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Caribbean Tourism Organization launches new UK website

The Caribbean Tourism Organization is delighted to announce that its newly redesigned website, is now online for both consumer and trade. This dynamic website, designed by Experience Engine, a full-service digital agency, will provide users with a wealth of information about the Caribbean region.

Users will be taken on a journey to learn and experience the wide range of activities they can enjoy while in the Caribbean, from sailing around the calm, crystalline Caribbean sea, exploring the tropical rainforests, to walking along the idyllic white, pink, golden or black sandy beaches.

The website also includes the latest special deals for the Caribbean, events, online competitions, a ‘Love Caribbean’ blog and a wide range of places to stay. In addition, it provides users with a list of Caribbean specialists to help them book their dream holiday.

Recognising the way consumers’ have visited the website in the past, Caribbean.co.uk is built with a smart and responsive design, for consistent experience for all users across mobiles, tablets and PCs.

Users can also plan their ideal holiday by adding their preferred destination and activities, events, special offers, and hotels to the ‘My Trip Planner’ section of the website.

What’s more the new website features a travel trade section with resources to assist tour operators and travel agents during the sales process, as well as a media gallery with amazing images of the Caribbean region.

For further information contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization on +44 (20) 8948 0057

or email [email protected]

 

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO Launches UK & European Travel Industry Trends & Insight Report 2015 at WTM

LONDON, UK, 2 Nov. 2015 – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) today launched its UK and European Travel Industry Trends & Insight Report 2015, produced in conjunction with the travel trade publication, TTG.

For the second year running the CTO has produced this report to give members and wider travel industry partners a unique insight into the key issues affecting the industry and a snapshot on developments within the Caribbean itself.

It was launched by CTO chairman Richard Sealy before an audience that included ministers and directors of tourism from the Caribbean, as well as key industry representatives attending World Travel Market (WTM).

Carol Hay, director of the Caribbean Tourism Organization said: “We are delighted to have produced this report once again and hope our partners, members and ministers find it a useful tool, particularly during the next few days at World Travel Market.  Overall the picture for the Caribbean is a positive one, with an increase in visitor arrivals in the past year, however we need to be aware of universal issues that are affecting the travel industry as a whole such as currency exchange, oil prices and of course safety.”

Watch a video with Pippa Jacks on the key findings: https://youtu.be/aRrd6TdvV04

Key findings from the report include:

Caribbean performance

  • The Caribbean was one of the best performing regions in the first six months of this year with visitor arrivals up 5.8  compared to a 4 per cent rise in international tourism arrivals
  • The region attracted a record-setting 26.3 million tourists in 2014, which was on the back of the previous record of 25 million in 2013. Last year’s visitors contributed a total of $29.2 billion to Caribbean economies, about a third of the region’s GDP
  • Destinations with the biggest year-on-year percentage increase in visitor numbers

(January-July 2015):

  • Cuba: +16.9% (2.2 million visitors)
  • Aruba: +15.8% (680,000)
  • Trinidad & Tobago: +8.5% (265,000)
  • Dominican Republic +7.6% (3.4 million)
  • US Virgin Islands: +6.8% (514,000)

Economic growth

  • As for potential growth in 2016, the International Monetary Fund is currently predicting that the world’s GDP will rise by 3.8% with a continued pick-up in the advanced world economies where it is predicting a 2.4% year-on-year rise in GDP
  • The UK economy is still predicted to grow.  The main risks to attaining this level of economic growth are “increased market volatility” including Greece’s on-going financial problems, and “economic distress” from geopolitical factors.
  • The number of multi-millionaires in Europe will continue to be higher than anywhere else in the world with around 76,000 individuals across the continent

Booking trends

  • Online sales accounted for 66% of all global travel bookings in 2014 which was a seven point rise on previous years.  Bookings at traditional travel agents have stabilised at around 24% of the total market
  • 74% of all holidaymakers consider free  Wi-Fi in the hotel room an important factor when booking a hotel room compared to 60% of travellers wanting a free breakfast
  • The “sharing economy” continues to grow.  Airbnb books 37 million room nights per year, which could rise to 129 million per annum by the end of 2016, surpassing all the major hotel chains

 Sustainability

  • Sustainable tourism continues to grow and there is more informed conversation around tourism impact management and the importance of this for achieving sustainable tourism. The Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) gives support to tourism businesses to develop in a sustainable manner.

 

For further information contact Frances Amissah or Helen Coop at Four bgb

t: +44 (0) 20 3697 4200 / e: [email protected]

Alternatively, contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization on +44 (20) 8948 0057

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination. Its Purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members, the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution, research and information technology.

In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, BB 22026, Barbados; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected].

The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail: [email protected];

The CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: [email protected];

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit www.OneCaribbean.org or www.caribbean.co.uk

Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism.

Connect with CTO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization.

 

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, ITB & WTM

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CTO Sen. Gen. calls for action to facilitate travel to and through the Caribbean

(BRIDGETOWN, Barbados) 29 Sept 2015 – Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Hugh Riley has urged regional authorities to institute an Open Skies policy and wherever possible to eliminate secondary screening at Caribbean airports.

