MARTINIQUE (Oct. 17)—The annual Caribbean Tourism Organization State of the Industry Conference in Martinique this week will examine issues affecting the region’s bread and butter tourism industry, from regional marketing to aviation to security.

Driving the conversation on matters related to travelers’ safety in today’s post-Sept. 11 era is a leading U.S. security official, who will present some of the innovative methods his agency is employing to keep airline passengers safe while enhancing what has become a notoriously unpleasant experience.

John Daly of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will discuss the agency’s approach to implementing risk-based security initiatives to improve both security effectiveness and the passenger experience.

Daly, a regional director for the Western Hemisphere in the Office of Global Strategies, the TSA’s international affairs division, said: “I look forward to sharing ideas with government and industry leaders on ways we can continue to work collaboratively on improving both security and customer service in the aviation sector.”

The U.S. security official will join a panel titled “It’s the Experience, Stupid!” during which the discussants will explore different areas concerning the importance of creating a pleasant visitor experience.

Daly will be joined by Michael Ronan, vice president of government relations for the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia regions for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises. He is also the vice chairman of the operations committee of the influential Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA). Martinique’s Commissioner of Tourism Karine Roy-Camille will also be featured. The lead presenter and moderator is former CTO Secretary-General and Bahamas Minister of Tourism Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace of the Caribbean Tourism Development Company.

The theme for the State of the Industry Conference is “Perfecting the Experience, Delivering Authenticity.” The annual conference brings together tourism professionals, academics, researchers, policy-makers, journalists and the region’s young people. It is being held Oct. 15-19.