The eight states of the Eastern Caribbean are Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
In The Heart Of The Caribbean In 1981 these countries formed the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) which aims to achieve economic and social development and to promote in the region.
The Caribbean has a colourful history with a diversity of races and religions. Christopher Columbus came to the islands in 1493. After that most islands passed through the hands of the French and the Dutch until finally being colonised by the British. The area is one of the most cosmopolitan in the world . With a relaxed blend of cultures best portrayed in the art, music, literature and unique lifestyle of the region.
Six of the states are independent members of the British Commonwealth. The British Virgin Islands and Montserrat remain as British dependencies.In The Heart Of The Caribbean The administration of the Eastern Caribbean is based on the British system with a strong background of peaceful, constitutional change, stability and security. The independent states are all members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organisation of American States (OAS), the WTO, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and are members of the Lome Convention.
Places to stay
There is a choice from a wide range of accommodation – from internationally renowned hotels to moderately priced efficiency apartments, catering for everything from uniquely designed getaways to the increasingly popular all-inclusive packages.
The official language is English, although a number of islands (Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia) speak French patois stemming from the diversity of their historical background. There is an average literacy rate of 82% so investors can rely on a highly educated workforce with a keen awareness of the importance of professional tourism services.
Modern Port Facilities
Each state has modern harbour facilities for both cruise and cargo ships.In The Heart Of The Caribbean Freight schedules from major continental ports ensure regular and reliable cargo deliveries.
Electricity and water is widely available to suit the needs of both domestic and industrial units. The road network is good with local transport mainly private cars and taxis as well as buses.
All countries maintain the British tradition of driving on the left.
Gateway to International Markets
The region has excellent infrastructure with international airports located on Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and Grenada. Several major carriers service these islands including American Airlines, British Airways, BWIA International, Lufthansa and Air Canada providing regular scheduled services from the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, the United States and Canada. The regional carrier Liat, offers flights to 26 Caribbean destinations.
Economies of the region are heavily reliant on agriculture and tourism with growing manufacturing and financial services sectors. Tourism has been the most dynamic sector in recent years, according for the greatest contribution to employment and export earnings.
With one of the most advanced telecommunications systems in the world, extensive facilities are available region-wide, with public access to telex, facsimile, International Direct Dialling (IDD), International Data access Service (IDAS), 800 International service internet and cellular telephone services in every capital city via Cable and Wireless (WI) Ltd.
In addition to local television and radio, regular US programming is available via satellite to cable television.
Currency used in the region is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar maintained by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank at US$1=EC$2.70 with the exception of the British Virgin Islands which uses the US Dollar. The financial sector is a growing industry with all international banking services available. Major institutions operating throughout the region include a mix of indigenous and international banks, investment banks and accounting firms, including the Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays Bank, the Royal Bank of Canada, Price Waterhouse, Pannell Kerr Forster, Coopers and Lybrand and KMPG Peat Marwick.
US and Canadian visitors require proof of ID or citizenship in the form of a passport, a birth certificate or voter’s registration card. British citizens and other visitors usually require a valid passport.
All visitors need a return or onward ticket.