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CTO welcomes more than 250 travel agents at trade show and seminar in the North Eastern USA

NEW YORK, NY (8 Nov, 2016) – The Caribbean remains a top seller for Travel Impressions, one of the largest leisure tour operators in the United States.

“Of our 200 destinations, 23 of the countries we sell most frequently are found in the Caribbean. The islands and resorts in the region have been integral partners throughout our 42-year history, and it’s important to celebrate and support tourism to one of the most gorgeous and popular vacation regions in the world,” said Tim Statz, Travel Impression’s business development manager.

Travel Impressions was one of 22 Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) members and partners who joined the recent Caribbean Goes Road Shows & Seminars to the east coast of the United States, with stops in New Haven, CT, Collingswood, NJ and Boston, Massachusetts.

More than 250 top-producing travel agents were brought up to date on “Caribbean Romance and More” through presentations, tradeshows, seminars and networking meetings.

“There is a renewed level of interest in the Caribbean among travel professionals, and as a region we should embrace this opportunity. The CTO road shows provided a platform for destinations and members of the private sector to showcase their products under one umbrella,” said Christine Noel-Horsford, the Grenada Tourism Authority’s  director of sales and marketing in the US, and a co-chair of the east coast series of the CTO’s Caribbean Goes road show.

“The north east is our number one source market, and we look forward to seeing a spike in business from those areas,” she added.

Along with Noel-Horsford, Lorine St. Jules, the director of marketing in the US for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board co-chaired the east coast road shows. She, too, spoke of the importance of this event to her country.

“Saint Lucia was pleased to participate in the CTO road shows as it provided unique opportunities to highlight our island’s romantic attributes to a leading market of travel agents,” St. Jules said. “Romance and adventure have been two compelling niches for Saint Lucia and this lineage allowed us to stand out as a destination.”

With romance being a leading feature during the road shows, the presence of the region’s top expert on the subject added even greater value for the travel agents and to the event.

Jacqueline Johnson, the president and chief executive officer of Global Bridal Group, which includes MarryCaribbean.com, described the events as “excellent”, and was highly complementary of the participating destinations.

“The Caribbean Goes Road Shows were excellent. Every detail was thought of and implemented, there were lots of agents at each stop and most important, the destinations participating were all on their game. I am proud and honoured to be involved with this prestigious organization,” she said.

The main objectives of these road shows are to raise awareness of the Caribbean as America’s premier warm-weather holiday destination and to keep top-producing travel agents up-to-date with the latest developments and the variety of experiences that the Caribbean offers to help them drive business to the region.

The road show locations were selected based on a combination of elements, including travel agents with a propensity to book Caribbean travel, demographics of travellers, proximity of airports, as well as current and new airlift to the Caribbean.

“Our Caribbean Goes Road Shows provide our members with the opportunity to meet travel agents in key feeder markets where the Caribbean is sold,” Sylma Brown, director of CTO USA said.

“The shows will help agents capitalize on new offerings such as Caribbean-bound Delta Air Line flights from Boston and new service on JetBlue from Newark International Airport.”

Participating destination and partners of the 2016 east coast shows included: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean Airlines, Celebrity Cruises, Central Holidays, Club Med, Delta Air Lines, Dominica, GoGo Vacations, Grenada, MarryCaribbean.com; Martinique, Radisson Grenada Beach Resort, Saint Lucia, Tobago, Travel Impressions, Turks and Caicos Collection, Sandals & Beaches Resorts and Vacation Express.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO Statement on Effect of Hurricane Matthew

STATEMENT BY HUGH RILEY, SECRETARY GENERAL, THE CARIBBEAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION, ON THE EFFECT OF HURRICANE MATTHEW

FRIDAY 7 OCTOBER, 2016

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and the extensive damage inflicted on our member countries and neighbours by the dangerous Hurricane Matthew, described as the most powerful storm to hit the Caribbean in a decade. Even in its weaker form as a tropical storm it inflicted loss.

Our prayers are with the Government and People of Haiti where the death toll has soared to more than 400 and where there is still not full recovery from the destructive earthquake of 2010.

We also express our prayers and concerns for The Bahamas – which still has not received the all-clear and which has been recovering from last year’s Hurricane Joaquin. We await a full assessment of the damage in The Bahamas, as well as in St. Vincent and the Grenadines where a young man lost his life when Matthew struck as a tropical storm.

