Innovation for Tourism Growth Anguilla

Innovation for Tourism Growth Anguilla

OCTA Innovation Thematic workshop “Innovation for Tourism Growth” was held in Anguilla 11-12 of October. In was held in the Caribbean month of Tourism. However, it’s reach was global, having participants and speakers from all sides of world including French Polynesia and Wallis et Futuna, Pacific ocean Overseas Countries and Territories.

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Innovation for growth in tourism sector – OCTA Innovation Workshop, 11-12 October, Anguilla

Innovation for growth in tourism sector – OCTA Innovation Workshop, 11-12 October, Anguilla

Innovation and creativity in the tourism sector can make the European Union’s Overseas Countries and Territories more competitive in the international market and more resilient to destructive weather phenomena such as hurricanes. It is theme of a two-day workshop in Anguilla, 11-12 October organised by OCTA Innovation and hosted by the Government of Anguilla.

“Island destinations that have identified and implemented innovative solutions, creative attractions and visitor services tend to be more successful in securing constant growth and overcoming geopolitical issues and natural disasters,” says Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, OCTA Innovation’s Team Leader. “Time has come ask the right questions and find new answers to how OCT governments can best foster innovation in tourism. OCTs should not be copycats for other countries’ innovation policies; OCTs need to find their own way.”

The event’s organisation has been guided by the advice of Mr. Victor Banks, Hon. Chief Minister, Government of Anguilla and Mrs Tracy Knight, OCTA Vice-President of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA). Mr Bren Romney, Innovation Manger in Anguilla and his team have also been instrumental in its preparation.

A focus will be innovative individual attractions and accommodation in OCTs to enhance the visitor experience. The introduction of the innovations in digital technology to the sector have the potential to attract the expanding millennial market.

Renowned tourism experts Anne-Mette Hjalager and James MacGregor and innovation expert, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck will lead the debate. The ambition is to put forward innovative tourism initiatives which at the same time safeguard natural resources and enable the OCTs to be resilient to forces that can reduce visitor arrivals. They include hurricanes and sea level rise caused by global warming.

The workshop also aims is to give rise to innovation activities, methodologies and techniques that will be attractive to both OCTs’ current source markets as well as attracting new market segments. “Collaboratively we will re-think the OCT innovation policies portfolios. We will critically and creatively address the ways that OCT governments can take on the most efficient way the advantages of the unique potentials in the OCTs’,” says Milan Jezic von Gesseneck.

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Innovation for Tourism Growth

Innovation for Tourism Growth

Anguilla two days thematic workshop was held in line with OCTA Innovation’s mission which is to strengthen sustainable development through innovation for economic development and diversification, to improve regional and global competitiveness of the European Union’s Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

In most OCTs, tourism is a major opportunity for development and growth. But not any type nor visitor volume respond to the goals of the OCTs and their populations. Innovative and creative tourism activities, facilities and services as an effective way to compete in the larger international tourism marketplace have been discussed. Workshop initiated and highlighted relevance of tailored  innovative solutions, creative attractions and visitor services to be more successful in securing constant growth and overcoming geopolitical issues and natural disasters.

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OCTA Innovation Newsletter #27-2018 – Montserrat Innovation Days

OCTA Innovation Newsletter #27-2018 – Montserrat Innovation Days

Montserrat Innovation Days have been very successfully completed from August 16 to August 21. Four days of extensive exchange of information among public and private Montserrat stakeholders, including EU experts in innovation, creativity and economy, tourism agglomerate sector, development of the “visitor economy” and all aspects of economies linked and developed around the sector. These include competences building and education, entrepreneurship, development of entrepreneurial innovation eco system, business support, incubators, start-ups and on the local level existing best practices and EU related programmes.

Milan Jezic von Gesseneck

Read the newsletter.


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OCTA Innovation Newsletter #23-2018 – Montserrat Innovation Days

OCTA Innovation Newsletter #23-2018 – Montserrat Innovation Days

The Government of Montserrat is organising Innovation Days in Montserrat on 16th and 17th of August 2018. Innovation Days will be held under patronage of the honourable Donaldson Romeo, Premier of Montserrat, who will personally open the Montserrat Innovation Days. That will be great occasion for local both public and private stakeholders to gather and to exchange relevant knowledge and best available practice in different aspects of sustainable development of the island.

Mrs. Janice Panton MBE, UK and EU Representative for the Government of Montserrat and Chair of the OCTA Innovation will present Association of EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA) and OCTA Innovation, EU funded project for propelling innovation in the OCTs. As an introductory speaker at the Montserrat Innovation Days, Janice Panton will particularly highlight her call upon the heads of the governments of the EU Overseas Countries and Territories to embrace Systemic Innovation for the sustainable development of their territories.

Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, Brussels based OCTA Innovation Team Leader, will lead a group of EU experts who should provide some lectures and transfer of the best EU practices to Montserrat. Particularly Milan will share his knowledge and experience in innovation and sustainable development; Alan Cooper expert from Trinidad and Tobago will share his knowledge and regional experience in policy support for innovation, entrepreneurship and green business development; while James McGregor, knowledgeable eco-tourism expert will bring the best worldwide practice and experience in visitor economy.

Read the newsletter.


