CTO News

Archive for October, 2017

Statement by CTO Secretary General, Hugh Riley, at the Opening Ceremony of SOTIC 2017

On behalf of the Chairman of the CTO’s Council of Ministers, whom I will introduce shortly, and on behalf of Mrs. Joy Jibrilu, the Chair of the CTO’s Board of Directors, I welcome you.

When the next chapter in the history of Caribbean tourism is written, the year 2017 will have a special mention.

Specifically, September will be remembered as the month when Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria, and a major earthquake, unleashed fury on parts of our beautiful Caribbean and other sections of The Americas.

Within a matter of weeks Mother Nature wrought her destructive power on Anguilla, Barbuda, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Florida, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St. Barts, Sint Maarten, St. Martin, Texas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the U.S Virgin Islands, leaving in her wake death – and damage to property and economies in the tens of billions of dollars.

For us at the CTO, the 2017 State of the Tourism Industry Conference will be remembered as an event that created tremendous ambivalence.

Should we or should we not have a conference at this time?

How should we position it?

Have the reasons we created the SOTIC in the first place all gone away?

How do we balance the competing realities that for some, normality has come to a screeching halt – against the inevitability that life must go on?

And how should we counsel our members? Those that have suffered losses and are now struggling under the weight of the recovery process, are perhaps not able to take time away to attend a conference!

And what about those who were not impacted?

How would they feel if the CTO made a decision to set aside this important gathering, and leave it to the individual countries – each doing their own separate thing to keep their doors open and fuel the engine that keeps their economy running?

Those who are here, have answered those questions for us. In our opinion, and the opinion of our Chairman, whose country itself was impacted, you have made an important decision, and we thank you for being here.

The public sector and the private sector, the journalists, the students and the academics, the country representatives who can barely afford to take time away from the business of reconstructing their lives, we are honored by your presence here.

We have come to a place to share views on best practices, to exchange ideas on the way forward, to say thank you to neighbors and friends, to commiserate with each other, to celebrate being alive, and to take decisive actions that will help us to build economies that are sound and sustainable.

Because we get to write our own chapter in Caribbean tourism history, all of us gathered here over the next three days, actually have the wherewithal to determine the outcome of this conference in some individual way.

This must be the one where we learn from the events of the recent past, using those lessons to build a better, stronger future. The one where we accept that anyone of us can be knocked down hard at any time, but we must learn how to fight through the pain and rise again.

Just ask Grenada. Ask Dr. Keith Mitchell, who was also the Prime Minister when Hurricane Ivan ravaged this island in 2004. Ask Dr. Clarice Modeste, at the time the Minister of Works, what this island looked like with 90% of the buildings damaged.

This could be the SOTIC where we form such a strong One Caribbean Alliance and create such a meaningful resource that we never again find ourselves scrambling for funding just to be able to teach the world the geography of the Caribbean.

This could be the one where we convince our own people of the importance of tourism, not only as a debt reduction, employment generating, foreign exchange earning tool, – which it is – but also as a means to form lasting partnerships and strengthen the bonds among us.

Let us commit to doing whatever we possibly can to get our impacted brothers and sisters up and running again. Let us thank those who have opened their doors and their wallets, their schools and facilities, their hotels and their ships, to provide for and to accommodate their neighbors.

Let us reaffirm our commitment to use the power of the Caribbean brand to convince discerning visitors that the way to enhance their own lives, is to take full advantage of the uniquely enjoyable vacation experiences this region has to offer, knowing full well that the best way to help the Caribbean is to visit the Caribbean.

Let us never lose confidence in the enduring strength of the Caribbean brand.

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, SOTIC

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Caribbean Airlines Appoints New Chief Executive Officer

Port of Spain, October 10, 2017: The Board of Directors of Caribbean Airlines is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr. Garvin Medera as the Chief Executive Officer, effective October 10th, 2017.

Mr. Medera is formerly the Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Play, a position he held from December 2015 until his departure earlier this month. With a strong combination of leadership, governance, technical, and communication skills he effectively led that organization, which has revolutionized home entertainment in Trinidad and Tobago. Prior to the role of CEO, Digicel Play, he served in several key leadership positions at Digicel including Chief Operating Officer, General Manager Tobago and Chief Technical Officer, managing the company’s full operational portfolio.

