Tourism for Mexico
- Hugh Riley, Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism Organization
- Pierre Santoni, member, Canadian Tourism Commission Advisory Board; Senior Director, Via Rail Canada
- Isabel Hill, Acting Director, United States Office of Travel & Tourism Industries
The panel, moderated by Steve Hartman of CBS News, spoke on Dec. 7 before a large and engaged luncheon audience at the NTA Convention in Las Vegas. During a media conference prior to the luncheon, the officials made the following remarks:
Riley, whose organization includes 33 governments: "The Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent area in the world. … One of our most important strategies is to be here—at NTA."
Anaya, calling for attention to the economic impact of tourism: "We need to stop taking tourism for granted. When we do things to facilitate transportation, we see the results right away."
Santoni, on where to place resources: "When a good product is developed, people will find out about it. We need to invest in infrastructure."
Hill, explaining that while there has been progress on meeting the increasing demands for travel visas to the United States, the process is not unilateral: "We can’t just go into a country and set up an embassy and take applications."
For media coverage on the panel, see this story from the Las Vegas Sun.