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Archive for 2017 News

CTO Investment Guide Distributed in Toronto and at Caribbean Business Events

TORONTO, Canada , 21 November, 2017 – The Caribbean Tourism and Hospitality Investment Guide, a bi-annual publication of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), was distributed during Caribbean Week in Toronto to Canadian entrepreneurs, business organizations and Diaspora leaders.

Caribbean Week activities in Toronto and Montreal run from November 10-17.

The Investment Guide showcases a wide range of investment opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector in CTO member states and lists incentives that Caribbean Governments are offering to attract new business.

The publication was distributed at the recent Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit (CHICOS) in Bermuda and is available to delegates at this week’s Miami Conference on the Caribbean organized by Caribbean Central American Action (CCAA).

Tourism Ministers from across the region and selected companies and business organizations received copies of the publication during Caribbean Week events in New York.

The publication includes information on the performance of the region’s tourism industry with highlights from the CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley and Acting Director of Research Ryan Skeete. It also provides an outlook for the region’s hotel sector.

The Investment Guide highlights new investments in the region’s tourism and hospitality sector including properties in The Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Cayman Islands.
“The Caribbean has a strong competitive advantage due to our natural and physical resources, and is ripe for new hotel and tourism infrastructure projects. There are opportunities for investments in airports, seaports and shopping centres, as well as unique tourism products such as outfitting heritage sites with modern technology and clean energy sources,” CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley said.

The Investment Guide is produced by Marketing, Communications and Investment Promotion Specialist, Sandra Ann Baptiste, who heads Florida-based Carigold Signature.

“CTO member countries are also seeking investment to expand the medical tourism and health and wellness sectors. There are investment opportunities for new restaurants and cafes, sports tourism facilities and new convention centers, yachting and marine services, new attractions, river and land transportation services, and to develop the creative industries,” Baptiste said in the editorial.

The Investment Guide is one of the projects of the New York-based CTO USA Inc. office headed by Sylma Brown Bramble.

The publication will be available on www.onecaribbean.org for a minimal fee.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Corporate News

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St. Kitts Scores with 2nd Annual Couples Golf Classic Event Includes a Special Celebrity Guest and Showcases the Destination to a Key Target Market

Basseterre, St. Kitts (November 20, 2017) – St. Kitts hit a “hole in one” with its 2nd Annual St. Kitts & Nevis Couples Golf Classic, which featured play on both islands of the Federation from November 7 – 11, 2017. In addition to drawing participating golfers from across the US, this year’s event featured special celebrity guest Bret Saberhagen, a former Major League Baseball pitcher, two-time Cy Young Award winner and avid golfer as well as special guest Risa Feldman, writer for Aspen Luxury Life magazine and a travel and food blogger.

“Our Couples Golf Classic has only increased in prestige and appeal from its inaugural year, attracting golfers from California to New Jersey and a first-time celebrity participant,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “I am extremely pleased with the success of this event, as it helps us grow awareness for the destination among the lucrative niche golf travel market.”

One of St. Kitts’ signature golf events, the Couples Golf Classic showcases the destination’s world-class golf courses, accommodations, attractions and scenic natural beauty. Golfers played rounds one and three of the 54-hole mixed team tournament the signature Robert Trent Jones II course at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis. Round two was played on the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club designed by Canadian course architect Thomas McBroom.

This year’s winning team was Penny and Gordon Jumonville from Fort Worth, Texas. The husband and wife duo were wire-to-wire winners, jumping out to an early lead after Round One’s Shamble Format with a NET Best Ball score of 55.  Their 54-hole total of 124 bested the closest runner up by just 4 shots.  In second place was the pair of Kay Bailey and John Heyer from Long Beach California.  They made a strong final round charge in Round Three’s NET Best Ball format, making up 7 shots on the field to capture second place. Patti and Jeff Kindl from New Orleans, Louisiana, took home the third place title. They played their last three holes of the tournament in four-under-par (NET) to capture third by a shot.

Bret Saberhagen said, “The courses were a lot of fun and presented a good challenge for golfers of all skill levels. Everyone enjoyed one another’s company. It was great to be part of the event.” Other participants gave the event similar glowing reviews, with Patti Kindl saying, “It was the best golf trip ever!” and Bruce Hogg, who competed alongside his wife Carla, stating unequivocally, “It was a well-run event. Everything was coordinated and done just right. We’ll be back.”

