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Archive for 2017 News

CTO S.G. Urges Support of Tourism for Caribbean Recovery at UNWTO Confab on Jobs, Growth

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (18 Dec, 2017) – Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, urged building upon the resilience of tourism and supporting Caribbean tourism to prepare, manage and recover from crises, to more than 1,500 participants at the Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism, held recently in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Mr. Riley called for exploring potential strategies for the tourism sector to plan for future preparation, management and recovery, specifically after the category five hurricanes that impacted a handful of member counties. He advised participants of the scope, size and resilience of the tourism sector and of the CTO, and highlighted CTO’s focus on sustainability and the depth and breadth of the relationships CTO has created, as well as the resources the organization makes available for CTO member countries.

The secretary general also urged establishing energy policies and observing protocols that improve the region’s climate resilience, effective disaster risk management and reduction, enforcing and maintaining proper building codes.

“It was truly an honour to present at this conference where the goal was centered on a new, collaborative framework for tourism, moving towards the 2030 agenda for sustainable development,” he said.

Addressing the topic of resilience, Mr. Riley shared the six areas of focus that the CTO considers essential to building support for Caribbean tourism: sustainable development, resource mobilization, brand leadership, research and market development, human capital development and advocacy.

“Resource mobilization should utilize available resources to sustain, develop, improve and rebuild,” he told the audience. “Rapid recovery of tourism is needed for debt reduction, employment and poverty alleviation, and to most especially to generate foreign exchange.”

Brand leadership should reinforce the value and attributes of the Caribbean brand, Mr. Riley noted. “We need to educate the public and the travel industry on the geography of the Caribbean,” he said, adding: “Every one per cent decline in arrivals could mean a significant loss of revenue.”

Regarding human capital development, the secretary general wants to train, re-train, certify and equip. But he was quick to add: “Being good hosts is not just the responsibility of a select few. As long as the region continues to boast that its people are its most sought after tourism asset, every citizen has a role.”

In closing, Mr. Riley urged the region to enlist champions among celebrities as well as public and private sector leaders. “Effective advocacy speaks powerfully to the issues that facilitate the development of travel and tourism globally,” he added.

In addition to his presentation, Mr. Riley moderated the “Caribbean Tourism within the Context of the Americas” session.

Organised by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Government of Jamaica, the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank, the global conference brought together world leaders from governments, the tourism industry, donors, and international development and finance organizations, to design and coordinate an international road map and foster collaborative relationships for inclusive economic and social development of tourism.

An official event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, the event gathered more than 1,500 participants and over 150 speakers to help identify successful models and initiatives of public-private partnerships that will contribute to sustainable tourism development globally. In order to achieve results, the conference yielded practical plans to guide future development initiatives including specific development protocols and opportunities related to the achievement of global partnerships for sustainable development.

For more information about the UNWTO Global Conference on Building Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism for Development, visit http://know.unwto.org/event/unwto-global-conference-building-partnerships-sustainable-tourism-development.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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UBERSOCA Cruise Patrons Win Luxury Caribbean Vacations at CTO Destination Showcase OnBoard

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) partnered with Ubersoca Cruise (USC), the largest Caribbean soca music and carnival festival at sea, which sailed from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico, November 16 – 20, 2017. CTO hosted a Destination Showcase onboard Ubersoca Cruise 2017, which included a presentation on Caribbean destinations and ongoing CTO initiatives, highlighting the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund and the CTO Scholarship Foundation; initiatives which generate funding to provide financial assistance to support member countries post disaster, and nationals to pursue studies in tourism, hospitality and related fields.

A highlight of the onboard activity was the exciting ‘I Am Caribbean’ Trivia competition which featured questions on the culture, geography and history of the region. A packed auditorium of over 200 patrons participated in the event vying for a chance to win one of the luxury Caribbean vacations on offer.

