CTO News

Government Of Grenada Signs MOU With AIRBNB

St. George’s, Grenada W.I. – June 8, 2017 – It’s official. The Government of Grenada, today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), to formalize and implement a cohesive partnership with the global home-sharing company, Airbnb. Grenada’s Minister of Tourism, Honorable Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen signed on behalf of the Government of Grenada, in a conference held during the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s annual Caribbean Week.

The signing of the MOU is part of ongoing efforts by the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) to maximize exposure of the tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and will act as a streamlined framework for the collaboration between the GTA and Airbnb, designed to further enhance and position the Spice Island of the Caribbean as top-of-mind with target consumers.

“Solidifying a strategic alliance with a global entity like Airbnb demonstrates our commitment to strengthening Grenada’s tourism sector by tapping into new segments of the industry and providing Grenadians with opportunities that stimulate our island’s economic growth,” commented Dr. Modeste-Curwen. “Grenada is known and loved for the warm and friendly hospitality of its people, world-class beaches, cuisine, culture and we recognize that in order for the destination to remain competitive we must grow and evolve with the ever-changing travel landscape.”

Airbnb plays an increasingly important role in Grenada’s tourism sector with more than 400 active listings across the island and typical host annual earnings of $2200 USD. With the establishment of today’s strategic partnership, new opportunities will be open to Grenadians and island-wide advocacy to develop and support unique Pure Grenada experiences that will further strengthen the continued growth of the destination’s economy.

In recent months, Airbnb has reached a series of innovative and very promising partnerships with countries in the Caribbean, especially the recent signing of an agreement with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, which sets a great environment for boosting tourism in the region.

“We are proud to partner with Grenada and help create genuine experiences for travelers and new economic opportunities for Grenadians while highlighting local culture and heritage,” said Shawn Sullivan, Airbnb’s Public Policy lead for Central America and the Caribbean.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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CTO Signs MOU With The Travel Foundation During Caribbean Week NY

NEW YORK, NY (June 8, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Travel Foundation (TF) to formally establish a framework of cooperation and facilitate collaboration between the organizations in areas of common interest to contribute to sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean Region. The MOU was signed by CTO secretary general Hugh Riley and Salli Felton, TF chief executive officer on Thursday, June 8, during a CTO press conference held during Caribbean Week New York.

TF, the international charity that works with destinations and leading organizations to improve the impacts of tourism on people and the environment, and CTO will facilitate the joint implementation of projects and publications, the organization of workshops, seminars, meetings, conferences, and other initiatives on matters of common interest. The two organizations will support and participate in each other’s relevant projects and activities.

“The Caribbean Tourism Organization is pleased to align our sustainability and environmental advocacy efforts with the Travel Foundation and come together during Caribbean Week New York to formally announced our new vested partnership,” Mr. Riley said

“To further our ongoing work in the Caribbean, we are pleased to partner with CTO to facilitate future tourism development which promotes thriving communities and a healthy environment,” added Ms. Felton.

This agreement follows the recent announcement of CTO and TF’s launch of a free online sustainable tourism course for ministries, government departments, tourism authorities and tourist boards engaged in destination management in CTO member countries. The course is designed to help increase knowledge of how to review and plan for the sustainable development of Caribbean tourist destinations.

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 tourism potential of Caribbean destinations. To register for the free online course, please click on the following link: travelfoundationtraining.com/caribbean.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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CTO Honors Excellence in Travel Journalism at Media Awards Ceremony at Caribbean Week NY

NEW YORK, NY (June 8, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has crowned the winners in its annual Caribbean Media Awards competition and recognized journalists at the Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Luncheon on Thursday, June 8, 2017, at the Wyndham New Yorker.

During the awards luncheon, sponsored by Jamaica, CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley presented the awards to a packed audience of Tourism Ministers and other dignitaries from the Caribbean, industry executives and other well regarded journalists. The new CTO chairman Dionisio D’Aguilar presented the best of the best award to Kim Connaghan, publisher of National Geographic Traveler, who accepted on behalf of Eric Felton. Local NBC news personality Dave Price hosted the Luncheon.

