CTO News

Archive for October, 2019

September Records Largest Increase in Visitor Arrivals to Date

CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA) October 31, 2019 – The sun-drenched and events-filled Caribbean destination of Saint Lucia continues to grab headlines, as its diverse tourism offerings keep resonating with audiences far and wide.

Already basking in seven record-breaking months of increases for 2019, the month of September has gone down as an unprecedented one for visitor arrivals to the island, specifically Stay-Over Arrivals.

Captured figures indicate that Saint Lucia received 21,608 stay-over visitors for the month of September – a 15% increase from last September and the largest percentage increase for the year.

This figure also surpasses the record set in 2017 (20,049) by more than 1,000 additional visitors or 7.8%, in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria that severely affected several other Caribbean islands that month.

Most of this growth was driven by the 15% increase in arrivals from the US market – an additional 1,156 visitors, despite there being no major difference in airlift from that market.

The second largest real growth (1,144 additional visitors) was seen in the Caribbean market, which grew by 25%, owing in large measure to the hosting of CPL cricket endorsed under the Caribcation banner.

“While we welcome the increases, we will not stop in exploring every possible avenue, program, policy or niche, that will keep us top of mind in the marketplace so as to drive visitor arrivals to our destination,” noted Tourism Minister Hon. Dominic Fedee.

All other markets (except the UK and other parts of Europe) increased by double digits in September, with France and Canada in the lead with 52% and 43% increases respectively.

For more information about Saint Lucia, visit www.stlucia.org or call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888 4STLUCIA

About Saint Lucia

One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies’ Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the Eastern Caribbean archipelago. The “Helen of the West Indies,” Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes. Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Soleil Saint Lucia Summer Festival. Saint Lucia’s wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties. Saint Lucia is also home to world class cruise and yachting facilities. The island is continually recognized as one of the leading Wedding and Honeymoon destinations worldwide.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

The Islands of The Bahamas State of the Business Tourism Update

NASSAU, Bahamas, October 21, 2019 – More than a month has passed since Hurricane Dorian made landfall on two northern islands of The Bahamas. Already, Grand Bahama Island is rebounding with many of its hotels and attractions reopened and plans for its airport to resume international service soon. While The Abacos face a longer road to recovery, the country remains resilient and steadfast in its commitment to help the island rebuild by maintaining a healthy flow of tourism – which accounts for half of the country’s GDP – to the islands that were not affected by the storm.

Open for Business

Nassau and Paradise Island

This pair of islands which are home to the country’s most extensive array of resorts, hotels, restaurants and tour operators, were not affected by Hurricane Dorian and are operating normally.  With seasonal hotel incentives and increased airlift, it is easier than ever for travelers to visit this year.

The Out Islands

With the exception of The Abacos, the Out Islands are open and operating as usual. Some resorts and lodges take a fall hiatus for annual leave or renewal projects, but there are many options for accommodations. Airports, government ports and marinas are open across the islands.

Grand Bahama Island

Grand Bahama Island is back to business welcoming travelers at its cruise port, and soon to welcome international travelers when the airport reopens next month. Ferries and cruise lines, including Balearia, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line, are already bringing travelers to Freeport to experience a number of excursions and sites that have reopened. The airport is operating domestic flights via temporary facilities, and will welcome its first international flight on November 15. Numerous hotels and resorts are already open or expected to re-open within weeks.

Recovering and Rebuilding

The Abacos

Abaco has the longest road to recovery with virtually no viable options for leisure tourism in the near future.  The current focus is on re-opening local government complexes and restoring basic services to facilitate rebuilding.

Response to Hurricane Dorian

As the capital of The Bahamas and the home of the country’s government, Nassau is also a central hub for the Hurricane Dorian recovery process. Persons that have been displaced by the storm are being accommodated on the island, with the most recent information from The Bahamas National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) indicating that 895 individuals are being housed across six shelters.

How to Help

One of the best things people can do to help, now more than ever is to visit. The Bahamas is open for business and still delivering the tropical getaway the country is known for. In addition to planning a trip to The Bahamas, those who wish to contribute can find a list of The Bahamas’ verified partners at www.bahamas.com/relief.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Caribbean Tourism Organization Welcomes JetBlue’s Continued Growth in the Region

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (24 Oct. 2019) – Having doubled its seat capacity to the Caribbean over the last decade, JetBlue is looking to expand its business footprint in the region, including through its travel booking arm, JetBlue Travel Products.

Mike Pezzicola, the head of commercial for JetBlue Travel Products, presented at a recent Caribbean outlook forum organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in Antigua and Barbuda.

He said JetBlue operates over 1000 flights daily with a third of its route network in the Caribbean, and this is likely to increase as JetBlue continues to expand capacity in the years ahead. Since May of 2018, JetBlue has added six additional non-stop routes to Caribbean destinations.

In addition, the JetBlue official told the senior tourism policymakers and executives the company was also focused on increasing bookings of ground transportation, tours, hotels and attractions in destinations through the travel booking arm.

