CTO News

Archive for May, 2013

Inaugural State of the Industry Conference to Concentrate on Beating Global Recession

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (20 July, 2011) – Policymakers, executives and other practitioners in the tourism industry will explore ways to beat the global recession, when they meet in St. Martin in September for the first ever Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) State of the Industry Conference.

The CTO – which organizes the conference in collaboration with the St. Martin Tourist Office – has announced that discussion on this issue will revolve around a theme that demonstrates the Caribbean’s determination to overcome the current challenges and to develop solutions to some of the most urgent issues facing the tourism industry in the Caribbean. The CTO has chosen as the conference theme: How to Win in a Competitive Environment.

For two full days – 16 & 17 September – tourism officials from the public and private sectors, led by a variety of experts, will tackle a number of critical issues including overcoming the hurdles to intra-regional travel, how to use limited resources to the greatest advantage, how to influence the affluent traveller, and being truly competitive.  The new CEO of British Airways will also present a world view of the state of the industry.

“The state of the industry is not only about challenge, it’s also about opportunity,” said Hugh Riley, secretary general of the CTO, the region’s tourism development agency representing over 30 Caribbean countries. “Therefore, we want to come out of this conference with some answers as to what’s next, how to spot the opportunities to move forward, how to beat this recession. The tourism business is fiercely competitive and the Caribbean has to win.”

The inaugural State of the Industry Conference is the CTO’s industry convocation of Caribbean tourism practitioners and strategic partners. It builds on the success of the Leadership Strategy Conference held in Barbados last year, and satisfies a need felt among the membership, including travel agent partners, for such a gathering, annually.

The general conference sessions will be preceded by a series of meetings on 14 & 15 September involving ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, as well as private sector tourism partners. The conference headquarters hotel is Le Domaine on French St. Martin.

St. Martin

The tiny French-Dutch island of Saint-Martin, covering about 88 square kilometers (33.98 square miles) is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. It is the smallest island in the world ever to have been partitioned between two different nations; St. Martin (French) and St. Maarten (Dutch) which have been in a spirit of neighborly cooperation and mutual friendship for almost 350 years.

Much more than a beach-lovers paradise, the island of Saint Martin is teeming with natural, cultural and human riches. Thanks to its climate and untouched natural heritage, the island offers unparalleled year-round watersports and outdoor activities. The capital of duty-free shopping, St Martin is also renowned for its friendly welcome, culinary delights and lively nightlife. Saint Martin has its own unique identity, making it the perfect sunshine getaway.
Come and discover Saint Martin, “The Friendly Island”.

Posted in: 2011 News, Blog, SOTIC

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All-Star Roster of Caribbean Musicians to be featured on CD Compilation

Atlanta, GA & New York, NY – May 3, 2011 – Through a mutually beneficial strategic partnership, the Caribbean Tourism Organization Foundation (CTO) and Ryff Music have teamed up to create the ‘Love the Music’ Compilation CD project. The project features vibrant music that represents the best of the Caribbean culture presented by artist from CTO member countries. The compilation project promotes aspects of Caribbean culture through music & spoken word. The CD will be made available in stores and on-line in June during Caribbean Heritage Month. A series of promotional activities to help promote the CD will take place during Caribbean Week in NY, June 7th –12th. Portions of the proceeds from the CD sales will go to support the CTO Foundation.

