CTO News

Pure Grenada wins 13th Gold Medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

(St. George’s, Grenada) 23rd May 2017— The Grenada exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 entitled ‘Historical Botanical Gardens-Pure Grenada’ has won a highly coveted gold medal. This brings the number of gold medals awarded to Grenada to 13 over 19 years of exhibiting at the Show, with three being awarded in as many years to Grenada-based co-ordinator/designer, Catherine John and her team of volunteers. Mrs. John who has led the design team since 2015, brought Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean to life with a fragrant and exuberant representation of the island’s Botanical Gardens, founded in 1886 and for generations a much loved place to visit.

The multi-layer design emphasises the rich flora typical of Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean, accented with scented spices and with a focus on the island’s verdant foliage. Brimming with excitement Mrs. John said: “’Historical Botanical Gardens-Pure Grenada’ acknowledges an institution very much in the hearts of Grenadians, and promotes our islands’ extraordinary biodiversity, showcasing the different blooms, foliage and spices that thrive at different levels of vegetation.” She added: “Our rainforest, our orchids and our spices are all represented to reveal their intense colours and fragrance and really stand out from the floral displays at the Show.”

The foliage and spices were grown in Grenada and arranged to Mrs. John’s design ahead of Monday, 22 May when the display enthralled VIP Press Day visitors including Grenadian born Dr Johnson Beharry VC – recipient of the highest military decoration for valour in the British and Commonwealth armed forces and celebrities including Piers Morgan and TV hostess, Gloria Hunniford.

Mrs. John said: “We’re delighted that the exhibit has been awarded a gold medal here in London. My personal inspiration for the design comes from my love and respect for what was achieved in the nineteenth century by the Botanical Gardens in Tanteen, St George’s, and for the role it played in the life of my island home. In addition to providing visitors with a treat for all the senses, the Botanical Gardens was a centre for research, including into the cocoa that is now so highly prized on the island by ethical chocolate producers.”

Patricia Maher, CEO of Grenada Tourism Authority, said: “Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean boasts an enthralling natural landscape and the design team has once again provided visitors to the world’s greatest flower show with an authentic taste of the island. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is truly a world stage and continues to play a prominent and acclaimed role in enticing visitors to our islands, where they are free to wonder at our abundant natural beauty.”

All connected with the pavilion express their gratitude to the 2017 sponsors and those who offered their time and plant materials. RHS Chelsea Flower Show remains open to the public until Saturday 27 May 2017. For more information on Pure Grenada, visit www.PureGrenada.com or search for #FreeToWonder on social platforms.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Joint Statement by the CTO and International Union for Conservation of Nature on International Day for Biological Diversity

Monday 22 May, 2017: As the world comes together in recognition of the plethora of organisms and species that inhabit planet earth, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is pleased to join with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity 2017.

This year, under the theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism” the CTO is particularly pleased that the global community continues to pay serious attention to the significance of tourism as a driving force for sustainable development.

CTO is acutely aware that the Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region in the world, but it is not often recognised that there is a direct correlation between our region’s biological diversity and the scale of our tourism activity. Without question, Caribbean tourism products utilize the natural environment for myriad value propositions, and so whether one chooses to engage in whale-watching in Dominica, birdwatching in Trinidad and Tobago, snorkelling in the Cayman Islands or hiking in St. Kitts and Nevis, the biodiversity found in the Caribbean appeals to a wide range of visitors, and creates lasting observational and experiential memories for them to treasure.

In fact, the theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism” heralds a growing partnership between IUCN and the CTO, with one such output represented through IUCN’s sponsorship of the Biodiversity Conservation Award within CTO’s 2017 Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards.

We are remarkably blessed in the Caribbean with un-spoilt natural environments that not only lead to an enviable quality of life for our people, but the development of tourism as an economic pillar that allows us to share our rich habitat with the rest of mankind. It is therefore critical that we recognise and form partnerships with the champions that actively work to maintain balance with our sensitive biological treasures.

