CTO News

Archive for 2013

Nevisian Student Wins CTO Tourism Youth Congress

FORT DE FRANCE, Martinique (21 Oct, 2013)-  Nevisian student Neila Jones has emerged winner of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO)’s Tourism Youth Congress held in Martinique as part of the 2013 State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC2013).

(l-r)Beverly Nicholson-Doty, CTO Chair; Neila Jones, Karine Roy-Camille, Minister of Tourism, Martinique

(l-r)Beverly Nicholson-Doty, CTO Chair; Neila Jones, Karine Roy-Camille, Minister of Tourism, Martinique

Ms. Jones, a student of the Gingerland Secondary School, was out front from the beginning of the debate in which 14 youngsters from CTO member countries addressed one of two topic – “Multigenerational Travel of Grand Tripping” and “Agro Tourism: There’s More To It Than Visiting the Farms.” The students also had to show they were quick thinkers after they were given a mystery topic – “Share One Thing You Would Like To Achieve As Junior Minister of Tourism and State Why Achieving or Experiencing This Would be Important to You”, They had one minute to formulate their answers.

Ms. Jones, 16,  presented some fascinating recommendations, including a plan to facilitate the establishment of farm-bungalow lodgings, complemented by activities like farm tours, donkey cart rides and folk stories around camp fires.

“I have no words to express how I feel. I’m so overwhelmed and full of excitement,” she said the news of her victory sank in.

“Agro-tourism is very important because it helps the island and benefits both the visitors and the people who live on the island,” Ms. Jones added.

Ms. Jones said she would work closely with her peers in order to encourage them to get involved in tourism, but she has no immediate plans to become minister of tourism in her native Nevis, although she said she’d welcome the opportunity if it came her way.

In second position was Renita Shirnauth of St. Joseph Convent in St. Lucia while Annick Bedford of St. Kitts took the third spot. The first prize winner’s award, a mini iPad, was sponsored by Opusseven. The second prize was a kindle fire and third place took home a nook.

The students, aged between14-17 shared some innovative ideas, from a model farm in St. Lucia where honeymooners would have their vows written in shredded farm vegetables to rum shop tourism in Barbados where there are more than 1500 rum shops.

The team from Nevis was led by Vanessa Webbe, Tourism Education Officer and Coordinator of the local Bank of Nevis Ltd. Tourism Youth Congress and was also supported by Deborah Lellouch, Tourism Specialist Teacher attached to the Ministry of Tourism.

This year’s Youth Congress was chaired by last year’s winner, O’Brian Lewis of Jamaica.

L-R: Miss Martinique, Neila Jones, Nevis (Winner), Annick Bedford (second runner-up), St.Kitts and Renita Shivnauth, St. Lucia ( first runner-up)

L-R: Miss Martinique, Neila Jones, Nevis (Winner), Annick Bedford (second runner-up), St.Kitts and Renita Shivnauth, St. Lucia ( first runner-up)

 

Martinique

Martinique is magical, a rich and vibrant tapestry of French chic and authentic Creole spice woven across an absolutely fascinating tropical setting nestled in the heart of the Lesser Antilles. An overseas region of France, Martinique stirs wanderlust and passions with the Caribbean’s most delectable culinary delights, awe-inspiring natural beauty, a rich cultural history, warm smiles and so much more. Its various nicknames — The Caribbean island with French flair, The Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World — hint at the uniquely special experiences that await visitors here, as do such celebrated awards as “Top Caribbean Island for Delectable Dining” (Caribbean Travel + Life: 2009), “Best Caribbean Destination” (About.com: 2010), and induction of The bay of Fort-de-France in The Most Beautiful Bays of the World (2011). Napoleon’s bride, Empress Josephine, was born and raised here. Majestic Mt. Pelée and The Pompeii of the Caribbean, St. Pierre, is found here.  The finest French products and the wonders of Caribbean authenticity are readily available here. A special place, to be sure, with so much to offer – Martinique c’est magnifique! For photographs visit:

http://www.martinique.org/photos_gallery/index.php

 

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination by 2017, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, research and information technology.