Several other CTO member countries, including Cuba, Dominica, Jamaica and Saint Lucia have been impacted by the storm; and while we are thankful that there was no loss of life in those countries, we are conscious of the fact that they have suffered some level of damage. Still, we are thankful that life is getting back to normal in those countries and they are open for business.

For the worst affected countries the impact, both physical and psychological, will be long-lasting. We offer our sincerest condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives and to those who are grieving their loss, and we assure our support to those who are touched in one way or another.

It is evident that in the aftermath of the storm the immediate challenge is to alleviate suffering and provide the necessary support. In the days and weeks ahead we at the CTO and throughout our member countries in the Caribbean will work with our private sector partners the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and others, to do whatever is necessary to offer assistance and to coordinate relief efforts.

We have immense confidence in the strength and resolve of our people to prevail.

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The Bahamas Elected Chair of the CTO

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (15 September, 2016) – The Bahamas has been elected Chair of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).  Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, Obie Wilchcombe, is the new CTO Chairman.

New CTO Chairman Obie Wilchcombe of the Bahamas (right) receives the gavel from his predecessor Richard Sealy of Barbados. Also in photograph, CTO secretary general Hugh Riley (left)

New CTO Chairman Obie Wilchcombe of the Bahamas (right) receives the gavel from his predecessor Richard Sealy of Barbados. Also in photograph, CTO secretary general Hugh Riley (left)

The election took place on September 15th in Barbados, at the organization’s annual general meeting held during the CTO’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC).

Following his election, Mr. Wilchcombe stated: “I intend to build upon what [immediate predecessor Richard Sealy of Barbados] began and I also intend to build on the relationship with the private sector. I’ve always thought that CTO is the body that provides equity and we can (do that); and the way is to speak with the same voice. We also have to deal with the issue of inter-regional travel.”

Minister Wilchcombe will serve a two-year term. It is his second stint as chairman, having previously been elected to the position in 2002.

The Bahamas minister will shortly name his appointee for the post of Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors, since, according to the CTO Constitution, the Board Chairman and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism must come from the same Member Country. In addition to the election of the chairman, vice chairs were elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors to represent various sub-groups – Curacao, represents the Dutch Caribbean; Martinique represents the French Caribbean; Barbados and Belize, represent the Independent CARICOM countries and the Turks & Caicos Islands represents the British Overseas Territories.  Each of these Member Countries will form the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, which will be completed with representatives from the private sector.

Today’s vote was in keeping with the CTO constitution which mandates that elections must be held every two years.

This year’s conference at the Hilton Barbados Resort is organized in collaboration with Barbados’ Ministry of Tourism and International Transport and the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc and is sponsored by LIAT, the Caribbean Airline and Libris by Photoshelter.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport for Barbados and CTO Chairman Richard Sealy has a special message on SOTIC. To view the message, please click on the following link: http://bit.ly/2comjPC.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Corporate News, SOTIC

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Family Travel Association and Caribbean Tourism Organization announce partnership

NEW YORK, NY, 28 June, 2016: The Family Travel Association (FTA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) have formally announced a partnership  to promote a travel agent educational programme for the Caribbean.  As part of the agreement, the CTO and CTO members who join the FTA will be eligible to work with the FTA and CTO in the development of educational material for travel agents. This includes webinars, editorial/content for trade partners, live events (conferences/trade show) participation, promotion on FamilyTravel.org and both the CTO and FTA newsletters.

“Our research indicates that 93 per cent of American parents are either “very likely” or “likely” to travel with their children in the next two years so we are thrilled to be working with the CTO and its members in not just inspiring families to travel, but to help travel agents better understand and sell the Caribbean to this complex demographic,” says Rainer Jenss, FTA President, who founded the organization in 2014 to create a single and collective voice on behalf of the travel industry and those companies that serve traveling families.

“Given the incredible wealth of experiences the Caribbean offers families, this partnership will ensure that travel agents are prepared to meet the needs of this highly lucrative market segment”, added Sylma Brown Bramble, Director CTO-USA, Inc. “We are particularly delighted about the value and opportunity the new FTA and CTO relationship will provide to the OneCaribbean Chapter (OCC) members.  Travel agents are one of our greatest assets in Caribbean destination travel and providing value to them through relationships like this is our way of showing appreciation for the great job that they do selling the Caribbean year after year”.