CTO and IUCN are pleased to collaborate to raise awareness and promote action towards the important contribution of sustainable tourism to economic growth and to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Our actions matter, and CTO and IUCN are pleased to work together to ensure that the Caribbean remains mindful of both our environmental blessings and our responsibilities not just for present enjoyment, but for the benefit of future generations.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Caribbean Airlines executives attend global loyalty conference

Piarco, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I. – 10TH May, 2017. Caribbean Airlines continues to expand its Loyalty programmes to provide its valued customers with the best Frequent Flyer service and experience.  The upgrade of the Frequent Flyer programmes began last September and saw the migration of Caribbean Miles, Club Caribbean and 7th Heaven Rewards loyalty programmes to the Amadeus Loyalty and Awards Management Solutions (ALMS).

During the period April 26-27th, members of the Caribbean Airlines team attended the prestigious Loyalty @Freddie Awards held at the Hyatt Regency in New Jersey, USA. The team benefitted from the insight and experience of industry experts who presented at the event.

Caribbean Airlines’ Senior Marketing Manager, Alicia Cabrera was one of the speakers at the event, and noted: “The opportunity to participate placed our Caribbean Airlines brand directly in touch with high level delegates from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, retailers, airports and cruise companies.  Since our transition to Amadeus we have been re designing our programme to ensure our customers receive even greater value  for their loyalty to the brand.”

In extending his thanks to Ms. Cabrera for her insightful presentation, Managing Director ,Global Flight, Ravindra Bhagwanani said: “I definitely know that this is not our own merit, but only possible thanks to persons like Alicia at Caribbean who were willing to share their experience and expertise with the community.”

Ms. Cabrera continued, “I was truly inspired by the keynote presentations and the exceptional content from these high level industry experts as they shared their market knowledge.  The key point was that while global, a number of programmes focused on going back to some basic loyalty principles and ensuring that customers maintain an emotional connection with the brand.  This was affirmation that CAL was on the right track as in addition to the brand equity that we have with our customers it was confirmation that we were on the right path.”

Caribbean Airlines insourced its Loyalty Call Centre in November 2016 to ensure that they retained ownership of their best customers. The Caribbean Miles programme, now powered by Amadeus technology allows the company to fully integrate its loyalty programme with its passenger service system and allows the airline to expand its partners and digital capabilities.

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CTO and Travel Foundation launch online training course in sustainable tourism

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados  (15 May, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Caribbean’s tourism development agency, and the Travel Foundation, the international agency that promotes the benefits of tourism to people and the environment, are today launching a free online sustainable tourism course to help increase knowledge of how to review and plan for the sustainable development of Caribbean tourist destinations.

The capacity building online training programme, which is available free of charge to ministries, government departments, tourism authorities and tourist boards engaged in destination management in CTO member countries, focuses on the practical dimensions of sustainable tourism, and seeks to introduce participants to key considerations during the planning and design of tourism activities.

The course will examine what makes tourism both constructive and destructive to host communities, suggest tools for conservation and responsible use of resources, and provide strategies which countries can use to develop and implement their own national initiatives.

“The Caribbean Tourism Organization is pleased to partner with the Travel Foundation to offer this course which provides a roadmap to destination success, with the aim of enhancing regional knowledge and competencies in the theory and practice of sustainable tourism. It is well known that the region is the world’s most tourism-dependent region, therefore, it is imperative that tourism is developed in a manner that ensures long-term benefits and value for Caribbean residents and visitors alike, even as we endeavour to position ourselves as the world’s most desirable, year-round warm weather destination,” the CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley said.

Benchmarked with good practice case studies, the course will sharpen participants’ ability to plan the development of their local tourism industry in a way that meets the needs of both visitors and host communities, creates a more resilient economy, protects tourism assets and secures the future of Caribbean destinations.

The six modules cover key sustainability topics to include understanding sustainable tourism in the global context of climate change; increasing the socio-economic benefits of tourism; protecting cultural and built heritage; managing the environmental impacts of tourism and planning the sustainable development of each destination.

