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Archive for 2012 News

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

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Caribbean Tourism Organization Names Aviation Committee

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Nov. 13, 2012 – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the international agency responsible for leading the development of Caribbean tourism, has announced a highly focused CTO Aviation Committee to facilitate air transportation into and throughout the Caribbean and to enhance airlift. Particular emphasis will be placed on CTO member-countries.

The committee is being co-chaired by the former CTO chairman, Sen. Ricky Skerritt, who is minister of tourism and international transport of St Kitts and Nevis. 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 consultancies.

During her inaugural news conference at the CTO State of the Industry Conference in St Kitts on 12 October, the incoming chairman, Beverly Nicholson-Doty, the US Virgin Islands’ commissioner of tourism, announced her intention to establish this committee within 30 days.

Nicholson-Doty and the CTO secretariat have been working closely since then to bring together some of the region’s most creative minds to form the committee.

“The CTO recognizes that air transportation is crucial to the success of Caribbean tourism and it is imperative that we seek convenient, affordable and reliable air service if we are to realize our vision of positioning the Caribbean as the world’s most desirable, year round, warm weather destination in five years,” the CTO chairman said.

The CTO Aviation Committee is charged with a number of responsibilities, including the development and implementation of strategies for increasing intra-Caribbean tourism; examining the volume and potential of air service into and within the Caribbean; reviewing the status of regulations governing air transportation to and within the region and encouraging and facilitating the establishment of practices and procedures that ease the movement of passengers to and throughout the region.

In addition, the committee will encourage and develop relationships between carriers, regulators, airport authorities, customs, immigration, security and other relevant entities, with a view to removing barriers to cooperation; review aviation taxation and related fees and make recommendations where necessary;

Intra-regional travel, in particular, air access, was a major talking point at last month’s State of the Industry Conference, with presentations from American Airlines, British Airways and LIAT all aimed at identifying solutions to the challenges facing air transportation into and within the Caribbean.

Posted in: 2012 News, Aviation Task Force, Blog

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CTO Celebrates Region’s Olympic Success

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, joins the rest of the Caribbean in celebrating our athletes’ success in the 2012 Olympics. We are particularly proud of the achievements of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who became the first woman in 16 years to successfully defend the 100 metres title, and Usain Bolt, who took another giant step on his journey to being a legend, by retaining his 100 metres title in an Olympic record.

Their feat, together with the silver medal won by Yohan Blake, also of Jamaica, is even more satisfying as it comes at a time when Jamaica is celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence.  It has also strengthened Jamaica’s position as the world’s top track and field nation – an amazing accomplishment for a young nation of fewer than three million people.

We join the region in celebrating the success of Kirani James, the Grenadian teen whose win in the 400 metres has warmed our hearts.  We honour silver medallist, Santos Luguelin of the Dominican Republic and bronze medallist, Gordon Lalonde of Trinidad and Tobago, who, together with Kirani, gave the Caribbean a clean sweep in the 400.

We salute too, Cuba’s Yarisley Silva, who captured silver in the pole vault; Idalys Ortiz  (gold ), Yanet Bermoy Acosta (silver) and Asley Gonzalez (silver), all in judo;  silver medallist Ivan Cambar Rodriguez in weightlifting; and Mijain Lopez Nunez who won gold in Greco-Roman wrestling; the Dominican Republic’s Felix Sanchez who won gold in the 400 metres hurdles; and Venezuela’s Ruben Limardo Gascon’s gold in fencing.

They all have made their countries and our region proud. The Caribbean has produced some exceptional sports persons over the past several decades, and these ambassadors continue to represent us well.
Over the remaining days of these Olympics, there’s high expectation that the Caribbean athletes will continue to do well, will wow the world, and will win more medals. We will cheer them along, even from a distance.

So Happy 50th Jamaica and congratulations to all our athletes. We celebrate your success.

Posted in: 2012 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Trinidad and Tobago to host 14th Sustainable Tourism Conference

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (18 April, 2012) – Trinidad and Tobago will host the next Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in 2013, the CTO has announced.

In a symbolic passing of the “baton”, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Tourism, Raye Sandy, received the CTO Sustainable Tourism Mahogany Scroll from Guyana’s Tourism Minister, the Honorable Irfaan Ali at the closing of STC-13 on Wednesday night, confirming Trinidad and Tobago as host of the 14th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development (STC-14).

“We are truly honored to host STC-14 in Trinidad and Tobago,” said Raye Sandy. “We look forward to hosting a varied conference that builds on the learnings of STC-13 and showcases Trinidad and Tobago’s sustainable tourism product.”

The CTO, organizer of the annual conference on sustainability in the Caribbean, will begin discussions soon with Port of Spain around a suitable conference date, which will be announced in the coming months. Work is also expected to begin on a conference programme shortly.

Trinidad hosted the second STC in April 1998, while STC-7 was held in Tobago in April 2009.

STC-13, held in Guyana, ran from 14-18 April at the Guyana Conference Centre in. Over 300 delegates – including tourism industry officials and the media – participated in a series of seminars, workshops and study tours aimed at setting the foundation on which to develop a world class sustainable tourism product in the region and tackle common sustainability issues in the travel industry.

The 13th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development was organized by the CTO in collaboration with the Guyana Tourism Authority.
For media enquiries please contact Johnson Johnrose at the Caribbean Tourism Organization, [email protected] / (246) 427-5242

Posted in: 2012 News, Blog, STC

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Delegates to STC 2012 Can Experience Majesty of World’s Largest Single Drops Falls for Free

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (3 March, 2012) – Some of the most breath-taking and majestic scenery await delegates to the 13th annual Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC-13), taking place in Guyana from 15-18 April, 2012.