In addition to golf, the group enjoyed opening and closing cocktail receptions, having the local experience of an evening dining out on fresh lobster and other West Indian food at Sunshine’s, basking in the warm Caribbean sunshine and receiving warm welcomes throughout the five-day event. All participants stayed at the event’s official host hotel, the Four Seasons Resort Nevis. To promote event entries, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and the Four Seasons Resort Nevis partnered with ClubCorp’s Private Clubs magazine and the New Jersey State Golf Association. Attendees were able to choose from a 4 and 7 night bed and breakfast or all-inclusive packages for one or two persons, all specially priced just for the event.

The Royal St. Kitts Golf Club is an 18-hole course featuring holes on both the Caribbean and Atlantic which is managed by Marriott Golf. It has been voted as one of the Caribbean’s top golf courses in USA Today’s annual 10Best Reader’s Choice Best of the Caribbean awards. The Four Seasons Resort Nevis Golf Club is a par 71, 18-hole course that overlooks the Caribbean Sea and offers spectacular views of St. Kitts as well as a beach-side finishing hole. Both courses are considered to be two of the Caribbean’s most scenic and challenging championship courses.

The 3rd Annual St. Kitts & Nevis Couples Golf Place will take place in November 2018. To learn more about the event as well as golf in St. Kitts and Nevis, visit http://www.stkittstourism.kn/

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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DOTCT Celebrates Caribbean Tourism Month with Week of Activities

SCARBOROUGH Tobago, Monday 13th November 2017: The Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation (DOTCT) joins the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the region in celebrating Caribbean Tourism Month 2017 by hosting a series of activities from November 19th – 26th, 2017.

Recognized annually under the theme One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean, Caribbean Tourism Month serves as an avenue through which Caribbean destinations are able to come together and collectively remind the world that the region is open for business.

On behalf of Destination Tobago, the Division will take this opportunity to increase awareness of the benefits of Tobago’s tourism industry to the island’s economy; develop a sense of pride and ownership of Tobago’s tourism product among the island’s residents; encourage greater collaboration between the public and private sector; as well as build morale and foster a spirit of camaraderie amongst Division staff.

The following is the schedule of activities for Caribbean Tourism Month

SUNDAY 19TH NOVEMBER, 2017

Opening of Interactive Museum – Fort King George Heritage Park, 3pm & 5 pm

The theatrical re-enactments at Fort King George will commence from Sunday 19th November, with free tours taking place at 3 pm and 5 pm. There will also be a storytelling session at 2 pm. The Interactive Museum will be open to the public on days cruise ships call on the island, at 10:30 am and 2 pm, as well as on Sundays at 3 pm. Tours will cost $20 (adults) and $10 (children). 

MONDAY 20TH NOVEMBER, 2017

Youth Tourism Symposium for Secondary Schools – Shaw Park Cultural Complex, 9am-2pm

The “Youth Tourism Symposium” is the first of its kind in Tobago and targets Forms 4-6 students enrolled in Secondary Schools throughout the island.  The theme of the symposium is Promoting Youth Leadership in Tourism. The objective is to engender within the island’s youth an appreciating for, and understanding of, the tourism industry; educate students on the significance of the sector; and stimulate interest in the industry as a viable career choice. Speakers include:

Mr. Travis Robinson, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Government of The Bahamas

Ms. Le-An Telesford, Junior Minister of Tourism, Trinidad and Tobago

Mr. Dwayne Lyons, Tobago Entrepreneur, Xclusive Ideologies

TUESDAY 21ST NOVEMBER, 2017

Thanksgiving Service – DOTCT Head Office, 12 Sangster’s Hill, 9am

The Thanksgiving Service is a non-denominational open air service, hosted to celebrate the hard work of all staff within the Division and nurture a spirit of togetherness among staff.

Primary School Community Awareness Quiz Finals and Prize Giving Ceremony – Lowlands Multipurpose Centre, 9am – 1pm

The Primary School Community Awareness quiz seeks to educate and sensitize Tobago’s Primary School students about the importance of tourism to the island’s economy, and impress upon them the significant role they can play in the development of the industry. With twelve (12) primary schools participating, the quiz runs from 15th – 20th November.

THURSDAY 23RD NOVEMBER, 2017

Stakeholders Cocktail Reception – Pigeon Point Heritage Pavilion, 7pm-10pm

The Stakeholder Reception seeks to bring together industry stakeholders involved in both the public and private sector. The event is designed to facilitate networking, as well as constructive dialogue with the aim of improving the synergies among all parties involved in Tobago’s tourism industry.

SATURDAY 26TH NOVEMBER, 2017

Tobago Great Tourism Adventure – Island wide, 9am

The Tobago Great Tourism Adventure puts a cultural twist on the traditional treasure hunt. Participants will embark upon an exciting trek across the island, on a quest to solve riddles and execute tasks that will educate them on the island’s rich culture and heritage. Historical landmarks, iconic attractions and age-old traditions will all be featured in this one-of-a-kind experience.

