The OECS Commission last Friday concluded talks with several leading experts in the field of travel facilitation after discussions held at the recently-concluded International Civil Aviation’s (ICAO) Traveller Identification Programme (TRIP) Symposium.
The symposium was held from November 15-17, 2016 at ICAO’s Montréal Headquarters, where some 554 participants representing 81 countries, 15 international organizations and industry partners assembled.
The OECS Commission’s Tourism Specialist, Dr. Lorraine Nicholas, said it was rewarding to promote the work of the OECS to an international audience and to utilize the publicity afforded to leverage technical assistance to the region via collaboration with key agencies and partners.
“Ultimately, our efforts are directed at enhancing the competitiveness of the OECS Single Domestic Space aimed at driving better economic benefits for the region,” said Dr. Nicholas.
Besides the OECS Tourism Specialist, presenters at the Symposium included officials from the World Tourism Organisation, International Labour Organisation, International Organisation for Migration, World Bank, Organisation of American States, European Commission, World Customs Organisation, International Organisation for Standardisation, International Air Transport Association and the International Criminal Police Organisation.
The diversity of perspectives shared and discussions held were particularly geared towards devising an optimal mix between facilitating ease of travel whilst ensuring border security is not compromised — making travel safer, more hassle free and enjoyable.
During the Symposium, the ICAO provided key updates on the TRIP strategy aimed at enhancing both travel facilitation and security through better traveller identification mechanisms and processes to read and verify travel documents. The ICAO plans to implement a Traveller Identification Programme in the Caribbean region.
An industry exhibition complemented the Symposium with a broad range of products and services related to Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTD), biometric identification, travel document security applications and border inspection systems.
The next ICAO Trip Regional Seminar will be held in the Caribbean (Antigua & Barbuda) from January 31 – February 2, 2017. The OECS Commission is working very closely with the ICAO to organise this workshop.