CTO News

Firefly Villas Bequia to celebrate groundbreaking with St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister

SVG Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves to officiate at next week’s groundbreaking of exclusive collection of new beachfront homes at Firefly Villas on the idyllic island of Bequia in the Grenadines.   www.Firefly-Villas.com

21 September 2016: 7th Heaven Properties today announced that an official ceremony to mark the groundbreaking of Firefly Villas, an exclusive collection of new beachfront residences on the island of Bequia in the Grenadines, will take place next Thursday 29th September 2016.

The ground breaking ceremony will be officiated by Dr Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Construction of residences will then begin in early October 2016.

Set in an approximately 15-acre private beachfront enclave of a tropical plantation on the island of Bequia, the residences will offer private island-style privacy and care-free ownership benefits delivered by Firefly Hotel Bequia and Firefly Hotel Mustique, a highly acclaimed pair of hotels.

The enclave, which stretches from the spectacular beachfront to the lush interior, has been sub-divided into nine private island-style clusters which are elevated 2 feet above ground to guarantee privacy and afford beautiful views across the beach, sea and plantation. Upon completion, each “island” will be home to just two or three villas or buyers can choose to have an “island” all to themselves.

Firefly Villas Bequia will be developed by Bequia Development Ltd in association with Firefly Hotel Bequia and Firefly Hotel Mustique. As a result, buyers will enjoy an unrivalled package of care-free villa ownership benefits unlike any other on offer on the island of Bequia. Benefits include an attractive Founders Package for the first few buyers, year-round villa maintenance and in-villa hotel services, a villa rental program offering owners the opportunity to generate income from their villas when not in personal use, as well as use of all amenities and discounted rates at both Firefly Hotel Bequia and Firefly Hotel Mustique for family and friends.

Designed by Swedish architect Olle Rex who has decades of international luxury residential and resort design experience, the villas are priced from $630,000 USD. Villas will feature from 1,600 sq ft of living space, including up to 6 bedrooms, contemporary open plan interiors, private terraces, private pools and outstanding views of the sea or lush green surroundings.

Johan Liljefors of Bequia Development Ltd commented: “I am delighted to welcome the Prime Minister to our piece of paradise to be part of the creation of a new collection of residences unlike anything else on Bequia.”

Walter Zephirin, Managing Director of London-based 7th Heaven Properties which is leading sales of the residences, added: “We are delighted to see Firefly Villas Bequia begin to take shape. With development set to commence imminently, buyers will be able to witness the progress of the construction of these new homes in one of the world’s most desirable locations.”

Located in the idyllic Grenadines island chain just south of St Vincent, the 7 square mile island of Bequia has a lower profile than many other Caribbean islands but is treasured for its pristine white sand beaches, lush green interior, crystal clear turquoise sea that offers unrivalled diving and snorkelling and unhurried, tranquil pace of life.

About 7th Heaven Properties 
7th Heaven Properties is one of the world’s leading independent Caribbean property specialists, representing the finest real estate for sale from across the entire Caribbean and Central America. Supported by a network of agents based in Europe, North America and the Caribbean, the firm lists residential and commercial property for sale in over 30 Caribbean territories.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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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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2017 Online Beginners’ Spanish & English for Tourism Professionals

The online programme in conversational Spanish and conversational English will enable the participants to acquire, at a beginner’s level, language skills and cultural knowledge needed to function competently in everyday situations related to travel, leisure, social interaction and the world of work.

Dates:    
Module 1 (15 weeks): 23 January to 5 May 2017
Module 2 (15 weeks): 5 June to 28 July & 11 September to 27 October 2017

Prerequisite:
A minimum of 3 years exposure to the language

Certification:
Provided by the Barbados Community College

Resource Materials:
All resource materials are provided electronically and the cost is included in the registration fee.

Course Details:  
1. Emphasis will be on the spoken language although there will be a written component.
2. An assessment will be conducted after each Unit to ensure that participants can demonstrate competency in reading, writing, listening and speaking, based on the material covered in the Unit.  Not every Unit will be assessed in the same way.  An individual project will also be part of the assessment process.
3. The learning will be self-paced; however, there will also be synchronous classes (i.e. live interaction with facilitator and course participants; individual and group sessions).

Requirements:
Participants must have access to a computer and to the internet. Your computer must be capable of playing audio and video files.

Registration Fee:
US$1000.00.  To be paid to the Barbados Community College. (Can be paid in 2 installments at the beginning of each module.)

Registration Deadline:
06 January 2017.

How to Register: Download and send in the registration form.

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Posted in: 2016 News, Blog

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Regional Hospitality Assured Workshop gets under way in Barbados

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 5 Sept, 2016 –  A week-long training advisers workshop on tourism business excellence opened in Barbados this morning.

The 5-9 September workshop is being organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) to sharpen participants’  business advisory skills so they can provide technical assistance to Caribbean tourism businesses  which will participate  in the Hospitality Assured Certification Programme.

Nineteen participants from 13 CTO member countries are attending the workshop, which is being held with funding support from the Caribbean Development Bank through its Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services (CTCS) Network and the European Union’s Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME).

