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Archive for 2017 News

CTO Launches Relief Fund to Assist With Hurricane Aid Efforts

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (8 Sept, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has activated its “CTO Relief Fund” through GoFundMe to help families and countries rebuild after hurricanes, particularly in the wake of the massive category 5 Hurricane Irma, which has impacted a number of member countries.

All of the money raised through the CTO’s Relief Fund will be sent directly to CTO-member destinations affected by the catastrophic storm, which hit some countries with winds up to 185 mph.

“The damage caused by the force of Hurricane Irma is an important example of why we must do whatever is possible to provide financial relief to those who need it most. It’s through this fund that the CTO channels monetary assistance to our impacted member states,” CTO secretary general Hugh Riley said. “The CTO appreciates all donations to assist in the recovery efforts in these countries.”

For more information on CTO’s Relief Fund or to make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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STATEMENT FROM THE CTO ON HURRICANE IRMA

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (5 Sept, 2017) – As Hurricane Irma, a dangerous Category 5 storm, churns its way towards the northern Leeward Islands and the northern Caribbean, including the Bahamas, Cuba and Haiti,  the Caribbean Tourism Organization expresses concern for residents and visitors in the countries that are in the hurricane’s projected path, and pray that the impact will be reduced.

We have been in contact with our members and they assure us that they have been taking all the necessary steps to ensure that they are in a state of readiness.

We take this storm seriously. The safety of the Caribbean’s citizens and our visitors is the number one concern for the authorities and emergency response teams throughout the region.

The CTO is actively monitoring the hurricane and will share updates from our member countries on www.onecaribbean.org and our social media channels, as they become available.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog

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Fourth Annual BVI Food Fete Set For November, 2017

Tortola, British Virgin Islands (August 29, 2017) — The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board (BVITB) is excited to announce the fourth annual BVI Food Fete, a month-long festival that celebrates the culinary offerings of the BVI. Featuring visiting chefs, bar crawls, special tasting menus, and more, Food Fete is a true showcase of the islands’ brightest flavors. Festivities kick off on November 3rd , and culminate with the popular Anegada Lobster Festival on November 25th and 26th.

Highlights of this year’s festival include the Barefoot Gourmet Soiree, the Jost Pork Festival and the Taste of the BVI events. Throughout the month of November, visitors can also enjoy some of the BVI’s classic cocktails during spirited happy hours and bar crawls.

“We’re thrilled to announce the lineup of exciting events for the fourth annual BVI Food Fete,” Director of Tourism Sharon Flax-Brutus said. “This will be a month full of gourmet adventures. It’s the perfect way to learn about and experience the bold flavors of the islands, alongside a talented group of visiting chefs and a fantastic list of participating restaurants, bars and properties throughout the BVI.”

With the emergence of the Guana Visiting Chef Series, the recent Minority Chefs Summit and the success of the BVI National Culinary Team, The British Virgin Islands are quickly becoming the culinary capital of the Caribbean.

Food Fete is scheduled to begin on November 3rd:

Taste of Tortola – Friday, November 3rd on Tortola

  • An opportunity to sample tantalising food, incredible wines and amazing entertainment on the water’s edge! We are excited to bring together a cross section of BVI restaurants, eateries, visitors and residents into one location to celebrate food.

 Jost Pork Festival – Saturday, November 4th & Sunday, November 5th on Jost Van Dyke

  • Join the Jost Van Dyke community as the island is turned into a Pork Lovers Paradise for a two-day culinary experience.

 Guy Fawkes Night – Sunday, November 5th  on Jost Van Dyke

  • Guy Fawkes, an English Catholic, was a part of a secret plot to assassinate King James by setting the British House of Parliament on fire. This plot was ultimately foiled, and on November 5, 1605 revelers held a jubilation over the King’s escape. Get your Guy Fawkes masks ready and join in this time-honored BVI tradition!

Barefoot Gourmet Soiree – Friday, November 10th at Peter Island Resort & Spa

Hosted by visiting celebrity chefs, The Barefoot Gourmet Soirée is a stellar culinary event that also highlights renowned local chefs and showcases an array of Caribbean cuisine.

