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CTO launches digital tourism education learning series for Caribbean primary schools

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (21 MARCH, 2017) – The teaching of tourism education in Caribbean primary school just got easier with the launch this week of creative teaching tools by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

The region’s tourism development agency has introduced its first ever tourism education for the Caribbean digital learning series of four (4) e-workbooks, along with activities, videos and fun facts about the Caribbean designed for use by teachers, and students ages 6-11.

These resources are intended to encourage schools across the Caribbean to:

  • Integrate more tourism topics in their curriculum in order to build greater awareness among young students regarding what tourism entails and the significance of tourism to the Caribbean
  • demonstrate the importance of taking care of the environment for ourselves and visitors
  • inform students on how they can play a role in tourism’s success
  • showcase the many career opportunities available to Caribbean nationals
  • have fun while exploring the learning materials

“We began by creating a series of physical workbooks and a tourism module for primary schools which were used in the past by many schools throughout the region, but we felt that we needed to refresh and upgrade our materials and present them in a colourful, creative and digital manner that children would enjoy and which would help them to have better recall,” stated Bonita Morgan, director of resource mobilization and development at the CTO.

These audiovisual materials allow students the opportunity to focus on their country and the wider Caribbean, view their country and the region through the eyes of the visitors and take pride in what the region has to offer as tourism destinations.

The learning series was officially launched at the Hillaby Turner’s Hall Primary School in Barbados, the first school to have access to  the digital tourism resource materials and was witnessed by the principal, teachers and students.

“We are deeply grateful here at Hillaby/Turner’s to have this opportunity to utilize e-resources in the teaching of our pupils. These e-tourism workbooks will enhance the tourism unit of social studies currently being taught in the Class Threes, the nine and ten year olds”, said Angela Edwards, principle of Hillaby/Turner’s Hall primary school.

To watch a preview video of the learning series, click on the following link: https://vimeo.com/user58929604/tourism-learning-series

The learning series can be purchased directly online at www.onecaribbean.org, or by calling and placing the order via telephone at 1-246-427-5242.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Tourism Officials Undertake High-level Mission to Brussels

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (20 March, 2017) – With the United Kingdom scheduled to officially advise the European Union next Wednesday of its intention to leave the EU, triggering two years of Brexit negotiations, Caribbean tourism officials recently undertook a mission to the European capital, Brussels, for a series of meetings with senior parliamentarians and officials in the European Parliament, the European Commission, the CARIFORUM ambassadors, and other key stakeholders and influencers.

The mission, led by secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Hugh Riley, in collaboration with president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Karolin Troubetzkoy, was held in recognition of the importance of engaging and strengthening relations with both the UK and the EU and to glean a better understanding of how this change will impact the Caribbean tourism industry, its engagement with political leaders, and its access to potential funding.

“We recognise that while the Caribbean tourism sector has had its successes – and we are certainly proud to celebrate those successes – we are also aware of the challenges which continue to stymie our growth,” Riley said. “We are aware that we have friends and willing partners in Europe who share our conviction that the future success of tourism in the Caribbean is key to creating new jobs, growth and prosperity in the region and we look forward to continue to build on the already strong relationships we have in the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and with the EU institutions,” he added.

Among the many areas of interest for the CTO were access to funding for tourism development programmes under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and future UK-Caribbean bilateral funding programmes.

The mission, which included Hon. Shamfa Cudjoe, the Minister of Tourism for Trinidad & Tobago, and Marie-Line Lesdema, the first Vice-President of the Martinique Tourism Committee, was able to determine that funds for private sector growth programmes in the tourism sector continue to be available, but that there was ever more competition for the funds; the most successful projects would be those which demonstrated their ability to deliver demonstrable development benefits.

The Caribbean team also discussed with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) initiatives to support environmentally sustainable tourism within local communities, along with training and education, including new possible partnerships for tourism training initiatives.

“Collaboratively, the CTO and the CHTA are always looking for avenues to maximize the economic development potential of the tourism industry to reduce the region’s unemployment, enhance our competitive position and bolster the Caribbean’s financial security. Our meetings in Brussels were an important step toward ensuring the prosperity of the region and continuity of private and public sector partnerships within the UK and EU,” Troubetzkoy said.

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CTO UK Twitter Chats 2017

Join the Caribbean Tourism Organization Twitter Chat on how to market the Caribbean during the ‘Year of Adventure’.

What are adventure seekers in search of?
What does the Caribbean have to offer?
What’s new and renewed for those who want to experience the Caribbean like a local?

The Caribbean is the hub of diversity on land or at sea, and the choice is endless!

Join the conversation on Twitter, Wednesday 22 March at 3pm UK time, to highlight what your destination has to offer in soft and thrill-seeking adventures.

Follow the conversations by using the hashtag #CaribbeanAdventure @_LoveCaribbean

Download CTO UK Twitter Chat Schedule 2017

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CTO, Travel Impressions discuss synergies to benefit agents, Caribbean tourism

NEW YORK, NY (13  March , 2017) – Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and Scott Wiseman, President of Travel Impressions, recently met at Travel Impressions headquarters in New York to discuss ways the two organizations can work together to further education and product offerings for travel agents. They also explored opportunities in which they could jointly promote the region through collaborative initiatives.

“Travel Impressions is one of the nation’s largest leisure tour operators and this partnership aligns well with our B2B goal of increasing awareness and arrivals for Caribbean destinations through TI’s agent-centric commitment,” said Riley, adding: “We are excited to bring this relationship to the next level.”

