CTO News

Archive for 2017

CTO Announces Winners of Caribbean Primary Schools Tourism Writing Competition

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (2 August, 2017) – Four Caribbean primary school students ranging in age from 8-12, will be honoured for excellence in tourism writing at next month’s Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum in St. Kitts.

The four –  Kassie Haley-Shai of St. Augustine Roman Catholic School in Montserrat, Ariah Khobie Diamante Darroux of  Convent Preparatory School  in Dominica (both in the 8-10 category), Jhe’auti Belyca Craigg of Belmont Government School in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Gabriella Lewis of Atwell’s Educational Institute in Trinidad and Tobago (10-12 category) – emerged winners among 44 participants  from 26 schools who participated in the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s Caribbean Primary Schools Tourism Writing Competition.

The contest, held as part of activities for International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and the CTO’s Year of Adventure, was organised to enhance primary school students’ awareness of tourism and its value and contribution to the region’s social and economic development. It was also meant to challenge the students to think of creative ways to make tourism more sustainable.

The winners can be viewed here: http://www.onecaribbean.org/primary-school-tourism-writing-competition/

“I am very pleased with the level of interest exhibited in this initiative, as evidenced by the diversity of participating schools,” said Amanda Charles, the CTO’s sustainable tourism development specialist, whose department spearheads the Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum.

“The submissions were all of a high calibre, with the students displaying depth and creativity in their compositions. It is clear that even at the primary school level students are aware of the importance of tourism to the region, can speak eloquently about tourism in their countries and have some insight into the opportunities and challenges associated with tourism development.”

The students in the 8-10 category were asked to write about what sustainable tourism meant to them or how visitors and locals should act towards each other to promote peace, while those in the 10-12 category were challenged to conceptualise and describe a new adventure tour or to suggest ways that the CTO can help make tourism in the Caribbean more sustainable. The students in both categories were also given the option of writing on whether they felt tourism does indeed contribute to making the Caribbean region a better place, or to identify an adventure tourism activity in their countries and deliver a sales pitch to encourage tourists to experience that activity.

Themed, Good for Us, Better for All, the 6-8 September Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum is being held in observance of International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and will bring together local, regional, and international representatives from public and private sector tourism entities, as well as development agencies that offer programming in sustainable tourism, for three days of interactive engagements.

Major elements will include best practice sharing and strategic consultations for a CTO climate adaptation project funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, in order to strengthen holistic destination management approaches in the Caribbean. The programme will also include experiential field visits, a meeting of CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Technical Committee, and winning presentations from CTO’s Primary School Tourism Writing Competition. The event culminates with the presentation ceremony for CTO’s 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards which recognise regional sustainability champions.

Organising partners include the CTO, the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism, the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, and Sustainable Travel International.

The winner of the 2014 CTO/Travel Mole Sustainable Tourism Award in Destination Stewardship, St Kitts is one of the first destinations in the world to be accepted as an early adopter of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s criteria for destinations. It also is a founding member of the Sustainable Destination Alliance of the Americas, an initiative by the CTO, the Organization of American States, Sustainable Travel International and Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited to promote sustainable destination management in the Caribbean and Central America.

Its many initiatives include the establishment of the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation and Sustainability Charter, which helps businesses understand how their operations contribute to destination-wide sustainability, and to support community projects that make St. Kitts a more sustainable place to live and experience.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Climate Smart Forum, Corporate News

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Caribbean Leaders Agree to Fast Track Measures to Ease Caribbean Travel

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (31 July, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) are encouraged by the support of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders for initiatives to facilitate travel and stimulate economic growth through tourism.

The CTO, with the support of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, presented a number of short, medium and long-term proposals to the regional leaders at their recent summit in Grenada, aimed at positioning the Caribbean as a thriving world-class tourism, and bolstering the region’s economic strength and stability.

In the presentation entitled Tourism in the Region: Building a Caribbean Tourism Development and Marketing Initiative, the region’s tourism leaders recommended advancing research to better assess tourism’s economic impact and the region’s competitiveness.  They also discussed removing travel barriers, stimulating travel to and within the Caribbean, supporting the development of Caribbean talent through a coordinated approach to tourism-related education and training, and strengthening the creative industries and economic linkages to tourism.

Marketing and public relations of the Caribbean brand and creating a public-private sector entity financed and managed collaboratively also received consideration at the meeting.

The heads of government have said the proposed initiatives were fully aligned with CARICOM’s own strategic plan and were also in furtherance of the strategic plan for tourism services.

The leaders have also said they recognised the opportunities presented by the recommended strategies, including a strong focus on marketing, aimed at stimulating sustainable growth in tourism.

In a communique issued after the summit, the leaders said they had agreed to support various public-private sector initiatives, broaden engagement with Caribbean countries, companies and multilateral organizations to support a regional tourism marketing and development initiative and adopt and implement travel facilitation measures to stimulate economic growth.

