OECS Member States have embarked on a joint approach to marketing the region as a single yachting destination at the 57th. Toronto International Boat Show in Canada from January 10 to 18.
This is part of a coordinated and sustained approach to further develop the sector, and comes as the result of a series of targeted activities, as outlined in the OECS Tourism Policy and mandated by the OECS Council of Ministers of Tourism.
The OECS Member States will present themselves as a collective in one yachting space within the ambiance of an “Eastern Caribbean Village” manned by over 20 people from the region’s public and private yachting sector. This Eastern Caribbean Village effect will bring to the fore the uniqueness of respective destinations, the services and attractions relevant to the yachting sector in the region, and, through the inclusion of Sail Clear, information related to ease of travel.
The OECS Member States presenting at the Toronto Boat Show are: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
The OECS has opted to participate in The Toronto International Boat Show as a grouping, to help grow the region’s yachting sector because this event is marketed as North America’s largest indoor boat show, the preeminent selling venue for Canada’s recreational boating industry, and the premiere showcase for new 2015 products. It is also reported to be patronized by increasing numbers of high end visitors. Last year’s show, which spanned over 9 days, recorded over 93,000 visitors. Canada is also seen as a major tourism market for the Caribbean region.
The event is known to influence marked increases in sales among yacht manufacturers. The anticipated ripple effect would be tremendous for the region, with the potential increase in sailing into the tranquil OECS Ports. Major European manufacturers including Beneteau, Dehler, Dufour and Jeanneau have already confirmed their attendance for the 2015 show.
The joint presence of the OECS at the Toronto International Boat Show is supported by funding under the 10th European Development (EDF) project.