Archive for July, 2019

Mid Year Performance Results Trending in a Positive Direction

St. George’s, Grenada – July 26, 2019 – On the heels of double-digit growth and a landmark total visitor arrival of 528,077 in 2018, the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is delighted to report positive growth in total visitor arrivals of 1% for the first half of 2019. The destination welcomed a total of 318,559 visitors between January to June 2019 compared to 314,916 for the same period in 2018; this represents a 1.15% growth.

The stayover market, which represents our most lucrative visitor, grew by 3.81% with 82,399 visitors staying in our hotels, guesthouses and villa accommodations.  The average length of stay of these visitors from our source markets is 8.5 days. The US accounts for 45% of our market share, followed by the UK with 17% and the Canadian market with 12%. Our focus is on expanding our reach in our traditional source markets and we now have four international gateways in the US for the upcoming Winter Season including JFK New York, Miami International, Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina.

We were able to hold our own with a slight increase of 1.33% in cruise visitor arrivals of 223,051 for the period compared with the phenomenal growth numbers of 220,125 last year. This is testimony of the hard work by the team to increase engagement with the cruise lines and keep Grenada top of mind with cruise executives. The GTA is planning an Aquila Professional Tour Guide training in September for our public and private stakeholders to enhance the customer experience in the destination.

The Yachting sector arrivals for the period remained flat with 15,318 compared to 15,420 in 2018. Grenada’s geographical location south of the hurricane belt should augur well for these numbers in the coming months. Port Louis Camper & Nicholson Marina is currently expanding its berths by 50% to accommodate more yachts for the Winter Season.

The GTA calculates revenue numbers based on monthly visitor expenditure surveys. These survey results indicate that the average daily spend is approx. EC$ 306 for the period January to June 2019. Total revenue generated for the period was EC$ 233,835,812 in the destination.

Based on recent external survey results, the cruise visitor spends on average EC$ 141, compared to the last survey of EC$ 133; a total of EC$ 26,791,436 in revenue generated for the destination. In total for the year to date, we estimate that EC$ 260 million was spent directly in Tourism in Grenada and that is not including the indirect spend in the economy. While this is significant revenue, the GTA is actively encouraging more spend in the destination with the production of a new shopping video and the packaging of immersive experiential tours.

With increased airlift from some of our major airlines, Jetblue, LIAT, Caribbean Airlines and American Airlines for the carnival and winter seasons, the GTA projects stayover visitor arrivals to grow by 5% in 2019.

Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Patricia Maher is encouraging visitors to enjoy the many attractions and experiences throughout Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique. She added “With our abundance of natural assets, warm and friendly people and safe environment, visitors can discover every parish and island of Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean.”

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO Announces Finalists for Canada Travel Media Awards

TORONTO, Canada (24 July, 2019) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced the finalists for its annual media awards competition for the Canadian market. Canadian journalists will be recognised during the Media Day luncheon on 22 August at the Boulevard Club (1491 Lake Shore Blvd. West, Toronto).

Hosted by award-winning journalist Dwight Drummond, the awards luncheon honours journalists who have produced Caribbean stories for Canadian and other media outlets.

Following are the Caribbean Media Awards finalists for each category:

I Couldn’t Have Written It Better Myself: Best Feature in a Consumer Newspaper

  • Melanie Reffes: “Caribbean Cruise Ports: What to do When You Get There” – The Suburban
  • Pamela Fieber: “Much to Sip and Savour High Up in the Blue Mountains” – Calgary Herald
  • Erin MacLeod: “In Post-Carnival Trinidad, the Party Never Really Ends” – The New York Times

Been There, Wrote That: Best Feature in a Consumer Magazine

  • Mark Stevens: “Looking for Jerk in All the Right Places” – All At Sea
  • Josephine Matyas: “The Soul Cleansing Beauty of Dominica” –  Luxe
  • Wayne Curtis: “Rum for It” – En Route

Inner Circle King/Queen: Best Feature in a Trade Publication

  • Mark Stevens: “Saint Lucia: Inspiration Island” – Caribbean Business & Travel
  • Martha Chapman: “Inside the Real Barbados” – Open Jaw
  • Anita Draycott: “Liming Bajan Style” –  Travel Industry Today