Mr. Medera has an MBA from the University of Oxford, LLB from the University of London and an M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of the West Indies. He is looking forward to leading the transformation that Caribbean Airlines must embrace if the company is to meet the challenges of the fiercely competitive airline industry.
The Board of Directors also expresses its sincere gratitude to the former Chief Executive Officer (Ag.) Captain Jagmohan Singh and the Executive Management Team who ensured that Caribbean Airlines continued to deliver an enhanced travel experience to its valued customers, while the search for a Chief Executive Officer was taking place.

The Board and employees look forward to the innovation and collective capabilities that would be developed under the leadership of the new CEO.

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog

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C&W BUSINESS JOINS FORCES WITH THE REGION’S PREMIER TOURISM CONFERENCE

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (9 October, 2017) – C&W Business, part of the Cable & Wireless Communications Group (C&W), a Liberty Global Company, joins forces the region’s premier tourism gathering, the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (#SOTIC2017).

C&W Business has come on as gold sponsor of the event organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)  in #PureGrenada from 10-13 October. The CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley said with technology influencing travel now more than ever before, it was fitting that the telecommunications company would throw its support behind the conference at this time.

“Technology has become an integral part of travel and plays an important role in decision-making as people make travel plans. Whether it’s virtual reality or social media, or simply facilitating communication between the traveller and family and friends back home, there is little that influences travel today as much as technology does,” Mr. Riley said.

“The CTO is proud to welcome C&W Business as a gold sponsor for our State of the Tourism Industry Conference in Grenada. This year’s conference is one of our most important yet as many of our members and faithful partners are recovering from two of the most destructive hurricanes ever to affect our region. There has hardly ever been a time when examining the state of Caribbean tourism and plotting its future was more urgent than right now and it is fitting that C&W Business  should join us in this journey.”

In addition to hosting the luncheon of the CTO ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, during the conference C&W Business will participate in the panel discussion focused on the steps to rebuild tourism, as well as showcase its comprehensive portfolio of solutions that enable hospitality organisations of any size to achieve their goal.

“Most of our markets depend on tourism to drive their economies,” Garry Sinclair, President of C&W Caribbean said, “as such we invest in world-leading business solutions technology that enables the hotel and tourism sector to provide products and services that are on par with international standards, meets customers’ changing life- style needs and enhances their visitor experience. This ultimately attracts more business to the region.”
SOTIC, which has as its theme Supercharging the Caribbean Brand: Meeting the Needs of the New Explorers, is the preeminent educational forum for Caribbean hospitality and tourism professionals. This year’s conference is being organised by the CTO in collaboration with the Grenada Tourism Authority and Grenada’s ministry of tourism, and will be held from 10-13 October at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort. The conference will be preceded by business meetings on 9 and 10 October.

Key conference sessions include Infusing Dynamism in Caribbean Tourism, Who are the New Explorers, Business Models that Rock, Turning Our Waters Into Goldmines – Investing in the Blue Economy, and Spicing Up the Caribbean Brand. The highly anticipated tourism youth congress and a Stakeholders Speak Out session are also part of the programme.

For further details on the conference, including how to register, please visithttp://sotic.onecaribbean.org/.

Other SOTIC LIAT, JetBlue, Radisson Grenada Beach Resort, Caribbean  Hotel & Tourism Association, Silver Sands Grenada, Grenada Airports Authority, Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association, Kimpton Kawana Bay, St. George’s University, Caribbean Airlines, British Airways, Netherlands Insurance, Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenlec, National Lottery Authority, Port Louis Grenada, FLOW, Mt. Cinnamon, Le Phare Bleu, Sandals La Source, Coyaba, Bryden & Minors, Real Value, Waggy T Rentals, Belmont Estate, Prickly Bay Marina, Clarkes Court, the Marketing & National Importing Board, Grenada Marine, the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation, River Antoine, Huggins, Independence Agencies, Grenada Breweries and Glenelg.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, SOTIC

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Statement by Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism on UNWTO Initiative to Assist in Caribbean Recovery

KINGSTON, Jamaica (4 October, 2017) – Jamaica continues to extend our thoughts and prayers to our Caribbean brothers and sisters, especially residents in those islands that took a direct hit from the recent hurricanes and to everyone who has been or will be affected as a result of these catastrophic storms.