The CD includes a respected roster of the Caribbean’s best artist including: Dollarman (Grenada) who is the featured artist on the songs ‘Rock this Party’ and ‘Soundz of Freedom’ both reached # 1 on the Billboard Dance Chart; Singing Melody (Jamaica) whose single ‘Want You Back’, reached 3 and 1 respectively on the New York Reggae Top 30 and the Star Top 40; Kamau Georges (British Virgin Islands) one of the BVI’s most talented artist and producers; KB (Bahamas) one of the Bahamas most popular artist; Dudley (Bermuda) whose song ‘Bermudian Gal’ was a big radio hit and still enjoys radio play on Bermuda’s Hot 107.5’s; Aloe Blacc (Panamanian) whose song ‘I Need a Dollar’ is the theme song for the HBO hit show ‘How to Make it in America’; Lazo (Dominica) won a Juno Award in 2000 for Best Reggae Recording for ‘Heart and Soul’; Fae Simon (Carriacou and Jamaica) the UK’s upcoming artist and several other artist top out the roster of the Caribbean’s best; Giles (Bermuda) whose song ‘Bermudian Gal’ was a big radio hit and still enjoys radio play on Bermuda’s Hot 107.5’s; Adrian Dutchin (Guyana) the number one Soca artist from Guyana. Adrian won the soca monarch three times and the road march twice. He has worked with people such as Jumo Primo of Bryon Lee & The Dragonaires, Peter Ram, Terry Gajraj and the Hit Man. He is one of the lead singers of well known Bajan band Krosfyah and is a member of X2(times two) from Guyana.; Jovi Rockwell (Jamaica) is a singer, songwriter from Kingston, Jamaica. has Collaborated with Bruno Mars, Flo Rida, Mims, Akon and Ne-Yo. She also released a number of singles in Jamaica and the US, singles which includes the Caribbean and European hits “Party On,” “Dance Floor,” featuring dancehall artist Zumjay “All About Love,” “Hey,” with Courtney ‘Yogie’ John and “Need Me” featuring Mr. Vegas.

Producers that contributed to the project include Albert ‘Dvo’ Desilva (Guyana), Herbert Alexander (USVI), Kamau George (BVI), Max Tannone (USA) and several other talented Caribbean musicians.

The project is distributed through Redeye distribution, the leading independent distributor for both physical and digital music around the world. Their retailers in the U.S. include chains such as Best Buy, Borders, f.y.e. and independent stores throughout the country. Redeye also exports records to Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia, and provides a digital distribution service that delivers content to iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and many other digital music stores. Redeye currently distributes such labels as Daptone Records, Alive Records, Bella Union Records, Revelation Records and artist such as Widespread Panic, The Donnas, Sun Public Enemy and Au Revoir Simone, to name a few.

CARIBBEAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION FOUNDATION

The CTO Foundation is a Not-for-Profit Corporation, formed 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.  The Foundation supports individuals who demonstrate high levels of academic achievement and leadership potential and who express a strong interest in making a contribution to Caribbean tourism.

Posted in: 2011 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Scholarship Foundation

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CTO, NTA Ink Partnership Pact

NEW YORK, N.Y.—June 10, 2011 – The National Tourism Association and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) have created a partnership to promote opportunities to tourism businesses in the over 30 member countries of the CTO and give NTA tour operators easier access to Caribbean destinations. The CTO Chairman Senator Ricky Skerritt and Lisa Simon, president of NTA, signed the agreement at a news conference today at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, home of the annual CTO event which celebrates Caribbean tourism and the rich heritage and culture of the region.

“This match creates an important commercial opportunity for CTO members”, said Skerritt. “NTA is an international association focused on travel to, from and within North America, which fits perfectly with the product offerings of CTO members,” he said. “I expect that this partnership agreement will create more North American tourism arrivals for the Caribbean”.

Through their new agreement, NTA and CTO will promote each other’s organization, encourage their members to belong to both organizations and provide educational leadership at each other’s signature conferences. These include CTO’s annual conference and NTA’s two major North American events, Contact and Convention.

Simon also welcomes the agreement between the two groups. “NTA tour operators are familiar with the fantastic Caribbean destinations, and the CTO recognizes the huge potential this represents for their members. This collaboration simply makes it easier for both NTA and the CTO to bring new business opportunities to our members,” she said. “It’s wonderful to join forces officially, bring value to the industry overall and discover ways to connect our members.”

About CTO:

The Caribbean Tourism Organization, with headquarters in Barbados and marketing operations in New York and Toronto, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency and comprises membership of more than 30 governments and a myriad of private sector entities. The CTO’s mission is to provide to and through its members, the services and information needed for the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people. The organization provides specialized support and technical assistance to member countries in the areas of marketing, human resource development, research and information technology, and sustainable development. Visit www.onecaribbean.org for more information.

About NTA:

Now celebrating its 60th year, NTA is the leading association for professionals serving travelers to, from and within North America. Formerly the National Tour Association, the association became NTA when its global membership (more than 40 countries) and focus exceeded its name. Today NTA helps its diverse membership expand market reach with innovative business tools, strategic relationships and collaboration within the industry. For more information, visit www.NTAonline.com.