Peter Island Caribbean Food & Wine Festival – Friday, November 10th & Saturday, November 11th at Peter Island Resort & Spa

Peter Island’s Caribbean Food Festival is a culinary event that brings chefs from various Caribbean islands to celebrate Caribbean food and cooking techniques. Nestled in the charm and beauty of Peter Island Resort & Spa, the exclusive resort is a getaway for some of the world’s “A-listers”.

Taste of Virgin Gorda –  Saturday, November 18th at Nail Bay Ruins

The 5th Annual Taste of Virgin Gorda takes place in the beautiful and historic Nail Bay Sugar Works ruins. Don’t miss your chance to sample delicious cuisine, incredible wines, and amazing entertainment! We are excited to bring you a wide cross-section of Virgin Gordian based restaurants in one location under the stars, while you listen and dance to some of the best live music in the Caribbean.

Cooper Island Rum Festival – Sunday, November 19th at Cooper Island Beach Club

  • A day for rum lovers! Join Cooper Island Beach Club for their 2nd annual Rum Festival.  Rum-inspired sweet & savoryspecialty cocktails and live entertainment are the order of the day. This sailors delight is home to an island party that you do not want to miss… lest you be forced to walk the plank!

Anegada Lobster Festival – November 25th & 26th on Anegada

  • The Anegada Lobster Festival Turns 5! Join the Anegada Community and fellow Caribbean spiny lobster lovers along the shores of Anegada for the 5th annual Anegada Lobster Festival.

BVI Food Fete Bar Crawls

  • BVI Food Fete Bar Crawls are fun filled adventures that take you around each participating island, visiting some of the best and most fun establishments on the island. The bar crawls include games, music, food, and fun, fun, fun! All bar crawls include transportation, t-shirt, random celebratory drinks, fun, games and prizes.

All BVI Food Fete Bar Crawls are sponsored by Caribbean Cellars, one of the premier beverage distributors in the Caribbean

Jost Crawl

Saturday, November 4th

Venue: Jost Van Dyke

On the Rocks Crawl

Saturday, November 18th

Venue: Virgin Gorda

Lobster Crawl

Friday, November 24th

Venue: Anegada

To view a full schedule of events, find ticket information and more, please visit www.bvifoodfete.com.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series Ready to Rumble

Bridgetown, Barbados (24 August, 2017): As the European summer regatta circuit begins to draw to a close, the Caribbean vibe in Barbados is beginning to rumble with plans already in place for the annual Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series – 16-24 January 2018.

The 82nd edition of this Caribbean season opening Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series regatta, organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, is now one of the most popular events on the circuit. With direct, regular flights from London to Barbados, now could be the time to consider a midwinter charter option or, for those planning a transatlantic crossing in the next few months, consider a rewarding trip to beautiful island of Barbados during regatta time.

Other than three days of coastal racing, one of the main draws is the headline event – the 60nm Round Barbados Race – which offers speed sailing enthusiasts not only a chance to enjoy spectacular sailing on a race circuit with uninterrupted winds, but also a chance to win their skipper’s weight in rum if any of the 20 records are broken.

Tony Lawson’s MOD70, MS Barbados Concise10 that currently holds the record for the fastest time ever recorded/the Absolute Multihull (2 hours, 37 minutes, 38 seconds) pipped Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo3 to the post by just 12 seconds in 2016. Skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield and team from the UK, MS Barbados Concise10 will be back on the racetrack in January to defend her title.

The 60nm sprint around the island of Barbados is also the perfect playground for big classic yachts such as the three-masted 65m schooner Adix, and the 55m A Class Schooner Elena – the yacht that holds the Classic record of 6 hours, 11 minutes, 19 seconds. To celebrate the heritage of this historic regatta that dates back to schooner racing in 1936, thousands of spectators gather annually at vantage points around the island to watch these glorious yachts under sail.

In total contrast is the growing smallboat sector. As well as a Multihull Doublehanded record established this year by Bryn Palmer and Evan Walker on the RC30 catamaran Silver Bullet, an Absolute Foiling Monohull record was established, which means for those who believe they can better Andy Budgen’s Mach 2 foiling International Moth time of 4 hours, 23 minutes, 18 seconds, the gloves are most definitely off.

