CTO News

CTO Declares 2016 ‘The Year of Romance in the Caribbean’

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (Jan. 4, 2016) – With the start of the New Year comes the launch of a new initiative by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) – 2016 The Year of Romance in the Caribbean – which celebrates everything romantic about the region. Through the campaign, CTO and its member countries and hotels will highlight the Caribbean as the leading choice for a romance vacation for consumers and travel planners selling the region.

“With over 30 destinations to choose from, the Caribbean region provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway highlighted by pristine beaches, secluded accommodations, an abundance  of land and water activities, top-notch spa services and personalized attention that meets the needs of the most discerning traveler,” said Hugh Riley, secretary general of CTO. “The Year of Romance in the Caribbean will spotlight the romantic features of our region beyond the traditional times of year such as Valentine’s Day. A romantic theme is easily embraced by all of our member destinations 365 days a year,” Riley noted.

Throughout the year, CTO in cooperation with its private sector partner the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association; will assist member countries with an assortment of ideas which can be implemented around the theme of romance to appeal to consumers, travel agents and tour operators. Innovative ideas will be developed around:

♥ First-time or second-time marriages and the renewal of vows

♥ The most romantic locations to “pop the question” or to say “I do”

♥ Inviting celebrity couples to get married in the Caribbean

♥ Revisits by couples who were married or honeymooned in the Caribbean

♥ Couples celebrating milestone anniversaries

♥ Gift registries of romantic vacations in the Caribbean

“We anticipate that in addition to the ideas we provide our members, the countries and hotels will develop their own plan of action for promoting romance in their individual destinations,” said Riley adding: “The theme is inclusive of our partners, both public- and private-sector. Caribbean hotels, travel agents and tour operators are urged to create their own romantic ideas or adopt ones being embraced by the destinations. We envision airline partners getting involved with their own ‘love is in the air’ offers and recognizing  bridal parties onboard who are heading to a destination wedding in the Caribbean. We think video bloggers too will get involved in featuring the winners of the most romantic ideas.”

            CTO envisions 2016 The Year of Romance in the Caribbean as a catalyst for sellers and promoters of weddings and honeymoons, bridal publications and websites as well as wedding planners and service providers at the destination end.

            2016 The Year of Romance in the Caribbean will be promoted through social media and traditional media channels and will create opportunities for travelers and vacation planners to share their experiences and ideas of a romantic Caribbean vacation throughout 2016.

 

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Statement by the Caribbean Tourism Organization on the Paris agreement on climate change

(BRIDGETOWN, Barbados) 12 Dec 2015 The Caribbean region is experiencing the impact of the ravaging effects of climate change. Sea level rise, frequent and intense natural hazards; extended dry seasons resulting in water scarcity, loss of livelihoods and the disappearance of some of our islands are among the present-day dangers that we face.

The tourism sector and the environment are inextricably linked and environmentally responsible tourism is paramount to the sector’s sustainability and overall success.   Tourism must be stewarded and balanced so that the benefits for the environment, the communities it serves, its employees and the economy outweigh the costs. Our commitment to the climate cause is one way to do this.

The Conference of Parties 21 *(COP21) came to a close at the end of last week and the Caribbean’s position was clear.  Caribbean governments and regional agencies joined in one voice to shout their message of ‘1.5 to stay alive’ which urged global partners to support a call to limit warming to below 1.5C – a critical call on which our survival depends!  The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) also endorsed this call!

Many are touting COP21 a success.  The outcome, called the Paris Agreement, has been adopted by 195 nations, and for the first time brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities. This is a huge achievement for the Caribbean.

The universal agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

This new agreement offers hope.  As many of CTO’s members are Small Island Developing States (SIDS), we remain optimistic that the tremendous strides made in Paris will help to ensure that this issue continues to occupy a prominent position on the global agenda.  Let us all do our part to support the outcomes in Paris in any way we can.