“At the Travel Foundation, we recognise how important it is for destination authorities to have the knowledge, resources and information available to make sound decisions that will ensure the sustainability of tourism long into the future.  We are working with the CTO because they too have this mindset, and want to ensure the Caribbean is a region where future tourism growth promotes thriving communities and a healthy environment. Together we can work towards achieving this goal,” declared Salli Felton, chief executive officer of the Travel Foundation, which has developed the training.

The course is being offered with an open timeline, but for maximum impact it is recommended that individuals complete the programme within two to four weeks of commencement. Participants are also encouraged to adopt the principles and adapt the best practices showcased in order to enhance the overall quality of their tourism value proposition.

The training course is part of a broader cooperation agreement between the two organizations, which will sign a memorandum of understanding during Caribbean Week New York next month to provide a framework of cooperation and to facilitate collaboration in areas of common interest to contribute to sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean region.

To register for the free online course, please click on the following link: travelfoundationtraining.com/caribbean

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News, Travel Foundation

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CTO teams up with St. Kitts to host Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (9 May, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, is partnering with the ministry of tourism in St. Kitts to host a sustainable tourism forum, with a focus on climate change.

Themed, Good for Us, Better for All, the 6-8 September Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum is being held in observance of International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and will bring together local, regional, and international representatives from public and private sector tourism entities, as well as development agencies that offer programming in sustainable tourism, for three days of interactive engagements.

Major elements will include best practice sharing and strategic consultations for a CTO climate adaptation project funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, in order to strengthen holistic destination management approaches in the Caribbean.

“The CTO is honoured to partner with St. Kitts and Nevis to host this forum, which will explore various facets of sustainable tourism, in view of the threats and opportunities for regional tourism development, as a result of climate variability and climate change,” said Amanda Charles, the CTO’s sustainable tourism specialist.

The winner of the 2004 CTO/Travel Mole Sustainable Tourism Award in Destination Stewardship, St Kitts is one of the first destinations in the world to be accepted as an early adopter of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s criteria for destinations. It also is a founding member of the Sustainable Destination Alliance of the Americas, an initiative by the CTO, the Organization of American States, Sustainable Travel International and Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited to promote sustainable destination management in the Caribbean and Central America.

Its many initiatives include the establishment of the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation and Sustainability Charter, which helps businesses understand how their operations contribute to destination-wide sustainability, and to support community projects that make St. Kitts a more sustainable place to live and experience.

“There is an inexorable link between tourism activity and climate change. Tourism therefore must play an integral role in the global response to climate change; a charge St. Kitts takes very seriously. Through the investment of considerable resources into sustainable tourism, St. Kitts is changing the way tourism is perceived and practiced globally, regionally, and at home,” minister of tourism Lindsay Grant said.

The Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum will also feature experiential field visits, a meeting of CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Technical Committee, and winning presentations from CTO’s Primary School Tourism Writing Competition. The event culminates with the presentation ceremony for CTO’s 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards which recognise regional sustainability champions.

Organising partners include the CTO, the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism, the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, and Sustainable Travel International. For sponsorship opportunities, and to signal your interest in attending please contact Amanda Charles at [email protected] or  Kennedy Pemberton at [email protected]

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Pure Grenada focuses on German market growth

(St. George’s, Grenada) 8th May 2017— Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean is experiencing year on year growth in the German market and the GTA is seeking more opportunities to increase its market share. In April, CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) Patricia Maher visited Germany to meet with travel agents, tour operators and airlines that are Grenada’s partners. The meeting with the decision makers of Condor Airlines was especially enlightening as Pure Grenada was commended for already being 20% ahead of its bookings last year.

The GTA CEO was able to meet with Head of Network Development Long Haul for Condor Airlines Wilken Bellmann and his Junior Manager Ruben Schmidt. Coming out of that meeting it was agreed that focus should be placed on growing Winter season bookings.

CEO Maher says, “ I was excited to hear that CONDOR is partnering with Caribbean Airlines and are in negotiations with LIAT for connecting flights. This is great news for us especially for Summer 2017. Germans can check-in in Frankfurt and connect seamlessly with luggage on LIAT to Pure Grenada. CONDOR are also code sharing with Air China so it makes Frankfurt a seamless hub to Asia for Grenada.”