“We are proud of the partnerships we have formed over the years with regional and international organizations such as the Caribbean Development Bank and the Institute of Hospitality, which make it possible for the CTO to provide services such as this for our members and for the region,” Hugh Riley, CTO’s secretary general said.

“We are driven by our emphasis on human capital development, our responsibility to help reduce the region’s unemployment, and our laser-like focus on consistently improving the quality of the experience the Caribbean offers to its visitors. This workshop seems to me to be relevant to all of those aspects.”

The workshop, which will be facilitated by John Burchell of Hospitality Assured in the United Kingdom, with assistance from Norma Shorey Bryan, a trained Barbadian business advisor, precedes the region’s premier tourism gathering, the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC), where those issues will be tackled. SOTIC takes place in Barbados from14-16 September.

Hospitality Assured is a certification programme promoting service and business excellence in tourism and hospitality companies.  It is owned by the Institute of Hospitality in the United Kingdom, and managed by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in the region.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Hospitality Assured

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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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Cadence-Lypso Music to be recognized with a special day

Roseau, Dominica- August 25, 2016 The music created and pioneered by Exile One Band in the early 1970’s and which dominated the airwaves, dancehall and concert scenes for the several decades is to be given a day of recognition on August 25, 2016. The announcement of the Cadence Day was made by Cecil Joseph, General Manager of DBS Radio at a public forum on Cadence-lypso held at the UWI Centre on Wednesday, as part of the build-up to the NCCU Cadence-lypso Competition on November 2nd, 2016.

Cadence Day, as the day is being referred to will be promoted by Dominica’s national radio station, DBS Radio which itself was formed around the same time as this pioneering musical form in the early 1970’s. DBS and other supporters of the music hope that by declaring a day for cadence music that the music will find greater favour among the younger generations of Dominicans and the youth, and will help to stimulate new interest by younger musicians to begin to experiment with the cadence sound.

Speaking of the announcement by DBS Radio, CEO of DDA and DFC Chairman Colin Piper strongly endorsed the idea and urged Dominicans and music lovers at home and abroad to fully embrace the observance. “The DDA have since the inception of the World Creole Music Festival in 1997 made cadence-lypso a major part of the festival line-up each and every year. In fact, this year three of the major voices of cadence music will be featured on the festival stage. Ophelia, Dominica’s Lady of Song, Midnight Groovers, Kings of Cadence and Princess of Dominica’s music Michele Henderson who all have made important contributions to cadence and other forms of local music”, the DDA CEO asserted.

Cadence Day will be celebrated with media programmes, discussions on the music and the playing of many of the well-known cadence-lypso hits over the last four decades.

For more information on Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival contact the Dominica Festival Committee at 767 448 4833. Or visit the official website: www.wcmfdominica.com or follow Dominica Fests on Twitter and Facebook, and YouTube.

About Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival: Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival celebrates the creole culture of creole speaking countries in the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.   The Festival, held annually in October seeks to augment the creole month festivities and Independence celebrations held during this period as well as boost visitor arrivals to the island. The World Creole Music Festival features various musical genres to include reggae, zouk, konpa, cadence, bouyon, salsa, dancehall/hip hop, meringue, soukous, zydeco. The Festival is dubbed ‘Three Nights of Pulsating Rhythms’ for its wide repertoire of musical genres on showcase each night.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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The Grenada Tourism Authority Welcomes New Marketing Manager

(St. George’s, Grenada) 23rd August 2016 – The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Francine Stewart as Marketing Manager on the 1st August 2016. Ms. Stewart’s functions include the interaction with key private and public sector partners, the execution of all marketing programmes, and the management of marketing expenditure.

“Marketing Grenada as a destination is huge responsibility and I am honoured to serve my country in this way. My initial focus would be to foster and develop strong relationships with all key stakeholders locally, regionally and internationally. This industry is an interestingly dynamic one with constant competition, making it important for us to directly reach our target audience via the most appropriate mediums at the lowest costs,” said Ms. Francine Stewart when asked about her focus for the upcoming months.

She continued, “This targeted approach through digital marketing, public relations, and other marketing strategies in our source markets will allow us to promote our market niches and increase visitor arrivals, while developing programmes to encourage repeat visits and to increase the conversion rate of cruise/yachting to stay over arrivals.”

The new marketing manager brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the GTA, having been previously employed by Sandals LaSource Grenada as Resort Sales Manager. Ms. Stewart’s career history includes hotel & event management in the region, international airline sales for Air Jamaica, product development management for Air Jamaica Vacations, and property management for Terra Caribbean – Grenada. She holds an Associate of Science in Hotel Management from the Aruba School of Hotel Management and a Bachelor of Science in Travel & Tourism Management from the Florida International University.

“With such a diverse background in the travel and tourism industry, I longed to do more for my country on a national level. Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique are truly gems in their own sense, deserving of anyone’s vacation. We must be proud to showcase our home and to ensure that each visitor leaves our shores wanting to come back for more,” commented Ms. Stewart.

Media Contact

Chrislyn Lashington; Corporate Communications Officer;
Grenada Tourism Authority
[email protected]
473 440 2001/2279

For all our recent news releases go to www.puregrenada.com/news

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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