Persons who register for the conference – the full programme only – can get free visits to some of the most desirable eco-tourism attractions in Guyana, including Kaieteur Falls, the world’s largest single drop falls. Among the other fascinating tours awaiting delegates are Iwokrama and the Canopy Walkway; Santa Mission/Arrow Point (a haven for bird watchers and nature lovers) and Surama Village, the winner of the 2011 CTO Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award.

These visits are part of the Study Tours programme for STC-13, and are being organized to give  delegates a full day adventure into Guyana’s best kept secrets, including the vast, lush and exotic landscape that form part of its low carbon sustainable development strategy.

“The study tours have been among the most highly anticipated part of the STC programme because delegates get to experience first-hand what we discuss during the plenary sessions,” said Gail Henry, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s sustainable tourism product specialist.
“Delegates to STC-13 are excited to get an opportunity to visit and experience some of the most enchanting tropical attractions while learning how best to sustain our resources.”

Over 30 Caribbean and international travel writers and journalists –  many of them multiple award winners – have registered to cover and participate in STC-13, which is being organized by CTO, in collaboration with the Guyana Tourism Authority.

The conference, which has as its theme, Keeping the Right Balance: Sustaining our Resources, will be held at the Guyana International Conference Centre.  In order to take advantage of the free tours, delegates must register early for the conference and select their preferred tours. Tours are limited and are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis.

For more information on the study tours, as well as how to register and benefit from STC-13, visit www.caribbeanstc.com.

Posted in: 2012 News, Blog, STC

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CTO Tourism Human Resources Conf. to Explore Partnerships & Innovation

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (15 Feb, 2012) – How to enhance Caribbean human resources through partnerships and innovation will be the key subject of discussion when tourism human resources professionals from across the Caribbean gather in Barbados from 23 to 25 May for a major conference.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced that tourism HR practitioners will explore ways to expand their knowledge and sharpen their skills as it relates to human resources challenges in the tourism environment at the 6th Tourism Human Resources conference will be held at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

During the three day event, tourism human resources professionals from the public and private sectors, tourism educators and trainers and consultants will approach the theme from a number of angles. These include effective leadership and employee engagement, how to recognize and nurture leadership at all levels of an organisation and how to leverage resources across boundaries.

An exciting workshop aimed at breathing life into the workplace has been planned. This workshop – Waking up the Tourism Workplace – is one of two intensive practical learning sessions to be presented by experts in the various fields. The other workshop will focus on innovation and creativity in the workplace.

CTO is partnering with the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus and the Barbados Hospitality Institute – Hotel PomMarine, to organize the conference.

Posted in: 2012 News, Blog, HR Conference

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Three Caribbean Tourism Businesses Celebrate Firsts With Receipt of Hospitality Assured Certification

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (2 Feb., 2012) – Three Caribbean tourism businesses have scored “firsts” while enhancing their reputation for high standards of service quality by earning Hospitality Assured (HA) certification, a symbol of service and business excellence in the tourism and hospitality.

The well-known tourist attraction, Atlantis Submarines (Barbados) Inc. has become the first attraction in the Caribbean to receive HA certification, while Goddards Shipping & Tours, also of Barbados, is the first shipping agent and tour operator in the region to earn this distinction. Additionally, the Tryall Club in Montego Bay Jamaica has achieved similar certification, the first property in Jamaica to do so.

All three companies now have the Hospitality Assured framework in place, which helps them to continuously raise their service quality standards within their individual businesses, focus on their customers’ needs in all aspects of their business, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty and improve overall business performance.

“I believe that the great benefit of Hospitality Assured for Atlantis Submarines Barbados has been the process of involving the entire team in a structured ten step analysis of our business from customer research to service delivery.  Hospitality Assured has become an umbrella under which all of our continuous improvement plans can fall and it ensures that as the economy remains somewhat weak the internal focus remains strong on all the right things to get us through it,’ said Roseanne Myers, the general manager of Atlantis Submarines.

“Our entire team worked together to review our club’s procedures and while we already had systems in place, HA helped us within the business to keep better track, target with greater efficiency and fine tune our operational procedures,” added Gerald Giarla, managing director of Tryall Club.  “The certification process was refreshing and rejuvenating and we are ready to embark on our 52nd season with a renewed sense of commitment and pride in serving our customers.”

Over the past several months, the management team and staff of these businesses maintained outstanding grades in rigorous reviews given by external assessors, including challenging, testing and ultimately strengthening internal systems in business planning, customer service, and training and development, leading to their certification.

The general manager of Goddards Shipping & Tours, Rovel Morris, described certification as “an extremely rewarding accomplishment” which was in keeping with the company’s vision “to be the region’s market leader in all areas of operations, recognized and sought after for exceptional service”.

“The Hospitality Assured Programme certification process allowed us to give tangible expression to the elements and conditions of service delivery that will allow us to achieve that vision consistently.  It has been an invaluable tool in aligning our business processes and galvanizing the commitment of our team toward that end.  We are a proud recipient of the certification and would recommend the process without hesitation,” he said.

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 (CTO) in the region.  Caribbean supporting institutions include the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, which collects and distributes benchmarking data on the programme, as well as the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), which is the region’s assessment body for the programme.  Funding support for the pilot phase of the programme was provided by the European Union/PRO€INVEST programme and the Organization of American States.  The pilot phase is now over and funding is being sort to continue to unroll the programme across the region.

In the near future, will be directly engaging with Caribbean countries outside the original eight pilot countries to incentivize tourism/hospitality businesses to join HA and get the benefits to be derived from participation.

Posted in: 2012 News, Blog, Hospitality Assured

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