CARICOM Delegates Receive A Warm Welcome from Japanese Officials

BASSETERRE (2nd Oct., 2018):  CARICOM delegates got the opportunity to experience and explore the history, culture, cuisine and hospitality of Japan while attending a familiarization trip from the 16th to 23rd September, 2018.

Ambassadors from Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Belize, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Republic of Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Republic of Suriname were invited to participate in the activity.

During the trip delegates visited temples, a traditional Japanese tea house where they were serenaded to by Geisha girls, enjoyed a river cruise, rode the bullet train and attended Expo Japan. At the expo, they were excited to see booths from Caribbean islands such as: Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. An invitation was sent to the delegates to participate at the 2019 Expo.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Carlene Henry-Morton, said that the familiarization trip provided many opportunities for deepening relations between the Japanese government and CARICOM member countries.

“During discussions with Japanese officials we spoke about the possibilities of providing training in the area of Community Tourism and the prospect of marketing the CARICOM islands as a multi-destination vacation getaway for persons who want to experience and explore the Caribbean.” She said.

Similarly, leader of the delegation, Stephen Tsang Kam Wing( Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism-  Republic of Suriname), remarked on Japan’s obvious resilience in the face of natural disasters such as typhoons and the implications for trade in relevant materials or training in the technologies that deliver their construction.

Travel agents and air-line representatives were all eager to learn more about the region and welcomed the suggestion of familiarization trips in the near future so they are better informed to market the various destinations and their tourism products.

Japan is currently competing against Azerbaijan and Russia to be the host country of the 2025 World’s Expo in Osaka, Kansai. Voting is scheduled to take place in France in November, 2018.
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