The One Caribbean Chapter (OCC) was created by the CTO  with the primary purpose of enabling a business environment in which travel professionals can gain access to knowledge of the region and its diverse tourism product; networking opportunities and education on the unique selling proposition of the various Caribbean destinations.

OCC is the vehicle which gives travel agents access and advantage to increase their business to over 28 Caribbean countries under the regional umbrella. The chapter provides education on the myriad niche products available in the Caribbean and destination support to prepare travel professionals for success in selling each country’s unique travel product.  oneCaribbeanchapter.org

For further information on the FTA and CTO upcoming webinars and programmes, please contact: programme and business development executive Wanda Fisher at  (510) 599-9844.

About the Family Travel Association
The Family Travel Association (FTA) was established in 2014 to mobilize the global travel industry around the large – and fast-growing – market for family travel. The organization is connecting the world’s leading travel suppliers, destinations, media brands, and influencers into a global network to grow the market by inspiring families to travel.  By harnessing the collective power and influence of its members, the FTA is educating travelers, the media, and travel agents on the variety of options families have when planning their vacations and what transformational benefits travel offers families.

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Caribbean Tourism Organization appoints experienced tourism professional as Sustainable Tourism Product Specialist

Amanda

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (17 May, 2016) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has appointed Dominican native Amanda Charles as Sustainable Tourism Specialist effective today.

Ms. Charles will coordinate and implement the CTO’s sustainable tourism programme aimed at enhancing the development, growth, quality, competitiveness and sustainability of Caribbean tourism.

Ms Charles is a tourism professional with several years of experience, having worked most recently as the adviser to the directorate of sustainable tourism at the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, a position she held for five years.

While there Ms. Charles coordinated the directorate’s sustainable tourism programme and managed the financial, technical and logistical aspects of the directorate’s projects and activities.

She also worked as a tourism specialist consultant at the Organization of American States (OAS) department of economic development, trade and tourism in Washington, DC and as a project consultant at the OAS department of sustainable development.

A CTO Foundation scholarship winner in 2006 and 2007, Ms. Charles is a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, DC from which she holds a master’s degree in tourism administration, with emphasis on sustainable destination management. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality and tourism management, with minors in business administration and French, from the State University of New York (SUNY) Plattsburgh.

As the CTO’s sustainable tourism specialist, Ms. Charles will lead the organization’s agenda which includes helping to develop quality standards for Caribbean destinations and their tourism products and services; designing, delivering and/or coordinating training and development programmes dealing with sustainable tourism and product development; and providing and/or facilitating technical advice/assistance on management issues related to product development and sustainable tourism matters to Ministries of Tourism, Boards of Tourism and other public and private sector tourism entities in the CTO member states.

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Earth Day Message from the Caribbean Tourism Organization Friday 22 April, 2016

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Today the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) joins the world in recognizing and celebrating Earth Day.

Here at the CTO our core purpose is to lead sustainable tourism as we strive to make the Caribbean the leading sustainable tourism destination in the world.  The tourism sector and the environment are inextricably linked and environmentally responsible tourism is paramount to the sector’s sustainability and overall success.

Tourism must be stewarded and balanced so that the benefits for the environment, the communities it serves, its employees and the economy, outweigh the costs.

Two years ago, we joined the rest of the environmentally-conscious world in lobbying for a new international climate change agreement backed by supportive and where necessary, punitive national initiatives that encourage more responsible environmentally friendly behaviour.

At the recently concluded Conference of Parties 21 *(COP21) the Caribbean’s position was clear and we at the Caribbean Tourism Organization endorsed the call for “1.5 to stay alive”. We were thrilled with the news that an agreement had been reached.

Today, at a ceremony at the United Nations, President Barack Obama of the United States and President Xi Jinping of China will be the first to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, the first day the United Nations accord will be open for government signatures.

This new agreement offers hope.  As many of CTO’s members are Small Island Developing States (SIDS), we remain optimistic that the tremendous strides made in Paris will help to ensure that this issue continues to occupy a prominent position on the global agenda.

