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IATA to host regional experts in Cayman

By Mona Lisa Meade

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – What do an economist, a former NASA researcher, a vice president of a regional aviation association and a veteran journalist and broadcaster have in common? They will all be attending the upcoming International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 4th Caribbean Aviation Day held in the Cayman Islands this September.

Economist and leading advisor on the Caribbean, Marla Dukharan, professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Dr John-Paul Clarke, regional vice president for the Americas, Peter Cerdá and managing director of the Jamaica Observer, Julian Rogers will join Kenneth Bryan, minister for tourism and transport along with other senior members of various Caribbean governments at the highly anticipated event.

Dukharan and Rogers will be acting as moderators for discussions on the topics “Transforming Regional connectivity and the Role of the Private Sector in Financing Intra-Regional Travel” and “Multi-Destination Tourism” respectively.

During his career, Dr John-Paul Clarke has consulted for airlines, airports, original equipment manufacturers, and IT solution providers. He is a member of the NASA Advisory Council and the current deputy chair for the Cayman Airways board of directors.

Dr Clarke is slated to speak on the panel discussing the “Challenges and Priorities for Air Transport in the Caribbean”.

Caribbean Aviation Day is set for Wednesday 14, September and is one of the activities surrounding the week of events which also includes the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Council of Members meeting, Youth Congress and Destination Briefings. These events will be hosted by Kenneth Bryan, the minister of tourism and transport who will address conferencegoers as the Keynote Speaker.

“I am delighted to announce that the Cayman Islands will play host to some of the most esteemed experts in the Caribbean and Americas for this conference, like Dr Clarke and Dukaran,” said Kenneth Bryan, minister of tourism and transport.

“It is an honour to be among some of the most respected industry influencers and to offer the keynote address on behalf of the people of these islands. I look forward to welcoming my colleagues and drawing information from the wealth of knowledge which will be presented over the week of events,” he added.

The day’s activities consist of panel discussions, fireside chats and a ministerial roundtable discussion on “Maximising the Social and Economic value of Aviation in the Caribbean”.

The ministerial roundtable will feature Christopher Saunders, deputy premier (Cayman Islands), Chester Cooper, deputy prime minister and minister of tourism, (The Bahamas), Denise Charles, minister for tourism, (Dominica) and Anthony Mahler, minister of tourism (Belize).

Peter Cerdá, IATA regional vice president in the Americas leads a multinational team of professionals who proactively pursue IATA’s industry priorities with governmental authorities and industry stakeholders to make the air transport industry safer, more secure, efficient and profitable.

“This conference aims to bring together the most connected professionals and government ministers in our region to discuss issues the aviation and tourism travel industries currently face. I am hopeful that we will come away with new ideas, strengthened alliances and with the best solutions which benefit the region as a whole,” said Cerdá.

More than a dozen accredited journalists from the UK, US, Canada, and the Caribbean have been invited to attend the week of activities. They will join local media in covering the CTO destination briefings presented by ministers of tourism from the region and Caribbean Aviation Day panel discussions.

“This event arrives at a pivotal juncture for the Caribbean, especially as the region confronts the challenges of air travel and the sustainability of the tourism sector, in the wake of the last two years,” said CTO’s acting secretary-general, Neil Walters.

“A gathering of minds at this high level augurs well for the sector and represents a major step in the right direction towards solving these challenges,” added Walters.

The Cayman Islands government together with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, and IATA look forward to welcoming government officials and professionals from the tourism and transport industries to the 4th Caribbean Aviation Day.

This event is being held at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and the IATA Caribbean Aviation Day is open to the public. Attendee registration is US$150 with a discounted resident rate of only US$50. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.



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