Mr. Riley argues that while an Open Skies policy would allow regional carriers to take unlimited flights to all Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states and encourage the growth of competition among carriers, while elimination of secondary screening would encourage greater demand for intra-regional travel.

He has also called for improved interline arrangements for a “vastly enhanced” baggage transfer and improved passenger experience.

In an address at the recent airline route development forum, World Routes 2015 in Durban, South Africa, Mr. Riley also made a plea for collaboration in a number of areas, including intelligence sharing with the use of the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS), and security processing.

“Cooperation in these areas will encourage and facilitate greater investment by airlines into and across the Caribbean region. Better connectivity means greater economic benefits,” the secretary general said.

Citing the post-September 11 television campaign in the United States, Life Needs the Caribbean, and the 2007 Cricket Work Cup as examples, Mr. Riley said the Caribbean has shown its ability to put effective regional strategies in place and can do the same to grow travel into and throughout the region.

“This type of cooperation and collaboration needs to be the standard practice in serving the region’s various tourism needs,” he said.

The secretary general added that it was important to finalize and implement the amended Multilateral Air Services Agreement; facilitate unlimited third, fourth, and fifth freedom of traffic rights for scheduled passenger services from and between international airports and sub-regions within CARICOM and establish a CARICOM Single Domestic Air Space to help generate additional international traveller demand which, in turn, will encourage airlines to establish routes to the region.

“Unnecessarily lengthy policy development and slow implementation processes hinder progress,” he stressed.

The World Route Development Forum attracts senior representatives from airlines, airports and tourism authorities who meet to plan and discuss new and existing global air services. It is organized by the aviation route development company, Routes.

CTO member countries Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the Turks and Caicos Islands attended this year’s event, with CTO supporting its members that were  there as well as those that were not.

Mr. Riley’s attendance at the event was aimed at elevating the Caribbean brand; exploring opportunities for the Caribbean; presenting the prospects for expansion and improvement of connectivity within the Caribbean; and discussing challenges facing regional and global aviation and offering solutions. He also highlighted the work of the CTO Aviation Task Force as a facilitator within the Caribbean and beyond.

“I was pleased with the extremely high quality of the interactions we made in Durban and the level of interest there is in the Caribbean: interest in exploring the tourism potential between the Caribbean and Africa, as well as expanding into other non-traditional markets. I fully expect that contacts we made here will redound to the benefit of Caribbean tourism in general and CTO’s member-countries in particular,” the secretary general said.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO UK Media Event Raises Funds for Dominica

(LONDON, UK) 16 Sept 2015 The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) hosted its Meet the Media members’ event  on Tuesday 15 September in Central London.  This event was attended by over 30 travel media professionals and about 25 CTO UK Chapter members.

The evening allowed members to discuss and update the media on their products and the latest developments within their destinations.  Attendees included a wide range of high-calibre media, ranging from national newspaper travel and feature correspondents and editors, glossy magazine writers, newspaper supplements and online editors to key freelancers and influential travel and lifestyle bloggers. Also in attendance were representatives from the Morant Bay Distillery, who kindly supplied a sample of their rum and chocolates to the attendees.

The Morant Bay Rum is made from Jamaican molasses sourced from an estate in Jamaica. The rum is produced using temperature-controlled conditions at a site in the United Kingdom, replicating the climate of Jamaica for rum production, distilling, and ageing with the bottling process, according to the company.

During last evening’s event, a business card prize draw was held, with prizes supplied by the CTO’s members.  In addition, a special charity raffle was conducted to raise relief funds for Dominica which suffered over EC$600m in damage from Tropical Storm Erika.  Attending media had the opportunity to enter the by donating a minimum of £10 each  to win a selection of prizes.

Peter Ellegard, a freelance writer, was the lucky winner of a pair of British Airways World Traveller Plus tickets to Tobago; four nights all-inclusive stay for two people at Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort & three-nights at The Grafton Beach Resort Tobago, courtesy of British Airways and Sunrise Marketing.

Majorie Yeu of the Sunday Mirror was also rewarded but with a five nights stay for two courtesy of PSA Marketing and the Trinidad and Tobago Tourist Office. The raffle raised over £400 and all proceeds will be donated directly to Dominica.

Carol Hay, the CTO’s director of marketing for the UK and Europe stated: “We are always keen to support our member countries, in any way we can and we are very appreciative of the support offered by our media and trade partners at our ‘Meet the Media’ event”.

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CTO Announces Relief Fund to Assist Dominica Following Disastrous Flood

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (Sept 9, 2015) –The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is seeking donations for its CTO Relief Fund to provide monetary assistance to the people of Dominica following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika, which dumped 12 inches of rain on the island on Thursday August 27, causing extensive flooding which killed over 30 people and caused over US$200 million in damage.

Dominica is a member of the CTO whose Relief Fund provides support for member countries impacted by natural disasters. The CTO is enlisting the help of governments and individuals across the Region along with supporters from around the world, to mobilize and encourage assistance for the Government and People of Dominica.  The CTO is using all of its offices to facilitate the process.