“One thing we see is that as folks are planning to travel, when they book their travel vacation with us, and we help them plan it, their stay is longer and they are more likely to return, if not to the destination then to another destination in the tropics,” said Pezzicola.

He added that JetBlue was also focusing on improving its cooperative marketing with destinations and large resorts, while also emphasising the uniqueness of Caribbean destinations by highlighting their culture, food and events.

“We are working very heavily now on explaining the difference and as a lot of our customers, particularly those flying down from the US, have this vision that every  [destination in the Caribbean] is the same and we all know that is not true,” said Pezzicola.

The Caribbean tourism outlook forum was the first organised by the CTO as a platform for discussion between member governments and leaders from the tourism industry that generate business to the region. It was attended by ministers and commissioners of tourism, directors of tourism, chief executives of destination management organisations, permanent secretaries, advisors and specialists and technical officers from 12 member countries.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Corporate News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Tourism Trinidad Limited Targets a 7% Increase In International Visitor Arrivals for 2020

Port of Spain, Trinidad – Monday October 21, 2019 – For the new fiscal year 2019/2020, Tourism Trinidad Limited’s (TTL) main goals are to increase visitor arrivals by 7% to 380,000, attain an average hotel occupancy rate of 64% and grow visitor expenditure. This builds on the current year’s tourism performance as Trinidad has already recorded 276,269 international visitors (an increase of 2% over 2018) for the period January to September.

Mr. Howard Chin Lee, Chairman of the Tourism Trinidad said that “This is an ambitious agenda for Trinidad’s tourism. Our focus is on developing a clearly identifiable Trinidad ‘brand’ to raise awareness of the destination throughout the world, deliver an outstanding visitor experience and establish Trinidad as a destination of choice. To this end, we have developed a comprehensive roadmap on how we can partner with government and stakeholders to take our tourism sector to new heights.”

Tourism Trinidad is also developing a framework to assist local communities to build on their tourism offerings to attract more visitors to this destination, create more jobs and strengthen its overall contribution to the national economy.  In this regard, a one-year Strategic Action Plan has been developed and nineteen (19) new hires have been onboarded to the company, to help drive the strategic agenda of the organization.

Three (3) key niches have been identified to grow tourism:

  • Sports
  • Events
  • Conferences (Business)

The company will soon launch its brand identity and website for Destination Trinidad with marketing campaigns rolling out in major international markets around the globe. These campaigns, including a Diaspora campaign, aim to boost arrivals in the coming months, and in the lead up to Carnival 2020, and attract visitors year-round to the destination.

2020 presents the company with some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to showcase Trinidad around the world. In April 2020 Trinidad will be venue for thousands of international hashers (trail runners) from over 75 countries. Promotional activity is being developed to encourage those attending the event to book their return vacation and will showcase Trinidad as an ideal location for world-class events and, by extension, a superb sporting and event destination.

Tourism Trinidad is currently collaborating with SportTT, Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and other stakeholders to fully maximise every opportunity for the hosting of sporting, cultural and other events.

The company will also be working with key partners, including air carriers and the international travel trade, to deliver better and more sustained connectivity, introduce new routes and airlines to the destination; therein facilitating a growth in visitor arrivals.

Plans are underway to re-vamp the company’s digital platforms to allow for the targeting of potential visitors with personalised messages and offers; all designed to appeal to their specific interests. The aim is to attract a monthly average of 2,500 unique visitors to the website and attain a reach of 30 million views through powerful global influencers.

Tourism Trinidad also plans to ramp up its tourism education programs, increase awareness of the value and benefits of tourism at a national level, and inculcate a positive tourism mind set in every Trinidadian.

The local tourism sector will clearly have a very important role to play in the future of the destination and the opportunities offered by this industry to the economy, to employment and to social development will be enormous. Tourism Trinidad is well poised to drive the industry forward and is committed to ensuring that the tourism sector’s potential is fully realized.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Annual BTB Conference focuses on Cultural Immersion

Belize City, Monday, October 21st, 2019:  Tourism Industry stakeholders and international marketing experts converged at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Friday, Oct 18 to discuss a wide-range of issues important to the local industry as part of this year’s BTB annual Tourism Conference.

The conference evolves from the BTB’s strategic plan on equipping stakeholders with pertinent and relevant information for the industry’s enhancement.

The one-day conference was held under the theme: Destination Marketing & the Impact on our Belize Market. The morning session focused on Cultural Immersion trends in Tourism while the afternoon session included discussions on Combating the Challenges Facing the Tourism Industry Today.

Topics included the Cultural Immersion Phenomena; Preserving Culture in the Changing Tourism Industry; Benefits of Promoting Cultural Tourism; Marketing Strategies & Tactics for Cultural Tourism; Innovative Practices and Challenges; Climate Change & its Impact on Tourism; Styrofoam & Plastics – Strategies & Alternatives; Combating Regional Sargassum and its Alternatives and Safety and Security.

The conference commenced with an informative video entitled: Where did the Year Go?, which highlighted the industry’s major accomplishments during 2018 and 2019.