Please view the video below, which has also been placed on onecaribbean.org, to remind you about the importance of this topic to the Caribbean.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak7cVJ9SXbk&feature=youtu.be

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO Journalism Awards winners announced

November 2015: Monday 2 November saw the UK Chapter of the CTO host 70 media at the Caribbean media awards event at Fox @Excel, next to the West Entrance of the ExCel Exhibition Centre.

The Caribbean Travel Journalism Awards 2015 were presented during a networking evening after the first day of World Travel Market and launch of CTO’s Industry Trends Report. The awards evening  was attended by almost 120 guests, comprising visiting ministers and their delegations, UK Chapter members and a wide range of journalists from national, trade, consumer and online media.

The awards consisted of eight different categories: best broadcast, TV and radio feature, best consumer feature, best national newspaper feature, best online feature, best piece of photojournalism, best regional newspaper feature, best travel trade feature and best blog feature.

CTO Travel Journalism Awards winners:

  1. Best travel trade feature: Winner: Joanna Booth, Take the Plunge, Travel Weekly
  1.  Best piece of photojournalism: Winner: Neil S.Price, Caribbean Blend, Wanderlust
  1.  Best blog feature: Winner: Jane Lovatt, The Trundler’s Guide to Cuba, The Trundler
  1.  Best broadcast feature: Winner: Cherry Dorrett and Dave Edgar, Ainsley Eats the Streets, Snap TV for Channel 4
  1.  Best regional newspaper feature: Winner: Josie Clarke, Caribbean Brings Out the Ninja in Your Kids, Press Association
  1. Best national newspaper feature: Winner: Nigel Tisdall, Secret and Skies and Fantastical Hills, The Daily Telegraph
  1.  Best online feature: Winner: Nick Trend, Climbing in St Lucia: the Best View in the Caribbean, The Telegraph Online
  1.  Best consumer feature: Winner: Rory Goulding, Great Escape: The Caribbean, Lonely Planet Traveller Magazine

 

For further information contact Frances Amissah or Helen Coop at Four bgb

t: +44 (0) 20 3697 4200 / e: [email protected]Alternatively, contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization on +44 (20) 8948 0057

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination. Its Purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members, the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution, research and information technology.

In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, BB 22026, Barbados; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected].

The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail: [email protected];

The CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: [email protected];

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit www.OneCaribbean.org.

Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism.

Connect with CTO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Corporate News, Media Awards

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Caribbean Tourism Organization launches new UK website

The Caribbean Tourism Organization is delighted to announce that its newly redesigned website, is now online for both consumer and trade. This dynamic website, designed by Experience Engine, a full-service digital agency, will provide users with a wealth of information about the Caribbean region.

Users will be taken on a journey to learn and experience the wide range of activities they can enjoy while in the Caribbean, from sailing around the calm, crystalline Caribbean sea, exploring the tropical rainforests, to walking along the idyllic white, pink, golden or black sandy beaches.

The website also includes the latest special deals for the Caribbean, events, online competitions, a ‘Love Caribbean’ blog and a wide range of places to stay. In addition, it provides users with a list of Caribbean specialists to help them book their dream holiday.

Recognising the way consumers’ have visited the website in the past, Caribbean.co.uk is built with a smart and responsive design, for consistent experience for all users across mobiles, tablets and PCs.

Users can also plan their ideal holiday by adding their preferred destination and activities, events, special offers, and hotels to the ‘My Trip Planner’ section of the website.

What’s more the new website features a travel trade section with resources to assist tour operators and travel agents during the sales process, as well as a media gallery with amazing images of the Caribbean region.

For further information contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization on +44 (20) 8948 0057

or email [email protected]

 

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO Launches UK & European Travel Industry Trends & Insight Report 2015 at WTM

LONDON, UK, 2 Nov. 2015 – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) today launched its UK and European Travel Industry Trends & Insight Report 2015, produced in conjunction with the travel trade publication, TTG.

For the second year running the CTO has produced this report to give members and wider travel industry partners a unique insight into the key issues affecting the industry and a snapshot on developments within the Caribbean itself.

