Quotable Caribbean – May 26, 2013

Regina Labega Dir Tourism St Maarten“Our airport is not only the gateway to this side of paradise, it is a major regional hub servicing neighboring islands like St. Barths, Anguilla, Saba, and St. Eustatius.” – Regina LaBega, Managing Director, Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten

“The Caribbean should create a single Caribbean airspace to facilitate the development of air transportation. With prices lower and the elimination of red tape, the private sector will jump into the fray to create the long awaited highways in the sky that are now missing on scores of intra Caribbean routes. What the Caribbean desperately needs is not more asphalt roads on islands but lower cost, air bridges between countries. What is more, such an action will surely make many airlines less dependent on, if not take them completely off, the public trough.” – Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, former tourism minister of the Bahamas and former Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (Caribbean Journal)

“We don’t have a strong national airline policy. And travel and tourism is the number three driver of GDP in this country. One: we’ve got to have a modernized air traffic control system. Number Two: we are the highest-taxed industry in the U.S. If you look at the details, there’s 20 to 22 percent sales tax on every domestic ticket sold. Number Three: we need to make sure that the commercial regulations that affect our industry aren’t burdensome. Four, we need a level playing field [with] state-owned and state-subsidized enterprises around the world to be certain that we can compete on an equal basis. If you look at countries like China, and the Middle East, and Latin America, they view aviation as one of the most important strategic assets for their country in terms of economic development. In the U.S., I think we may take that a bit for granted.” – Richard H. Anderson, CEO, Delta Air Lines (Bloomberg Businessweek)

“You know, no one goes into McDonald’s and is surprised they don’t see filet mignon on the menu. Right? So when they come to Spirit, they know what they’re getting. They know they’re getting a lower total price than they’ll get anywhere else. They know the seat might be a little bit tighter. They know they’re going to have to bring their own things to eat on-board. So they love that.” – Ben Baldanza, CEO, Spirit Airlines (CBS News)

“If groups are interested in voluntourism, that’s fine, but we need to move away from the perception that Haiti is all about needing help. We’re rebuilding and repairing. We want visitors to see the hidden beauty here, not the tragedy.” – Stephanie Villedrouin, Minister of Tourism, Haiti (Travel Weekly)  

“An active media and active citizenry can make for a powerful inspection mechanism for politicians. If you want to make an inept politician shake, tell him or her that both the press and his constituents are demanding to speak with him or her and have some tough questions to ask. Sleeping voters and a passive media are an ill-intentioned politician’s dream. Our world needs drastic improvements in governance. If any improvement is to come, alert, attentive and active citizens must rise up and demand it. The more alert, attentive and active, the greater the improvement is likely to be.” – Economist and motivational speaker, Zhivargo Laing

“This is a very exciting time for sports tourism and I’m extremely proud of St. Lucia’s achievements. One of my passions is sport and my background in the island’s cricketing development has seen my love and appreciation for sports in St. Lucia grow. I’m fully committed to helping with the development of sports tourism and certainly believe the initiatives coming in 2013 will lead to great things.” – Dr. Ernest Hilaire, High Commissioner of St. Lucia to the United Kingdom (The Voice)

“Quotable Caribbean” is compiled by Marketplace Excellence, a full-service, integrated marketing agency committed to  excellence in the fields of public relations, marketing and media coaching.

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