In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected].

The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail: [email protected];

The CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: [email protected];

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit www.OneCaribbean.org.

Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism .

Connect with CTO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization.

Posted in: 2013 News, SOTIC

Leave a Comment (0) →

CTO Foundation Awards Over US$40,000 In Scholarships & Grants for 2013

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (3 October 2013) –  A total of 15 Caribbean nationals are gaining a boost to their academic and professional pursuits with support from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s scholarship programme, the CTO Foundation.

The Foundation has awarded over US$40,000 in scholarship and grants in 2013 to students from 10 CTO member countries- Barbados, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and St. Lucia.

A funding resource for tourism and hospitality career development, educational programmes and lifelong learning, the CTO Foundation supports Caribbean nationals who are committed to a career in tourism and hospitality by providing financial assistance to support their education and professional development at the certificate, diploma, associates, first degree, Master’s (post graduate) levels, as well as language training for persons already working in the tourism sector.

“We at the CTO have recognized that it is becoming increasingly difficult for persons wanting to further their studies to access the necessary resources to do so,” commented Bonita Morgan, the CTO director responsible for regional human resource development and who serves as the Foundation’s secretary. “The Foundation is very pleased that it is able to give continuous support to individuals who are well-deserving of the kind of assistance needed to help further themselves academically and professionally.”

Scholarships of up to US$7,600 were awarded to three students pursuing studies in tourism and hospitality management at the Masters level, nine students received study grants of up to US$2000 each, while one received just over US$2,100 through a special scholarship in the name of the late Audrey Palmer Hawks, the former director general of the Caribbean Tourism Association, the precursor to the CTO.

“The Foundation seeks persons who are well-rounded,” Ms. Morgan said. “We particularly look for those who have demonstrated their brilliance not only in a classroom setting but also in extra-curricular activities outside of the formal learning environment. This element we believe forms an essential part in deciding which applicants will be selected for the scholarship awards.”

It is important to note, she stated,  that the recipients have a diverse background of study areas and that the scholarship awards were not limited to core tourism and hospitality programmes.

“We were keen on supporting study areas such as language training and marketing which are important courses that can be effectively used within the tourism field,” Ms. Morgan explained.

From its inception in 1997, the CTO Foundation has provided more than US$760,000 in scholarships to over 200 deserving Caribbean nationals.  The CTO Foundation is registered in New York State as a Not-for-Profit Corporation, formed exclusively for charitable and educational purposes.  Its main aim is to provide scholarships and study grants to students and industry personnel who are Caribbean nationals, from CTO-member countries, who wish to pursue studies in the areas of tourism & hospitality and language training.

 

Editors’ Note:

The 2013 scholarship & study grant recipients are:

 

Scholarships

Shamma Phillipe-Harris, St. Lucia   – (MSc, Tourism Management, New York University, New York)

Marsha Banton, Jamaica   – (MSc, Tourism & Hospitality Management, UWI, Jamaica

Isabelle Liméa, Martinique- (MSc, Tourism Management, Marne-la-vallée University, France)

Aletha Connely, Guyana – (MSc. Tourism & Hospitality Management, UWI, Barbados)

 

Audrey Palmer Hawks Memorial Scholarship

Kerwin Hinson, St. Vincent – CCertificate, Professional Marketing, Professional Institute of Marketing & Business Studies (PIMBS), Trinidad)

 

Study Grants

Almer Lawrence, Dominica  – (BBA, Hospitality Management, Monroe College, St. Lucia)

Jodi Harvey-Reid – (BA, Hospitality and Tourism Management, University College Birmingham, UK)

Donavaria Russell-Duncombe,  The Bahamas  – (Certificate, Spanish,Universidad de la Habana, Cuba)

Vernelle Samuel, Dominica – (BBA Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Management, Johnson & Wales, Miami)

Roger Skinner, Barbados – (Language training, Barbados Community College, Barbados)

Jillian Roberts, The Bahamas – (Certificate, Art of Fruit & Vegetable carving, Siam Carving Academy, Thailand)

Allison Caton, Grenada –  (Certificate, Tourism Destination Management, George Washington University, Washington, DC)

Jovari Hagley, Grenada – (BSc, Hospitality & Tourism Management, UWI, Trinidad)

Tiffany Sanchez, Bermuda  -(BSc, Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Management, Johnson & Wales, Rhode Island)

Shama St. Hilaire, Dominica – (BSc, Hospitality Management, Monroe College, New York)

 

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination by 2017, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, research and information technology.

