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OECS Aims To Unlock Yachting Sector Potential

by Jason Gorringe,, London

20 March 2013

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States has agreed a blueprint to promote pleasure yachting as a unique tourism offering to bring wealthy tourists to the nine-island archipelago.

During an OECS plenary in the British Virgin Islands, Program Officer at the OECS Secretariat Loraine Nicholas discussed the sector's prospects: “The yachting sector in the OECS has been identified as offering an ideal opportunity to mobilize the shared benefits of the economic union and is one of the clearest and most obvious avenues to develop the OECS as a single economic space."

"In light of the archipelagic configuration of the OECS region, comprising nine small islands in close proximity to each other, and linked by arguably some of the best sailing waters in the world, yachting is a prime niche sector in tourism that can be developed and promoted jointly in the OECS. The product offering of ‘many islands, one sea’, with the opportunity to sail between different islands, furnishes considerable appeal to the yachting community and positions the OECS region at a distinct comparative advantage."

OECS representatives pointed out that targeting an enlarged yachting sector could potentially be more lucrative for the Caribbean economies than the cruise industry, given the associated boost that would be seen in other complementary industries.

OECS nations - comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - agreed to a number of initiatives to kick start the industry's growth, including organizing a number of additional sailing events to extend the OECS yachting season; the development of an OECS Marine Awareness Guide; collaboration towards an enhanced legislative environment to facilitate maritime activities; and joint representation at international boat shows.

TAGS: marine

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