The 11th Caribbean Festival of Arts and Culture (CARIFESTA) closed on Sunday in Suriname with concerns from high officials over the lack of participation.
Antigua and Barbuda's Minister of Culture Eleston Adams expressed his disappointment to the indifference shown by most of his Caribbean colleagues for the the event.
"I regret to say that I am disappointed about the absence and indifference of the culture ministers in the Caribbean states for the CARIFESTA," Adams said.
Apart from Adams, only cultural ministers from Barbados, Jamaica and Curacao attended the event, which took place on Aug. 16-25 in Paramaribo, Suriname.
The minister emphasized the benefits of attending the CARIFESTA in the long term, particularly the business opportunities, which "will surely prove their value in economic terms."
He also reminded that the region needs to recognize the important role of culture.
"Culture should be more prominent. If we want to reap the benefits, especially the tourist industry, each country should have a ministry of culture," he said.
Meanwhile, Haiti's President Michel Martelly arrived in Suriname for the closing ceremony, which made him the only Caribbean Community leader that participates in the event.
Haiti will host the 12th CARIFESTA in 2015.
The CARIFESTA was initiated by leaders of the Caribbean Community in 1972 to celebrate the arts and foster a vision of Caribbean unity, aimed at promoting Caribbean culture regionally and internationally.
Art exhibitions and workshops, film screenings, book fairs, food markets, and other activities are showcased during the festival.