In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected].

The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail: [email protected];

The CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: [email protected];

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit www.OneCaribbean.org.

Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism .

Connect with CTO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization.

Posted in: 2013 News, Corporate News

Leave a Comment (0) →

CTO Secretary General Calls for Legislation that Regulates Disposal of Waste in Caribbean Waters

ORANJESTAD, St. Eustatius, (25 Sept, 2013) – The head of the Caribbean region’s tourism development agency has called for legislation to regulate the disposal of waste in Caribbean waters.

Delivering the keynote address at the opening of the 2nd Sustainable Conference in St. Eustatius this morning, Hugh Riley, the secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), said the Caribbean had a responsibility to protect and preserve its water resources.

The two day conference, organized by the St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation with support from the CTO, has as its theme, Tourism and Water: Protecting Our Common Future.

Reflecting on the theme, Mr. Riley reminded delegates, including Island Governor Gerald Berkel and the commission of tourism, Carlyle Tearr, that water was at the core of the Caribbean’s efforts at sustainability and that it was important that the necessary policies be put in place to safeguard this vital resource.

“We must never forget that we in the Caribbean have a duty to create policies and to engender behaviors in our people and in our visitors, that will safeguard our water resources for future generations,” the CTO secretary general told the audience gathered at the Mike Van Putin Youth Centre.

“We must practice sustainable water-use policies and observe appropriate waste-water management practices.  We must not only enact, but also enforce legislation that regulates the proper disposal of waste in the waters that wash our shores, and we must severely punish all violators, because they endanger our health and jeopardize our children’s future,” he added.

Over the next two days delegates will debate a number of water-related issues, including who benefits from coastal management; the risks to wildlife and water along with the tourism opportunities that come with development; and water conservation in hospitality.

VIEW WHOLE SPEECH.

 

Get familiar with Statia world wide

Most recently, the island of St. Eustatius won an award: No Anansi Story! – Best Feature By A Caribbean Journalist by Ms. Rickisha St. Louis of Grenada. Her broadcast feature on St. Eustatius entitled, “St. Eustatius: The Caribbean’s Hidden Treasure” has been broadcasting on the Caribbean Media Corporation’s Carib-Vision http://youtu.be/qrU-MQd0jv8.

St. Eustatius, The Caribbean’s Hidden Treasure was categorized in the Top 8 Caribbean Towns in the world http://www.lonelyplanet.com/caribbean/travel-tips-and-articles/76984 by Robert Reid of Lonely Planet. On October 19, 2012, St. Eustatius was named “The Caribbean Shangri-La” story published in the famous Washington Post http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-10-19/lifestyle/35499555_1_kapok-scorpion-crater by Scott Elder. In 1991, the Simon Doncker House Museum won an American Express Award as best example of historic preservation in the Caribbean area. In 2008, The Simon Doncker House Museum received a St. Eustatius Development Foundation achievement Award. On April 26th, 2013, the Simon Doncker Museum received an Orange ribbon from The House of Orange. The St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation has a new updated website www.statiatourism.com.

About the St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation

The St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation is the agency responsible for promoting and developing tourism on St. Eustatius. The mission is to get the island Government to lend greater priority to tourism by providing adequate funding to effectively and efficiently promote tourism in key markets; ensuring a quality tourism product by introducing and controlling the minimum standard requirements; preparing future generations to take on greater responsibilities within this sector by means of teaching tourism as a subject on levels of the education system.