We recognize that the entire Caribbean region will be adversely impacted by the lasting results of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and have set a course of action that is designed to minimize the long-term effect on the region.

We acknowledge, with thanks, receipt from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), in conjunction with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), the periodic status reports issued in cooperation with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and applaud the efforts at assisting the region and ensuring that timely and accurate information is disseminated.

We are aware that CTO and CDEMA technical teams have been on the ground in the various islands doing rapid needs assessments and coordinating with the national authorities in managing the various interventions, to mitigate the pain and hardships that are so pervasive at this time.

As a direct result of these unprecedented hurricanes, a meeting was convened by the World Tourism Organization – the United Nations specialised agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism (UNWTO) – at the General Assembly in Chengdu, China on 13 September, 2017. There were some 10 countries from the Caribbean and Latin America represented at the meeting – Bahamas, Barbados, Colombia, Costa, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela – in addition to representatives from the USA, France, Spain, the Netherlands, the UNWTO and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean member of the UNWTO, was absent from the general assembly.

The outcome of that meeting was a decision to assist in the Caribbean natural disaster risk management and response initiatives and to include in the programme for the UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 27-29 November, an opportunity for all interested parties to discuss and implement a plan of action.

As a proud host of this important global summit, Jamaica is honoured that the UNWTO has asked that I coordinate its involvement in this recovery effort for the region. The first step therefore was to reach out to the regional tourism organizations – CTO, CHTA and CDEMA – to brainstorm opportunities for collaboration.

Along with representatives of CTO and CHTA, we discussed how the CTO’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) taking place in Grenada on 10 -13 October could feed into the special session in Jamaica, and that a document will emerge from SOTIC which will help to inform that session at the Jamaica/UNWTO summit.

The portion of the SOTIC conference which will inform discussion at the Jamaica/UNWTO event is the Recover & Rebuild session, scheduled for 12 October.

The Recover & Rebuild session will be an in-depth four-hour segment where we will hear from leading experts in disaster preparedness and mitigation, recovery, funding, airport development and maintenance, airlines, cruise lines, telecommunications and media, as well as representatives of the hotel sector and member countries that have experienced – and recovered from – major catastrophes.

Recover & Rebuild will focus on the economic cost of the disasters, including the potential impact on gross domestic product, employment, the cost to rebuild and the recovery time. Key recommendations emerging from Recover & Rebuild will form part of the comprehensive document which we believe will have industry-wide international significance.

We urge everyone in the travel, hospitality and tourism industry including airlines, airport managers, cruise lines, cruise port managers, hoteliers, tour operators, travel agents and my fellow Ministers and Directors of Tourism across the region, as well as in our source markets, especially those in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, to attend both the SOTIC in Grenada from 10 to 13 October and the UNWTO meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica on 27-29 November. These two crucial events will help set the course for recovery and growth for all of us over the next year and shape the future of tourism for the Caribbean region.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Recovery

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St. Kitts: Every Hotel, Every Room, Every Day

Basseterre, St. Kitts (October 2, 2017) – In conjunction with the launch of its brand new official website on September 28, St. Kitts is pleased to declare that it’s “Time to Lime” with a limited time special offer providing up to 40% off hotel stays during peak travel season.

“While we continue to send thoughts, prayers and aid to our Caribbean neighbors who have been severely impacted by Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria, we are also grateful to be relatively unscathed as we approach our traditional peak season,”said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “Our new offer and website are both designed to inform potential guests that we are open and welcoming visitors while enticing them to book a trip to St. Kitts in the coming months.”

This special offer provides savings to visitors, whether they want to go scuba diving, play golf, experience adventure, enjoy a girls or guys getaway, or take a family vacation or a couples escape in St. Kitts. To receive the discounted rate, hotel reservations must be booked by October 29, 2017 for stays between December 15, 2017 and March 31, 2018. To learn more and to book, simply visit the Special Offers page on our new website www.stkittstourism.kn and click through on “Time to Lime” or go directly to http://www.stkittstourism.kn/promotions/island-wide-savings.

The offer is valid on new bookings only and may not be combinable with other promotional offers or programs. Blackout dates, additional restrictions and other terms and conditions may apply, so potential guests are advised to check with their hotel of choice prior to booking.

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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