CTO News

Archive for April, 2020

CTO Statement on the Passing of Dr. Roy Hastick

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (Tues. 14 April, 2020) – It is with profound sadness that we learn of the passing of Dr. Roy A. Hastick, a colossus of the Caribbean American business community.

As the founder and chief executive officer of the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, (CACCI), Dr. Hastick stood tall and proud as a committed soldier of the Caribbean Diaspora in New York City and New York State. His efforts, mostly on limited resources, helped open doors for many people needing assistance.

His mantra, “business networking really works”, proved to be a strategy that served to increase small business development among the Caribbean Diaspora. Perseverance brought his message to the ears of elected officials, corporate businesses and government partners, and from this the people of the Caribbean have benefited.

The number of trade missions he undertook helped increase business investment throughout the region and contributed to the success of the tourism industry in CTO member countries.

While he was known for strengthening Caribbean businesses in New York, the CACCI also assisted during times of crisis in the region. After the hurricanes of 2017, Dr. Hastick gathered his extensive list of contacts in the United States congress, the New York state governor and legislators, other state and city officials and private sector partners to provide emergency assistance.

Dr. Hastick’s ultimate dream was the construction of 255 affordable housing units and the CACCI headquarters/ Caribbean Trade and Cultural Centre in Brooklyn. He dedicated many years to the fulfilment of this dream, and while he did not see it through to its completion, its opening in 2021 will serve as a strong reinforcement to his tireless work to improve the economic well-being of Caribbean-Americans.

He was the first recipient of the CTO’s Distinguished Caribbean Citizen Award in 2018. This award was given for his longstanding commitment to representing the interests of Caribbean people at the city and state levels in New York, his endeavours to strengthen commercial links between the Caribbean and its Diaspora and his recognition of the fact that commerce and investment are naturally intertwined with tourism.

Dr. Hastick will be sorely missed, and his legacy will live forever.

On behalf of staff of the CTO, the council of ministers and commissioners of tourism, the board of directors and Caribbean people everywhere, we express our deepest sympathies to Eda Hastick and his family.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Caribbean hospitality youth encourage peers to get behind COVID-19 directives

MIAMI – Young leaders of the Caribbean tourism sector are throwing their support behind calls to heed the advice of public health officials to stay at home so that the region’s leading economic sector can rebound quickly once the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic subsides.

The recently established COVID-19 Caribbean Tourism Task Force is enlisting the dynamism and innovativeness of young hospitality professionals to encourage protective practices by Caribbean nationals, especially younger ones, many of whom have been slow to respond to the urgency of the outbreak.

Striking messages of encouragement from young professionals in Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Turks and Caicos, released by the task force, implore fellow youth to take more seriously the dangers of the contagion to the Caribbean.

The Task Force, which comprises representatives from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), unveiled the two-minute video, which contains essential guides to safeguard communities and individuals.

The Task Force initiatives support those of Caribbean tourism leaders and health organizations, who are working together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the region, and are implementing response measures to contain the spread of the virus.

In the video, Kamille Huggins, Executive Assistant of The Landings Resort & Spa in St. Lucia, echoing job loss concerns of many of her peers, said: “We have to get back to work to pay the bills and to feed our families. When are we going to lick this thing? It’s hurting all of us.”

“Listen. The power is in every one of us to end this isolation sooner rather than later. This invisible virus can disappear so much sooner if each one of us does what the experts tell us. The sooner we do that, the sooner we can go back to work and return to normal,” declared Sonia Simmons, Communications Manager of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association.

“Here’s what the health experts tell us. Please stay at home. We cannot contain this threat to our lives if we continue to go out carousing,” stressedJamal Griffith, Sales and Marketing Manager of Bougainvillea Barbados, while Issia Thelwell, Sales and Marketing Manager of Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Jamaica, pointed out, “If (you stay at home), you may be a part of a new dynamism we need to restart Caribbean tourism.”

The message, which has generated strong interest on social media, is especially important since many young people across the region have been ignoring public health advisories which warn residents of the danger of spreading the virus by hanging out in groups.

CARPHA Executive Director Dr. Joy St. John welcomed the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) calls for leaders in the private sector to support efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. “We need to lock arms across the region to ensure that we have adequate medical supplies and testing equipment,” she said. “But we also need to work together to educate our communities about this dangerous disease, and develop strategies which focus on what our post-COVID recovery looks like in the months ahead.”