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“Innovation for Growth” in St Eustatius

“Innovation for Growth” in St Eustatius

The framework for a European Union workshop was launched this week to promote more innovation on St. Eustatius. When all details are worked out by stakeholders, the resulting recommendations will be presented to government

Sponsored by Horizon 2020 EU Innovation, the workshop looked at the many ways innovation can be harnessed and the barriers to its realization. The leadership role at the event came from Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, whose EU task is to inspire innovation within European Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)

Given the change in political administration on the island, such a project may well seem doomed from the start. “Not so!” according to Von Gesseneck. “Government or no government, it is the role of those who control the public purse to build systemic innovation in OCT’s by creating an enabling environment for innovation, implementing all required measures and actions and promoting innovation implementation.”

These words were clearly not lost on Roy Hooker, Island Controller and former Director of Economy and Infrastructure. “Necessity may be “the mother of invention”, he told the meeting, “However, sometimes, such a need to be more creative in society has to be screamed from the rooftops.

Such a scream has already been heard and heeded in Bonaire, where an EU-funded scheme has resulted in the innovative cultivation of an algae farm. Called AlgaePark, the facility produces algae products that can be used as a replacement for soy oil, soy protein or fishmeal. “This project contributes to sustainable economic development, creates jobs and also will lead to a better environment,” insists Von Gesseneck.

Dr. Teresa Leslie, Director of St. Eustatius Foundation, who chaired and facilitated the innovation workshop, agrees. “There are a thousand ways by which we can put our imagination to work on this island. As individuals and a community on Statia, we must leave our fears and explore the excitement of a “can-do” mentality. By working in small groups behind the scenes and cooperating through the human and Internet web, we can reprogram our collective desires.”

Von Gesseneck endorsed this conclusion. “You do not need a lot of money from the EU or elsewhere to transform the economic climate. There are countless platforms for fascinating improvements, be they in marketing for tourism, cuisine, food production or the field of information technology. Creativity can be generated anywhere in the world by anybody who dares to dream and imagine a capacity for realizing that dream.

He referred to an EU project on the remote British Falkland Islands that sponsor as many as 100 students through the Erasmus Student Exchange Program. “The realization of such a dream makes a major contribution to learning, the economy and local community pride through involvement.

Cooperation was viewed by the workshop as essential for the progress of innovation. Its many participants were drawn from a wide spectrum of commercial and government activities. “Innovative future steps are expected to be announced within days, rather than weeks. And some will be mind-blowing,” Leslie said.

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Montserrat hosting OECS environment council meeting

Montserrat hosting OECS environment council meeting

This year, the much-anticipated Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Council of Ministers of Environment Sustainability (COMES 5) will be held in the island of Montserrat. The fifth meeting of COMES will take place from July 10 to 11, under the theme “Building Resilience on the Frontlines of Climate Change”.

The COMES 5 comes at a critical juncture, given the severe economic and social impacts of the hurricanes of 2017 and will provide the forum for ministers to engage with senior technocrats and development partners and to make decisions that will advance the climate and overall environmental resilience of the region.

Last year, COMES 4 was held in Grenada under the chairmanship of Senator Simon Stiell, minister of state responsible for human resource development and the environment of Grenada under the theme “Accelerating Sustainable Development: Addressing Challenges and Creating Opportunities.”

This year, the high-level meeting will be chaired by David Osborne, minister of agriculture, trade, lands, housing and the environment of Montserrat.

Montserrat is strategically placed to host such a major event. The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean has been able to build resilience despite the eruption of the Soufrière hills volcano that buried the southern part of the country. Today, Montserrat remains attractive and still keeps secrets waiting to be revealed to visitors.

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Naalakkersuisoq for Foreign Affairs, Vivian Motzfeldt, to host a High Level Summit on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Ilulissat Declaration

Naalakkersuisoq for Foreign Affairs, Vivian Motzfeldt, to host a High Level Summit on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Ilulissat Declaration

The newly appointed Naalakkersuisoq for Foreign Affairs Vivian Motzfeldt, together with the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen, will host a high level meeting in Ilulissat 22-23 May on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Ilulissat Declaration. Ministers and representatives of the eight Arctic States and Indigenous People’s Organizations in the Arctic will participate in the meeting.

With the Declaration of May 2008, the five Arctic states, including Greenland and Denmark, committed to maintaining the Arctic as a low-tension area, where possible conflicts are resolved through peaceful negotiations in accordance with international law, and to cooperate in areas such as sustainable economic development, environmental protection and research.

Regarding the high level meeting in Ilulissat, Naalakkersuisoq Vivian Motzfeldt stated that “Greenland wishes, through our participation in Arctic cooperation, to actively contribute to the conservation of the Arctic as a peaceful region. The Arctic must continue to be an area where the parties through international cooperation and dialogue achieve peaceful economic and sustainable development for the benefit of the people of the Arctic. “

The program will include the following:

– High-level session where ministers and representatives of the eight Arctic states and indigenous peoples of the Arctic will discuss the importance of the Ilulissat Declaration and different aspects of Arctic cooperation.

– Session on the perspectives of the new research agreement concluded by the Arctic Council countries.

– Study trip through Ilulissat Isfjord to the village Ilimanaq. In Ilimanaq, local economic development has been created by constructing cabins from which tourists can experience the magnificent Greenlandic nature.

– Cultural event at the opening of a memorial plate for the 10th anniversary of the Ilulissat Declaration.

– Press conference.


For inquiries, please contact the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Kenneth Høegh,, +299 565604

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