CTO News

Archive for 2017

Tourism Month Blasts into Action in St. Kitts

BASSETERRE (2nd November, 2017): Motorcade, student fieldtrips, heritage walk, karoke and photo competitions; These are just some of the exciting activities of the 2017 Tourism Awareness Month, in November.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Carlene Henry-Morton, launched the month of activities on Wednesday, and revealed the theme: “Enhancing Our Nation’s Prosperity by Nurturing Tourism Sustainability.”

“Throughout this month a variety of events and activities will highlight the fact that the tourism sector is vitally important to our country and that we all need to better understand, support, and protect tourism as one of the key drivers of our economy,” Morton said. “Indeed, it is important that we strive to protect all that is good about our island. That is why the team at the Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority is committed in providing a consistently outstanding visitor experience through the sustainable development of our human, natural and cultural resources in order to maximize opportunity, prosperity and quality of life for present and future generations.”

Morton said her team has a pro-people approach to tourism sector development, which is intended to translate into youth inclusion and capacity building; entrepreneurship and employment. Therefore, citizens are empowered and equipped to deliver a quality, authentic and uniquely Kittitian experience, that will add value and differentiate us from other destinations.

Activities for tourism month include the following:

Friday 3rd November, 2017
Prize Giving for Winners of the CTO Youth Congress

Sunday 5th November, 2017
Church Service at the Zion Moravian Church (9:30am)

Tuesday 7th November, 2017
Caribbean Tourism Day Observance

Junior Minister of Tourism Radio Broadcast

Friday 10th November, 2017
Karaoke Competition
Port Zante Food Court 7pm

Saturday 11th November, 2017
Rails to Trails Project (6am)
Staff Appreciation Dinner

13th to 17th November, 2017
Talks In School Series

Saturday 18th November, 2017
Tourism/Carnival Island-Wide Motorcade

Sunday 19th November, 2017
Poinciana Theater Production
“When Men Talk About Sex”
ECCB 6pm

20th to 23rd November, 2017
Tourism Education Product Tour (Primary Schools)

Thursday 23rd November, 2017
Launch of Yachting Strategic Implementation Plan

Friday 24th November, 2017
Judging of the Best Destination Photo Contest

Saturday 25th November, 2017
Heritage Health & Fitness Walk
De Poincy Chateau

Wedneday 29th November, 2017
Prize Giving For Best Destination Photo Contest

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival Supports Region’s Tourism Recovery Efforts

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (31 October, 2017) – The 2017 Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival is throwing its support behind the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s efforts to help Caribbean families and countries recover and rebuild after the monstrous hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated some member destinations.

The festival, an authentic Caribbean event, will be raising monies for the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund, which was activated through GoFundMe.

“We were horrified by the devastation inflicted on the region by the Category 5 hurricanes in September 2017 and, as an authentic Caribbean event, we felt obligated to assist those affected,” Cheryl Collymore, the festival director said.

“As the region’s tourism development agency, the CTO is a reputable organization with a history of coming to the support of Caribbean countries hit by natural disasters and we are happy to support its efforts.”

The festival will take place on 9 December, 2017 at the Rockley Golf & Country Club in Barbados, and by that time the initial attention on hurricane-hit territories will have started to dwindle, but the struggles suffering of those affected will not have ended.

To support the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund the 2017 Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival has committed to contributing five per cent of ticket and exhibitor space rental to the fund and to encourage regional producers who may not be attending the event to donate bottles of product to the festival to be sold, with 100 per cent of the sale monies going to the fund.

In addition, on-site activities at the festival venue will be organized to raise funds for the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund, while a page has been established on the festival’s website encouraging the population to donate.

“Hurricanes Irma and Maria have had a significant impact on families and countries in the affected countries and we welcome any contribution to the CTO Hurricane Fund,” the CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley said.

“We are grateful to the organisers of the Caribbean Rum & Beer festival for their generous contribution.”

Those unable to attend the 2017 Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival can still donate to the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund thru their GoFundMe page.

Among activities at the 9 December event are a selection of rum and beer products to sample and purchase, intriguing master classes on a variety of rum and beer related subjects presented by industry experts, a highly competitive highly competitive ‘Rum Cocktail Wars’ bartender competition, creative culinary demonstrations of cooking with rum and beer and chocolate pairing with rum and beer.

The Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival, which has previously been hosted in Barbados, Grenada and St Maarten,  has been awarded a ‘Best Event’ accolade by RAD Season, an international adventure specialist travel company, and was rated as one of the Top 10 Best Drinking Festivals in the World.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Recovery

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BTB extends “A Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund” for another month

Belize City, Thursday Nov. 2nd, 2017:  The Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund campaign launched last month by the Belize Tourism Board, in collaboration with the tourism industry stakeholders, to assist victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria has been extended for the entire month of November.  The funds will be collected from October 1- November 30st. Any donations post end date are still welcomed and will be disbursed accordingly.

Both Hurricanes severely devastated many of our Caribbean sister countries earlier in September.