Posted in: 2011 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Tourism’s Rising Stars Debate Sustainability

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados(June 5, 2011) – The Caribbean’s tourism stars of tomorrow get an opportunity to shine today at one of the most compelling events for Caribbean Week in New York. And one of America’s most powerful motivational speakers will provide the spark.

Caribbean students from several universities in the United States and the Caribbean square off in a Student Colloquium at which they challenge each other on tourism sustainability issues in a free-style presentation format.

Dubbed “A Forum for Rising Stars in Caribbean Tourism,” the colloquium is a contest among the students who will challenge their colleagues to present well-researched sustainable tourism projects that are practical and have the potential to provide a sustainable source of income.

Setting the stage for the contest is motivational speaker Dennis Rahiim Watson, the president and CEO of the Center for Black Student Achievement – an outreach programme designed to offer strategies to black students on how to be successful in life. Mr. Watson, a fiery speaker, was kicked out of high school 37 times. Today he is one of the US’s most successful motivational speakers – he is being compared to well-known figures like Jesse Jackson and Bill Cosby – and has received over 250 awards, including five White House citations, for his work with black youth.

“This awesome event will have attendees pumped up and inspired as they share ideas, insights and strategies on sustainable development that will enhance the lifestyles of Caribbean people,” said Mr. Watson in discussing his excitement at being the motivational speaker at the event.

The Colloquium is the creation of CTO interns who were enrolled at Universities in the Caribbean and the United States as their contribution to the programme of activities for Caribbean Week in New York.  It takes place from 3:00 to 5:00 PM on Tuesday 7 June at Pace University, One Pace Plaza, New York City and is sponsored by Barbados Tourism Authority, St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Citi Tech Solutions, Ocean Terrace Resort St. Kitts, Pace University and Sunbay Hotel.

Caribbean Week in New York is supported by Afar Magazine, American Express, Association of Travel Marketing Executives, BRIDES, Caribbean Tales, Carib Vision, Churches United to Save and Heal, Citi Tech Solutions, CTO Foundation, Demetrious, Diamond Noir Collective, Dreamy Weddings, Dwayne Bishop Photography, Empire State Building, Hermies Salon, Hard Beat Communications, Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce, Jamaica, MarryCaribbean, opusseven, Pace University, Performance Media Group, St. George’s Episcopal Church, St. Kitts & Nevis, Travelocity and the Wall Street Journal . For more information on the Student Colloquium and for the full Caribbean Week in New York programme, visit www.caribbeanweekny.com.

Posted in: 2011 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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CTO & FCCA Discuss Future of Caribbean Summer Cruising

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (30 May 2011) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) have begun talking about a matter which the region’s tourism development agency says affects the Caribbean in significant ways.

Representatives from both organizations met recently in Miami to discuss how they can work together to tackle the issue of the mass repositioning of cruise ships from the southern Caribbean in the summer months and to improve the overall competitiveness of the Caribbean for summer cruising.

A delegation of Eastern Caribbean Ministers of Tourism, led by CTO Chairman Ricky Skerritt, met with FCCA officials last week at the offices of Carnival Cruise Lines to listen to each other’s concerns and to explore ways to confront the situation in a manner that is mutually beneficial. Both sides agreed to a broad frame-work which includes conducting and sharing “a substantial amount of information- gathering and research”. They have also designated representatives from both teams to follow-up on ideas related to marketing and product development, and to report on progress made when the group meets again at a proposed meeting in June.

The CTO has expressed concern over the continued massive loss of cruise business, particularly from the southern/eastern Caribbean, due to the seasonal repositioning of vessels from the Caribbean to other ports each summer. The region’s tourism development agency says this practice results in significant economic loss to local businesses and economies during this prolonged period of economic slowdown.

“We ask that together we begin a new examination of the issues related to this concern so that the Caribbean, especially those islands farther to the east and south, can become more competitive in the summer cruise business without compromising the financial performance of the cruise lines,” Senator Skerritt said, adding that he hoped for a viable solution that would result in a win-win situation for the cruise lines and the Caribbean.