“The time to help Dominica is now. In other times of need, the Caribbean as a Region has generously come together to provide assistance to those devastated by natural disasters, and we are confident that this spirit of generosity will be evident  once again,” said Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the CTO. Cheques payable to Caribbean Tourism Organization Relief can be mailed to the London office at 22 The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1BP, UK, or to the Barbados office at Ground Floor, Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados, BB22026, payable to Caribbean Tourism Organization. In the US, cheques payable to the CTO Relief Fund may be mailed to 80 Broad Street, 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10004. Contributions to the CTO Relief Fund in the US are not tax deductible.

Persons wishing to make electronic transfers can please contact the Barbados,  UK or US offices to acquire banking details.

The CTO is also working with a civic group in the US, the Association of Dominicans in the Northeast, (www.adne-us.org) a registered charity based in New Jersey, to mobilize Dominicans, collect relief items and raise funds for the effort.  The group is hosting a number of events, the entire proceeds of which will go to the relief effort.

The CTO Relief Fund has been utilized to assist member countries on several occasions in the past, including Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and Grenada following Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

 

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology.

In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected]

The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail: [email protected];

The CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: [email protected];

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit www.OneCaribbean.org. Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism. Connect with CTO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Corporate News, Destination News

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Caribbean Travel Journalism Awards 2015

02 September, 2015 – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is delighted to announce the launch of The Caribbean Travel Journalism Awards 2015, which will take place on 2 November 2015, during World Travel Market 2-5 November 2015.

Carol Hay, the CTO’s director of marketing for UK and Europe, commented, ‘The annual Caribbean Tourism Journalism Award is a great opportunity for us to reward and recognise the inspiring and positive articles written about the Caribbean region in the UK and Irish media. What’s more it’s a very exciting year for the CTO. This year marks our 25th year in the UK, so we look forward to celebrating with all the writers for their on-going support throughout the years.

The Caribbean Travel Journalism Awards will include eight categories:

  1. Best travel trade feature;
  2. Best national newspaper feature;
  3. Best regional newspaper feature;
  4. Best consumer feature;
  5. Best broadcast, TV and radio feature;
  6. Best online feature;
  7. Best blog feature;
  8. Best piece of photojournalism

 Entries for the awards will be welcomed from editors, journalists and bloggers, as well as Caribbean tourist boards, tour operators, hotels and other industry partners. Editorial entries can be news stories, travel features or photography and must present the Caribbean in a positive light, encouraging travel to the region.

All submissions must have been published between 31 May 2014 and 31 August 2015

 Submissions for the photojournalism award must be emailed at 300dpi resolution or as PDF scans of the entire articles.

All entries should be emailed to Frances Amissah ([email protected]) at Four bgb with the attached entry form (a separate form is required for each entry), by Friday 09 October, 2015 at the latest.

Results of the Caribbean Travel Journalism Awards 2015 will be announced at the Caribbean Host and Reward the Media event which will be held during World Travel Market Monday 2 November 2015.

For further information contact Frances Amissah or Helen Coop at Four bgb +44 (0)20 3697 4200; [email protected]. Alternatively, contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization on +44 (20) 8948 0057.

 

 

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Media Awards

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Statement by the Caribbean Tourism Organization on the influx of Sargassum seaweed

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Tues 11 Aug 2015 – The seasonal influx of Sargassum seaweed on Caribbean beaches has got the attention of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and tourism policymakers and practitioners across  the region.

Sargassum is a natural occurrence believed to originate  in the Sargasso Sea, a two million-square-mile  body of warm water in the north Atlantic near Bermuda, although some scientists believe the current influx was brought into the Eastern Caribbean through the North Brazil Current and because it thrives in warm, nutrient-rich water, the Sargassum simply spreads throughout the region.

It is an unwelcome visitor which can be uncomfortable and which takes away from the beach experience for our guests.

The CTO and our Caribbean partners are treating this matter seriously and with urgency. We have engaged a number of  regional and international institutions in our attempts at finding solutions, among them, universities.

A number of theories have been advanced as to the cause of the latest influx, and myriad suggestions put forward for tackling the issue. We will be participating in a symposium being led by the University of the West Indies (UWI) next Monday, August 17th “to crystallize these myriad ideas and theories into workable solutions that can be implemented immediately to address our situation.”  We are optimistic that meaningful solutions will emerge.

Among our CTO member-countries the issue differs significantly from one set of circumstances to another, as does the level of the incursion. Even in destinations which are at risk, not all beaches have been affected; in some cases it’s just on the windward coast and not the leeward.

But many seem to agree that what’s needed is a deeper understanding of how to tackle the issue collaboratively, with key stakeholders, public- and private-sector, contributing to the discussion. This is what the CTO is encouraging; this is what we are involved.

The Caribbean has countless attributes which makes our region a most desirable holiday destination. Our history, culture, cuisine, music, hiking, diving, bird-watching, festivals, etc, all make for unforgettable experiences. However, for most of our members, the beach is an integral part of this experience, the pristine nature of which we are proud. We are aware that the influx of sargassum can impact this aspect of our product and we will be at the centre of efforts to find a regional solution.

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