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Archive for 2017 News

Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum (CSSTF) 2017 Re-scheduled to December 12 & 13

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism once again thank you for your understanding regarding the postponement of our Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum (CSSTF 2017), due to the passage of Hurricane Irma.

We are pleased to announce that CSSTF 2017 has been re-scheduled to December 12 & 13, in Basseterre, St Kitts, with a special Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Workshop to be held for select delegates on December 14.

Regustration for the forum is now open via: caribbeanstc.com.  Previously registered delegates are asked to kindly confirm their participation in the Forum by emailing Mr. Kennedy Pemberton,  [email protected] also copying [email protected].

Person who have paid a registration fee should note that this amount will be applied to the new Forum once attendance is confirmed. If unable to attend, delegates  are encouraged to nominate a suitable replacement, but if such is not possible then we will process the relevant refund based on your instruction.

It is a sombre moment as we reflect on the impacts of recent adverse weather events to many of our islands in the region. Nonetheless, the spirit of our people remains unwavering as we look determinedly towards recovery.  Now more than ever, the Caribbean and friends of the Caribbean must rally together to support the process of rebuilding hurricane-affected destinations.

Let’s meet to discuss and strategise how we can develop more Resilient Tourism Destinations in the frame of the Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum. See you in St. Kitts!

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Climate Smart Forum

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Statement by Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism on UNWTO Initiative to Assist in Caribbean Recovery

KINGSTON, Jamaica (4 October, 2017) – Jamaica continues to extend our thoughts and prayers to our Caribbean brothers and sisters, especially residents in those islands that took a direct hit from the recent hurricanes and to everyone who has been or will be affected as a result of these catastrophic storms.

We recognize that the entire Caribbean region will be adversely impacted by the lasting results of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and have set a course of action that is designed to minimize the long-term effect on the region.

We acknowledge, with thanks, receipt from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), in conjunction with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), the periodic status reports issued in cooperation with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and applaud the efforts at assisting the region and ensuring that timely and accurate information is disseminated.

We are aware that CTO and CDEMA technical teams have been on the ground in the various islands doing rapid needs assessments and coordinating with the national authorities in managing the various interventions, to mitigate the pain and hardships that are so pervasive at this time.

As a direct result of these unprecedented hurricanes, a meeting was convened by the World Tourism Organization – the United Nations specialised agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism (UNWTO) – at the General Assembly in Chengdu, China on 13 September, 2017. There were some 10 countries from the Caribbean and Latin America represented at the meeting – Bahamas, Barbados, Colombia, Costa, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela – in addition to representatives from the USA, France, Spain, the Netherlands, the UNWTO and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean member of the UNWTO, was absent from the general assembly.

The outcome of that meeting was a decision to assist in the Caribbean natural disaster risk management and response initiatives and to include in the programme for the UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 27-29 November, an opportunity for all interested parties to discuss and implement a plan of action.

As a proud host of this important global summit, Jamaica is honoured that the UNWTO has asked that I coordinate its involvement in this recovery effort for the region. The first step therefore was to reach out to the regional tourism organizations – CTO, CHTA and CDEMA – to brainstorm opportunities for collaboration.

Along with representatives of CTO and CHTA, we discussed how the CTO’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) taking place in Grenada on 10 -13 October could feed into the special session in Jamaica, and that a document will emerge from SOTIC which will help to inform that session at the Jamaica/UNWTO summit.

The portion of the SOTIC conference which will inform discussion at the Jamaica/UNWTO event is the Recover & Rebuild session, scheduled for 12 October.

The Recover & Rebuild session will be an in-depth four-hour segment where we will hear from leading experts in disaster preparedness and mitigation, recovery, funding, airport development and maintenance, airlines, cruise lines, telecommunications and media, as well as representatives of the hotel sector and member countries that have experienced – and recovered from – major catastrophes.

Recover & Rebuild will focus on the economic cost of the disasters, including the potential impact on gross domestic product, employment, the cost to rebuild and the recovery time. Key recommendations emerging from Recover & Rebuild will form part of the comprehensive document which we believe will have industry-wide international significance.

We urge everyone in the travel, hospitality and tourism industry including airlines, airport managers, cruise lines, cruise port managers, hoteliers, tour operators, travel agents and my fellow Ministers and Directors of Tourism across the region, as well as in our source markets, especially those in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, to attend both the SOTIC in Grenada from 10 to 13 October and the UNWTO meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica on 27-29 November. These two crucial events will help set the course for recovery and growth for all of us over the next year and shape the future of tourism for the Caribbean region.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Recovery

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St. Kitts: Every Hotel, Every Room, Every Day

Basseterre, St. Kitts (October 2, 2017) – In conjunction with the launch of its brand new official website on September 28, St. Kitts is pleased to declare that it’s “Time to Lime” with a limited time special offer providing up to 40% off hotel stays during peak travel season.

“While we continue to send thoughts, prayers and aid to our Caribbean neighbors who have been severely impacted by Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria, we are also grateful to be relatively unscathed as we approach our traditional peak season,”said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “Our new offer and website are both designed to inform potential guests that we are open and welcoming visitors while enticing them to book a trip to St. Kitts in the coming months.”