Virtual Visitor Award: Best Online Feature

  • Josephine Matyas: “Cruising the British Virgin Islands”  – Dreamscapes
  • Jennifer Merrick: “Montego Bay – Relearning the Art of Doing Nothing” – Modern Mississauga
  • Bianca Bujan: “How to Eat Like a Bajan” – BC Living

Oh Snap! Best Photograph Accompanying a Story

  • Jennifer Merrick: “Bob Marley’s Jamaica”  –  Buffalo Spree
  • Sharon Matthews-Stevens: “An Abacos Adventure” –  Canadian Yachting
  • Ann Ruppenstein: “Discovering Another Side of Jamaica” –  Travel Courier

Oh My Word, I Blogged!: Best Blog Posting

  • Tamara Elliott: “Belize’s ATM Cave Tour: Where Adventure Meets Mayan Sacrifices” – Globe Guide
  • Marilyn Préfontaine: “Douce Martinique: l’île aux mille couleurs” – Marginale et heureuse
  • Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil: “ Green Grotto Caves –  The Natural Beauty of Runaway Bay” – The PlanetD.com

Me Too! I Rediscovered Home! Best Feature by a Diasporan Journalist in Diaspora Media

  • Michael Van Cooten: “Soca Royalty”  –  Pride News
  • Parm Palmer: “Things to do in Grenada” – The Planet D
  • Simone Jennifer Smith: “How Much Can You Fit into One Day? – The Journey Through Kingston, Jamaica!” – Toronto Caribbean Newspaper

Look, I’ve Gone Social: Best Social Media Coverage of an Event or Activity

  • Kael Rebick: “Fam Trip to St. Vincent and the Grenadines”
  • Diana Becevello: “A Catamaran Trip to Turks and Caicos Islands”

I Have Influence: Best Executed Influencer Campaign That Delivered Results Based On Agreed Objectives

  • Monika Koehler: “#LoveBarbadosFood”

CTO assembled a panel of expert media and travel industry judges to review submissions and determine the award winners, led by head judge Tim Doyle:

  • Tim Doyle is coordinator of journalism programmes at Centennial College, including the school’s innovative postgraduate programme in contemporary journalism that was introduced in 2018. Doyle worked for more than 20 years in print journalism before moving to digital in 1999 as founding executive producer of hockey website, Faceoff.com. Later, with Canwest and Postmedia, he held a number of senior roles including founding editor-in-chief of the Canada.com network and vice president and editor-in-chief New Media. Doyle joined the faculty at Centennial in 2014 and teaches in the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and in the school’s joint programme with the University of Toronto Scarborough.
  • Kattrin Duncan has more than 15 years on Destination Ontario’s media relations team and has been a trusted partner to journalists, editors and the travel PR industry across the globe. Duncan is always eager to pitch interesting Ontario story ideas or assist media with finding compelling content.
  • Anna Hobbs turned to travelling – across Canada and around the world –writing about her experiences after a fulfilling 25-year stint on the editorial staff at Canadian Living.
  • Josh Kahn is a well-respected tourism industry consultant and public relations specialist at award-winning boutique agency KTCpr as well as immediate past chairman for the prestigious New York Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
  • Sandra Kitchen, following a 20 year career with Sunquest Vacations, established Worldly Marketing Strategies in 2001. With a focus towards the entrepreneurial tourism and publishing industries, Kitchen has been associated with Dreamscapes Travel and Lifestyle Magazine as publisher from 2001 to 2011, and is currently associate publisher.

About Dwight Drummond:

Dwight Drummond is an award-winning journalist and the host on CBC Toronto News at Six, which airs weeknights on CBC television. Drummond has been a reporter and news anchor for over two decades. With Drummond at the helm, CBC Toronto News is yet again nominated for Best Local Newscast at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards (CSA). Dwight is also nominated for Best Local Anchor. In 2015, Drummond and CBC Toronto News at Six were recognised as Canada’s best local newscast. As a reporter, Drummond was known for his exclusives –  he broke local stories that went national, and has reported internationally. Drummond has also received a number of awards for his police reporting and commendations for his community work. He is a recipient of the Men of Excellence Award, the Distinguished Men of Honour Award and the African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Media.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Media Awards

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CTO Mourns Loss of Marie Walker, Long-Time Tourism Colleague & Friend of the Caribbean

NEW YORK, NY (July 15, 2019) – Executives and staff of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) are mourning the loss of Marie Walker, a long-time Jamaica-born tourism colleague and friend who dedicated her time to the betterment of the Caribbean region.