The 2017 Caribbean Media Awards winners for each category are:

“VIRTUAL VISITOR AWARD”

Best Online Feature – USA

Author Name:           Eric Felten, NationalGeographic.com
Article Title:               Hear the Song of Trinidad

“ME TOO!…I REDISCOVERED HOME”

Best Feature by a Diaspora Journalist in US or Caribbean Media

Author Name:           Melissa Noel, NBC News
Article Title:               Guyana Jubilee: Celebrating 50 Years of Independence

“I COULDN’T HAVE WRITTEN IT BETTER MYSELF”

Best Feature Article in a Consumer Newspaper – USA

Author Name:           Moira McCarty, The Boston Herald
Article Title:               Martinique Getaway Made Easier By Direct Flights

“BEEN THERE, WROTE THAT”

Best Feature Article in a US-based Consumer Magazine

Author Name:   Delano Lavigne, Outpost Travel Guise
Article Title:       DOMINICA Oh, Waitukubuli

 “NO ANANSI STORY!”

Best Feature by a Caribbean Journalist

Author Name:           Tosheena Robinson-Blair, Bahamas Handbook
Article Title:              The Life and Times of a Master Hotelier (Bahamas hotelier)

 “OH SNAP!”

Best Photograph in Conjunction with a Feature Article – USA

Photographer:           Reinhard Dirscherl, Sport Diver
Article Title:               Treasure Island: Scuba Diving in Dominica

“NOT LOST IN TRANSLATION”

Best Feature by a US Journalist that appeared in Foreign Media

Author Name:    Julie Masis, Times of Israel
Article Title:       In Jamaica, a Once-In-A-Lifetime Reunion for Jews Who Weathered WWII in an Island Camp

“INNER CIRCLE KING/QUEEN”

Best Feature Article in a Trade Publication – USA

Author Name:           Ed Wetschler, Recommend
Article Title:               Trending Now in the Caribbean

“GOLDEN MIC”

Best Feature Broadcast – USA

Author Name:             Tonya Fitzpatrick, World Footprints Media
Broadcast Name:       Magical Martinique: The Island of Flowers

“FROM INFINITY…AND ABROAD!”

Best Feature by a foreign Journalist that appeared in US Media

Author Name:           Eric Vohr, Dallas News
Article Title:               Discover the Magical Rainforests of this Caribbean Island

“OH MY WORD, I BLOGGED!”

Best Caribbean Travel Blog Posting

Author Name:           Gabrielle Agostini, The Trini Traveller
Article Title:               Trinidad & Tobago Carnival Guide

In addition to Best Online Feature – USA, Eric Felton was presented the Best of the Best award for his NationalGeographic.com feature Hear the Song of Trinidad.

The Caribbean Week New York Media Awards are judged by a team of public relations and journalism experts.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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Links to photos of Caribbean Week 2017

Caribbean Week New York 2017 photographs:

Celebrity Chef Demonstration at Bloomingdales: https://goo.gl/photos/xUDPPsbv4tnYGaqG6

Church Service at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church : https://goo.gl/photos/qxTZcUuw7ZGLUzNN9

Disaspora Forum: https://goo.gl/photos/VcUJUD9GrohVbWv36

Tourism Industry Workshop: https://goo.gl/photos/LeMMVLMm6CZZKoih7

Think Tank: CTO 5 Year Strategic Planning Session: https://goo.gl/photos/QdjjtNxp3kkJwfLh6

Executive Committee Meeting & Travel Agents Trade Show: https://goo.gl/photos/MtN6RWy2ckPYC7kn6

Cocktail Reception for Government Officials & Empire State Building Lighting: https://goo.gl/photos/gEoUnBc11orw5eif8