This special offer provides savings to visitors, whether they want to go scuba diving, play golf, experience adventure, enjoy a girls or guys getaway, or take a family vacation or a couples escape in St. Kitts. To receive the discounted rate, hotel reservations must be booked by October 29, 2017 for stays between December 15, 2017 and March 31, 2018. To learn more and to book, simply visit the Special Offers page on our new website www.stkittstourism.kn and click through on “Time to Lime” or go directly to http://www.stkittstourism.kn/promotions/island-wide-savings.

The offer is valid on new bookings only and may not be combinable with other promotional offers or programs. Blackout dates, additional restrictions and other terms and conditions may apply, so potential guests are advised to check with their hotel of choice prior to booking.

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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IBM To Present At Region’s Premier Tourism Industry Gathering

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (2 October, 2017) The American multinational technology company IBM will present at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) which opens in Grenada next week.

IBM’s global industry leader responsible for hospitality and travel related services, Greg Land, will be part of a panel which explores ways in which the Caribbean can use technology creatively to enhance the visitor experience and successfully sell destinations.

As part of his presentation Mr. Land will focus on Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform, and how Caribbean destinations and businesses can utilise AI in decision making and to engage visitors.

The session, entitled, Active Engagement: Riding the Technological Wave, will also include presentations by Amrita Gurney, the head of marketing at CrowdRiff, a Canadian visual marketing platform used by tourism brands, and Oliver Gale, the founder of Bitt, a Barbados-based financial company that uses blockchain technology for online money transfers using any form of currency.

This session runs from 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. on Friday 13 October, the final day of the conference, which will have Super Bowl winner Dorsey Levin as the keynote speaker.

“I will focus on rapid rebound and will also touch on how to take control of life without excuses and how to navigate successfully through stressful situations and keep moving forward. I would like nothing more than to motivate and inspire delegates to get back on track after the damage caused by the hurricanes,” Levens said.

The conference has as its theme, Supercharging the Brand: Meeting the Needs of the New Explorers, and in the wake of the catastrophic impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on some member countries, the CTO is adding a special session to the SOTIC programme that will focus on how to recover and rebuild after a major disaster.

The four-hour session on Thursday 12 October is designed to explore and examine the issues and key recommendations to be considered as the Caribbean rebuilds after the monstrous category five storms, in particular, or other natural disasters it might face in the future.

It will focus on the economic cost of the disasters, including potential impact on gross domestic product, employment, the cost to rebuild and recovery time.

The State of the Tourism Industry Conference is being organised by the CTO in collaboration with the Grenada Tourism Authority and Grenada’s ministry of tourism, and will be held from 10-13 October at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort. The conference will be preceded by business meetings on 9 and 10 October.

Other key conference sessions include Infusing Dynamism in Caribbean Tourism, Who are the New Explorers, Business Models that Rock, Turning Our Waters Into Goldmines – Investing in the Blue Economy, and Spicing Up the Caribbean Brand.

The highly anticipated tourism youth congress and a Stakeholders Speak Out session are also part of the programme.

For further details on the conference, including how to register, please visit http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, SOTIC

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St. Kitts Launches New Website

Basseterre, St. Kitts (September 28, 2017) – St. Kitts is pleased to announce the launch of its brand new official website, effective as of today. Created in keeping with the latest trends in technology, the new www.stkittstourism.kn website features a mobile-first design reflective of how people research and book their travel today as well as immersive photo and video content and an improved user experience overall.

“While we continue to send our thoughts, prayers and aid to our Caribbean brothers and sisters, who have been severely impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, we are also grateful to be open and welcoming travelers,” said Minister Grant. “Therefore, the launch of our new website today could not be better timed as it is one of the first places to which potential guests go to research what we have to offer including the variety of accommodations where they can stay, our distinct product offerings and unique attractions such as Brimstone Hill, a World Heritage Site, The Scenic Railway and Caribelle Batik/Romney Manor as well as how easy it is to get here.”

In addition to upgrading the site from a desktop-first design to a mobile one that automatically redraws to render the optimal experience according to user access device, the new website features enhanced search filters based on user-selected preference criteria that automatically refines searches to match them. For example, a user can choose to stay in a hotel that is beachfront and/or has pool and/or Wi-Fi capability. TripAdvisor integration provides an additional tool for travelers researching the destination and links to social media are more prominently promoted.

New pages also include curated itineraries similar to those found in travel guides, special offers, expanded hotel and events pages, highlighted links to tips from bloggers / publications and a dedicated page for travel professionals. The new website provides a full range of details including where to stay, activities, dining venues, a calendar of events, details about getting married on St. Kitts and more.

St. Kitts’ new website was created by Tambourine, the island’s digital marketing agency of record based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Tambourine also created St. Kitts’ previous website, which won awards from some of the travel industry’s most prestigious organizations including HSMAI and Travel Weekly upon its debut in 2011.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Message from Grenada’s Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen on the Occasion of World Tourism Day

It gives me great pleasure to celebrate this special observance of World Tourism Day under the theme, “Sustainable Tourism, a tool for development.” Internationally and locally, the tourism industry contributes millions to the economy, creates livelihoods and facilitates a rich cultural exchange. In Grenada, the Tourism Industry provides direct and indirect employment for approx. 11,000 people and in 2015 visitors spent 392 million EC dollars in the economy.

