Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 6th 2016 Contents A15
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WASHINGTON---An ally of
Federal Reserve Chair Janet
Yellen who has been a long-
time skeptic of raising inter-
est rates signaled Friday that
the Fed should be in no
hurry to act, especially after
a bleak US jobs report was
released earlier in the day.
Fed board member Lael
Brainard said that other re-
cent economic develop-
ments have also muddied
the picture of the US econ-
omy. And she pointed to ad-
ditional risks, including
possible market turmoil if
Britain votes later this
month to leave the European
Speaking to the Council
on Foreign Relations,
Brainard said she thought
there was still "an advantage
to waiting until develop-
ments provide greater con-
fidence" before raising rates.
The Fed next meets June 14-
15.Brainard s remarks Friday
could be a preview of a
speech Yellen will give today
outlining her own views on
the economy and rates. (AP)
in New York
Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe
has taken issue with advertising
campaigns in some Caribbean des-
tinations which capitalise on the
presence of the Zika virus in neigh-
bouring territories to boost visitor
In an interview with the T&T
Guardian at the 43rd annual
Caribbean Week New York hosted
by the Caribbean Tourism Organi-
sation (CTO) at the Marriott Marquis
Hotel, Manhattan, the minister
described the Zika-free ads as
unproductive. She said tourism offi-
cials across the islands agreed to be
competitive but not adversarial in
their respective campaigns.
"Some countries jump up and say
we are Zika-free. When you do that
you name and shame some other
countries that may have an issue.
For instance Trinidad had some Zika
cases, but Tobago hasn t reported
any. What can we learn from it? The
Bahamas hasn t reported any as yet.
What can we learn from the
Bahamas? It s not about saying the
Bahamas is better because they
haven t had a Zika case.
"Even as we all offer sand, sea
and sun there is something that is
unique about each Caribbean des-
tination. It is about finding what
you are good at. So let s not focus
too much on trying to pull bread off
each other s table, but look at what
we are good at and develop it.
"At the end of the day it s one
Caribbean. We come here, we share
ideas, and we interact. It s not about
growing as an island destination,
but growing together. We can com-
pete, but we can compete in a way
that is mutually beneficial," she said.
Cudjoe said regional leaders at the
CTO event focused on the Zika
threat, its impact on the region and
the future of the industry.
She said priority was given to edu-
cating the public on steps to prevent
the spread of the virus.
It was Cudjoe s second CTO
meeting since being named Tourism
Minister and following numerous
video conferences with her col-
leagues, she said the CTO environ-
ment helped her to grow faster in
developing policies for T&T.
"For T&T, I think CTO is critical.
We play a leading role in Caricom
and as tourism continues to move
to the for, as it relates to economic
diversification and expansion of eco-
nomic opportunities for T&T, this
kind of forum provides opportunities
for us to showcase what is happening
"The US is the largest market for
Trinidad in particular. Over 50 per
cent of our arrivals come from the
US market. That is where the major-
ity of the diaspora is, so they feed
into our culture or products and the
different things that we have to offer.
"This is quite an enlightening and
important opportunity and platform
for us as tourism stakeholders and
I look forward to all that comes out
of these initiatives and these meet-
ings," she said.
Cudjoe said while there are eco-
nomic downturns in different parts
of the world, the travel and tourism
industry continues to grow.
"Inter-Caribbean travel last year
and the year before had been very,
very positive and people continue
to have that insatiable appetite for
travel. I think that once the products
are up to standard, once the right
marketing is done, people are going
to continue to travel.
"The statistics have shown that
people continue to travel and enjoy
tourism. I see it as a great industry
not just for T&T or the region, but
for the entire world.
"Last year, the World Travel and
Tourism Council would have fore-
casted that tourism travel would be
four per cent.
"In this region we have gone up
to six per cent. The numbers con-
tinue to look good for the Caribbean
region," the minister said.
Fed member urges caution on raising rates
Minister concerned about
Zika-free tourism campaigns
Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe speaks with Warren Solomon, marketing
manager, Tourism Development Company, left, and CEO Keith Chin at the
43rd Annual Caribbean Week New York, hosted by the Caribbean Tourism
Organisation. PHOTO: SEAN NERO
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