The CTO is pleased to announce the winners of the Trivia Competition as follows:

Name                          Nationality                 Prize

Valery Lionel        British Virgin Islands        Valentines Residences Resort and Marina, The Bahamas

Jawaan Riley          British Virgin Islands       Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, The Bahamas

Delora Samuel       Dominica                          Kittitian Hill, St. Kitts

Meleke Turnbull    US Virgin Islands                San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Belize

Jason Seignoret      Dominica                            Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort and Spa, Martinique

Kamona Ayres        Trinidad and Tobago        True Blue Bay Boutique Resort, Grenada

The CTO was pleased to partner with Clarke’s Court Rum of Grenada Distillers Limited, Grenada, producers of award-winning rums and spirits, who provided free product samples and rum tastings during the event. Clarke’s Court Rum Distillery in operation since 1937, is the island’s best-known and largest distillery and is an iconic historical site, offering rum making and factory tours and tastings.

Special thanks are extended to all participating resort properties for providing complimentary 3 nights’ accommodation for two, for the trivia competition winners. Special thanks are also owned to our tourism partners in the respective destinations: The Ministries of Tourism, National Tourist Boards and Hotel and Tourism Associations of Belize, The Bahamas, Martinique, Grenada and St Kitts for assisting us in facilitating outreach to the respective resort properties in their destinations.

Ubersoca cruise is the first and only full cruise ship charter dedicated exclusively to Caribbean Soca music and culture, which brings together Caribbean nationals with members of the Diaspora and friends of the region from across the globe. In addition to multiple live concerts and themed events, Ubersoca cruise offers a myriad of other exciting activities onboard, which make it an ‘experience beyond the music’. To learn more about Ubersoca Cruise and partner for the 2018 sailing, please email [email protected] or visit www.ubersocacruise.com.

Feel free to book your next Caribbean adventure with our partnered hotels:

Valentines Residences Resort and Marina, The Bahamas – https://www.valentinesresort.com/

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, The Bahamas – https://bahamar.grand.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

Kittitian Hill, St Kitts – http://www.kittitianhill.com/

San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Belize – https://www.sanignaciobelize.com/

True Blue Bay Boutique Resort, Grenada – https://truebluebay.com/

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Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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BBC Presenter Encourages Broadcasters To Help People Understand Climate Change

Basseterre, St Kitts, 13 December, 2017 – The keynote speaker at the Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum (CSSTF) being held in St. Kitts and Nevis, encouraged participants to think about people and how their decisions as potential and actual travellers were influenced by media reports. Gregory McKenzie, television presenter and reporter with the BBC, was the opening speaker for the CSSTF on Wednesday, December 12, which is being held at the Ocean Terrace Inn.

He explained that viewers may not want to know about climate change because they might not find it interesting or easy to understand.

“Our role as broadcasters is to…help people understand that it’s real, it’s happening,” he said. “…It’s about how we can tap into that and show people around the world on our shows that…it’s an issue. People’s lives are a at risk and many have died.”

However, he noted that while media practitioners should aim to educate their audiences about climate change, they also needed to accurately describe climate change-related events and the areas in which they occurred. For example, the coverage on the destruction in the region caused by the passage of two major hurricanes recently might have led some persons to believe that the entire region suffered severe damage.

“The global picture is [that] the Caribbean [is] one, and people forget there’s different islands,” the broadcast journalist said. “So, a part of my role is to show people the Caribbean is open for business.”

Having spent more than 15 years working for the BBC, Gregory McKenzie said he considered his role with the entity and thought about how he could encourage editors there to think about climate change in a different way. For the past four years, McKenzie has been directing, producing and reporting content for the BBC’s flagship Travel Show which is broadcast to more than 300 million viewers a week.  In doing so he has travelled to more than 30 destinations across the world.

Where the tourism industry was concerned, McKenzie explained that as more territories developed their tourism industry, it would produce significant impacts on their natural resources, consumption patterns, pollution and social systems. Because of this, he said that sustainable and responsible planning and management was imperative for the industry to survive.

“Now we already know that global tourism is reaching unprecedented levels. The demand is huge, and, for the first time in our history, the number of tourists crossing international borders in a single year has reached over the one billion mark, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation;” he said.

“The role of the consumer in all of this really shouldn’t be overlooked.”

Consumers, he added, needed to be engaged and stakeholders needed to find ways to prompt them to think in a sustainable way.