The benefits are tremendous; however, we find ourselves at a crossroads. How do we maximize the benefits from this industry to promote sustainable development and a brighter future for generations to come? How do we as Governments, industry contributors and citizens play our part in making our countries and the world a better place. This means sustainable economic growth, decent jobs, preserving the environment and addressing climate change, celebrating and preserving diversity and culture and promoting peace.

Pure Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique is well on its way to making its contribution in creating a better world by preserving our natural environment. Already, many of our hotels have implemented energy saving measures to their businesses while some have stopped using Styrofoam products. The Government of Grenada has also pledged to table legislation banning the importation of Styrofoam and plastic as part of a proper waste management strategy. The effects of Styrofoam are well known as it is non-biodegradable and its link to cancer has been explored.  This ban on Styrofoam and plastic will be a priority going forward.

Our brand Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean reminds us that we should all aspire to do our part to ensure that our island gems remain clean and beautiful. I encourage you to support this brand by incorporating sustainable practices in your lives to achieve this goal whether it’s by conducting a community cleanup, encouraging friends and family to properly dispose of waste or implementing energy saving measures in your homes. Take the pledge today to keep Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique Pure.

As we observe World Tourism Day, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai reminds us that whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to: Respect Nature, Respect Culture and Respect your host. Together, our efforts can be the catalyst for meaningful and sustained change through Tourism.

Happy World Tourism Day!

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Super Bowl Winner Dorsey Levens to Keynote CTO State of the Tourism Industry Conference

(BRIDGETOWN, Barbados) 26 September, 2017  A man who overcame adversity – and the odds – to lead his team to the championship in American football, will share some of the secrets on what it takes to get up and succeed after being knocked down, when he addresses the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Grenada next month.

Super Bowl winner Dorsey Levin will keynote the 10-13 October event, described by secretary general Hugh Riley as likely to be the most important conference ever organised by the CTO.

“I will focus on rapid rebound and will also touch on how to take control of life without excuses and how to navigate successfully through stressful situations and keep moving forward. I would like nothing more than to motivate and inspire delegates to get back on track after the damage caused by the hurricanes,” Levens said.

Speaking on the conference theme, Supercharging the Brand: Meeting the Needs of the New Explorers, the Super Bowl champion will address subjects such as breaking through the pain, what it takes to win against all odds, the true value of teamwork, tackling fierce competition, what it takes to get up after being knocked down, and the will to be number one.

“Mr. Levens has demonstrated throughout his career how to rebound from adversity and win against all odds,” Mr. Riley said. “Our members will welcome him as our keynoter for his sheer determination and valuable insights into what it takes to emerge stronger from the challenges that we face on the way to becoming  winners.”

In both his collegiate and professional life as an athlete, Mr. Levens developed a reputation for defeating the odds. He set a school record as a running back after sitting out a year due to a knee injury, and despite being considered a marginal pick – he was chosen 149th overall in the 1994 National Football League draft – he would go on to lead his Green Bay Packers to its first championship in 29 years in 1996.

Levens’ current entertainment roles and accomplishments include writing and serving as executive producer for Bell Rung, an insightful documentary focused on bringing to light the long-term effects and life-altering health issues suffered by many former professional football player, and co-writing and serving as the executive producer of Stripped, a hit stage play.  Recently he has appeared in Tyler Perry’s hit stage play Madea On The Run, Tyler Perry’s sitcom For Better Or Worse, and British comedy Gridiron UK. Film credits also include We Are Marshall and Three Can Play That Game.

Mr. Levens has recently joined The Empowerhouse Group as senior sports consultant, presenting The BioCode System, described by the group as an innovative coaching programme that provides simple yet powerful tools to develop stronger, more confident leaders and empowers the way leaders work and live.

In the wake of the catastrophic impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on some member countries, the CTO is adding a special session to the SOTIC programme that will focus on how to recover and rebuild after a major disaster.

The three-hour session on Thursday 12 October is designed to explore and examine the issues and key recommendations to be considered as the Caribbean rebuilds after the monstrous category five storms, in particular, or other natural disasters it might face in the future.

It will focus on the economic cost of the disasters, including potential impact on gross domestic product, employment, the cost to rebuild and recovery time.

The State of the Tourism Industry Conference is being organised by the CTO in collaboration with the Grenada Tourism Authority and Grenada’s ministry of tourism, and will be held from 10-13 October at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort. The conference will be preceded by business meetings on 9 and 10 October.

Key conference sessions include Infusing Dynamism in Caribbean Tourism, Who are the New Explorers, Business Models that Rock, Turning Our Waters Into Goldmines – Investing in the Blue Economy, Active Engagement: Riding the Technological Wave, and Spicing Up the Caribbean Brand.

The highly anticipated tourism youth congress and a Stakeholders Speak Out session are also part of the programme.

For further details on the conference, including how to register, please visit http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, SOTIC

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