Archive for September, 2021

Joint Communique for Caribbean World Tourism Day Virtual Conference Sept 27, 2021

The Future of Caribbean Tourism – Redefining the 3 S’s

As the Caribbean strives to emerge from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Caribbean tourism, it is critical that regional tourism stakeholders, related businesses, academia and development partners work together to further deliberate on current and pressing issues facing the growth of Caribbean tourism. Moreover, it is important that these deliberations result in innovative and creative solutions, committed actions and tangible results that would aid in the tourism sector recovery and resilience-building efforts.

This virtual conference was envisioned to commemorate World Tourism Day 2021 through a collaborative approach among Caribbean Tourism leaders and Regional and International Development Partners, thus demonstrating a major commitment to the sustainability and inclusive growth of tourism in the Caribbean, in recognition of the impact and value of the sector to the social and economic development of the Region.

Expanding upon this year’s World Tourism Day theme established by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’, the conference titled “The Future of Caribbean Tourism- Redefining the 3 S’s”, sought to examine the challenges, opportunities and best practices for tourism resilience and recovery.
The 3 S’s ‘Social Inclusion, Sustainability, and Smart Destinations and Businesses’ have been identified as three key priorities, which are integral to the region’s recovery strategies and were central to the conference deliberations.

The collaborating agencies, having organized and participated in this gathering and envisioning the most desirable evolution of tourism across the regional landscape, reiterate our support for the advancement of Caribbean tourism, noting the sector’s role in contributing to the wider regional development agenda as follows:

Partnerships – We recognize the value of collaboration and inclusion and echo the sentiments of the UN Sustainable Development Goal #17 which states that a successful development agenda requires inclusive partnerships at the global, regional, national and local levels-built upon principles and values, and upon shared goals placing people and the planet at the centre.

Advocacy – We understand that for regional tourism to be socially inclusive, we must continue to engage in relevant research, meaningful discussions, and actions that would continually strengthen the objective of ‘leaving no one behind’ and provide a fair chance to the next generation to benefit from sustainable Caribbean tourism development.

Resilience – We are aware of the region’s vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change, natural and anthropogenic hazards, and other global events, which have a significant impact on the region’s small open economies. Effective protocols for Disaster Risk Management (Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery) are pivotal pillars for the viability and long-term growth of tourism; and should incorporate climate adaptation strategies, business continuity planning, and standards and guidelines for effective health and safety

Local Empowerment – We commend efforts to ensure that people in situations of vulnerability, including women, the youth, differently-abled persons, rural, indigenous and marginalized communities are meaningfully included in the tourism economy. We encourage the inclusion of all relevant stakeholders in tourism policy, planning and development activities.

Human Capital Development – We reiterate the importance of education and training in contributing to a highly-skilled tourism workforce and by extension the competitiveness of the regional tourism sector. We continue to support and advocate for academic, technical, vocational programs and capacity-building initiatives, to further enhance the skills and competencies of the region’s human resources.

Diversification – We endorse the principles and ethos of the Orange, Blue and Green Economies, which present untapped new opportunities to improve the inclusivity, profitability and sustainability of Caribbean tourism.

Technological Innovation – We note the role of technology to optimise business opportunities and efficiency, increase market access, and enhance the inter-connectivity of Caribbean Tourism for residents and visitors alike. We encourage tourism stakeholders to increase technology adoption in the systems and processes for destination marketing, visitor engagement, service delivery and in the tourism product experience across the value chain.

Knowledge and Information Sharing – We recognize the wealth of information and resources which exist within our industry; globally, regionally and locally, and with our various stakeholder organizations and institutions. We recognize and support where possible the sharing of data, research, reports and best practices that advance Social Inclusion, Sustainability, and Smart Destinations and Businesses.

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Message by Neil Walters, Secretary General (Acting) of the CTO in Observance of World Tourism Day Sept 27, 2021

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (26 Sept 2021_ – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, joins the global community in celebrating World Tourism Day 2021 under the theme, Tourism for Inclusive Growth.

