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Archive for October, 2018

Brand Specialist says HR can Unlock a Stronger Caribbean Tourism Identity

Managing Director of Blueprint Creative, Barbados, Ron Johnson will deliver masterclass on ‘Branding and HR Sitting in a Tree’ at CTO’s 9th Tourism HR conference in the Cayman Islands from 28-30 November 2018

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (26 Oct. 2018) – A more globally competitive Caribbean tourism brand and stronger industry await if the power of human resource management is harnessed to enhance branding. That is the key message that Ron Johnson, the managing director of Blueprint Creative, Barbados, will deliver during the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s 9th Tourism Human Resources Conference in the Cayman Islands from 28-30 November, 2018. The conference will be held under the theme ‘Building a Resilient, High-performing and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Workforce for Global Competitiveness’.

Johnson will present a masterclass on ‘Branding and HR Sitting in a Tree’ on Friday 30 November.

“Taking an approach that branding starts on the inside of the organisation – not the outside – and having your branding and HR teams work more closely together, represents an opportunity for Caribbean tourism stakeholders to build stronger brands and stronger businesses, which can lead to Caribbean tourism being more competitive on the world stage,” said Johnson.

Johnson and his team of brand specialists at Blueprint Creative work with chief executives, marketing teams and human resources departments to help solve their brand-related business challenges. He has advised clients in several industries, including energy, banking, insurance, convenience retailing, accounting and security. At the conference he will engage with educators, trainers, human resource managers and consultants, students, Caribbean tourism practitioners, policymakers, tourism development agencies and academicians.

The branding specialist, who describes HR professionals as ‘branding superheroes in disguise’, said it’s important to get the message across at the macro and micro levels.

“The potential gains for tourism include the ability for individual organisations in the industry to build stronger brands and stronger businesses; and collectively, the ability to build a much stronger industry and be able to compete more effectively on the global market,” Johnson said.

He warns that the consequences of not heeding the message could mean falling behind the rest of the world in areas such as branding, human resources, customer experience and overall competitiveness.

In the masterclass at the conference, Johnson will explain why branding must begin internally.

“Even the most clever advertising campaigns can be derailed by disengaged employees delivering poor customer service,” said Johnson. “Companies want customers to love their brands, but that won’t happen unless their employees love the brand first. It can be very dangerous for companies to try to build a strong customer-facing brand when they have a weak employee-facing brand.”

This will be one of two masterclasses at this year’s three-day intensive programme of activities, with the other focusing on unlocking the potential of employees and amplifying performance across the workplace by using a strengths approach.

The CTO’s 9th Tourism Human Resources Conference seeks to provide an exciting and educational forum for human resource professionals to gain new knowledge and acquire the necessary skills to help them achieve excellent performance in their organisations. It also discusses pertinent issues impacting on, and relating to, the human resource element of tourism in the region; exposes human resource practitioners to good tourism practices in a tourism environment, and provides an opportunity for professional networking.

The conference is sponsored by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and Dart, the Cayman Islands-headquartered global organisation whose portfolio of companies include real estate, hospitality, retail, entertainment, finance and biotech

“We believe this conference will help re-energise Caribbean Tourism HR professionals, inspiring them to focus on people initiatives which support an engaged, high performing and resilient workforce,” said Juliet Du Feu, Dart’s senior vice president of human resources.

For further details on the conference, including how to register, visit https://www.onecaribbean.org/events-calendar/tourism-hr-conference-2018/. And for a welcome message from minister of tourism Moses Kirkconnell, click here.

 

About The Cayman Islands

Located 480 miles south of Miami in the vibrant tranquillity of western Caribbean, this trio of tiny islands is a premier destination for discriminating travellers, divers, honeymooners and families. World-renowned for its idyllic beaches and recognised as a sophisticated, diverse and memorable tourist destination, the Cayman Islands offers spectacular recreational opportunities along with warm, impeccable service. To learn more about the Cayman Islands, please go to visitcaymanislands.com or www.divecayman.ky or call your local travel agent.

From large-group trips and business-focused getaways to ultra-luxurious escapes and multi-generational family vacations, the Cayman Islands provides every element needed to keep guests coming back for more. With an abundance of world-class dining options, a host of adventure activities – including snorkelling, diving, jet skiing, caving, and nature trails – and a variety of meeting spaces for groups large and small, the Cayman Islands is well-poised to host any type of traveller or special occasion.

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Corporate News, HR Conference

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Belize among Lonely Planet’s top ten “Best in Travel for 2019”

Belize City, Wednesday, October 24th, 2018:  The Belize Tourism Board welcomes Lonely Planet’s recent announcement of Belize being included in its top ten world countries list as “Best in Travel for 2019”.