The STDF office is located at Fort Oranje, Oranjestad, St. Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean. Tel +599 318 2433, Fax +599 318 2433, Email: [email protected]. Please follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/page/St-Eustatius-Tourism/184630988242982

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members.  The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members, the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, research and information technology.

In addition, the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located in Baobab Towers, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB22026; Tel.: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; Email: [email protected].

The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA; Tel.: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; Email: [email protected].

The CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England; Tel.: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax 011 44 208 948 0067; Email: [email protected].

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit www.onecaribbean.org.  Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism.  Connect with CTO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization.

Posted in: 2013 News, Corporate News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Sustainable Tourism Youth Programme Attracts New Interest

NEW YORK, NY (24 May, 2013) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s sustainable tourism youth programme is attracting the attention of a growing number of Caribbean post-secondary schools.

Two regional tertiary institutions   – the College of the Bahamas (COB) and University of the West Indies-Mona Campus are first time participants in the CTO’s Students’ Colloquium which forms part of the programme for Caribbean Week in New York. They, along with five other universities, will seek to dethrone the reigning champions, Monroe College.

The colloquium – now in its third year – is a contest among the students who are challenged to present well-researched, practical and financially viable sustainable tourism projects. Dubbed “A Forum for Rising Stars in Caribbean Tourism,” it attracts students enrolled in tourism and hospitality programmes, as well as other university/college majors, who have a passion for the Caribbean and are desirous of making a contribution to the region’s development in a sustainable way.

A record eight schools will participate in this year’s contest, three more than last year and two higher than the six which took part in the inaugural contest in 2011. The other participating institutions are  the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, the Trinidad & Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute; University of New Haven (winners of the inaugural contest), the              University of Technology Jamaica and the University of the West Indies Centre for Hotel & Tourism Management in the Bahamas.

“It’s a brand new year, the TCI Community College tourism team is excited, eager and ready for friendly rivalry, camaraderie and prospective future partnerships with our counterparts  in  this year’s CTO student colloquium. Let the challenge begin!” said Michelle Hosten, lecturer at the TCI Community College.

The competitors will receive words of encouragement from Earlston McPhee, the director of sustainable tourism at Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. Mr. McPhee will stress the need for the students, particularly those who intend to work towards the development of Caribbean tourism, to believe in themselves, the Caribbean tourism product and the region’s ability to compete at a high level among the world’s best destinations.

The Students’ Colloquium takes place on Wednesday 4 June from 1:30 P.M to 4:00 P.M. at the New Yorker Hotel, 481 8th Avenue, New York.  The winners will receive four iPads from Cititech Solutions, a technology company which provides technological support for small, medium-sized and large businesses. Cititech is a CTO Allied member. The second place gets four Kindle Fires from David Williams Funeral Service, a family -owned funeral home; while the school placing third receives four iPod Touches courtesy Butterfly By Design, a premier experiential event planning and design boutique.

Caribbean Week in New York, a celebration of the sights, sounds and vacation attributes of the Caribbean, takes place from 1 to 8 June with a series of consumer and travel industry events. The television and film star, Tamara Tunie, is partnering with CTO for the Week. Perhaps best known as the “Medical Examiner, Melinda Warner” on NBC’s long-running top-rated series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and more recently in Paramount’s Oscar nominated, Flight, with co-star Denzel Washington, Ms. Tunie will engage the media in America’s most populous city as the official spokesperson for the event.

For the complete list of activities for Caribbean Week in New York and for information on how to participate, visit www.caribbeanweekny.com or call  the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s New York office at (212) 635-9530.

Caribbean Week in New York is supported by American Express, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Association of Travel Marketing Executives (ATME),  the Atrebor Group, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Butterfly By Design, Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI), Cayman Islands, Caribbean Airlines,  Cititech Solutions, Departures, David Williams Funeral Service, Dominica, El Dorado, the Empire State Building, Face of Fashion, Food & Wine, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Hardbeat Communications, Hyatt Resorts – Caribbean,  Jamaica, Jewel Resorts, Laura Davidson Public Relations, MarryCaribbean.com, Martinique, Nassau, Paradise Island, Puerto Rico, Quinn & Company, Sandals Resorts International, St Eustatius,  St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Martin/St. Maarteen, St. Vincent & the Grenadines; Travel + Leisure, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands.