Tourism Week Social Media Campaign

Stay tuned to the Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation – Tobago House of Assembly Facebook page for the launch of the My Tourism Story video series, the Spot the Sites contest, and more.

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

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The CTO Declares 2018 The Year of Wellness And Rejuvenation In The Caribbean

TORONTO, ON, 14 November, 2017 –   The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has declared 2018 the Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation in the Caribbean.

The CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley announced the theme for next year at a news conference here on Monday 13 November, as part of the programme for Caribbean Week Canada 2017.

With wellness and rejuvenation being important aspects of the Caribbean tourism product offering, the CTO is encouraging member countries and private sector partners to plan and organise events and activities around the theme that will appeal to consumers, travel agents and tour operators.

“For those who focus on renewing body and spirit, the options are virtually endless; from beachfront workouts and yoga retreats, to wellness resorts and spa treatments, the notion of being rejuvenated in the Caribbean is one more reason to let us pamper you in 2018,” the secretary general said.

“The region’s diverse tropical landscape with mountain ranges, valleys and volcanoes, provide excellent opportunities for a variety of ages and physical abilities. Individual trekking, group hiking, health walks, fun-runs, marathons and a range of water-based health-related activities are held throughout the year in our CTO member-countries.”

The global wellness sector is a $3.72 trillion industry, according to the Global Wellness Institute, a Miami, Florida-based non-profit-making organisation that provides global research and insight into the wellness industry.

The 2018 Caribbean Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation will be promoted through social media and traditional media channels and will create opportunities for travellers and holiday planners to share their experiences and ideas of how to welcome visitors to the region for wellness and rejuvenation.

Through the campaign, CTO, its member countries and private sector partners will highlight the Caribbean as the leading choice for wellness and rejuvenation.

At the briefing, Mr. Riley also announced that the Canadian market was a strong performer during the first half of 2017, with arrivals up by 6.4 per cent over the corresponding period last year, and is expected to continue to register growth this year despite the hurricanes which impacted about 25 per cent of CTO member countries.

“The Conference Board of Canada is predicting that decent capacity and relative value will support growth and expects a transfer of demand from affected destinations to unaffected countries, with the overall impact likely to be minimal,” he said.

In addition, the Conference Board of Canada predicts that Caribbean air lift from Canada will be stable, with capacity up by double digits to about a dozen Caribbean countries through to July, while several others showed strong growth of between five per cent and ten per cent.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Corporate News

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Over 140 Of Europe’s Top Operators To Visit Trinidad In 2018

Port of Spain, Trinidad – November 13, 2017 – Trinidad and Tobago’s participation in World Travel Market (WTM) continues to bear fruit as the delegation completed its series of meetings with a number of international travel trade professionals, airline representatives and global tourism stakeholders. Traditionally, the European source market has been a mainstay for the island of Tobago but at this year’s WTM a leading company in the travel and tourism industry in the German-speaking countries has expressed keen interest in selling destination Trinidad. Every year, more than 6 million guests travel with the tour operators of this group.

Minister Shamfa Cudjoe and other Ministry officials met with executives of the international travel company to discuss plans for bringing over one hundred (100) of Europe’s top tour operators to Trinidad in 2018. International tour operators have described Trinidad as one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets and welcomed the opportunity to open up this market to their clientele.

Whilst over forty per cent (40%) of Trinidad’s visitors come from the United States of America, our new marketing thrust is to diversify the current source market pool so as to attract visitors from non-traditional source markets to experience the amazing product that is Trinidad.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago remains resolute in its commitment to building the tourism industry with a view to this industry being the vehicle for economic diversification and meetings, such as those that took place at World Travel Market 2017, are considered as a critical part of the foundation for sustainable tourism development.

Minister Cudjoe gave the international travel company her commitment to further the relationship and expressed excitement about the upcoming opportunity to showcase Trinidad; indicating that “this is exciting because we are expanding our offerings. Tobago gives you that quintessential Caribbean experience, but Trinidad has a big chunk of South America in it.”

Held annually at ExCel London Building, United Kingdom, World Travel Market is the most important platform in the world for the travel industry and is visited by over 51,000 members of the international tourism industry and hosts over 5,000 exhibitors from all five (5) continents. This three (3) day exhibition concluded on November 08, 2017.