Lonely Planet is a leading travel media company and the world’s number one travel guidebook brand, providing both inspiring and trustworthy information for every kind of traveller since 1973.

In reference to Belize, Lonely Planet wrote: “Its Caribbean coast is fringed by the world’s second-largest barrier reef; its interior is riddled with some of the most extensive and accessible cave systems in Central America; and its people are an exotic mix of Maya, Mestizo, Garifuna, Creole, Mennonite and expats. Yet many travellers struggle to place Belize on the map. However, the tide is turning. The government is moving to fully protect its unique marine environment, new eco-resorts are taking advantage of the country’s stunning cayes and jungle hideaways, and travellers are discovering a slice of Central America that’s relatively untouristed, safe and tantalisingly easy to reach. Get here before the inevitable crowds do.”

“Despite its small size, Belize is a mesmerizing combination of cultures and landscapes – a place that fully embraces its Central American and Caribbean roots, celebrates its diversity and takes great pride in its spectacular natural beauty,” Lonely Planet said. Adding” “This attitude has led to the unique and whole-hearted support of local culture and entrepreneurship. Visitors will have a tough time finding chain restaurants and hotel conglomerates; Belize’s tourism instead relies on sharing what’s homegrown.”

Other activities recommended by Lonely Planet in Belize include exploring the Cayes, visits to Xunantunich, Caracol, the Belize Zoo, Shipstern Conservation, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, St Herman’s Blue Hole National Park in addition to numerous local restaurants and other points of attractions.

“We have been working arduously, along with our valued industry stakeholders and marketing agencies, in marketing and promoting Belize as a Curious Destination. Belize continues to register double digit figures in its tourism arrivals. Therefore, we are extremely pleased on Lonely Planet’s announcement because this gives us greater energy and inspiration to work even harder to promote Belize,” said Karen Bevans, BTB’s Director of Tourism.

For further information on Lonely Planet’s announcement on Belize being included as “Best in Travel for 2019” please click the following link:

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel/countries

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO Secretary General Says Complacency Puts Caribbean People, Economies at Risk

PARIS, FRANCE (24 Oct. 2018) – Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Hugh Riley has called on Caribbean states to take tsunami preparedness seriously, stating to do otherwise would put the people and regional economies at risk.

Speaking in Paris, France, during a discussion organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to raise awareness of the threats posed by tsunamis, Riley insisted that Caribbean countries risked paying the price for complacency.

He stressed with the Caribbean being comprised mainly of low-lying states, and with most tourism assets and hotel investments located at or near coastal areas, the tourism sector is extremely vulnerable to the threat of tsunamis.

“Tourism is the main economic driver of the Caribbean, representing 80 percent of the region’s gross domestic product and more than one million jobs so we cannot ignore a tsunami risk,” he told fellow panellists and the wider audience, which included representatives from Grenada, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

“Complacency puts us in real danger and we must raise the Caribbean’s voice by advocating for our members during this important global forum,” he added.

The event was held in advance of World Tsunami Awareness Day on 5 Nov. 2018. The secretary general noted that the region had experienced 11 tsunamis in the past, the most recent of which occurred in 2010 and six between 1902 and 1997.

He suggested that because there has been no “recent” impact on the region, tsunamis are not considered an imminent threat therefore, they are not given sufficient attention.

He called for an increase in tsunami awareness and sensitisation of the tourism sector and the wider Caribbean community, as well as support for training by regional institutions and countries to develop preparedness and response protocols.

“The CTO recognises that tsunami preparedness is critical, which includes well-established and tested response protocols which will ultimately reduce loss of life and economic damage. We also need to enhance collaboration with countries recently and frequently impacted by tsunami hazards in order to develop best practices.”

Riley highlighted several CTO members’ tsunami readiness initiatives, including Anguilla, the first English-speaking Caribbean island to be recognised as “tsunami ready” in September 2011 and has maintained certification status. Since then the British Virgin Islands and St. Kitts and Nevis have received similar recognition, all having established emergency operating centres, national tsunami plans, public outreach and alert systems, public service information programmes and tsunami preparedness and response protocols.

The high-level panel was organised by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) to discuss policies and practices to reduce tsunami risks in countries highly dependent on tourism revenue.

The meeting opened with a minute’s silence in memory of the 2,000 confirmed dead and 680 officially missing in the tsunami and earthquake which struck Indonesia on 28 Sept. 2018. The double disaster left almost 70,000 people homeless and 11,000 injured in the Indonesian cities of Palu and Donggala in Central Sulawesi.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog

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St. Kitts Soars with More Airlift from North American Carriers

Basseterre, St. Kitts (October 17, 2018) – With airlift arrivals having grown for the past 18 months, there is a rising demand for St. Kitts as a leisure travel destination and North American airlines have taken note of the increased impetus for the island by providing additional flight options for travelers to reach the island in peak season and beyond.