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination by 2017, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, research and information technology.

In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected]

The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail: [email protected];

The CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: [email protected];

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit www.OneCaribbean.org.

Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism .

Connect with CTO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization.

Posted in: 2013 News, Caribbean Week

Leave a Comment (0) →

State of the Industry Report ~ Hon. Beverly Nicholson-Doty Chairman, CTO, Feb. 14, 2013

The state of Caribbean tourism gives us reason to be optimistic. This optimism is based on the positive signs of growth following earlier down years. We are optimistic because we see arrival numbers rising, particularly out of North America; we see hotel revenues moving in the right direction, albeit with moderate acceleration and we see tourist spend on the increase.

All the signs suggest Caribbean tourism is rallying. The region as a whole has regained ground lost in the heat of the global economic depression in 2008/2009. Last year, the Caribbean welcomed nearly 25 million tourists, that’s 5.4 per cent more than in 2011 and the largest number of stayover visitors in five years. This rate of growth outpaced the rest of the world which saw arrivals increase by four per cent.

However, amidst these positive signs is the stark reality that some of our member countries are still hard pressed to recover, particularly those that rely heavily on the British market. This is because the UK’s travelling population continues to be daunted by an ailing economy and further applications of the onerous Air Passenger Duty.

At the same time, cruise tourism has been flat region-wide for each of the last three years. Intra-regional shifting of cruise schedules resulted in fairly significant increases in the northern Caribbean activity offset by reductions in that of the south.

The region’s performance in 2012 must be seen in context of the wider global situation. Debilitating effects of the world economic crisis which led to caution and austerity on the part of governments and consumers alike, still linger. These have manifested themselves in lower personal discretionary income and lower aggregate visitor spending.

In the major advanced economies weak growth, high unemployment, financial sector fragility and fiscal austerity are still major concerns which dampened economic performance in 2012 and the outlook for 2013. The global economy is still pressured in the aftermath of the crisis of 2008-2009. However, international tourism proved resilient in 2012. The World Tourism Organization, the UNWTO, reported that over one billion international tourists travelled the world by the end of the year- 36 million more than in 2011.

CARICOM PERFORMANCE

Our statistics show that tourism within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries is bouncing back, but has not kept pace with the wider region. Overall the CARICOM countries recorded a modest 1.9 per cent rise for the year. This was influenced by a 0.4 per cent decline in the OECS countries struggling with falling British and intra-regional travel.

Dutch Caribbean

On the other hand, the group of Dutch Caribbean countries recovered moderately well in 2012, performing slightly above the wider Caribbean. The grouping recorded a 5.6 per cent increase over 2011 due to rising activity in all the reporting countries. This was largely determined by the return of much of the business from the South American market, a strong one for Curacao and Aruba, two major players in this group.

Spanish Speaking Caribbean  

The performance of the Spanish speaking Caribbean can be described as buoyant. This group sustained the positive growth in arrivals experience over the last five years, recording a 6 per cent increase last year. Mexico’s Caribbean region was the chief contributor to this multi-year performance, having climbed by double digits in 2010, thereby regaining much of the ground lost in the wake of swine flu a year earlier.

Hotels in Recovery

As I stated earlier, hotel performance continues to show good progress as it moves in a positive direction and has quickened a bit on previous years. For the second time in four years all four key hotel performance indicators were positive. The overall occupancy for the Caribbean increased by 7.1 per cent; average daily rate went up 4.8 per cent and total room revenues by 8.9 per cent. Revenue per available room also rose by 12.4 per cent. Should these trends continue, it certainly augurs well for 2013.

US Market bounced back

All indications are that Americans are coming back to the Caribbean in their customary numbers. US arrivals went up 4.1 per cent in 2012 when compared to 2011, holding steady with the pre-recession levels of five years earlier. US numbers increased in all of the reporting countries.

