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Archive for SOTIC

Pure Grenada Hosts Region’s Premier Tourism Forum

(St. George’s, Grenada) 21st July 2017— Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean, will host the region’s premier tourism forum, the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) from 9th-13th October, 2017.

The Conference will take place at the Radisson Grand Beach Resort, Grand Anse, bringing together senior industry decision makers and interested partners to address the biggest concerns and opportunities for Caribbean tourism.

SOTIC 2017 was launched in Grenada with a press conference featuring Government of Grenada, CTO and Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) officials.  The theme for this year is “Supercharging the Caribbean Brand: Meeting the Needs of the New Explorer.” CTO Director for the US Sylma Brown Bramble promises that the theme presents a unique opportunity to focus on the changing dynamics in the industry. “We have to ensure that the Caribbean is positioned and ready to capture the interest of the new explorer who wants adventure and authentic experiences.”

Grenada’s Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen remarked that the Government and people of Grenada are delighted to host the premier tourism forum in the region. Apart from discussing the major issues affecting the tourism industry, SOTIC is an excellent opportunity for member countries to showcase their tourism product to international and regional audiences.  The Minister announced, “Pure Grenada will be hosting destination tours in order that all delegates can get to know and love the Spice of the Caribbean. Indeed, we have so much to share- from our gorgeous waterfalls and pristine beaches to our ‘bean to bar’ chocolate and cuisine tours.”

The CTO is ensuring a packed programme with amazing speakers who are sure to provide keen insights on how to supercharge the Caribbean brand.  Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Patricia Maher says local participation is key. “It does not matter how big or small your business is, if you play a role in Tourism or you contribute to the industry in any way, you need to register for SOTIC and take advantage of the international networking opportunities and the many informative seminars right here in St. George’s.”

The local delegate registration fee is US 75 dollars per day or US 200 dollars for the entire conference. The CTO State of the Industry Conference brings together some 300 tourism industry leaders from the 30 member-countries of the CTO, as well as representatives of the regional and international private sector, academics, media, students, travel trade partners and other industry stakeholders from within and outside the region.

For information regarding registration please click on the following link: http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/register/ .

To view an invitation from Dr Modeste-Curwen, please click on the following link: http://bit.ly/2uwSamx

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News, SOTIC

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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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Canadians demanding more diversity says Air Canada Leisure Group President

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 30 August, 2016 –  Canadian travellers are demanding more diversity and greater options and Caribbean destinations must offer a diverse product if they are to remain attractive to this important market, president of Air Canada Leisure Group Craig Landry said.

Mr. Landry, whose responsibilities include Air Canada Vacation and the leisure carrier Air Canada Rouge, will deliver the feature address on Friday 16 September at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) taking place in Barbados from 14-16 September.

However, in an interview ahead of the event, the airline executive spoke of evolving consumer preferences, from accommodation to activities.

“From the perspective of the consumer it’s all about choice, so choice means we need diversity in the type of products we can offer,” Mr. Landry explained.

“What we’re seeing is that with different types of markets, whether it’s from family size or whether it’s adults and couples, their needs are different in terms of the types of amenities and the types of services that respond to them and so we need to make sure we have segmentation and the ability to be able to address that.

“We’re also seeing changes in people who are booking not necessarily non-inclusive –  so that can be villas or people who might want to do some of their own cooking or some of their own travel experiences and excursions when they’re there; they’re looking for a different type of living aboard type of approach when they stay in a destination and we need product to accommodate that and we need to make sure we have enough breadth and depth of our product and diversity in the type of things we can offer to satisfy different segments of travel,” he added.

A transcript of the full interview, as well as an audio recording, can be found at http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/speaker/craig-landry/.

The State of the Tourism Industry Conference, which has as its theme, Honouring Our Legacy, Defining Our Future, is the pre-eminent tourism gathering in the region. It brings together tourism decision-makers, including ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, hotel and airline executives, travel agents, students, the media and persons directly and indirectly involved in tourism. It is preceded by CTO business meetings, including meetings of the board of directors and the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism.

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 and for more information on SOTIC, including how you can register, participate and benefit, visit sotic.onecaribbean.org.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, SOTIC

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UNWTO head to make first ever appearance at CTO State of the Tourism Industry Conference

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 3 August, 2016 –  The head of the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable tourism will make his first ever appearance at a Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) event when he presents at the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) next month.

Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Taleb Rifai will be joined by the president of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) David Scowsill and CTO secretary general Hugh Riley on a panel to discuss how to pilot an industry through a perpetual state of flux.

“The commitment of the UNWTO and the WTTC to participate in this conference fulfils our mandate to make leaders of the global tourism industry accessible to our members, to share information with us and exchange ideas on how to resolve issues and challenges and how to take advantage of opportunities in tourism globally,” Mr. Riley said.

During the session entitled, No Place For The Status Quo, the tourism leaders will delve into factors, such as changing demographics and attitudes, which drive the tourism industry into a state of constant transition, and how to continuously align the product to consumers’ tastes.

“There really is no status quo in the tourism sector. Things are constantly changing; it’s a dynamic industry, it’s vulnerable to external shocks but it always recovers. When we look at issues that affect public health, security, terrorism, economic shocks, all of these things affect the success and the sustainability of the tourism sector,” the CTO secretary general added.

The session takes place from 9:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Friday 16 September, immediately following the feature address by Craig Landry, the president of Air Canada Leisure Group.

The State of the Tourism Industry Conference, which has as its theme, Honouring Our Legacy, Defining Our Future, is the pre-eminent tourism gathering in the region. It brings together tourism decision-makers, including ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, hotel and airline executives, travel agents, students, the media and persons directly and indirectly involved in tourism. It is preceded by CTO business meetings, including meetings of the board of directors and the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism.