“When you’re on holiday, probably the last thing a tourist is thinking about [is] ‘where do I put the plastic?’ or ‘what do I do with that?’, but we can change that in terms of the mindset of tourists and show them different initiatives,” he explained.

“A balance has to be found between limits and usage so that [we] continuously change monitoring and planning [to] ensure that tourism can be managed, and this requires long term thinking and realizing that change is often gradual and often irreversible for economic, social and environmental aspects. Sustaining development must include the interests of all stakeholders, including indigenous people, local communities, visitors, industries and of course more importantly, government.”

The 12-13 December forum, jointly organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the St. Kitts and Nevis Ministry of Tourism, is the region’s bespoke event in observance of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.  The conference theme is “Good for Use, Better for All”.

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Climate Change, Climate Smart Forum, Corporate News

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St. Kitts is a Destination on the Move

Basseterre, St. Kitts (November 21, 2017) – St. Kitts had a record-setting day this past Friday, November 17, with the Grand Opening of the new Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour, the Caribbean’s first Park Hyatt featuring the first Miraval Life in Balance Spa in the Caribbean, while also welcoming a record-setting total of seven cruise ships in one day.

“This is truly an historical day for the island and a testament to our growing tourism industry,” said Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant. “Never in one day have we had a Grand Opening of this significance marking a regional debut of one of the world’s leading luxury hotel brands while also hosting this many cruise ships at a time. St. Kitts is clearly a destination on the move.”

The official Grand Opening of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour took place Friday morning, following the property’s soft opening on November 1. Spanning the secluded beach of Banana Bay at the foot of the island’s lush rolling hills, the 126-room resort introduces the Park Hyatt experience to the Caribbean. It is home to three signature restaurants, two pools, a destination resort spa and wellness sanctuary, and indoor and outdoor event spaces.

Setting another record for the cruise sector, St. Kitts welcomed a total of seven vessels on Friday, as follows: Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas; the Thomson Celebration, Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf; the Crystal Esprit; the Celebrity Summit; the Sabourn Odyssey; and the TUI Discovery. Cruise ship passengers were able to enjoy all of the island’s many attractions and activities, from shopping in the many retail outlets in Port Zante and Basseterre to going ziplining or hiking, or simply “liming” (a local term for simply hanging out and relaxing) on one of St. Kitts’ sandy beaches.

For more information about Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour or to make reservations, visit https://stkitts.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html, or visit www.ChristopheHarbour.com for more information about Christophe Harbour.

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 or ziplining 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: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO Investment Guide Distributed in Toronto and at Caribbean Business Events

TORONTO, Canada , 21 November, 2017 – The Caribbean Tourism and Hospitality Investment Guide, a bi-annual publication of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), was distributed during Caribbean Week in Toronto to Canadian entrepreneurs, business organizations and Diaspora leaders.

Caribbean Week activities in Toronto and Montreal run from November 10-17.

The Investment Guide showcases a wide range of investment opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector in CTO member states and lists incentives that Caribbean Governments are offering to attract new business.

The publication was distributed at the recent Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit (CHICOS) in Bermuda and is available to delegates at this week’s Miami Conference on the Caribbean organized by Caribbean Central American Action (CCAA).

Tourism Ministers from across the region and selected companies and business organizations received copies of the publication during Caribbean Week events in New York.

The publication includes information on the performance of the region’s tourism industry with highlights from the CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley and Acting Director of Research Ryan Skeete. It also provides an outlook for the region’s hotel sector.

The Investment Guide highlights new investments in the region’s tourism and hospitality sector including properties in The Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Cayman Islands.
“The Caribbean has a strong competitive advantage due to our natural and physical resources, and is ripe for new hotel and tourism infrastructure projects. There are opportunities for investments in airports, seaports and shopping centres, as well as unique tourism products such as outfitting heritage sites with modern technology and clean energy sources,” CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley said.

The Investment Guide is produced by Marketing, Communications and Investment Promotion Specialist, Sandra Ann Baptiste, who heads Florida-based Carigold Signature.