This year’s Earth Day theme ‘Trees for the Earth’ contributes to three main positives for a better world:

  • The mitigation of climate change and pollution,
  • Protection of biodiversity
  • Supporting community and livelihoods

The Caribbean Tourism Organization pledges to pursue additional creative solutions to the many issues that face us, to benefit our citizens and visitors for generations to come. We hope that you will join us in our pledge and be part of the commitment to be socially and environmentally responsible.

Happy Earth Day!

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Caribbean Love Affair of the Senses Q & A Recap with Chef Jason Howard (#IloveCaribbeanFood)

cehfhoward2

Chef Jason Howard took part in a social media discussion for the CTO via Twitter/ Periscope regarding this year’s Caribbean Romance theme looking at the romantic delights of Caribbean food and drink, where he was joined with mixologist Dameain Williams.

They were both posed respective questions in line with their professions.

Q1. As this is CTO’s year of romance, what are some of your personal favorite dishes that set the right romantic mood?

For me one of my dishes that could work would be my red cabbage cured salmon dish,
due to its colour, and it can be either a starter or main.

Q2. What are some of the foods that couples normally request?

This will depend on the couple as some will have differing preferences as someone maybe vegetarian and others may like fish over meat. My refined jerk chicken is a definite hit, as people want to try it out.

I also have some vegetarian and vegan dishes such as a mixed green salad with root vegetables. For those who like seafood, I have a green mango & crab salad, plus a vibrant coloured and flavored seafood medley.

Q3. Is there a differing favorite dish among men and women?

There is not so much a favorite with couples, but they are definitely into sampling my refined jerk chicken.

Q4. What are some of your favorite authentic Caribbean aphrodisiac ingredients?

For me, it has got to be the Scotch Bonnet pepper and my Scotch Bonnet oil. The pepper or chili as it’s referred to, has some amazing properties the heat being one of them, as it creates a sensation in the mouth and on the lips with pleasurable warmth. Otherwise eating a nice ripe juicy mango in the sun is a nice sensual pleasure in its own right.

Q5. Are there any other ingredients you use as an aphrodisiac in your dishes?

As I’m in England I suppose asparagus is meant to be an aphrodisiac and I’ve created a ‘Green Envy Asparagus Salad’.

Q6. We had Mixologist Dameain Williams create some cocktails, what kinds of foods do you think go well with these two list of cocktail ingredients?

chefhoward2With the first cocktail Dameain Williams made using lemon, mango, basil with passion fruit juice, this I would turn into a sorbet, otherwise it could work with my saffron poached pears.

Looking at the second cocktail ingredient list of apple juice, yellow bell peppers, mint leaves, lime and simple syrup.

I would opt for my sweet potato crème brûlée. The apple juice, lime and simple syrup would bring out sweet and acid elements in the cocktail and the mint leaves would be aroma with bell pepper adding a slight freshness with the mint. With my dessert I could contrast the chilled cocktail with the warmth of my dessert together with mandarin segments that could be glazed or poached in a rum and cinnamon syrup.

Q7. What are some of your MUST HAVE ingredients to make the flavor of certain dishes “pop”?

Definitely good seasoning especially with meat and seafood dishes, aromatics and flavors such as the spices of nutmeg and cinnamon always work well. And I mentioned before my Scotch Bonnet I use it in range of both sweet and savory to give it that pop.

Ann-Marie Brooks via twitter asked – @Chefjasonhoward What’s a good non-alcoholic cocktail for a dinner party?

I think anything with a virgin mojito base and something sparkling will work, but that definitely is a Dameian Williams question as he’s a master mixololgist.

Otherwise you could try my dessert cocktail that is definitely alcohol free, fruity and fun served in a martini glass. When I posted this during the twitter discussion Dameain did like the look of it.

About Chef Jason Howard:

Jason Howard has been making for himself as a chef from the Caribbean to the UK as well as online with an Instagram following of more than 85,000 on his ChefJasonHoward account. He’s appeared on UK radio, television and the newspapers passionately promoting Caribbean cuisine. When he appeared on BBC’s MasterChef:The Professionals, he was praised for being the first ever chef to display Caribbean food with refinement in the show’s history according to one of the judges.

Aside from this he’s involved in mentoring other chefs and has set up the Caribbean Culinary Collective, a showcase of talented chef’s in or from the Caribbean putting flavour, skill and taste from the islands on the international map.

 

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