“It is a testament to the strong relationships that the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism together with the St. Kitts Tourism Authority have built with the airlines that has led to this additional service,” said Minister Grant. “I could not be more pleased to see increased airlift to our shores from our airline partners to help us continue our momentum of growth in the tourism sector.”

American Airlines, the carrier with the most flights to/from St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB), will be resuming its second daily non-stop flights from Wednesdays through Sundays from Miami to SKB early this year following the normal seasonal hiatus, with those flights having returned as of October 3, 2018 providing an additional 5 weeks of the twice-daily flying as compared to the same period in 2017.

Delta Air Lines, having added non-stop Saturday flights to SKB from JFK as of December 23, 2017, will return earlier from hiatus this year, with those non-stops resuming as of November 17, 2018 adding 5 operations in 2018 as compared to 2017. Delta will also provide mid-week non-stop flights from Atlanta to SKB on Wednesdays/Tuesdays for peak season starting on December 26, 2018.

In addition to the carrier’s non-stop Saturday flights to SKB from its New York/New Jersey hub at Newark Liberty International Airport, United Airlines has added Wednesday flights to island starting January 9, 2019, providing an additional 9 operations for 2019 as compared to 2018.

From Canada, Air Canada will resume its seasonal non-stop Saturday flights from Toronto to SKB earlier this year, with flights starting November 3, 2018 providing an additional 7 operations for 2018 as compared to the same period in 2017.

Most recently announced, Sun Country Airlines will begin serving SKB with non-stop Saturday flights from its Minneapolis hub for peak season from December 22, 2018 through April 20, 2019 providing a total of 18 new operations for 2018/2019 that did not exist during the same period in 2017/2018.

St. Kitts’ airlift strategy consists of continuing to nurture relationships with the airlines to systematically build out air bridges to/from identified target gateways to grow service in a sustainable manner that will support new and existing hotel developments as well as other local tourism stakeholders while making the island increasingly easy for air travelers to reach.

About St. Kitts:

Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. Located in the northern Leeward Islands, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history.  The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are water sports, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on the beach. For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Five Allied Members Elected to Round Out CTO Board of Directors

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (10 October, 2018) – Five candidates of diverse backgrounds out of a record number 13 were elected to represent the allied membership on the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) board of directors for the 2018-2020 term. The elections were held on 5 Oct. 2018 during the CTO’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) held in the Bahamas.

The five representatives elected to CTO’s Board of Directors for the two-year term are Barry Brown of AFAR Media, Jule Guaglardi of Zelman Style, Jacqueline Johnson of Global Bridal Group, Barbara Magro of Questex Travel Group and John Lawrence Spears of The Concept Farm.

“This is the first time we have had more than eight people interested in holding an allied representative position on the CTO Board of Directors. This reflects an overwhelming interest in the industry and contributing to the development of our region,” said Sylma Brown, director of CTO USA. “Over the years, the allied members have used their talent and resources to demonstrate their commitment to supporting the growth of the Caribbean tourism industry. We look forward to the impact they will have over the next two years.

“Notable this year, is that without exception all 13 candidates vying for the five seats pledged their support to the work of the organisation. In the coming weeks, I will contact each person to determine how we can utilise their considerable talents on projects for the region,” added Brown.

Barry Brown, an allied member for 17 years, is an advertising and publishing professional who has been connected to the region for over 25 years. He also served and continues to serve on the board of the CTO Foundation and was on the Audrey Palmer Hawks Scholarship Foundation Board for many years. Brown has prioritized the education of the next generation of tourism leaders and worked with the CTO to develop the Caribbean Youth Congress. To inspire and reverse declining allied membership, promote advocacy and drive Caribbean tourism are Brown’s goals as part of the board of directors.

Having spent much of the past 25 years writing and photographing features for 12 different publications to showcase the Caribbean, Jule Guaglardi demonstrates her extensive knowledge of the Caribbean market by promoting the region through her editorial outlets. Currently, she operates a high-end design firm in Florida which employs a talented Caribbean design team, which makes up more than 50 percent of the staff. Guaglardi started to expand her work into the Caribbean by re-designing prestigious buildings as well as helping to facilitate Florida building codes in the Caribbean to hurricane standards in an effort to help ensure a more economically stable and sustainable tourism product across the region. Guaglardi plans to open a Caribbean office in order to work alongside local contractors and new rising Caribbean design students eager to learn necessary building standards along with the fundamentals of fine design.