“CTO member countries are also seeking investment to expand the medical tourism and health and wellness sectors. There are investment opportunities for new restaurants and cafes, sports tourism facilities and new convention centers, yachting and marine services, new attractions, river and land transportation services, and to develop the creative industries,” Baptiste said in the editorial.

The Investment Guide is one of the projects of the New York-based CTO USA Inc. office headed by Sylma Brown Bramble.

The publication will be available on www.onecaribbean.org for a minimal fee.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Corporate News

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St. Kitts Scores with 2nd Annual Couples Golf Classic Event Includes a Special Celebrity Guest and Showcases the Destination to a Key Target Market

Basseterre, St. Kitts (November 20, 2017) – St. Kitts hit a “hole in one” with its 2nd Annual St. Kitts & Nevis Couples Golf Classic, which featured play on both islands of the Federation from November 7 – 11, 2017. In addition to drawing participating golfers from across the US, this year’s event featured special celebrity guest Bret Saberhagen, a former Major League Baseball pitcher, two-time Cy Young Award winner and avid golfer as well as special guest Risa Feldman, writer for Aspen Luxury Life magazine and a travel and food blogger.

“Our Couples Golf Classic has only increased in prestige and appeal from its inaugural year, attracting golfers from California to New Jersey and a first-time celebrity participant,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “I am extremely pleased with the success of this event, as it helps us grow awareness for the destination among the lucrative niche golf travel market.”

One of St. Kitts’ signature golf events, the Couples Golf Classic showcases the destination’s world-class golf courses, accommodations, attractions and scenic natural beauty. Golfers played rounds one and three of the 54-hole mixed team tournament the signature Robert Trent Jones II course at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis. Round two was played on the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club designed by Canadian course architect Thomas McBroom.

This year’s winning team was Penny and Gordon Jumonville from Fort Worth, Texas. The husband and wife duo were wire-to-wire winners, jumping out to an early lead after Round One’s Shamble Format with a NET Best Ball score of 55.  Their 54-hole total of 124 bested the closest runner up by just 4 shots.  In second place was the pair of Kay Bailey and John Heyer from Long Beach California.  They made a strong final round charge in Round Three’s NET Best Ball format, making up 7 shots on the field to capture second place. Patti and Jeff Kindl from New Orleans, Louisiana, took home the third place title. They played their last three holes of the tournament in four-under-par (NET) to capture third by a shot.

Bret Saberhagen said, “The courses were a lot of fun and presented a good challenge for golfers of all skill levels. Everyone enjoyed one another’s company. It was great to be part of the event.” Other participants gave the event similar glowing reviews, with Patti Kindl saying, “It was the best golf trip ever!” and Bruce Hogg, who competed alongside his wife Carla, stating unequivocally, “It was a well-run event. Everything was coordinated and done just right. We’ll be back.”

In addition to golf, the group enjoyed opening and closing cocktail receptions, having the local experience of an evening dining out on fresh lobster and other West Indian food at Sunshine’s, basking in the warm Caribbean sunshine and receiving warm welcomes throughout the five-day event. All participants stayed at the event’s official host hotel, the Four Seasons Resort Nevis. To promote event entries, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and the Four Seasons Resort Nevis partnered with ClubCorp’s Private Clubs magazine and the New Jersey State Golf Association. Attendees were able to choose from a 4 and 7 night bed and breakfast or all-inclusive packages for one or two persons, all specially priced just for the event.

The Royal St. Kitts Golf Club is an 18-hole course featuring holes on both the Caribbean and Atlantic which is managed by Marriott Golf. It has been voted as one of the Caribbean’s top golf courses in USA Today’s annual 10Best Reader’s Choice Best of the Caribbean awards. The Four Seasons Resort Nevis Golf Club is a par 71, 18-hole course that overlooks the Caribbean Sea and offers spectacular views of St. Kitts as well as a beach-side finishing hole. Both courses are considered to be two of the Caribbean’s most scenic and challenging championship courses.

The 3rd Annual St. Kitts & Nevis Couples Golf Place will take place in November 2018. To learn more about the event as well as golf in St. Kitts and Nevis, visit http://www.stkittstourism.kn/

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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