The Belize Tourism Board will donate a $1 for every tourist arrival for the months of October and November and the initiative is that each stakeholder donates a $1 for every guest; therefore, creating a multiplier effect. The BTB initiative is being supported by participating agencies and tourism stakeholders such as the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Hotel Association (BHA), Tour Operators, water taxis, hoteliers and local airlines amongst many others.

During the first week of September, category 5 Hurricane Irma pummeled a number of Caribbean countries in the northern Leeward Islands and the northern Caribbean leaving a long trail of devastation. Many residents of these countries were left homeless, without food, power, water and basic essentials.  Two weeks later, Hurricane Maria followed the same path further exacerbating the level of destruction throwing many of these countries in a severe state of desperation and despair. Many of these countries depend on tourism as their chief means of survival and the devastation by both hurricanes has stalled their economies, which may take several months or perhaps years to recover.

The BTB, therefore, hereby appeals to all stakeholders to donate $1 for every passenger/ guest engaged for the month of October towards the Caribbean Relief Fund in order to ease the road to recovery for our Caribbean sister countries.

The funds will be donated to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, in addition to their existing Go fund me Hurricane Relief fund for the Caribbean. Hugh Riley, Secretary General & CEO of CTO, stated “It’s through this Fund that the CTO channels monetary assistance to our impacted member states. Assessments are being conducted of needs through the Ministries of Tourism and the monies collected will be disbursed directly to the people in need in form of food, medication, water, or material for rebuilding. The CTO appreciates all donations to assist in the recovery efforts of these countries.” 

Further information on the A Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund campaign and transparency for disbursements of funds can be found http://belizetourismboard.org/caribbean-hurricane-relief/

To confirm your participation please email us at [email protected]

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Recovery, Destination News

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Anegada Lobster Fest to Kick Off BVI Tourism High Season

Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, November 1, 2017…The BVI Tourist Board and the Anegada Community will kick off the tourism high season early with the staging of the Category 5 Edition of the annual Anegada Lobster Festival on November 25th and 26th.

This follows the recent announcement by Premier and Minister for Tourism Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE that BVI is open for business

“We felt it was important to hold the Anegada Lobster Fest, one of the BVI Food Fete’s signature events, to announce to repeat guests and prospective guests throughout the region and internationally, that the BVI is open for tourism business even as we recover from Hurricane Irma, one of the most destructive hurricanes in recorded history” said Director of Tourism Mrs. Sharon Flax-Brutus.  “Additionally, since Anegada was not as impacted as the other main islands, we felt it would be a good idea for Anegada to ring in the tourism high season as we begin to welcome visitors on November 1st.”

Currently there are 7 restaurants participating in the Anegada Lobster Festival that will be putting their unique spins on our most popular crustacean for all guests to sample.  There will be live entertainment and several opportunities for visitors to explore what some have described as the BVI’s best kept secret.

While available accommodations on Anegada are limited, local charter yacht companies like Marine Max, Sunsail and others, can provide unique accommodation experiences and options for the event. Additionally, daily ferry transportation will be available, to and from Tortola, via Romney Associates Travel Plan Tours and Road Town Fast Ferry.   Interisland Ferry Service will be available to transport guests originating out of the USVI.

As in previous years, visitors to Anegada Lobster Fest will be able win special prizes (while supplies last) from the Tourist Board once they have visited all of the participating restaurants, as well as Anegada’s main historic attractions (Fisherman’s Wharf, Faulkner House Museum, etc.).

The BVI Tourist Board has been working with the Anegada Community, private sector organizations and the relevant Government agencies to ensure that the island is ready to stage Anegada’s major event.    New signage, is being installed and the BVI Tourist Board has been organizing clean-ups and rebuilding/repairing sites and attractions, while coordinating transportation and other logistics for the event. For more information and regular updates on the Anegada Lobster Festival, visit www.anegadalobsterfestival.com or contact Mr. Carnel Clyne at 1-284-340-2210 or [email protected].

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Appointment of CEO to the Tobago Tourism Agency

SCARBOROUGH Tobago, 1 November 2017: The Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation, and the board of the Tobago Tourism Agency, are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Louis Lewis as the organisation’s first Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Lewis most recently served on the Saint Lucia Tourist Board from February 2008 to January 2017, in the capacity of Director of Tourism, as well as Chief Executive Officer.

From 2003 to 2006 Mr. Lewis served as Saint Lucia’s Director of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, where he was responsible for the implementation of the budget policy program. Following this post, he was appointed as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Investment and Consumer Affairs, before being appointed as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation.

In the 1990’s Mr. Lewis held prominent positions in several key Saint Lucia government agencies, including serving as the Head of the Research Department at the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, as an Economist with the Ministry of Finance, as well as an Economic Statistician with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank at its headquarters in Saint Kitts.

Mr. Lewis’ diverse background spans the fields of Tourism Research and Marketing, Economics, Statistics, Consumer Research, Marketing, and Project Management. His experience has equipped him with unparalleled insights in strategic development planning, and places him in a unique professional position.