It was launched by CTO chairman Richard Sealy before an audience that included ministers and directors of tourism from the Caribbean, as well as key industry representatives attending World Travel Market (WTM).

Carol Hay, director of the Caribbean Tourism Organization said: “We are delighted to have produced this report once again and hope our partners, members and ministers find it a useful tool, particularly during the next few days at World Travel Market.  Overall the picture for the Caribbean is a positive one, with an increase in visitor arrivals in the past year, however we need to be aware of universal issues that are affecting the travel industry as a whole such as currency exchange, oil prices and of course safety.”

Watch a video with Pippa Jacks on the key findings: https://youtu.be/aRrd6TdvV04

Key findings from the report include:

Caribbean performance

  • The Caribbean was one of the best performing regions in the first six months of this year with visitor arrivals up 5.8  compared to a 4 per cent rise in international tourism arrivals
  • The region attracted a record-setting 26.3 million tourists in 2014, which was on the back of the previous record of 25 million in 2013. Last year’s visitors contributed a total of $29.2 billion to Caribbean economies, about a third of the region’s GDP
  • Destinations with the biggest year-on-year percentage increase in visitor numbers

(January-July 2015):

  • Cuba: +16.9% (2.2 million visitors)
  • Aruba: +15.8% (680,000)
  • Trinidad & Tobago: +8.5% (265,000)
  • Dominican Republic +7.6% (3.4 million)
  • US Virgin Islands: +6.8% (514,000)

Economic growth

  • As for potential growth in 2016, the International Monetary Fund is currently predicting that the world’s GDP will rise by 3.8% with a continued pick-up in the advanced world economies where it is predicting a 2.4% year-on-year rise in GDP
  • The UK economy is still predicted to grow.  The main risks to attaining this level of economic growth are “increased market volatility” including Greece’s on-going financial problems, and “economic distress” from geopolitical factors.
  • The number of multi-millionaires in Europe will continue to be higher than anywhere else in the world with around 76,000 individuals across the continent

Booking trends

  • Online sales accounted for 66% of all global travel bookings in 2014 which was a seven point rise on previous years.  Bookings at traditional travel agents have stabilised at around 24% of the total market
  • 74% of all holidaymakers consider free  Wi-Fi in the hotel room an important factor when booking a hotel room compared to 60% of travellers wanting a free breakfast
  • The “sharing economy” continues to grow.  Airbnb books 37 million room nights per year, which could rise to 129 million per annum by the end of 2016, surpassing all the major hotel chains

 Sustainability

  • Sustainable tourism continues to grow and there is more informed conversation around tourism impact management and the importance of this for achieving sustainable tourism. The Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) gives support to tourism businesses to develop in a sustainable manner.

 

For further information contact Frances Amissah or Helen Coop at Four bgb

t: +44 (0) 20 3697 4200 / e: [email protected]

Alternatively, contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization on +44 (20) 8948 0057

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination. Its Purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members, the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution, research and information technology.

In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, BB 22026, Barbados; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected].

The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail: [email protected];

The CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: [email protected];

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit www.OneCaribbean.org or www.caribbean.co.uk

Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism.

Connect with CTO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization.

 

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, ITB & WTM

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CTO Sen. Gen. calls for action to facilitate travel to and through the Caribbean

(BRIDGETOWN, Barbados) 29 Sept 2015 – Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Hugh Riley has urged regional authorities to institute an Open Skies policy and wherever possible to eliminate secondary screening at Caribbean airports.

Mr. Riley argues that while an Open Skies policy would allow regional carriers to take unlimited flights to all Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states and encourage the growth of competition among carriers, while elimination of secondary screening would encourage greater demand for intra-regional travel.

He has also called for improved interline arrangements for a “vastly enhanced” baggage transfer and improved passenger experience.

In an address at the recent airline route development forum, World Routes 2015 in Durban, South Africa, Mr. Riley also made a plea for collaboration in a number of areas, including intelligence sharing with the use of the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS), and security processing.

