CTO News

Message by Charles Lindo Director of Tourism, St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation – 5th Statia Sustainable Conference

First of all, I would like to welcome all speakers and participants to the 5th annual Statia Sustainable Conference (SSC-5), and at the same time would like to thank you for your attendance. The general purpose of SSC is to Inform, Educate and Motivate persons on the issues that can make a difference in our society whether economically, socially or other.  Understanding the core meaning of accessibility and how it can benefit us in the long run is of high importance. The intention of this year’s conference is to ensure that person or persons can easily comprehend the idiom ACCESIBILITY covers, and to be able to find purpose in their role towards this so call “new’ trend. However I will focus on disabled persons and the challenges they could face.

One of the main concentrations when talking about accessibility is the possibility to cater to disabled persons. The main question here is “how ACCESSIBLE are you”? It is extremely important that destinations not only have the necessary plans in place to meet the very fast growing world of disabled travelers but to have the necessary air and sea lift to do so as well.

Social media and the internet in general have been said to have brought the world to disabled travelers. Travelers with disabilities can easily visit certain websites to determine when to travel, where to travel to and what laws and regulations a certain destination may have in place for disabled travelers. Persons with disabilities, on average as a group, are more likely to experience adverse socioeconomic outcomes than persons without disabilities, such as less education, worse health outcomes, less employment, and higher poverty rates. (World Bank), a country’s economic, legislative, physical, and social environment may create or maintain barriers such as inaccessible buildings, transport, information, and communication technology; inadequate standards, services, and funding for those services; and too little data and analysis for evidence-based, efficient, and effective policies.

According to World Bank April 4th 2016; one billion people, or 15 % of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. One-fifth of the estimated global total or between 110 million and 190 million people experience significant disabilities. Eight billion dollars per year is spent on Australian tourism by travelers with a disability-accessibility resource kit.

Over the years, we have held conferences on alternative energy, water and the economic value of tourism & the business, community tourism etc. I would like to personally congratulate the SSC committee on a job well done in organizing this prestigious conference, for the 5th year.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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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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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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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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SLU Government pays homage to local family for 50-year contribution to tourism industry

SAINT LUCIA (August 17, 2016) The Government of Saint Lucia has paid glowing tribute to one local family for its long and illustrious contribution to the development of Saint Lucia’s tourism industry.

On Tuesday August 16th, 2016, Government officials, led by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, the Minister for Tourism, Dominic Fedee, along with other senior officials representing key institutions in the tourism industry, notably the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) and the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB), got together at the official residence of the Prime Minister, to pay homage to and recognize the contribution of the Barnard Family, to the growth of the hospitality sector over the past 50 years.

Describing it as nothing short of visionary and pioneering, Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee heaped praise on the Barnard family for the strides made over the past five decades. “This family, under the Rendezvous brand, has the distinction of being the only hotel proprietors on island to have managed a property for 50 years without changing owners.”

Addressing a gathering comprising other hoteliers, industry partners, family members, friends and well-wishers, Fedee noted, “When you consider the complexities and challenges of the hotel industry just surviving for that length of time is amazing. However when you consider the manner in which the Barnard family achieved this milestone, all the while holding the flag of Saint Lucia high and with distinction, its simply an extraordinary feat.”

In presenting a commemorative plaque to hotelier and business head, Andrew Barnard, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet expressed his government’s and the people of Saint Lucia’s appreciation and gratitude for the Barnard family’s contribution to the tourism sector, highlighting the hundreds who had gained employment over the years and the hotel’s direct economic injection into the local economy over the past five decades.

The 10 acre Rendezvous hotel is located just off the George F.L Charles Airport in the capital Castries. The Barnard family not only owns and manages the award winning Rendezvous hotel, but also the acclaimed Body Holiday property located in the island’s extreme north.

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