For more information, contact:

Corporate Communications Unit
Phone: (868) 624-1403 Ext. 248
Ministry of Tourism  Fax:  (868) 625-3894
Levels 8 & 9
Tower C, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago, WEST INDIES

ABOUT THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM

The Ministry of Tourism is responsible for tourism policy development, awareness, catalysing and facilitating growth of the tourism sector, encouraging investment in the sector, building stakeholder partnerships and monitoring trends in the industry in Trinidad and Tobago.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Freelance Journalist Robert Osborne Wins Top Prize at CTO Travel Media Awards in Canada

CTO Travel Media Award winners with CTO secretary general Hugh Riley (left) and Saint Lucia’s minister of tourism Dominic Fedee (right). Missing from photo are Robert Osborne, Michele Petersen and Sarah Staples. Ms Staples will accept her award at the CTO’s media awards luncheon in Montreal on Friday.

TORONTO, ON, 13 November, 2017 –   A story about diving in the Cayman Islands has copped freelance journalist Robert Osborne the top award at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s Caribbean Travel Media Awards programme.

The article, From Cayman With Love, which appeared in Diver Magazine, captures Osborne’s experiences ten years after he had first visited the CTO member country.

It earned the experienced writer the Best of the Best award at today’s awards luncheon sponsored by Saint Lucia, at the Doubletree Hilton Toronto Downtown, part of the programme for Caribbean Week Canada organized by the CTO.

“A well-crafted travel story by a keen observer can entice, inspire, and literally transport the reader to the destination. Robert Osborne achieved that feat with his entry, From Cayman With Love. He returned to the Cayman Islands after 10 years to revisit some of his favourite dive sites and vividly shared his memories and his discoveries while taking his readers on a series of adventures under the water and on land,” said chief judge Tim Doyle, a Toronto-based writer, editor and media executive who helped drive the digital transformation of many of Canada’s major newsrooms, and who teaches journalism in the School of Communications, Media and Design at Centennial College where he co-ordinates undergraduate and postgraduate journalism programmes. Osborne was one of seven travel writers and photographers awarded today for their coverage of the Caribbean.

The winners of this year’s Caribbean Travel Media awards are as follows:

Been There, Wrote That – Best Feature Article In A Consumer Magazine

Robert Osborne – From Cayman With Love – Diver Magazine

I Couldn’t Have Written Better Myself – Best Feature In A Consumer Newspaper

Michele Petersen – Spotlight on Nevis: The Broadway Musical “Hamilton” Shines Attention on this Luxe Caribbean Hideaway – The Montrealer

Inner Circle King/Queen– Best Feature Article In A Trade Publication

Ann Ruppenstein – You’ll Never Be Blue in Colorful CURAÇAO  – Travel Courier

Virtual Visitor Award – Best Online Feature

Josephine Matyas – Dominica lets visitors stay active or chill out – thestar.com

Not Lost in Translation Award –  Best Feature by a Canadian Journalist that appeared in Foreign Media.

Mark Stevens – Seven Great Reasons to Visit Antigua & Barbuda – Caribbean Business and Travel

Oh Snap!– Best Photograph accompanying a feature 

Sarah Staples – Havana: Then, Now & Its American Future –  Luxe Magazine

Oh My Word, I Blogged! (Best Blog Post)

Reanna Khan – Ortinola Great House: Your source for Cocoa Goodness – Never See Come Sea.. This winner of this award was determined by voters in an online poll.

They Like Me, They Really Like Me – Best of the Best

Robert Osborne – From Cayman With Love – Diver Magazine

Organized by the CTO, Caribbean Week Canada 2017 combines business sessions and consumer-oriented events with Caribbean-inspired food, lively entertainment and networking opportunities.

The remainder of the Caribbean Week Canada 2017 agenda includes:

Toronto, Canada

  •  Trade Show and Educational Forum for Travel Agents: Tuesday, 14 November, 2017, 8 – noon., Improve Canada
  •  Tourism Industry Panel Discussion: Tuesday, 14 November, 2017, 12:30 – 3:30 p.m., Improve Canada

 Montreal, Canada

  •  Trade Show and Educational Forum for Travel Agents: Thursday 16 November, 2017, 5:30 – 9 p.m.  InterContinental Hotel
  • Media Marketplace: Friday, 17 November, 2017, 10:30 – 12:30 p.m., InterContinental Hotel
  • Media Awards Luncheon with National Tourist Offices: Friday 17 November, 2017, 12:30 – 2 p.m., InterContinental Hotel

For more information on any of the Caribbean Week Canada events contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization at 905-857-1986 or visit canada.caribbeanweek.com.