“Cooperation in these areas will encourage and facilitate greater investment by airlines into and across the Caribbean region. Better connectivity means greater economic benefits,” the secretary general said.

Citing the post-September 11 television campaign in the United States, Life Needs the Caribbean, and the 2007 Cricket Work Cup as examples, Mr. Riley said the Caribbean has shown its ability to put effective regional strategies in place and can do the same to grow travel into and throughout the region.

“This type of cooperation and collaboration needs to be the standard practice in serving the region’s various tourism needs,” he said.

The secretary general added that it was important to finalize and implement the amended Multilateral Air Services Agreement; facilitate unlimited third, fourth, and fifth freedom of traffic rights for scheduled passenger services from and between international airports and sub-regions within CARICOM and establish a CARICOM Single Domestic Air Space to help generate additional international traveller demand which, in turn, will encourage airlines to establish routes to the region.

“Unnecessarily lengthy policy development and slow implementation processes hinder progress,” he stressed.

The World Route Development Forum attracts senior representatives from airlines, airports and tourism authorities who meet to plan and discuss new and existing global air services. It is organized by the aviation route development company, Routes.

CTO member countries Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the Turks and Caicos Islands attended this year’s event, with CTO supporting its members that were  there as well as those that were not.

Mr. Riley’s attendance at the event was aimed at elevating the Caribbean brand; exploring opportunities for the Caribbean; presenting the prospects for expansion and improvement of connectivity within the Caribbean; and discussing challenges facing regional and global aviation and offering solutions. He also highlighted the work of the CTO Aviation Task Force as a facilitator within the Caribbean and beyond.

“I was pleased with the extremely high quality of the interactions we made in Durban and the level of interest there is in the Caribbean: interest in exploring the tourism potential between the Caribbean and Africa, as well as expanding into other non-traditional markets. I fully expect that contacts we made here will redound to the benefit of Caribbean tourism in general and CTO’s member-countries in particular,” the secretary general said.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO UK Media Event Raises Funds for Dominica

(LONDON, UK) 16 Sept 2015 The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) hosted its Meet the Media members’ event  on Tuesday 15 September in Central London.  This event was attended by over 30 travel media professionals and about 25 CTO UK Chapter members.

The evening allowed members to discuss and update the media on their products and the latest developments within their destinations.  Attendees included a wide range of high-calibre media, ranging from national newspaper travel and feature correspondents and editors, glossy magazine writers, newspaper supplements and online editors to key freelancers and influential travel and lifestyle bloggers. Also in attendance were representatives from the Morant Bay Distillery, who kindly supplied a sample of their rum and chocolates to the attendees.

The Morant Bay Rum is made from Jamaican molasses sourced from an estate in Jamaica. The rum is produced using temperature-controlled conditions at a site in the United Kingdom, replicating the climate of Jamaica for rum production, distilling, and ageing with the bottling process, according to the company.

During last evening’s event, a business card prize draw was held, with prizes supplied by the CTO’s members.  In addition, a special charity raffle was conducted to raise relief funds for Dominica which suffered over EC$600m in damage from Tropical Storm Erika.  Attending media had the opportunity to enter the by donating a minimum of £10 each  to win a selection of prizes.

Peter Ellegard, a freelance writer, was the lucky winner of a pair of British Airways World Traveller Plus tickets to Tobago; four nights all-inclusive stay for two people at Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort & three-nights at The Grafton Beach Resort Tobago, courtesy of British Airways and Sunrise Marketing.

Majorie Yeu of the Sunday Mirror was also rewarded but with a five nights stay for two courtesy of PSA Marketing and the Trinidad and Tobago Tourist Office. The raffle raised over £400 and all proceeds will be donated directly to Dominica.

Carol Hay, the CTO’s director of marketing for the UK and Europe stated: “We are always keen to support our member countries, in any way we can and we are very appreciative of the support offered by our media and trade partners at our ‘Meet the Media’ event”.

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