Jacqueline Johnson is a pioneer in the publishing industry as the only minority to head up her own media company. As an expatriate, Johnson believes she owes it to the region to put her extensive networking resources to work to improve the quality of life for people in the Caribbean through tourism. During her more than 20 years as an allied member, Johnson served on the CTO Board and on the executive committee and has been Chairman of the CTO Foundation which provides scholarships to Caribbean students, and donates a substantial amount of her time to Caribbean Week and other CTO events. For her contributions and involvement in the Caribbean, CTO awarded Johnson the Outstanding Service Award. Johnson plans to create programmes and provide market research to contribute to the development of Caribbean tourism.

Barbara Magro has worked in advertising sales for premier food and travel magazines in the United States and Australia and is currently the Florida & Caribbean Director of Business Development with Questex Media Group for Luxury Travel Advisor, Travel Agent print and digital products, Travel Agent University e-learning and loyalty platform along with Travel Industry Exchange and Ultra Summit leisure events. During the last two years on the CTO Board of Directors she has given a generous amount of money to promote CTO’s travel agent trade shows, worked with Tourism Cares and ran free banners ads on how to donate to hurricane relief funds during the hurricanes of 2017 along with other forward-thinking actions. Magro plans to continuously give the Caribbean the exposure it needs to the travel trade through the various opportunities that occur within her organisation.

With 17 years of tourism experience, John Lawrence Speers has developed strategic marketing plans, communication strategies and digital innovations across many creative platforms for tourism boards in the Caribbean and other destinations. Having a particular passion for sustainable tourism, Speers recently worked in the hinterlands of Guyana with the indigenous people, creating deeper connections to ensure local cultural traditions prevail and flourish. Speers plans on using his international marketing expertise to connect Caribbean communities both digitally and physically with travellers from North America and beyond.

Posted in: 2018 News, Allied News, Blog

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Caribbean Launches “The Rhythm Never Stops” Marketing Campaign

MIAMI (October 10, 2018) – Inspired by the Caribbean’s sounds and sights, the region’s leading tourism entities have joined forces to launch “The Rhythm Never Stops” – a vibrant marketing campaign enticing travelers to revel in the Caribbean’s incredible natural beauty, diverse cultures and hidden treasures.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) unveiled the fruit of months of collaborative efforts to showcase the Caribbean in a new, dynamic digital campaign, which started on Wednesday, October 10.

Supported by a select group of destinations and private sector partners, the video presentation targets social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Google Display. It features the electronic dance music of “Lean On” by Major Lazer x DJ Snake (feat. MØ), one of the most-streamed songs of all time on Spotify.

Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, said the Caribbean aims to be the world’s most desirable tourism destination. “With the resilience of our people and the year-round nature of our product, we are determined to ensure that in the Caribbean ‘The Rhythm Never Stops’.”

“In undertaking this collaborative marketing thrust, we hope to reinforce the power of ‘Brand Caribbean’, definitively showcasing and celebrating our diverse cultural appeal through a campaign that will encourage visitors to find their own rhythm in the Caribbean,” he said.

Frank Comito, Director General and CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, pointed out that, from Bermuda in the north to Barbados in the south, the region comprises more than 30 countries, territories and overseas departments, offering constantly evolving rhythmic segues for travelers.

“Visitors, past and present, have not been introduced to the offerings of our vast and diverse region. We will change that by highlighting the charms contained in the million square miles of Caribbean Sea, home to French, English, Spanish, Dutch, Creole, African, Asian, American and many other cultures,” he said, encouraging residents and visitors to experience more of the region’s rhythms.

The initial phase of the online campaign runs for 12 weeks. It highlights destinations such as The Bahamas in the north; Cayman Islands and Jamaica in the western Caribbean; the French department of Martinique and its eastern Caribbean neighbor Saint Lucia, as well as Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago in the south.

Both CHTA and CTO will track results of the digital advertising and social media-sharing campaign and continue to encourage other tourism-related entities to get on board with their longer-term collaborations.

Click link for campaign video: https://youtu.be/yJlbu2Ig_m8

Phase two of the campaign will be announced soon.

For further information, visit www.caribbeantravel.com.

About The Rhythm Never Stops

The Rhythm Never Stops is a unique partnership between the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Caribbean Tourism Organization. The campaign will operate in phases, with phase one made possible by Mastercard, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and Saint Lucia Tourism Enhancement Fund, Grenada Tourism Authority; Jamaica Tourist Board, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Martinique Tourism Authority, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, and the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Tourism. The multifaceted awareness campaign calls attention to the rich diversity of the Caribbean – including its cultures, experiences and tourism products – and showcases that the entire region is thriving and open for business. For more information, visit www.caribbeantravel.com.

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