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Corporate News

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Grenada Born Social Justice Advocate Jean Augustine Honoured with CTO’s Highest Award

Jean Augustine (right) receives CTO Lifetime Achievement Award from CTO secretary general Hugh Riley (centre) while close friend Rita Cox (left) looks on.

 

Chef Raymond Chung (right) of Doubletree Hilton Downtown Toronto presents cash donation to CTO secretary general Hugh Riley

TORONTO, ON, 13 November, 2017 –  The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has bestowed its most prestigious honour on social advocate Jean Augustine.

The Grenada-born retired Canadian school teacher and politician was given the CTO Lifetime Achievement Award – the first person ever to be given this award in Canada – at a glitzy Caribbean Ball in Toronto on Friday evening.

“For your many years of passionate involvement in civic and diaspora activities, your extensive advocacy for education and social justice, your dedication to the development of the Caribbean and your leadership in investing in our youth by the establishment of the chair in education, community and Diaspora at York University; for these and other outstanding achievements which are symbols of your commitment to our youth, the African Caribbean community and all citizens, we honour you,” the citation said.

Ms. Augustine was a trailblazing politician and social activist, having worked her way from a nanny when she first arrived here in 1960, to become the most powerful black woman in the Canadian parliament.

She was the first black woman elected to the Canadian parliament and the first black cabinet minister, acting as Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s trusted voice on committees and at international meetings and in Parliament when he was absent from the house of commons.

During her acceptance speech, the Ms. Augustine described how she once persuaded the Canadian prime minister to meet Caribbean leaders in the region instead of having them travel to Canada. That meeting was held in her country of birth, Grenada. She also described her battle to get the government to ease visa restrictions on Caribbean nationals, a battle she said she lost.

Prior to serving in parliament, Ms. Augustine was a school teacher and during her career in the teaching service she was an activist in Toronto’s Caribbean communities, volunteering with grassroots organizations to strengthen immigrant and women’s rights and to combat violence against women, drug abuse and poverty. In 1967, she served on the committee that helped organise the first Caribana festival, and in the mid-1990s she played a crucial role in establishing Black History Month in Canada.

“The Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award honours individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to society and who, by their example, have inspired at least one generation.  Ms. Augustine’s achievements have far exceeded those criteria,” the CTO said.

Ms. Augustine promised to place the award in a fitting location where it can be seen and appreciated by members of the public.

The honouree was introduced by her close friend Dr. Rita Cox, who shared compelling stories of Ms. Augustine’s advocacy on behalf of the region and her dedication to teaching.

The event was addressed by Ontario’s minister of education Mitzie Hunter, while minister of tourism, culture and sport Eleanor McMahon, who was unable attend, sent a message of welcome in which she described Caribbean Week Canada as “a wonderful way to celebrate our vibrant Caribbean-Canadian culture, which is such an important part of many communities in Ontario”.

“I invite everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to network and discover new and exciting ways to strengthen tourism ties between Ontario and the Caribbean. I would like to thank the Caribbean Tourism Organization, its partners and volunteers for their commitment to a sustainable tourism industry that contributes to the well-being of the people of the Caribbean,” she stated.

The Caribbean Ball, which was held at the Doubletree Hilton Downtown Toronto, was a fundraiser for the CTO’s hurricane relief fund and the CTO Foundation, the organisation’s scholarship programme which provides scholarships and grants to Caribbean nationals pursuing studies in tourism and hospitality.

During the event, the hotel’s wait staff presented over $1,000 to the CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley, monies collected through their own fundraising efforts to help Caribbean countries that had been affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Organized by the CTO, Caribbean Week Canada 2017 combines business sessions and consumer-oriented events with Caribbean-inspired food, lively entertainment and networking opportunities.  

The remainder of the Caribbean Week Canada 2017 agenda includes:

Toronto, Canada

  • Trade Show and Educational Forum for Travel Agents: Tuesday, 14 November, 2017, 8 – noon., Improve Canada
  •  Tourism Industry Panel Discussion: Tuesday, 14 November, 2017, 12:30 – 3:30 p.m., Improve Canada

 Montreal, Canada

  •  Trade Show and Educational Forum for Travel Agents: Thursday 16 November, 2017, 5:30 – 9 p.m.  InterContinental Hotel
  • Media Marketplace: Friday, 17 November, 2017, 10:30 – 12:30 p.m., InterContinental Hotel
  • Media Awards Luncheon with National Tourist Offices: Friday 17 November, 2017, 12:30 – 2 p.m., InterContinental Hotel

 For more information on any of the Caribbean Week Canada events contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization at 905-857-1986 or visit canada.caribbeanweek.com.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Corporate News

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