Subsequently, meetings were held with key persons at Thomas Cook/Neckermann and DerTouristik/Meier’s Weltreisen Tour Operators to discuss the promotion of destination Pure Grenada. Ideas were shared on how to reach the travel agents who sell long haul destinations through special mailings, cooperative advertising and increased roadshows.

As part of the visit, the CEO and German sales team representatives ensured that they paid visits to travel agents in Wiesbaden and at Frankfurt Airport to engage them on selling Grenada as a destination. The selection of hotels in the catalogues were explained and the reasons why Germans would love the destination were highlighted. Ms. Maher is fluent in the German language and conducted all meetings and interviews in German.

During the busy period, CEO Maher was also able to conduct interviews with Sylvia Raschke from Touristik Aktuell and Martina Feyerherd from FVW AG. Both journalists were provided with statistics on visitor arrivals from Germany. In addition, they were updated on new hotel and attraction developments and are excited about the destination.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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`Showcase Antigua and Barbuda’ offers new travel business with major developments to watch

May 8, 2017 (St. John’s, Antigua) – Tourism buyers from the United Kingdom, Europe and North America will meet tourism suppliers from Antigua and Barbuda as well as nearby destinations, at the upcoming ‘Showcase Antigua Barbuda’ to be held  in Antigua from May 17, 2017.

The annual business development event organized by the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association and the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, provides one full day of pre-scheduled appointment sessions and activities where wholesalers and tour operators from around the world meet and conduct business with regional suppliers in the tourism industry.

Antigua and Barbuda Tourism officials are preparing to meet and wow the buyers who by sending their clients to Antigua and Barbuda bring big business to the destination.

Tourism Minister, The Hon. Asot Michael said, “Showcase Antigua Barbuda is an opportunity for the destination and our suppliers to impact sales to Antigua and Barbuda from the main source markets in the US, UK and Europe and to grow regional business by highlighting our position as an airline hub.

The event is extremely beneficial to our unique, boutique properties who may not always attend the major travel shows to make contact with buyers looking for the smaller, indigenous properties, and to take advantage of opportunities available in this niche.”

Buyers registered to date include: JetBlue Vacations, American Airlines Vacations, British Airways Holidays, Virgin Holidays, Kenwood Travel, Lusso, Blue Bay Travel Ltd., Air Canada Vacations, West Jet Vacations, Etnia Viaggi, CheapCaribbean.com, Expedia and Booking.com

“Buyers are coming looking for new business; to grow the business they are already doing; and to experience Antigua and Barbuda.

For those who are visiting for the first time, this is an opportunity for us, to show them our product, to share information about new developments and for them to experience Antigua and Barbuda. For those who have been to the destination prior, they are coming to learn why they should continue to keep their eye on the destination,” the Tourism Minister said.

Antigua and Barbuda is proving to be a destination to watch, with major upgrades in the pipeline and infrastructural developments breaking ground in 2017.

Antigua and Barbuda has received accolades as the Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination and in 2016 was granted UNESCO World Heritage status for the historic Nelson’s Dockyard, and other archaeological sites within the National Parks in Antigua.

The destination is set to welcome exciting new hotel developments with the opening of The Resort at Hodges Bay, a US$50 million 79 suite luxury resort scheduled for later this year. And ground breakings within the last five months have included the five star luxury Callaloo Cay, and the Coconut Beach Resort an Autograph Collection hotel by Marriott. Established hotels are also undergoing renovations as they move towards meeting the changing needs of the consumer.

Tourism air arrivals to Antigua and Barbuda in 2016 were recorded at 265,187 reflecting a growth of 6%. Officials celebrated a milestone as US air arrival figures surpassed the 100,000 mark for the first time in recorded history.

Showcase Antigua Barbuda will include suppliers from the Islands of the North Leeward Islands.  These include Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, St. Maarten, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts & Nevis.

For information on how to register visit:  Showcase Antigua Barbuda.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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