 Interestingly winning the skippers’ weight in rum by breaking one of the established records is not all about out-and-out racing machines, which is one of the reasons why the event also appeals to club sailors and the charter sector. Sailing his Dufour 44 – Luna – Andreas Berg from Germany circumnavigated the Island in 8 hours, 7 minutes, 31 seconds and in doing so set a new benchmark time for the Singlehanded record.

The Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta Series is based off the Barbados Cruising Club beach at the south-west corner of the Island in Carlisle Bay where there is plenty of mooring space. However, demand is starting to increase for space in the recently completed, and conveniently located marina facilities that includes online clearance through Sail Clear, plus washing facilities and Wi-Fi.

Finally, a visit to the regatta and the home of Mount Gay wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the legendary Mount Gay Rum Red Cap party. There is even a tour/tasting session at the Mount Gay Distillery and, on layday, there’s a chance to enjoy the specially laid-on exhibition polo match… with more rum… naturally.

About the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series

Early years
The first recorded race round Barbados was in 1936 when five trading schooners (Sea Fox, Mona Marie, Marion B Wolfe, Lucille Smith and Rhode Island) took up the challenge. Sea Fox (Captain Lou Kenedy) was the overall winner with a time of 10 hours 20 minutes.

The original race was based upon bragging rights for the fastest Trading Schooner. In an era where prices for cargo arriving ahead of rival ships commanded a massive premium, this was a lucrative race for captains.

The consolation prize of a barrel of Mount Gay Rum for the slowest yacht was discontinued several years later following the discovery that some competitors purposely stalled and remained out at sea for days to ensure they won the prize.

Current

In 2012 The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race expanded to incorporate the Two Restaurants Race, which meant racing took place over two days. The idea proved such a success, it was decided to expand the event further in 2014, in line with most other Caribbean regattas, and run a series of coastal, round-the-buoy races including the Two Restaurants Race, and The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race.

The 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race traditionally takes place on Errol Barrow Day (a public holiday to celebrate the birthday of the first Prime Minister of Barbados, and ‘father of independence). There are currently 20 records to contest.

The 265-mile Ocean Race from Barbados to Antigua at the end of the regatta was specifically designed to tie in with the start of the Superyacht Challenge in Antigua.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Actor, Director, Travel Writer Andrew McCarthy to Keynote Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (Aug. 22, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, has partnered with National Geographic Traveler to invite Andrew McCarthy, the magazine’s editor-at-large and actor, director and award-winning travel writer, to deliver the keynote address at the Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum, taking place Sept. 6 – 8 at the Ocean Terrace Inn in St. Kitts.

“We are grateful that our relationship with National Geographic Traveler has created the opportunity for Andrew McCarthy to address attendees at the Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum,” said Hugh Riley, secretary general of the CTO. “Mr. McCarthy has extensive knowledge of the Caribbean, having travelled and written about the many of our member countries. We look forward to his insight on this valuable topic impacting our region,” added Riley.

In addition to his role as editor-at-large at National Geographic Traveler, McCarthy has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Travel + Leisure, AFAR, Men’s Journal, Bon Appetit, and many others. He has received six Lowell Thomas awards, and been named Travel Journalist of the Year by The Society of American Travel Writers. His travel memoir, The Longest Way Home, became a New York Times Best Seller, and the Financial Times of London named it one of the Best Books of 2012.

McCarthy made his professional acting debut at 19 while attending New York University as a theatre major. He has since appeared in dozens of films, including The Spiderwick Chronicles and The Joy Luck Club, as well as such iconic movies as Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Less Then Zero, and cult favorites Weekend At Bernie’s and Mannequin. He has starred on Broadway and on television, appearing on numerous shows. He is also a highly-regarded television director, having worked on The Blacklist, Orange is the New Black, Alpha House, Black Box, Gossip Girl and White Collar, among others. McCarthy was known as a member of the 1980s “Brat Pack” of young actors that included Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy.