A number of other presenters have been confirmed for SOTIC, which will explore subjects ranging from how to transition the product and multicultural and emerging markets to creating a luxury experience and the sharing economy.

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.

For more information on SOTIC, including how you can register, participate and benefit, visit www.onecaribbean.org.  For a sound bite from the CTO secretary general, please click on the following link: http://bit.ly/2ay99wO

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, SOTIC

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Innovator Adam Stewart to Keynote CTO’s State of the Industry Conference SOTIC

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 6 July, 2016 –   The leader of one of the world’s leading resort companies will outline a vision for Caribbean tourism as he sets the tone for the region’s most important tourism gatherings, the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC).

The chief executive officer of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart, will deliver the keynote address at the 14-16 September event in Barbados, chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Barbados’ minister of tourism and international transport Richard Sealy announced this morning.

“We are honoured and excited to announce Mr Adam Stewart, the chief executive officer of Sandals Resorts International as the keynoter for SOTIC. Sandals is an influential Caribbean brand. Its impact on the economies of the countries in which it operates, and the other benefits it brings, such as immense global exposure which we otherwise could not afford, cannot be missed,” Mr. Sealy said at a news conference at the CTO headquarters.

Described as “a maverick on a mission, an energetic change agent, and an innovator who is not constrained by convention”, Mr. Stewart is expected to share his views on the opportunities that lie ahead for Caribbean tourism and what must be done to cash in on these opportunities.

His presentation will focus on the conference theme, Honouring Our Legacy, Defining Our Future, and is expected to draw on the Sandal CEO’s experiences in leading the growth and expansion of the global brand since he took over as its chief executive officer at the age of 25.

“As chief executive officer of a brand born in the Caribbean, it is my sincere pleasure to join my colleagues and my friends this September in Barbados to discuss not only the state of our industry but the myriad of opportunities that lie ahead. We are on the precipice of interesting days and I am excited to consider how, together, we will continue to make a visit to the Caribbean absolutely compelling,” Mr. Stewart, who has overseen the expansion of the resorts and the introduction of industry-changing innovation and developments, said ahead of the news conference.

The keynote address will launch the first full day of the conference on Thursday 15 September at the Hilton Barbados Resort.

Another leading presenter announced at today’s news conference is Craig Landry, the president of Air Canada Leisure Group, who will be the featured speaker on Friday morning, 16 September.

Mr. Landry oversees the Air Canada Vacations tour operator business and the leisure airline Air Canada Rouge, both of which are important partners and stakeholders in Caribbean tourism. Canada is itself a longstanding and critically important tourism partner for the region.

“The combination of a keynoter who is the chief executive officer of the Caribbean’s foremost hotel brand – Adam Stewart of Sandals – and a featured speaker who is from Air Canada, signals the importance we attach to our vision for the Caribbean,” stated Hugh Riley, the CTO’s secretary general.

Craig Landry has a complete understanding of Air Canada’s pivotal role in the current environment, Canada’s importance to the Caribbean, its economic challenges and opportunities, and its unique relationship with our region.”

A number of other presenters are being confirmed for SOTIC, which will explore subjects ranging from how to transition the product and multicultural and emerging markets to creating a luxury experience and the sharing economy.

The CTO State of the Industry Conference is the pre-eminent tourism gathering in the region. It brings together tourism decision-makers, including ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, hotel and airline executives, travel agents, students, the media and persons directly and indirectly involved in tourism. It is preceded by CTO business meetings, including meetings of the board of directors and the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism.

This year’s conference is organized in collaboration with Barbados’ Ministry of Tourism and International Transport and the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

For more information on SOTIC, including how you can register, participate and benefit, visit www.onecaribbean.org.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, SOTIC

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CTO’S State of Industry Conference Receives Overwhelming Endorsement from Delegates

(BRIDGETOWN, Barbados) 23 December 2015 The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) which was held in Curaçao in late October has received a ringing endorsement from delegates, with well over nine out of ten rating the event highly.

A survey of delegates conducted during and after the conference has revealed that 95 per cent rated SOTIC excellent or good, and 100 per cent said they would attend another CTO conference. Ninety-six per cent said the theme, Caribbean Tourism: Growth Through Innovation, was well chosen.

“With the survey results now in and the analysis having taken place, it gives us clear insight into what delegates want, what we have done well and what we must improve on,” said secretary general Hugh Riley.

“We are pleased with the survey results but we know we must keep striving to make each conference even better than the one before. Already we’re developing incredible ideas for the 2016 SOTIC, which will be in Barbados.”

The poll found that virtually all of the delegates scored the sessions, the entire conference and the host country, Curaçao, very highly, with three-quarters saying it was good value for money. Nearly nine in ten (87 per cent) thought all the sessions were either good or excellent, with the session entitled, ‘The Age of Innovation – Increasing ROI’, rated by 96 per cent of delegates as either good or excellent. The keynote presentation by Robin Hayes, the CEO and President of JetBlue was also highly acclaimed, with 94 per cent of delegates scoring it excellent or good.

Other survey highlights include:

  • All delegates rated the Caribbean Tourism Youth Congress good or excellent.
  • Ninety-seven per cent thought the closing party was good or excellent.
  • The opening ceremony was well received with 86 per cent rating it good or excellent..

The CTO State of the Industry Conference is the pre-eminent tourism gathering in the region. It brings together tourism decision-makers, including ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, hotel and airline executives, travel agents, students, the media and persons directly and indirectly involved in tourism. .

This year’s conference was held in collaboration with Curaçao’s Ministry of Economic Development and the Curaçao Tourism Board, with support from the UNWTO and the WTTC.

A date is being finalized for SOTIC 2016 in Barbados and will be released as soon as it is agreed.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, SOTIC

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