Drawing on information presented in a recent CHTA webinar, young professionals agreed it was imperative for the region’s public and private sector representatives to work closely together to prepare for the post-pandemic recovery. They opined global travelers have become more inured to global shocks, such as natural disasters and geopolitical events, and were optimistic that the Caribbean region would recover faster than many areas in the rest of the world.

“By staying home today, we can travel tomorrow,” they stressed

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Jamaica Hosts “Together We Stand” Telethon to Raise Funds for PPE

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – April 10, 2020 – The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is raising awareness to help Jamaica fight the spread of COVID-19 with ‘Telethon Jamaica, Together We Stand.’ On Sunday, April 12 at 4:00 pm ET (3:00 pm Jamaica time), the virtual fundraising concert will feature remote performances by some of Jamaica’s leading artists and celebrities including Koffee, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Maxi Priest and Richie Spice. The six-hour event will be livestreamed on VP Records’ YouTube channel and a portion of the broadcast will be aired live on Television Jamaica and various digital platforms.

“‘Telethon Jamaica, Together We Stand’ is a call to action to support our doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals during this challenging time,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “The donations made will provide essential resources to continue protecting our healthcare workers on the frontline and help fight the spread fight the spread of COVID-19 across all our communities. I have been inspired by Jamaica’s display of solidarity thus far and I am confident that as a resilient nation, we will get through this together.”

To make a donation, please visit www.jatogetherwestand.com or call toll free 1-866-228-8393 from the United States, Canada, and Jamaica; or +44-808-189-6147 from the United Kingdom and Europe.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Destination News

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From Antigua with Love

JOHN’S, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA (APRIL 7 2020) – Date nights might be off the agenda and romantic trips away postponed, but Antigua and Barbuda is turning up the heat with five romantic tales all set on the picturesque island of Antigua. Widely regarded as the most romantic destination in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda’s palm fringed white and pink sand beaches, picture-perfect sunsets and crystal-clear seas have always ticked the boxes for lovers in search of an idyllic escape. This meant the twin-island’s dreamy backdrop could not be more perfect for the setting of five short Mills and Boon stories.

From holiday romances to second chances and happily ever afters, Mills and Boon is transporting readers to an exotic paradise in Antigua’s most beautiful spots. From the sleek yachts at Nelson’s Dockyard to the balmy peaks of Shirley Heights Lookout, readers can escape to an alternative reality of secluded coves, turquoise waters and tales of love and adventure.

The perfect inspiration to plan future trips and honeymoons, Antigua and Barbuda look forward to welcoming visitors back to the twin-island paradise once travel bans and government restrictions are lifted. But for the time being, an island escape is a click away:



Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Save the Date (April 8): BVI Virtual Happy Hour & Painkiller Cocktail Class

The British Virgin Islands family wishes you well during this difficult time and invites you to indulge in a much deserved cocktail. Tune in to a Virtual Happy Hour on Wednesday, April 8 at 4:00 pm EST on BVI Tourism’s Facebook Live to learn how to make the legendary Painkiller Cocktail, the official cocktail of the British Virgin Islands and one of the most iconic beverages in the Caribbean.

Viewers can transport themselves to the beaches of BVI by making this signature cocktail at home! What started at the shores of Soggy Dollar Beach Bar in 1970 continued with the development of the Pusser’s Painkiller shortly after. As Soggy Dollar owner Daphne Henderson takes pride in her secret recipe, Pusser’s founder Charles Tobias went to work trying to match her flavor as closely as possible. He finally worked out his own recipe to be a ratio of four parts pineapple, one part cream of coconut and one part orange juice, adding Pusser’s Rum to suit and topped with grated nutmeg. More info about the cocktail’s history and ties to the BVI can be found here.

We look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful BVI soon, but for now – we hope you enjoy this delicious treat. We encourage you and your readers to tune into the live stream on Wednesday from the British Virgin Islands with BVI Ambassador, James Kelly. He will be showcasing the views from his adobe, speaking on the history of the Painkiller and teaching us how to make the Pusser’s Painkiller!

Let me know if you have any questions. The full recipe can be found below. Thank you for your consideration!


Add liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a big glass or goblet filled with ice. Add/grate fresh nutmeg on top and enjoy!

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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