Canadians Continue to travel

Of all our major markets, Canadian arrivals showed the greatest buoyancy throughout the challenges of the recessionary period. In fact, arrivals from Canada have continued to move upward over the past five years. Arrivals went up by 5.9 per cent in this market in 2012. There was also no evidence of falling average visitor spending on the part of the Canadians.

UK Performance

The numbers from the UK suggest that business from this very important market for several CTO member countries remain depressed. A total of one million land-based visitors came from the UK to the Caribbean last year, down from 1.1 million in 2011. That’s a steep drop of 10 per cent. The number has declined significantly in the past three years in the backdrop of weak European economies and currently high airfares precipitated by substantial increases in Air Passenger Duty in the last two years.

Intra-Caribbean Visitation sluggish

Travel by Caribbean residents within the region as a whole increased by three per cent last year, a sign that intra-Caribbean visitation is sluggish. However, this modest improvement in travel was not shared by our Eastern Caribbean members and ‘other Commonwealth Caribbean’ destinations, many of which saw declining traffic from their respective neighbours.

US Caribbean Territories did well

Like the Spanish speaking Caribbean, the US-Caribbean territories did well in 2012, recording positive growth of 6.8 per cent. These countries out-performed other groupings, doubtlessly benefiting from the renewed travel activity by mainland Americans.

Visitor Spending is Creeping Up

An encouraging sign for CTO member countries was the fact that visitor spending was creeping up. Nearly 27 and-a-half  billion dollars was spent by visitors to the Caribbean in 2012, 3.6 per cent more than the previous year and the third successive year of increase. This marks a return of aggregate spending by visitors to the pre-recession level.

Caribbean Tourism Outlook 2013

It is clear that the US and Canadian markets are carrying the sway and are expected to continue to perform well in terms of arrivals in 2013 as airlines continue to manage airlift and airfares in consonance with variable consumer demand. Travellers are still expected to hold a tight purse in light of continued uncertainty in their home economies and globally. UK travel to the region as a whole is expected to improve marginally at best, although as customary some countries, especially in the Eastern Caribbean, will benefit more than others from this market.

In a bid to stay afloat, hotels and other tourism service providers in the Caribbean will need to maintain the most attractive offers to further boost their rising levels of occupancy and general profitability in light of continued consumer austerity.

Barring any international or regional unforeseen economic or social trauma in 2013, the indicators of Caribbean tourism performance should continue to move in a positive direction. Visitor traffic to the region is expected to increase by another four per cent to five per cent in 2013.

Posted in: 2013 News, Blog, Corporate News

Leave a Comment (0) →

CTO Aviation Task Force Recommends Single Visa Regime to Enhance Visitor Experience in Member Countries

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (11 Feb 2013) –  The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Aviation Task Force – a highly focused committee established to facilitate air transportation into and throughout the Caribbean and to enhance airlift – has recommended a review of visa regimes in member countries in order to improve the visitor experience.

The task force is to recommend to its membership a system similar to the Europe’s Schengen visa programme where visitors who are cleared at the initial port of entry can continue travelling seamlessly throughout most of the European Union.
The decision came out of a recent meeting of the CTO Aviation Task Force held at the Royal Antiguan Hotel in St John’s, Antigua to review issues affecting intra-regional travel and make recommendations for increasing consumer demand.

The group agreed that full clearance at the first port of entry was necessary to ensure an improved cross regional experience by visitors. It was agreed that the sub-regional grouping, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, (OECS) should be used as a model for such a single visa regime. The OECS is in the process of establishing a single economic space and is expected to implement full clearance at the first point of entry into the sub-group. The CTO Aviation Task Force agreed that this best practice would be reviewed after its implementation for possible replication across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region and beyond.

In addition to a single visa regime, the Task Force is recommending a standardized entry and exit card– otherwise called immigration or ED card – across the Caribbean. This,would help reduce airlines’ costs and improve customer service at Caribbean airports. Again, the OECS, which is expected to introduce the use of one common ED card, will be used as a model.