The conference include dynamic speakers from the United Kingdom, the U.S., the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe. These included Stephanie M. Jones, President and CEO, Cultural Heritage Alliance for Tourism Inc;  Deborah Hickling, Principal Consultant,G Consults; Charlene Drakes, Executive Co-ordinator, Office of the Secretary General, CTO; Richard Peterson, President and CEO, US Cultural & Heritage Marketing Council; Carol Hay, Director of Marketing UK & Europe; Jane Madden, Managing Partner, Global Sustainability & Social Impact, Finn Partners; Diane MacEachern, Founder and CEO of Big Green Purse; Dr. Janice Cumberbatch, Lecturer Center for Resource Management and Environmental Studies, UWI and Earl Harris, Assistant Director of Strategic Services, CARICOM IMPACS.

In addition to the speakers, there were presentations from BTB’s PR Agencies including ICF Next, Marketing Agency for USA & Canada; Brighter Group, Marketing Agency for UK & Europe, GlobActive, Marketing Agency for the Netherlands and Gaudelli, Marketing Agency for Mexico.

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation was present during the conference among many other invited guests.

At the end of the conference, stakeholders and participants gained a better appreciation of the benefits of the aforementioned themes/concepts and their potential to contribute to a memorable visitor experience and a greater increase in visitor arrivals to Belize, a Curious Place.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

2019 Caribbean Travel Media Awards UK Finalists Announced

London, UK 19 October 2019: The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is delighted to announce the final shortlist in each of the eight categories in the 2019 Caribbean Travel Media Awards. More than 130 entries across eight categories were reviewed by an expert panel of judges, representing the media and travel industry, via a strict criteria and points system.

Carol Hay, the CTO’s director of marketing for UK and Europe, said, “Over the past few weeks our expert panel of judges have deliberated and debated to decide the finalists for this year’s awards and we congratulate all the nominees who made it on the shortlist. The high calibre of entries received truly underlines the passion that media continue to have for the Caribbean and I am sure this made it a tough job for the judges. We acknowledge our Judges for their time and commitment and look forward to welcoming them and the finalists to the Awards.”

The full list of finalists in each category, in no particular order, is:

Best travel trade feature
Sponsor: Discover Dominica Authority
Kathryn Liston, Selling Travel
Andrew Doherty, TTG
Martin Steady, Selling Travel

Best national newspaper feature
Sponsor: St. Kitts Tourism Authority
Fiona Hyde, Irish Times
Juliet Rix, Telegraph
Ian Belcher, The Times

Best regional newspaper feature
Sponsor: Saint Lucia Tourism Authority
Priya Joshi, Press Association
Hannah Stephenson, Press Association
Jane Harris, Waterfront Magazine

Best consumer feature
Sponsor: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
Nick Redman, Sunday Times Travel Magazine
Caroline Robertson-Brown, Dive Travel Adventures
Ronan O’Shea, Escapism Magazine

Best broadcast, TV and radio feature
Sponsor: Bahamas Tourist Office
Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen in Dominica, ITV
Greg McKenzie, BBC Travel Show
Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen in Antigua, ITV

Best online feature or blog post
Sponsor: Tobago Tourism Agency
Heather Cowper, Heather on her travels + Ella Alexander, Harpers Bazaar
Macca Sherifi-An Adventurous World
Ursula Barzey, Caribbean & Co + Laura French, Lonely Planet

Best Social Media Campaign
Sponsor: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
Celebrating Creole Day – Ursula Barzey, Caribbean & Co.
Traverse Antigua Conference 2019
Charlie and Jess Wild – Kuoni and The Travel Project

Best Caribbean Round Up
Sponsor: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Jo Cooke, Travel Weekly
Audrey Gillan and Nicola Trup, National Geographic Traveller
Lucy Thackray, Mandarin Oriental Magazine.

Amongst the panel of judges for the 2019 Caribbean Travel Media Awards were:
Johnson Johnrose, Communications Specialist, Caribbean Tourism Organization; Helen Tabois, Senior Product & Marketing Manager, Caribbean & Cruise, ITC Travel; Pat Riddell, Editor, National Geographic Traveller (UK); Greg Armstrong, Product Management Director, Blue Bay Travel; Gary Davis, GD Travel & Travel Tips; Donna Joseph, Sales Director, SN Travel; Laverne Walker, Director, Sackville Travel Services Ltd; Daniel Pearce, CEO, TTG Media; Eulanda & Omo, founders & creative curators of HDYTI; Paul Scudamore, Contributing Editor, Travel Bulletin; Rachel O’Reilly, Head of Communications, Kuoni; Denise Greene, Sunrise Marketing; Graham McKenzie, Travelmole.

Click here to read more about each of our 14 judges on the panel.

The Caribbean Travel Media Awards continue to celebrate and reward the very best representation of the Caribbean by the media industry in the areas of story-telling in print and online, social media and broadcast. The overall winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on Monday 4 November to be held at the Crowne Plaza London Docklands at Royal Victoria Dock.

Individual sponsors support each category with this year’s headline sponsor confirmed as Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Corporate News

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 3 123