One of the key cooperative initiatives CTO and Travel Impressions will look at over the next few months will be the creation of enhanced Caribbean training and education programmes for travel agents to help sell more vacations to the CTO’s member-countries.

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New Agro-tourism category in 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards; New May 31 deadline

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (7 March, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has added a new category to its 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards. The Agro-Tourism Award was developed to reflect the CTO Year of Adventure and as part of the ongoing partnership between the CTO and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), where collaborative efforts have been ongoing to advance the integration of agriculture and tourism.

“When a tourist goes on a farm or community tour, or eats our signature foods prepared by local chefs, everyone benefits. Land remains in agriculture, farm incomes increase, business and employment opportunities are created, the environment is preserved, and the nation’s health and food security status are improved,” notes Ena Harvey, IICA representative in Barbados. “This is what sustainable livelihoods are all about, and can be achieved in great measure through agro-tourism linkages,” she added.

The Agro-Tourism Award  is open to any group, organization, tourism business or attraction that offers an agro-tourism product, which incorporates the elements of food production, culinary output and visitor experiences. Applicants should demonstrate how they have successfully achieved sustainable linkages between agriculture and the tourism industry, which promotes the sharing and preservation of local agriculture and culinary heritage.

“Agro-tourism in the Caribbean is an important and growing niche, which in turn supports expansion in agriculture, promotes our rich culinary heritage, and contributes to generating sustainable livelihoods for local host communities,” said Amanda Charles, the CTO’s sustainable tourism specialist. “In the context of the long-standing partnership with IICA, the CTO is pleased to add the agro-tourism category to its 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards, and commends IICA for sponsoring this initiative.”

Applicants for the CTO Sustainable Tourism Awards may apply in the following categories:

  • Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award
  • Destination Stewardship Award
  • Sustainable Accommodation Award
  • Community Benefit Award
  • Heritage Protection Award
  • Biodiversity Conservation Award
  • Agro-Tourism Award in honor of the CTO Year of Adventure

The closing date for receipt of applications is May 31, 2017. For more information, including entry guidelines click here: #CTOSTAwards2017.

CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Awards programme has been in existence for 13 years and recognizes unique and innovative tourism products that embrace sustainable tourism concepts and core values, and help to enhance tourism product offerings. A panel of regional and international tourism and environmental specialists will select the winning projects and the awards will be presented at the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) being held in Grenada from 9-13 October..

About Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) work covers topics such as Agribusiness, Agro-Tourism, Food Safety, and Sustainable Development, with flagship projects that address challenges inclusive of Competitiveness, Resilience and Risk Management, and Productivity. IICA is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, and IICA Barbados is also celebrating 40 years of technical cooperation. IICA and the CTO signed a MOU for cooperation in 2014.

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Caribbean Primary School Tourism Writing Competition 2017

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is pleased to announce its  Caribbean Primary School Tourism Writing Competition for 2017, the CTO Year of Adventure in the Caribbean. This competition will open from 1st March – 1st May 2017, for children ages 8 – 12 in every CTO member country and seeks to encourage both creative and formal writing submissions related to strengthening sustainable tourism development in the region.

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CTO and CHTA Statement on CARICOM’s Decision to Advance the Regional Tourism Agenda

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (21 February, 2017)The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the umbrella private sector organization, applaud Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government for taking the lead in recognising the critical contribution of tourism to the economies of member countries and for their commitment to advancing a regional tourism agenda.

Following a presentation, prepared in collaboration with the CHTA, and delivered by CTO secretary general Hugh Riley to the Caribbean leaders at their 28th intersessional in Guyana last week, the Heads of Government supported the advancement of a series of steps addressing transportation and the facilitation of travel, human resource development, building the creative industries, and the marketing of the Caribbean brand.  They also invited CTO and CHTA to come forth with additional information to address the region’s competitiveness and financing for the sustainability of tourism.

They called for an urgent meeting of the Council for Trade and Development (COTED)-Transportation to address air transport issues in particular, including those related to the tourism sector; and supported the establishment of an interim tourism working group to coordinate with regional public and private sector stakeholder groups, the development of specific solutions which can be advanced in priority areas.

The group will comprise representation from the CARICOM Secretariat, the CTO and the CHTA and its mandate includes the preparation of a pilot region-wide public relations and marketing initiative for 2017/2018 for presentation to the Heads at their 38th regular meeting in July.

The CARICOM leaders also agreed that public-private sector partnerships, guiding the development and marketing of tourism for the Caribbean, needed to be more effective and requested that the marketing of tourism encompass, in particular, the eco-tourism product of mainland member states of Belize, Guyana and Suriname.

The CHTA and the CTO firmly believe that tourism is a key driver of socio-economic progress, helping destinations and countries to quickly create jobs and businesses, generate tax revenues and support infrastructure improvements to the benefit of residents and visitor. It is a proven tool to lower unemployment, stimulate indigenous entrepreneurial activity, increase foreign exchange earnings, and grow tax revenues for our treasuries.

However, it is a fiercely competitive business, and we are facing the stark reality that we must find ways of maximizing the collective strength of the Caribbean, if any and all of us are to truly succeed.

The support of the leaders is a progressive and positive move and a welcomed commitment towards furthering the development of our people, so that they can take full advantage of the employment, career and entrepreneurial opportunities available through the region’s largest industry.

We wish to thank the leaders for placing tourism on their agenda. We are particularly appreciative to Prime Minister Perry Christie of the Bahamas, who has responsibility for tourism in the CARICOM quasi-Cabinet, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell for advancing the proposed initiative at the meeting.

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