“Heads of Government agreed that the establishment of a single airspace should be pursued and mandated the Secretariat to work with Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System (CASSOS) and relevant agencies to define a roadmap and identify the necessary resources for its implementation,” the communique reads.

However, the heads of government  said they recognised the need for the administrative strengthening of the legal, operational and institutional framework as well as the appropriate resourcing of the CASSOS to enable it to discharge its mandate as an effective and efficient regional safety oversight organisation.

The CTO and CHTA have long lobbied for the removal of the hurdles that make it difficult to travel to, and through, the region, arguing the removal of many of the restrictions would encourage greater regional and international travel and stimulate economic growth.

Among its recommendations is a new multilateral air services agreement, which the leaders said “only required resolution of very few matters”.

Therefore, they mandated the CARICOM secretariat to work with member countries “to enable signature at the next inter-sessional meeting” in February 2018.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Caribbean Development Bank supports CTO’s Service and Business Excellence Programme

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (25 July, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s continued efforts at promoting service and business excellence in the region’s tourism and hospitality sector has received a financial boost from the regional financial institution that focuses on harmonious economic growth and development in the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), through its Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services (CTCS) Network is providing US$223,312 in support of the two key components of the Hospitality Assured (HA) Caribbean certification programme managed by the CTO as part of its product development and service quality thrust.

The funds will be used to engage business advisors and assessors to help strengthen the business performance and overall competitiveness of tourism-related micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in ten CDB borrowing member countries through the HA programme.

“Our region needs to boost its reputation for service and business excellence and pay attention to the overall visitor experience. The Hospitality Assured framework provides the tool to drive this effort,” said Bonita Morgan, the CTO’s director of resource mobilization and development, and the CTO official with overall responsibility for the HA programme.

“We are thankful to the CDB, through the CTCS Network, for supporting this effort to help Caribbean tourism businesses shore up their competitiveness.”

“For several Caribbean economies, tourism is an engine of growth, and MSMEs have the potential to make significant contributions to the sector. CDB is pleased to be supporting CTO in delivering the HA Caribbean certification programme, and deeply value the role it plays in helping regional MSMEs deliver an even higher quality product and experience in an increasingly competitive global tourism market,” said Darran Newman, acting division chief, technical cooperation division, CDB.

Over the next year 30 businesses in the ten countries – Anguilla, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and Turks & Caicos Islands will receive technical assistance as well as assessment services through the CDB funding.

The regional lending institution’s support for HA dates back to 2014 when, through the United Kingdom Department for International Development’s Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund, managed by the Bank,  it provided funding support for six businesses in Grenada to participate in the certification programme.

Last year, CDB, through the CTCS network, provided financial support to conduct a week-long business advisors training workshop organized by the CTO to equip 15 business advisors to provide technical assistance to tourism-related businesses participating  in the HA certification programme.

CTCS is managed within CDB’s Technical Cooperation Division and operated in cooperation with regional and national institutions, laboratories, industrial enterprises, and consultants. It comprises a network of institutions and experts, and has as its primary aim, transferring knowledge, skills and technology to improve managerial and operational efficiency and competitiveness of MSMEs through the provision of technical assistance.

Hospitality Assured is a certification programme promoting service and business excellence in tourism and hospitality companies.  It is owned by the Institute of Hospitality in the United Kingdom, and managed by the Caribbean Tourism Organization in the region.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News, Hospitality Assured

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Pure Grenada Hosts Region’s Premier Tourism Forum

(St. George’s, Grenada) 21st July 2017— Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean, will host the region’s premier tourism forum, the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) from 9th-13th October, 2017.

The Conference will take place at the Radisson Grand Beach Resort, Grand Anse, bringing together senior industry decision makers and interested partners to address the biggest concerns and opportunities for Caribbean tourism.

SOTIC 2017 was launched in Grenada with a press conference featuring Government of Grenada, CTO and Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) officials.  The theme for this year is “Supercharging the Caribbean Brand: Meeting the Needs of the New Explorer.” CTO Director for the US Sylma Brown Bramble promises that the theme presents a unique opportunity to focus on the changing dynamics in the industry. “We have to ensure that the Caribbean is positioned and ready to capture the interest of the new explorer who wants adventure and authentic experiences.”

Grenada’s Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen remarked that the Government and people of Grenada are delighted to host the premier tourism forum in the region. Apart from discussing the major issues affecting the tourism industry, SOTIC is an excellent opportunity for member countries to showcase their tourism product to international and regional audiences.  The Minister announced, “Pure Grenada will be hosting destination tours in order that all delegates can get to know and love the Spice of the Caribbean. Indeed, we have so much to share- from our gorgeous waterfalls and pristine beaches to our ‘bean to bar’ chocolate and cuisine tours.”