Board of Directors Meeting: https://goo.gl/photos/c9CJSy8s9uj75caD7

Students Colloquium: https://goo.gl/photos/SGE2Z6VjkBbUZKkF8

Caribbean Tourism Marketing Conference: https://goo.gl/photos/tUw4Q3nZPM8yHchb9

Caribbean Tourism Awards Industry Luncheon: https://goo.gl/photos/rRviH8fWAk2qKHHj9

Press Conference: https://goo.gl/photos/TjxbKxVjNDY3wjfF9

Media Marketplace & Interviews: https://goo.gl/photos/myHpYCBYYpb42eHP9

Rum Rumble Final Mixologist Competition: https://goo.gl/photos/gcMfWN1qtabD9SAs9

Rum & Rhythm:  https://goo.gl/photos/TWZcd44pu7ymsemK8

 

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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Remarks by Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar Chairman, CTO- Caribbean Week News Conference

This has been thus far a fantastic Caribbean Week, with renewed energy and purpose  among our ministers, directors, tourism officials and everyone involved.

For the first time ever we presented Caribbean culture and heritage in a very practical manner at our Diaspora Forum, which itself returned to Brooklyn after many years.

Truly dynamic performances by La Troupe Zetwal of Haiti and Danza Fiesta of Puerto Rico were a demonstration of our truly rich and diverse culture.

As always, the Students Colloquium was a highlight of the Week. Our congratulations to Monroe College for emerging winners among a group of very impressive students.

We were delighted to host former Congressman, Charles Rangel on Tuesday night, during which he was presented with an award by the Caribbean Community Caucus of Ambassadors in appreciation of his longstanding work in advancing US-Caribbean relations during his 46 years in Congress.

Yesterday, I chaired my first CTO Council of Ministers and Commissioners meeting in what was truly an enriching experience. The passion for CTO and the Caribbean that was so evident at the meeting was extremely encouraging and bodes well for the organization and regional tourism.

The Council of Ministers and Commissioners endorsed a joint CTO/CHTA collaboration to put together for the consideration of Caribbean Community heads of government, a framework for the development of a Caribbean public-private sector tourism marketing and development initiative.

The ministers also strongly supported the development of a five-year strategic plan for the organization, a process that has already begun.

We agreed to continue a process to determine whether or not to expand the CTO membership to countries outside the traditional Caribbean region, but washed by the Caribbean Sea, and which seek membership in the organization.

The ministers also strongly endorsed Jamaica’s hosting of the UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, November 27-29, 2017.

Now, a brief word on the region’s performance so far this year.

In the first quarter of 2017, destinations around the region received 8.7 million international tourist arrivals. This is 150 thousand more than in the same period of 2016, a 1.8 per cent increase.

The grouping which we refer to as other Caribbean destinations – Cancun, Cozumel, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Suriname -led growth across the sub-regions, with international tourist arrivals up 6.3 per cent as of the end of March.

Of the remaining sub-regions, the French Caribbean was the only other to record an increase in international trips. Within the other groupings, visitor arrivals fell by 1.3 per cent.

After an uncharacteristically weak performance in 2016, the Canadian market has rebounded in 2017 to post the highest growth rate of 4.8 per cent in the first quarter.

Europe was up 2.9 per cent and the United States 1.3 per cent.

However, data compiled by STR Global Ltd (STR) for the first quarter indicated that the hotel industry continued to struggle. While the number of available rooms increased by 1.1 per cent, room revenue, average daily rates and revenue per available rooms all fell.

In the first three months, cruise passenger arrivals increased by an estimated 4.5 per cent compared to the same period of last year. This performance translated to approximately 10 million cruise passengers arriving in Caribbean destinations.

Let me also take the opportunity to congratulate those of you in the media who won awards today. Thanks to all of you for all you do to promote the Caribbean.

Congratulations also to our Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Patrick Baucelin of Martinique. A true Caribbean soldier.

I also wish to thank the CTO staff for working so hard to make Caribbean Week a success.

