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CTO hosts first MICE Networking event for UK buyers

LONDON, UK (12 May 2015) – Over 50 buyers attended The Caribbean Tourism Organization’s dedicated MICE networking evening for UK buyers held recently.

By partnering with MICE specialist, Global Connect, the event which took place at Gordon Ramsay’s Heddon Street Kitchen, was the first of its kind for the CTO to showcase what the region has to offer UK buyers.

It proved to be a great success with many partners reporting new enquiries and business leads coming directly as a result of their attendance.

To build on this success, the CTO is aiming to arrange a series of informal networking events throughout the year to directly drive business for members and help develop a strong MICE database of UK & European MICE Buyers.

Carol Hay, director of marketing UK and Europe, Caribbean Tourism Organization, says, “We were really impressed with the quality of the buyers who attended the event and many of the partners have already started to receive leads for potential new business. We wanted to make sure that the event delivered a return on investment for our partners, as well as providing a setting for introductions to some of the MICE market’s key decision makers. We know that the region has a lot to offer groups and we will continue to execute our strategy to attract more group business to the Caribbean.’’

The event was a follow up to the CTO’s recent MICE masterclass held in March to inform some of the CTO’s members on best practice within the market. The CTO plans to host its first MICE fam trip by the end of the year for UK buyers.

Partners who attended the event were:

Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority
Bahamas Tourist Office
Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, Saint Lucia
Harlequin Hotel & Resorts
Jamaica Tourist Board
Pineapple, Luxury Hotel Specialists (representing  Cobblers Cove, Barbados & Carlisle Bay, Antigua) Resort Marketing International (Representing Occidental Hotels & Resorts, Elite Island Resorts & Sun Group Hotels)
St. Kitts Tourism Authority
Saint Lucia Tourist Board
Sandals Resorts
Trinidad & Tobago Tourist Office
Viceroy Anguilla
Virgin Atlantic
Windjammer Landing, Saint Lucia

UK Buyers interested in learning more about the Caribbean’s MICE product should contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization on 020 8948 0057 or email Lorraine Grant at [email protected] to register their interest.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Corporate News

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RECORD TOURIST ARRIVAL AND EARNINGS FOR THE CARIBBEAN

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (10 Feb. 2015) – The Caribbean welcomed a record 26.3 million tourists in 2014, a 5.3 per cent rise over the previous year. These visitors spent  US$29.2 billion, itself a record.

The Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Richard Sealy, and the secretary general, Hugh Riley, along with the CTO’s director of research, Winfield Griffith, announced the record performance at a news conference streamed live to a global audience from the CTO headquarters today.

“Last year, we received more visitors than ever before – recording  our fifth straight year of growth as a Region – and visitors spent more money in the Caribbean than they ever did before,” said Mr. Sealy, also Barbados’s minister of tourism and international transport

“There was strong demand throughout 2014 and I am particularly pleased with our performance during the summer period when our growth rate was  almost twice that of  the summer of 2013,” he added.

The 26.3 million visitors represent 1.3 million more than in 2013, itself a record year for the Caribbean. These visitors contributed a record US$29.2 billion to Caribbean economies, a 3.9 per cent rise over the US$28 billion that visitors spent in 2013.

“With a strong year for air travel, a positive performance by the accommodation sector, solid growth in cruise visits and faster-than-expected rise in stay-over arrivals, the Caribbean Tourism Organization is pleased to report that the state of Caribbean tourism is sound,” stated Mr. Riley.

The US continues to be the region’s primary market, with nearly 13 million Americans – or just under half of the total arrivals – to the region. Canada rallied from a flat performance in 2013 to post a 5.7 per cent increase, while Europe topped five million visitors for the first time since 2008, registering a 4.6 per cent increase over 2013.

“There’s no doubt that political and economic conditions, increased airline seat capacity, improved airport facilities, increased room stock – as recognized hotel chains established themselves in our destinations – and new initiatives in the marketplace, all contributed to this success,” Mr. Riley added.

The 5.3 per cent rise which the Region recorded was above the global growth rate of 4.7 per cent announced by the UN body, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and nearly twice the predicted two per cent to three per cent growth.

According to Mr. Griffith, leisure travel is showing steady demand again as the economies in the main markets continue signs of resurgence. This heightened demand significantly benefitted the Caribbean and is evident in the record number of visitors.

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