In observance of the day, the CTO and approximately a dozen regional and international partners are collaborating on a virtual event aimed at highlighting and addressing the challenges we face in forging a sustainable tourism sector and identifying the opportunities to build a more socially inclusive, sustainable and smart sector.

It’s a clear sign of the importance we all place on collaboration and inclusion, a key plank of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #17, ‘Partnerships for Goals’ which emphasises inclusive partnerships at the global, regional, national and local levels and shared goals placing people and the planet at the centre of development.

World Tourism Day is also being celebrated at a time when the region’s tourism sector is beginning to emerge from the prolonged impact of COVID-19.  Some of our member countries have reported record stayover arrivals during the months of July and August, while others show their arrival numbers trending in the right direction and even approaching 2019 levels. We still have to be aware of the challenges and potential hurdles as we move to a recovery mindset, but these are encouraging signs that the hard work our member countries have put into adapting to the changing environment of the pandemic, is beginning to pay dividends. Our progress amidst the challenges gives hope to the millions of Caribbean nationals who depend on tourism for a living, either directly or indirectly.

In celebrating our incremental successes, this year’s theme is a reminder that, even as arrival numbers rise and tourism revenue increases, we begin to revise our measures of success to include an analysis of the social and economic benefits of the sector. The new tourism approach must ensure that our local communities participate in the renewed tourism economy. Similarly, additional focus must be placed on vulnerable groups, including women, the youth, the disabled and indigenous and marginalized communities, to ensure that they are meaningfully included in the tourism economy.

In its latest Caribbean Quarterly bulletin, the Inter-American Development Bank stated that in 2020, nine of the twelve Caribbean countries it reviewed suffered double-digit shock to real gross domestic product from the pandemic and drew a correlation between these results and the Tourism Dependency Index. These nine countries are in the top 20 most tourism-dependent countries globally.

As we look towards the future, sustainable tourism used as a development tool, at the forefront of the region’s economic recovery, can help to strengthen other sectors against the effects of future shocks. Sustainable tourism is already recognised as a contributor directly or indirectly to most of the UN sustainable development goals, including gender equality, decent work and economic growth.

The CTO has recognised that to achieve these goals, it’s imperative that we forge alliances and partnerships with organisations and institutions that play a meaningful role in contributing to the social and economic development of the region. One such example is our collaboration with the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) which is funding community-based tourism pilot projects using the cluster approach in rural and indigenous areas in three Caribbean countries.

By providing opportunities such as these to vulnerable groups, we enhance the capacity of Caribbean people to play a leading role in their own development. We also demonstrate that in addition to being a primary economic revenue earner for the Caribbean, tourism can be inclusive and by extension promote growth in all of our communities.

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Tourism Trinidad Limited Announces CEO Appointment

Port of Spain, Trinidad – Wednesday September 22, 2021 – Tourism Trinidad Limited (TTL) is delighted to announce the appointment of Kurtis Rudd, a marketing veteran with over twenty-five (25) years of senior management experience, as its new Chief Executive Officer effective September 20, 2021.

Kurtis Rudd brings extensive marketing, strategic communication and management expertise that will assist Tourism Trinidad as we re-energise the island’s tourism economy through this most difficult period in history, unite the sector, and define a clear path for the safe restart of international travel.

With his lifelong passion for brand building and an unbridled love for country, Kurtis Rudd has consistently sought to be of service to the land of his birth. He has held several senior managerial positions with leading consumer corporations locally and in the Caribbean including Shell Caribbean, Prestige Holdings Limited, Courts Trinidad Limited and Guardian Life.

In accepting the appointment, Kurtis Rudd said “I am proud to join the diverse and talented Tourism Trinidad team charged with the responsibility of promoting the unique and extraordinary tourism assets of our island to the rest of the world. We are at a critical moment in the development of Trinidad’s tourism industry, and we need the strategic collaboration of the private and public sector to take advantage of the market opportunities ahead and move out of this pandemic. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the Board of Directors, led by Cliff Hamilton. We are fortunate to have someone of his calibre and global tourism experience to lead the organisation”.