“Marie Walker was a passionate tourism regionalist who never missed an opportunity to serve on a CTO committee, most recently at the Caribbean Week debriefing meeting two weeks ago,” said Sylma Brown, director of CTO-USA, Inc. “She shared her expertise freely and supported destination colleagues without hesitation. She exuded with warmth, energy and authenticity. The Caribbean and our small community of National Tourist Offices (NTOs) and allied members in the U.S. has lost a champion. Marie will be missed by all who knew and loved her,” Brown added.

Walker worked in the Caribbean tourism industry for 40 years, most recently as the principal of Turnstyle Marketing where she worked closely with Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Lucia. She served as a director of the Anguilla Tourist Board and vice president of sales and marketing with Antigua and Barbuda.

Walker began her career with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in the Kingston headquarters and later in JTB’s New York office where she worked her way up to become advertising relations manager. She was instrumental in growing business for Jamaica with the award-winning One Love advertising campaign and was an early innovator by engaging Jamaicans living abroad before the Caribbean Diaspora was established as a viable market.

Walker was the founder of the popular Jerk to Go restaurants in New York City and was planning the company’s expansion across the U.S.

She previously sat on the board of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies and has served on several CTO committees including the committee for the CTO’s Governments of the Caribbean State Ball.

Walker is survived by her husband, New York Supreme Court Justice Sam Walker, her parents Sadie and Clinton Deeble, her sister Jackie Vickers, nieces Nicola and Celine and other relatives and friends. A celebration of life ceremony is being planned for New York and Florida.

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Caribbean Pushes for Inclusive Tourism Development

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (3 July 2019) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is creating a plan for the systematic development of community-based tourism as a viable niche and will present the details during the upcoming Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development.

The event, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (#STC2019), is scheduled for 26-29 Aug. 2019 at the Beachcombers Hotel in St. Vincent and is organised by CTO in partnership with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA).

At a general session titled “Community-based Tourism Driving Tourism Innovations and Experiences” scheduled 11:30 a.m. on 27 August, delegates will be presented with robust market research that encapsulates visitors’ willingness to pay for innovative tourism experiences across the Caribbean. The session will also delve into how community tourism supports product diversification and differentiation and can enhance community participation in tourism, with the ultimate benefit being the creation of a distinctive and responsible tourism brand.

CTO has worked with regional partner the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) – a development programme that focuses on innovative and practical solutions that stimulate economic growth, productivity and competitiveness – to develop the market research.

Session presenters include a Compete Caribbean representative who will address the need for cooperation in tourism to ensure local enterprises, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises, are integrated in the tourism value chain. Judy Karwacki, president of Small Planet Consulting, and a community-based tourism development specialist,  will introduce a community-based tourism toolkit commissioned by the CTO.

Under the theme “Keeping the Right Balance: Tourism Development in an Era of Diversification,” industry experts participating in #STC2019 will address the urgent need for a transformational, disruptive, and regenerative tourism product to meet ever-rising challenges. The full conference programme can be viewed via https://www.caribbeanstc.com/program/

St Vincent and the Grenadines will host STC amidst an intensified national thrust towards a greener, more climate-resilient destination, including the construction of a geothermal plant on St. Vincent to complement the country’s hydro and solar energy capacity and the restoration of the Ashton Lagoon in Union Island.

To register for the conference, visit https://www.caribbeanstc.com/register. Rates are available for general delegates including CTO members and non-members, St. Vincent & the Grenadines residents, travel agents and students (both local and international rates).

Sponsorships are available for the conference and can be viewed via: https://www.caribbeanstc.com/sponsor. Contact Sylma Brown Bramble at 212-635-9530 or [email protected] for additional information.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, STC

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