Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 17th 2014 Contents BG28 | REGIONAL
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JULY 2014 • WEEK THREE
ST GEORGE S, Grenada - Grenada s Tourism Minister
Alexandria Otway Noel says despite an inherited depressed
economy, her administration has recorded significant growth
in the tourism industry in 2014 so far.
Otway-Noel was the key note speaker at the opening of
the First Caribbean Symposium for Innovators in Coastal
Tourism here on July 9.
"We may have a country that we met when we came into
office with soaring unemployment and we may have been
forced to raise some taxes...but that hasn t stopped our
tourism sector," Otway-Noel told a group of regional and
international tourism officials.
"We have had a 12 per cent increase in cruise ship arrivals
in 2014; We have seen a 37 per cent increase in out Canadian
market; 18.51 per cent increase in our European market and
a 20.5 per cent increase in our US market."
The Tourism Minister said she was confident that the
country s tourism sector was on the right tract to seeing
improvements across the industry.
Recently, amidst controversy, a few changes were made
to the tourism sector, which included the renaming and the
restructuring of the Tourism Board to the Grenada Tourism
Authority and the rebranding the tourism product from
"Grenada the Isle of Spice" to "Pure Grenada; The Spice of
"I am pleased to assure you that without a shadow of a
doubt that we are on the right track...I believe in the power
of what we have done and if we apply what we ve learned
here, we will achieve even more."
"Through strategic partnerships targeted investments and
a commitment shared by the private and public sector alike,
we could be remarkable," the tourism minister added.
She urged local stakeholders to use the symposium to
learn of the eco-tourism best practices of their bigger inter-
national counterparts with a view to adopting and imple-
menting on a modified scale.
"Now is the time for us to apply ourselves to learn about
eco-certifications and about how big hotel chains have done
"We will benefit from learning how linkages are formed
between tourism and agriculture and how communities have
benefited in ways we haven t imagine."
Over the next two days, over 40 regional and international
tourism officials will make presentations to a 150-strong
delegation coastal tourism issues including climate change
and coastal tourism, responsible coastal and marine recreation,
linking sustainable tourism to local industries and the impacts
and innovations surrounding cruise tourism. (Caribbean360)
Tough new anti-monopoly leg-
islation in Mexico got off to a
strong start July 8 when
América Móvil, the telecom-
munications empire owned by
the country s most powerful businessman,
Carlos Slim, unexpectedly said it would sell
part of its business. It was the strongest
sign yet that the reforms orchestrated by
President Enrique Peña Nieto could draw
blood, though the canny Slim appeared
determined to stay one step ahead of his
The announcement came just as legislators
in the lower house of Congress were strug-
gling to stay awake during a 20-hour session
to ratify laws underpinning last year s con-
stitutional reform on telecoms and broad-
casting. The laws, which they approved early
July 9 (and which the Senate has already
passed), are far-reaching. They will abolish
long-distance phone charges next year, make
it easier for customers to switch phone com-
panies, and broaden access to free-to-air
However, it is their success in curbing the
power of two companies, América Móvil
and Televisa, a TV broadcaster, by which
they will be judged. For as long as the two
firms continue to enjoy a market share of
more than 50 percent in their respective
businesses, the laws subject them to strict,
"asymmetric" pricing regimes.
Arturo Elías Ayub, Slim s son-in-law and
an executive at his firm, said that as a result
of the reforms América Móvil seeks to cut
its market share by 15 to 20 percentage
points, so that it is no longer designated a
"preponderant" firm (as dominance is known
Its overall market share is now more than
60 percent. He did not say whether fixed-
line, mobile or Internet services or bits of
all three would be on the block, but said
the sale would be to a strong competitor.
The speculation focused on AT & T of the
United States, which divested its stake in
América Móvil last month.
The sale, however, depends on whether
the new regulator, the Federal Telecommu-
nications Institute (IFT), approves of the
plan. This is where Slim s competitors believe
he may hold a card up his sleeve. If América
Móvil is allowed to become a normal firm,
rather than a dominant one, they fear it will
no longer have to let its rivals share its wires
or its mobile-phone towers.
"We re going to be in a holding pattern
until it s decided whether América Móvil
continues to be preponderant or not, and
that could take up to two years," said the
boss of a competitor.
América Móvil s shares surged on the
announcement, after a long period in the
doldrums. Investors clearly interpreted it as
a tactical retreat, rather than a defeat, aimed
at winning the IFT s approval for América
Móvil to offer the "triple play" of television
as well as phone and Internet services.
But the government was delighted that
its reforms already seem to be having an
effect. It hopes they will help to generate
at least 300 billion pesos (US$23 billion) in
new telecom investment in the next five
years. Putting a chunk of América Móvil
potentially worth more than US$7 billion
into play early in the process would get the
@2014 The Economist Newspaper Ltd. Distrib-
uted by the New York Times Syndicate.
Telecom in Mexico:
Grenada 2014 tourism numbers up
despite depressed economy
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