Themed Good for Us, Better for All, the Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum is an officially listed activity for the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.” In partnership with member country St. Kitts, the Forum will provide a tangible opportunity to meet, share best practices, network, and stimulate positive change that yields a sustainable Caribbean tourism industry. The event 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.

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 Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum will also feature 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 recognize regional sustainability champions.

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

For event details, and to register, visit http://www.onecaribbean.org/events-calendar/cto-2017-calendar/csstf-2017/.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Amanda Charles at [email protected] or Kennedy Pemberton at [email protected].

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Climate Smart Forum

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Florida Honeymoon Sweepstakes Winner Lauds Saint Lucia

(Saint Lucia, August 22, 2017) Saint Lucia is being praised highly by a very satisfied visitor who won the opportunity to enjoy the island. Nicole Kreiner won the trip in NBC 6 South Florida’s annual Ultimate Honeymoon Giveaway Sweepstakes in which the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) has been participating consistently over the years. Kreiner and her husband, Thomas St. Bizarro, stayed at the Ti Kaye Resort and Spa for a week from August 5. In a chat with the SLTB about the experience, Kreiner said, “Everyone is just so nice, the staff here are great and we love it here.” Her husband also expressed his love for the destination saying, “I thought I had died and gone to heaven… it is just so beautiful here”.

The adventure-loving couple made the Treetop Adventure Park in Dennery their first excursion and they were impressed by Saint Lucia’s natural beauty and the warmth of its people. Kreiner said, “It is just so beautiful here, you feel like you are always inside nature and the people here are just so welcoming everywhere we go.” The couple rented a car to explore the island and they visited Rodney Bay in the north of the island. On their return to Ti Kaye Resort and Spa, the couple got lost in the city but quickly found help from passersby. Kreiner recounts that “There was this really wonderful lady, she was actually buying bread and she took her time and got us all the way to the city exit.”

As part of their honeymoon adventure, the couple took a sunset cruise from Anse Cochon to watch the sun go down in the shade of the Pitons. To cap off their Saint Lucia sojourn, they climbed the majestic Gros Piton followed by a healing dip in the New Jerusalem mineral bath bringing a soothing end to their stay.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO & CACCI Create Cooperation Strategy for Diaspora for 2017-18

NEW YORK, NY (Aug. 21, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) recently formalized a cooperation strategy between the two organizations to strengthen the role of the Caribbean Diaspora while sharing resources and creating sustainability for the people and the region.

“CACCI believes that now is indeed the time for serious, positive action. We stand ready to support the regional integration process and will continue to respond positively to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), CARICOM, and OECS heads of government for assistance requested,” Dr. Roy A. Hastick Sr., the president and chief executive officer of CACCI  said in reference to the Caribbean Community and sub-regional grouping, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, as he introduced Hugh Riley, the secretary general of the CTO, to the member delegates.

Dr. Hastick continued, “This is an excellent opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to continue to work with you and your team, and continue the collaboration on which to build an even more unified and stronger Caribbean Community.”

In his remarks CACCI Board Chairman Mr. Edmund Sadio made mention of the longstanding relationship between CACCI and the CTO and the important role of CACCI’s founder in being an unofficial ambassador for the Caribbean Diaspora.

“As the tourism development agency for the Caribbean, the CTO recognizes the role of the Caribbean Diaspora in contributing to the tourism success of our member-countries, generating investment, stimulating a wide range of commercial activity, injecting significant amounts of foreign exchange, and influencing decisions at the highest levels of the public and private sectors,” said Riley.  “CACCI has been an influential force in building valuable business relationships between the Caribbean Diaspora and the decision-makers of New York City and New York State. Our communities continue to benefit from Dr. Hastick’s credo that business networking works.”

As part of the meeting, CTO and CACCI finalized arrangements for reciprocal membership, making each organization a member of the other with the two leaders formalizing the process by an exchange of documents and membership insignia.

The next steps are to begin implementing elements of the cooperation strategy for 2017-18, including investment prospects for the Caribbean, educational opportunities for Caribbean students, and CACCI’s involvement in Caribbean Week New York 2018 scheduled for June, which has been designated as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month in the U.S.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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