The cruise industry is a significant component of the region’s tourism mix and the Caribbean remains a highly desirable winter cruising destination.  In 2010 the region’s cruise passenger arrivals grew by six per cent, continuing the phenomenal growth experienced over the past four decades with the numbers climbing from just over one million cruise visits in 1970 to over 20 million last year.  CTO leaders want this strong consumer demand for the region in the cruise industry to be developed year round, with more summer business resulting.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization is the region’s tourism development agency committed to working with its thirty-three member countries and industry partners to grow travel to the region and maintain the Caribbean’s position as the world’s leading warm weather tourism destination.

In addition to Senator Skerritt, the CTO delegation to the talks included Hon. John Maginley, Minister of Tourism for Antigua & Barbuda; Hon. Richard Sealy, Minister of Tourism for Barbados; Hon. Ian Douglas, Minister of Tourism for Dominica; Hon. Hon. Clyde Van Putten, Commissioner of Tourism for St. Eustatius;  Hon. Allen Chastanet, Minister of Tourism for Saint Lucia; Hon. Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Commissioner of Tourism for the United States Virgin Islands; and Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

Posted in: 2011 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Outstanding Caribbean Citizen to Receive Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Most Prestigious Award

~ Grenadian hotelier Sir Royston Hopkin to be presented with CTO’s Lifetime Achievement Award at Rhythms of the Caribbean Ball at Plaza Hotel in New York ~

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (May 17, 2011) –A virtual lifetime of high performance,  dedicated service to his country and the Caribbean, will be rewarded when the international agency responsible for the Caribbean’s tourism development, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) presents its most prestigious award to one of Grenada’s finest hospitality practitioners.

Sir Royston Hopkin, the successful proprietor, chairman and managing director of the New Spice Island Beach Resort, has been named the CTO’s Lifetime Achievement Awardee for 2011 and will be presented with the award at the Rhythms of the Caribbean Ball at the Plaza Hotel in New York on 10 June.
Sir Royston has a near 50 year record of outstanding service in the hospitality sector, dating back to 1965 when he joined the family business at Ross Point Inn and, at the age of 20, became the youngest person ever appointed to the Grenada Tourist Board.

In the ensuing years, Sir Royston’s contributions have touched almost every sector of the Grenadian society, with his luxury resort employing over 200 people. In addition to being the first Grenadian to be elected president of the Grenada Hotel Association – a position he has held 14 times – Sir Royston established a scholarship fund for needy children from which 110 students have benefitted. He has also worked with the Grenada Union of Teachers and the Ministry of Education, to enlighten teachers about the tourism industry and has hosted 200 teachers and their spouses at his resort for a weekend, to give them an opportunity to understand the hotel component of the industry.

Regionally, Sir Royston has served in various capacities in the Caribbean Hotel Association (now the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association) and founded the Small Hotels Committee, which today is still one of the most important sub-committees of that association. He is also a member of the association’s executive committee and is the current chairman of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), the largest private sector sustainable organization in the region.

“Sir Royston has been a faithful servant of Grenadian and Caribbean tourism and his dedication has been fully demonstrated through his many outstanding achievements,” said Hugh Riley, the CTO’s secretary general. “We are pleased that he has agreed to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award during our Rhythms of the Caribbean Ball at the Plaza Hotel in New York.”

The CTO Lifetime Achievement Award honours long serving, high performance professionals whose careers have truly made a difference in the Caribbean.  The award is for achievement over a period of several years rather than a single contribution.  It recognizes achievement that distinguishes the individual’s work and provides a legacy for future generations.

The Ball, which this year combines Caribbean rhythms and hospitality in an elegant blacktie event, is a highlight of Caribbean Week in New York, which features some very exciting new elements this year.