Mr. Rudd concluded, “this is truly my dream job, and I am looking forward to working with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts and all stakeholders in shaping and driving the tourism sector’s agenda to achieve long term sustainability and inclusive growth”.

A graduate of Fatima College, Kurtis Rudd holds a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), General Management from Henley Management College, UK and is a senior lecturer at UWI-ROYTEC. Married for twenty-five (25) years, Kurtis Rudd has juggled a fast-paced business career with family life and is a firm believer in balancing one’s personal life with a professional career.

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St. Kitts a Finalist for Two 2021 OMMA Awards

St. Kitts (September 20, 2021) – Two marketing initiatives of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, the “Awake Your Sense of Wander” campaign and the “Retie the Knot” photo contest were recently announced as 2021 OMMA (Online Media, Marketing and Advertising) Award Finalists.

“I am extremely gratified to have our team efforts recognized by such a prestigious award series as the OMMA Awards,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “Covid-19 has presented a uniquely challenging environment for those of us in the Travel and Tourism industry. Our planning, and the choice of integrated marketing tools and tactics employed in 2021, allowed us to utilize more digital platforms and social media channels than ever before. I am very pleased with the results; the team and I look forward to promoting and marketing the destination for our upcoming winter and other promotions using these digital platforms and social media channels.”

The ‘Awake your Sense of Wander Campaign,’ launched at the peak of the Covid-19 lockdown when the island was closed, was tapped for Excellence in a Travel/Tourism Campaign category. With the campaign, St. Kitts sought to maintain brand awareness and keep its target audiences engaged and inspired about travelling. The multi-channel initiative was designed to encourage travelers to experience the island virtually and dream about a future visit. As restrictions began to ease in November 2020, the campaign leveraged the post-pandemic appeal of uncrowded destinations and island hotels offering immersive on-site experiences.

The “Retie the Knot” photo contest was recognized in the Excellence in Online Advertising category. To build awareness for and encourage participation in St. Kitts’ first-ever Group Vow Renewal, the Retie the Knot Photo Contest featured a Grand Prize trip to St. Kitts to participate in the November 2021 event. For a chance to win, couples were invited to submit their wedding photos and a story about why their photo should win. Finalists were encouraged to invite their friends to vote during a public voting period and were provided with branded social graphics to support their bid.

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Antigua and Barbuda Media Advisory

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has updated its travel advisory to ensure the continued safety of travelers and residents.

 EFFECTIVE 1ST OCTOBER 2021, changes to note:

All arriving passengers by air must have a negative COVID- I9 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test for SARS-CoV-2 using a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab taken within four (4) days of their flight. (This includes transiting passengers).  Children below the age of five (5) years entering Antigua and Barbuda, DO NOT REQUIRE a COVID -19 RT-PCR test.  Please note that rapid antigen tests and home tests are NOT accepted.

All arriving passengers including returning nationals and residents are required to have received at least one dose of a World Health Organization approved 2-dose COVID 19 vaccine or a single dose vaccine to be permitted entry into Antigua and Barbuda.  Children below the age of eighteen (18) years arriving at a port of entry are exempted from this requirement. 

Fully vaccinated passengers entering Antigua and Barbuda who can present verifiable documentation that they have received both doses of a World Health Organization (WHO) or the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment (MOHWE) approved 2-dose COVID 19 vaccine or one dose of a single dose COVD 19 vaccine and have a COVID-l9 RT-PCR negative test result will be allowed to stay at bio safe/certified accommodation. At least two WHO) or (2) weeks must have passed since the administration of the dosage.  Partially vaccinated visitors will be allowed to stay at Certified Accommodation/Lodging.

Visitors are required to observe all protocols during their stay and patronize only COVID-19 certified businesses such as restaurants and excursions for the duration of their trip.


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