The CTO is ensuring a packed programme with amazing speakers who are sure to provide keen insights on how to supercharge the Caribbean brand.  Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Patricia Maher says local participation is key. “It does not matter how big or small your business is, if you play a role in Tourism or you contribute to the industry in any way, you need to register for SOTIC and take advantage of the international networking opportunities and the many informative seminars right here in St. George’s.”

The local delegate registration fee is US 75 dollars per day or US 200 dollars for the entire conference. The CTO State of the Industry Conference brings together some 300 tourism industry leaders from the 30 member-countries of the CTO, as well as representatives of the regional and international private sector, academics, media, students, travel trade partners and other industry stakeholders from within and outside the region.

For information regarding registration please click on the following link: http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/register/ .

To view an invitation from Dr Modeste-Curwen, please click on the following link: http://bit.ly/2uwSamx

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News, SOTIC

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Saint Lucia Named On Top Caribbean Islands List

SAINT LUCIA (July 14, 2017): Travel + Leisure, a leading US travel publication, has named Saint Lucia as one of the best Caribbean islands to visit. The magazine has just released the results of its 2017 World’s Best Awards Survey and Saint Lucia emerged as one of its leading Caribbean vacation destinations. Every year, Travel + Leisure asks its readers to share and rate their holiday experiences from around the world. Readers are invited to give their opinions on categories such as hotels and resorts, spas, sights and attractions, food, friendliness and general value for money. Based on readers’ feedback and rating, Travel + Leisure then produces its annual top list of premier places to visit and experience.

For its Top Islands in the Caribbean list, the publication cited some key characteristics that these destinations shared such as secluded beaches, luxurious resorts and spas, and off-the-beaten-track experiences and sites. With a score of 82.6 out of 100, Saint Lucia emerged ahead of Barbados and other OECS countries except for Anguilla that got 86.8. Travel + Leisure highlighted the fact that travelers were attracted to destinations that offered more than the typical tourist experience of sun, sea and sand. Saint Lucia continues to be a favourite because it offers unique attractions such as the iconic twin peaks, the Pitons, the world’s only drive-in volcano and the Sulphur Springs mud baths. The magazine also named Jade Mountain in its top 100 hotels in the world with the hotel coming in at number 25, an outstanding achievement for the locally owned property.

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888 4STLUCIA or visit http://stlucia.org/.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Line up of Dominica’s 20th World Creole Music Festival Announced

On October 27 – 29, 2017, the Windsor Park Sports Stadium in Roseau will come alive for the highly anticipated World Creole Music Festival.
Launched to promote the Dominican  tourism product and create a world class platform for indigenous Dominican music, the World Creole Music Festival has become a renowned staple on the regional music gala calendar. Over a trinity of enthralling evenings beginning on the final Friday in October each year, patrons are treated to a cavalcade of star power, emanating from the Caribbean, French Antilles, Africa and North America, arranged to thrill the seasoned festival goer and novice alike.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Antigua and Barbuda Welcome “The Voice” Winner Chris Blue & Wife For Their Honeymoon

St. John’s, Antigua (July 17, 2017) – Antigua and Barbuda welcomed ‘The Voice’ 2017 Winner Chris Blue and his new wife Stephanie to the popular destination in the Caribbean for their honeymoon with a VIP reception. The newlyweds landed in the Caribbean’s most romantic destination to the sounds of local musicians where they were personally greeted by the Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, the Honorable Asot A. Michael. As part of the VIP Welcome and reception, the newly-married couple, who arrived from London where their wedding took place, also received a special wedding blessing from the CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James.

The couple will be spending the next week in Antigua and Barbuda, enjoying their time as a new couple at the Award Winning Hermitage Bay Resort, before Chris returns to the US to continue his concert and recording schedule. Chris Blue is the latest winner of the popular program, The Voice, and is celebrating his newfound popularity with sold out concerts in Tennessee and performing at the Fourth of July Concert in Washington, DC on PBS. Chris Blue is the second celebrity to choose Antigua and Barbuda as a honeymoon destination in recent weeks, following upon Lionel Messi, arguable the world’s greatest soccer player, honeymooning earlier in the month with his new wife at luxury getaway, Jumby Bay.

“We are honored that Chris Blue and his new wife Stephanie chose Antigua and Barbuda as their destination of choice for their honeymoon. This further asserts our position as the most romantic destination in the Caribbean. We look forward to providing the new couple with an unforgettable honeymoon experience with everything we have to offer visitors including our beautiful white and pink beaches, award-winning properties, gastronomy, and the friendliness and warmth of our people. We look forward to seeing the destination through their eyes,” said Asot A Michael, Minister of Tourism of Economic Development, Investment and Energy at the welcome reception.

Known for being the most romantic destination in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island paradise that offers visitors two uniquely distinct experiences, ideal temperatures year-round, a rich history, vibrant culture, exhilarating excursions, award-winning resorts, mouth-watering cuisine and 365 stunning pink and white-sand beaches one for every day of the year.

To find out more about Antigua and Barbuda visit www.visitantiguabarbuda.com.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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