His contributions to the tourism field are extensive and include:

  • Revamping the image of Saint Lucia in the marketplace through two successful branding exercises in 2009 and 2013 respectively, as well as commencing another in 2016.
  • Leading the successful negotiations for increased airlift to Saint Lucia, specifically increased frequency with American Airlines, Delta and Virgin Atlantic; and new and expanded services with British Airways, JetBlue, Continental, Thomas Cook and Condor.
  • Incorporating new research techniques into the planning process to ensure a strategic approach to Product Development and significantly enhance the effectiveness of marketing.
  • Spearheading the development of a five-year strategic plan for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board for 2012 to 2016.
  • Leading the staff restructuring of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board in 2015.
  • Leading the development of a crisis management plan for the tourism industry in Saint Lucia.
  • Maintaining the financial operations of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board within the budget allocations in each successive year, delivering good value for money, and ensuring that all audits were up to date by the end of tenure.

A graduate of the University of the West Indies – Cave Hill, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Mr. Lewis also holds a Masters of Business Administration from the same institution, and is a Certified Bank Examiner, and a Project Management Professional.

The Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation, and Tobago Tourism Agency Board, are confident that Mr. Lewis possesses the skills, knowledge and expertise to move Destination Tobago forward. Both organisations wish him the very best in this new role and look forward to his contributions to developing the island’s tourism sector.

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO Sec. Gen. Message on the observance of Caribbean Tourism Month November, 2017

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 1 Nov 2017.  This year can be described as a tale of two situations for Caribbean tourism. During the first half of this year the region performed at new record pace, welcoming 16.6 million international tourist arrivals at a healthy growth rate of 5.2 per cent, when compared to the same period last year.

However, hurricanes Irma and Maria have dented this growth, with the revised forecast for 2017 now at one to two per cent, down from 2.5 to 3.5 per cent.

The economic impact of the storms is significant. The Caribbean Development Bank predicts that every one per cent reduction in tourist arrivals (based on 2015 travel data) will cost US$137 million in lost revenue.

No doubt, the hurricanes have presented us with some major challenges, but we are determined to rebuild better and more sustainably.

In the meantime, while the affected countries are at various stages on the road back to normality, it is also important to note that over 75 per cent of the region was unscathed by the storms. In this context, we encourage you to keep visiting the Caribbean, as this is the best way to help the region.

During Caribbean Tourism Month we will focus on adventure, in keeping with the Year of Adventure. Mindful of the impact of the storms, there are still countless travel adventures to be had this month and for the remainder of the year.

We look forward to hearing of the various events and activities planned for the month, and with your permission, we will share your information and images. .

The month also provides an opportunity to reiterate the message that we are open for business and we do have an exciting product to offer.

Yes, some challenges remain and those are being addressed, but let’s also emphasize the  superb experiences we can offer to guests right now and help them and their companions have a Caribbean adventure to remember.

Together, let’s keep the right focus on this important industry and reaffirm the value of One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Tourism Month, Corporate News

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St. Kitts Reports Christophe Harbour Marina is Open For Business this Season

Basseterre, St. Kitts (November 1, 2017) – St. Kitts is pleased to report that The Marina at Christophe Harbour is open for business, and the island is fully operational as the Caribbean yacht charter season is soon to begin. With little to no damage from the recent hurricanes, the island is an ideal place to start and end charters this season.

The Marina offers a variety of services for visiting vessels, including in-slip fueling, dedicated crew amenities and crew concierge, YU Lounge private jet terminal for expedited arrivals and departures, and a host of expanded services including onsite provisioning. The Marina has also announced reduced berthing rates for the month of November to assist those vessels displaced by the storms.

In support of our neighboring islands who were less fortunate, Christophe Harbour has partnered with YachtAid Global, the disaster relief service which supports remote coastal communities, with the development’s marina serving as the organization’s regional base of operations. Additionally, the development is coordinating relief efforts with the government of St. Kitts & Nevis to support its neighboring islands.

With an onsite tank capacity of 48,000 US gallons, The Marina features the largest refueling station dedicated to a marina in the Eastern Caribbean. This state-of-the-art facility can provide 40,000 US (duty free) gallons per day of in-slip fuelling for vessels, with up to 125 gallons per minute of Sol-supplied, ultra-low sulphur diesel. The Marina also features a professionally-engineered entry and turning basin and is a designated point of entry allowing for onsite expedited clearance. Offering a naturally protected harbour, The Marina has the ability to accommodate some of the world’s largest superyachts.

In September, construction crews installed the cupola atop the Marina’s three-story customs house, officially “topping off” the 11,000-square foot iconic building slated to make its official debut in the first half of 2018. In addition to Customs and Immigration offices, the Customs House will include a crew lounge for visting yachts, the marina office, a fitness center, and a real estates sales gallery.

All seven planned boutique retail shops are open at the Marina Village, including an art gallery featuring local and regional fine art as well as local artisans, upscale boutiques, and the most recent addition – Ballast Bay Outfitters, the first true “outfitter” in the Federation to offer a full line of outdoor sportswear and equipment tested in St. Kitts. Further, Peppe’s coffee kiosk is open daily at the marina village. In November, the Caribbean’s first Park Hyatt, the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour, will debut as part of the resort community.

For more information about Christophe Harbour, visit www.ChristopheHarbour.com.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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