Other recommendations include an analysis of the impact of taxes and fees on the cost of regional air travel and a more holistic approach towards air travel revenue; including a possible ticket tax rebate when a traveller starts and ends the journey in another destination of the same domestic space. The task force also identified an urgent need to end secondary screening for intra-regional passengers who are in transit since the current practice diminishes the overall travellers’ experience.
Also on the Aviation Task Force agenda were issues related to the CARICOM Multilateral Air Services Agreement, open skies, and other regulations and restrictions facing airlines serving the Caribbean.

The Antigua meeting was attended by senior representatives of air and seaport authorities, regional airlines, regulatory bodies, aviation consultants, policy-makers and tourism professionals from CTO member countries and the international community. It was jointly chaired by the CTO Chairman, Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty of the US Virgin Islands and CTO past Chairman Ricky Skerritt, Minister of International Transport of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Posted in: 2013 News, Aviation Task Force, Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

CTO to Arrange Meetings with Regional Ministries & Technical Officials to Tackle Aviation Issues

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (17 Dec, 2012) –  The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will lead a mission in the New Year to meet with top ministerial officials and technical personnel in its member countries to seek their assistance in the advancement of  better intra-regional air links to help boost tourism in the region.

This was one of several recommendations coming out of the inaugural meeting of the CTO Aviation Task Force which took place at the regional tourism development agency’s headquarters in Barbados recently.

The recently appointed CTO Chairman, the USVI Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty, reported a successful inaugural meeting which discussed the cost of intra-regional travel, the economic impact of the declines in travel, improving the ease of passenger movement, and launching actions to improve the efficiency of Caribbean aviation.  The meeting was jointly chaired by Commissioner Nicholson-Doty and CTO past chairman Ricky Skerritt, Minister of Tourism and International Transport of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“We had an excellent first meeting and we are confident that CTO’s leadership in this area will be critical to reviving growth in intra-regional travel which has declined seriously in recent years,” the CTO chairman said.

The Aviation Committee discussed the San Juan Accord – a memorandum on the regional air transport sector that was agreed by CTO members in 2007 – as well as other  important issues such as minimum revenue guarantees, communication among regional carriers, “open skies” agreements, government taxes and fees, fuel costs, visa restrictions, passenger security-screening arrangements, airlift capacity and the dependency of local hotels on the intra-regional market.

Another key item addressed was American Eagle’s possible departure from the San Juan hub in 2013 and both the opportunities and challenges this presents, especially for destinations in the Eastern Caribbean which depend on this commuter service.

Among other recommendations, the Committee proposed a meeting between airline and airport operators within the first few weeks of the New Year and a region-wide meeting of transportation ministers and commissioners in the first quarter of 2013.
The composition of the Committee reflects technical, regulatory and policy-making experience and has public/private sector representation from tourism professionals, accommodations, airlines, airports and aviation consultants.

EDITORS NOTE

The following are the initial members of the CTO Aviation Committee:

Richard Skerritt, Minister of Tourism & International Transport, St. Kitts and Nevis, Co-Chair
Jaime Lopez Diaz, Chief Development Officer of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, Government of Puerto Rico, Co-Chair
Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Chairman, CTO Council of Ministers; & Commissioner of Tourism, United States Virgin Islands
Brian Challenger, Aviation Consultant to the Government of Antigua & Barbuda
Donald McPhail, Director, Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority
Elizabeth Scotton, Chief Commercial Officer, Sangster International Airport, Jamaica
Dayanand Birju, General Manager, Airports Authority, Trinidad & Tobago
Neville Boxill, Aviation Consultant, Barbados Tourism Authority
Pauline Yearwood, Deputy Programme Manager, Transportation, CARICOM Secretariat
Josef Forstmayr, Chairman, Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association
Michael Lum, Air Service Strategy and Development Consultant, Sixel Aviation Consulting
Ian Bertrand, Principal, El Perial Aviation Consulting
Colin Jones, Regional Representative, International Air Transport Association
Hugh Riley, Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism Organization

Posted in: 2012 News, Aviation Task Force, Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 5 12345