Caribbean Week in New York is supported by Afar Magazine, American Express, Association of Travel Meeting Executives, BRIDES, Caribbean Tales, Carib Vision, Churches United to Save and Heal, Citi Tech Solutions, CTO Foundation, Demetrious, Diamond Noir Collective, Dreamy Weddings, Dwayne Bishop Photography, Empire State Building, Hermies Salon, Hard Beat Communications, Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce, Jamaica, MarryCaribbean, opusseven, Pace University, Performance Media Group, St. George’s Episcopal Church,  St. Kitts, Travelocity and the Wall Street Journal . For information on how to purchase tickets for the Ball and for the full Caribbean Week in New York programme, visit www.caribbeanweekny.com

Posted in: 2011 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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Barbados’ Harrison’s Cave & Guyana’s Surama Village Named Winners of CTO/TravelMole Caribbean Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award

SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda (April 5, 2011) – Two initiatives emanating from two ends of the sustainable tourism development spectrum share the CTO/TravelMole award for environmental excellence.

Barbados’ Harrison’s Cave and Surama Village Eco-Lodge of Guyana are the winners of the 2011 Caribbean Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award, presented by the Caribbean Tourism Organization, in collaboration with TravelMole.

A panel of regional and international tourism and environmental specialists – led by the head judge, Lelei LeLaulu, president of the global development agency, Counterpart International – selected the winning projects, and the awards were presented at STC-12 here today.

Harrison’s Cave won for taking what was already a mature tourism attraction and upgrading it to make it more environmentally responsible and more economically productive. Green principles have been incorporated into the design and construction of the facility. Elements of greening include the use of natural wood and stone products, low carbon transportation, rainwater harvesting, green design for Visitor Reception Centre and the use of membrane bioreactor sewerage treatment plants.

Surama Village Eco-Lodge, on the other hand, harnesses the economic power of the visitor industry in a responsible and sustainable way to create wealth and to benefit the community of under 290 people and their environment. The Surama Eco-Lodge and all tours in and around Surama – a small Amerindian situated on five square miles of savannah land – are managed and operated solely by the local Makushi Amerindians. With only eight rooms, tourism is intentionally kept small to lessen any impact on traditional lifestyles. However, the roughly 700 annual visitors provide employment for 70 people – (from three-quarters of village households) and nearly 60 per cent of the village’s income comes from tourism.

“These two initiatives reflect two of the core aims of the CTO and TravelMole; namely to use tourism as an anti-poverty/development tool and to encourage the continuing refinement of products to ensure enhanced environmental conservation and added revenue generation,” said Mr. LeLaulu.

The CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley and Graham McKenzie of TravelMole presented awards to Ms. Veronica Millington of Caves of Barbados and Mr. Sydney Allicock of Surama Village Eco-Lodge.

The CTO/TravelMole awards are aimed at identifying, recognizing and showcasing sustainable tourism best practices in the Caribbean, which embrace sustainable tourism concepts and core values, and which helps to enhance the tourism product offerings.

About TravelMole

TravelMole.com is the first online community for the Travel and Tourism Industry, established in 1998. Today TravelMole.com and TravelMole.TV publishes 15 eNewsletters and broadcasts hundreds of videos to over 450,000 travel & tourism industry professional registered members and subscribers, as well as 30 million consumers in 132 countries. This includes the highly acclaimed VISION on Sustainable Tourism publication.

About Bermuda

Bermuda, just under two hours from the Northeastern U.S., stretches for 21 miles along turquoise waters and is surrounded by a 200-square-mile coral reef plateau. Bermuda’s accommodations range from luxury resorts to intimate guest cottages and family-run inns, all incorporating the sophistication and hospitality unique to the Bermuda experience. The island includes more than 150 restaurants to fit any traveler’s budget, from simple and inexpensive to elegant and special dining. Bermuda’s diverse activities offer an array of vacation options all year round, including more wreck dives than anywhere else in the world, championship golf, horseback riding, world-renowned deep sea fishing and smooth pink beaches to rest on by day’s end.

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with the headquarters in Barbados and marketing operations in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency and comprises membership of over 30 governments and a myriad of private sector entities.

The CTO’s mission is to provide to and through its members, the services and information needed for the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people.

The organization provides specialized support and technical assistance to member countries in the areas of marketing, human resource development, research and statistics, information technology and sustainable tourism development.  The CTO disseminates information on behalf of its member governments to consumers and the travel trade.

CTO Headquarters is located at One Financial Place, Collymore Rock, St, Michael, Barbados; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected] For more information, please visit www.caribbeantravel.com or 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.

The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., 32nd Floor, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail: [email protected]; 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]

Posted in: 2011 News, Blog, STC

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