Thanks

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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Dominica Entices The Caribbean With Summer Campaign

Roseau, Dominica – (June 6, 2017) Discover Dominica Authority has launched its summer campaign, ‘Meet Me In Dominica, Summer 2017’.  The campaign invites the region to the Nature Island of the Caribbean for a summer of adventure, nature and events for singles, couples and families.

Dominica’s Tourism Director, Colin Piper remarked that “Dominica is the destination of choice when thinking of adventure, and with 2017 labelled as the Year of Adventure, Dominica has positioned itself to embrace visitors from the region and beyond for an unforgettable experience in Dominica”.

He further commented that “collaboration is key in the sustainability of tourism, as such a number of properties and tour operators have come onboard with the DDA, to offer exciting specials and activities all in an effort to ensure that every day of your vacation is a day spent outside enjoying the Nature Island.”

The Summer Campaign runs from June 1 – August 31, 2017.

Marketing of the campaign has commenced throughout the region with the major component being digital.  “With our consumers seeking up-to-date and immediate information, our digital components of the campaign will seek to strategically target the right audience”, Piper stated.

Meet Me In Dominica, Summer 2017 comes on the heels of a successful Jazz ‘n Creole Festival held in Dominica over the last week, and opens up the doors to Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival to be held from October 27-29, 2017.   For more details, please visit www.discoverdominica.com.

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Regional Tourism Industry To Take Centerstage During UNWTO Global Conference In Jamaica

NEW YORK, NY – June 6, 2017 – The regional tourism industry is set to take centerstage during the UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, November 27-29, 2017. Speaking at a press conference on June 6 at the Consulate General of Jamaica during Caribbean Week in New York, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett noted that given the region’s dependency on tourism, it was important that such a conference provide solutions on how the Caribbean can better leverage this industry.

“The conference programme, though global in nature, is highly significant to the Caribbean. And therefore, we felt that we should incorporate a programme specific to the Caribbean and some of the issues we grapple with. This programme will take place on the first day of the conference on November 27,” noted Minister Bartlett.

With the regional focus on opening day, the Ministry of Tourism received the endorsement of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) from Secretary General Hugh Riley and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourist Association (CHTA) by way of Matt Cooper.

Minister Bartlett stated that tourism is the single largest generator of foreign exchange in 16 of the 28 countries in the Caribbean and the sector receiving the most foreign direct investment (FDI), adding that the region has a higher proportion of total employment and percentage of GDP derived from tourism than any other region in the world.

According to the Tourism Minister, “it is estimated that 1 in every 4 persons is employed by tourism-related activities and the sector accounts for 41% of all exports and services in the Caribbean and 31% of all gross domestic product”.

Additionally, Minister Bartlett indicated that similar to what was done with the global aspect of the conference, the organizers have included a number of Caribbean themes within the Call for Papers, which cover tourism and sustainability, where the threats, risks and challenges will be discussed; the strengthening of the human capital and human capital trends; the tourism value chain linkages and technology and innovation.

According to Minister Bartlett, one of key expected outcomes from this global conference is the Montego Bay Declaration. “At the end of the conference, there will be the compilation of the Draft Montego Bay Declaration. From this will flow an action plan for tourism destinations to follow, as well as the publication of the second volume of the UNWTO Global Report on Public Private Partnerships”.

TRIBUTE TO UNWTO SECRETARY GENERAL & CARIBBEAN LEGENDS AWARDS

The Tourism Minister also announced that the Conference will be used to pay tribute to the current UNWTO Secretary General Dr. Taleb Rifai whose tenure comes to an end. “Although he will have his formal send-off in December, the UNWTO has allowed us to utilize this opportunity for the more emotional and “irie” send-off,” noted Bartlett.

Another feature of the conference will be the presentation of the Caribbean Legends Awards, the first of its kind, which will be a collaborative effort involving the Ministry of Tourism of Jamaica, the CTO and the CHTA, supported by UNWTO. These awards, in the categories of Land, Sea and Air, will be given to individuals that have made an indelible mark on the tourism industry, not just regionally, but globally, enhancing the Caribbean brand.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Destination News

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