In this edition we are pleased to announce the launch of the Community-Based Tourism (CBT) Toolkit by the CTO in partnership with Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) and the call for proposals for agro-tourism and community-based tourism initiatives. We also highlight two upcoming conferences and provide a three month drought bulletin and sargassum outlook newsletter developed by our partners.
Archive for 2018 News
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (4 Feb. 2019) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has reiterated its strong support for the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre which was officially launched in Jamaica last week.
In a brief message endorsing the project led by Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, the CTO Chairman Dominic Fedee stressed the challenges the Caribbean region faces in recovering from natural disasters and the lasting effects of such adversities. The resilience centre, he said, will play a hugely important role in helping the region to recover from such crises, and to thrive.
The centre, which is being housed at the University of the West Indies, Mona, is being designed to help vulnerable states across the world to recover quickly from natural disasters. It will specifically target destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that threaten economies and livelihoods globally, with real time data and effective communication.
In emphasizing the timeliness of the centre, the CTO chairman referred to a study by the World Bank which found that disasters impact gross domestic product in developing states at a rate 20 times higher than in industrialised nations, causing greater disruption and severe consequences for vulnerable members of society.
He said the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre would ensure that the region would continue to benefit from the economic, social, cultural, and historic value of tourism, which is its primary income earner.
“A lot has been said about the environmental challenges that hurricanes present but they are perhaps the single largest threats to our economies. The Caribbean Development Bank did a study years ago which showed that a large portion of the debt on the books of member countries is due to borrowing to rebuild infrastructure ravaged by storms and hurricanes.
“This has resulted in a high debt-to-GDP ratio in various member countries and consequently a serious constraint to growth. So our vulnerability to hurricanes and extreme weather conditions have a debilitating effect on natural disasters,” the CTO chairman stressed.
Key strategic marketing initiatives by BTB to promote the country as one of the world’s best tourism destinations, propelled by the addition of new international flights are among some of the salient factors that have made 2018 an outstanding and record breaking year for both overnight and cruise tourism arrivals to Belize.
The latest statistics reveal that 2018 not only registered a 14.6% growth in overnight tourist arrivals, but it was one of the largest increases in the last decade. In addition, cruise arrivals again surpassed the 1 million mark for the third consecutive year, representing a 19.1% increase over 2017.
A SUCCESSFUL YEAR FOR OVERNIGHT TOURISM
2018 was a very successful year for overnight tourism in Belize. There was a 14.6% increase in overnight arrivals in 2018, which translates to an increase of over 62,000 overnight visitors. The total overnight arrivals to Belize is now only about 10,000 short of reaching half million visitors for the year. In addition to this significant increase of 14.6%, the past three years have been all double digit increases. Furthermore, in the last 10 years, overnight arrivals have more than doubled in growth from 232,249 in 2009 to 489,261 in 2018.
Delray Beach, FLA. – January 11, 2019 (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) The Shaken Not Stirred – Fashion for a Cause Charity Event will be produced by Jule Guaglardi, Delray Beach Fashion Week’s Co-Chair and Co-Founder, designer of Roxylulu, and partner of Zelman Style Interiors. The luxurious event, co-produced by The Victoria Desilvio Group, will take place during Delray Beach’s Fashion Week, featuring Paris’ hottest new resort wear designer, Trisha Paterson, adorned with dripping diamonds by Aurifame Jewelry, accompanied by the outstanding vocals of international soul artist, April Raquel. The evening will also host luxury fashion pop up boutiques, impressive travel-related raffle prizes, and Shaken Not Stirred Martinis by Belvedere Vodka.
The Caring House Project and the Caribbean Tourism Organization Foundation are two charities close to Guaglardi’s heart. Having dedicated over 22 years committed to improving the quality of life in the Caribbean through increased tourism traffic and awareness, Guaglardi’s inaugural fashion show seeks to raise funds for these two heart-warming charities. The Caring House Project, founded 15 years ago by Frank Mckinney, raises funds to build sustainable villages in Haiti. Each village includes 40 homes, a medical clinic and a community school. It takes $250,000.00 to build each village and an impressive 27 are up and running to-date. The Caribbean Tourism Organization Foundation is to raise scholarship and grant funding for Caribbean students who show academic excellence but require financial assistance to further their education.
The event will take place at IL BACIO, Delray Beach on January 24, 2019 at 7:30PM. Runway Seats are priced at $35 and include a runway-side seat, a VIP Goodie Bag, live entertainment, shopping opportunities, and 2 complimentary cocktails. General Admission tickets are priced at $25 and include the runway show, live entertainment, shopping opportunities, and two complimentary cocktails. 100% of proceeds will go directly towards The Caring House Project and the Caribbean Tourism Foundation.
Platinum Sponsors for the event include those who collectively define luxury living, ZLMN • Zelman Style Interiors and The Presson Group. Gold Sponsors include Aurifame Jewelry, Victoria Desilvio Group, Prime / Il Bacio, Belvedere Vodka, VUP Media, and OrmondeProductions. Silver Sponsors include Luxuria Mobile Boutique, Peace Love Med Spa, Salon Copage, Neigal Center for Cosmetic and Laser Surgery, Tammy Benz Salon and The Trisha Patterson Collection.
To purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/shaken-not-stirred-fashion-for-a-cause-fashion-show-tickets-53798638175?ref=eios&aff=eios.
About The Caring House Project
The Caring House Project started domestically in 1998 by purchasing rundown single-family homes, refurbishing them, then renting to elderly homeless people for $1 per month. Since then, the project has earned its non-profit status and expanded to Nicaragua, Haiti, Brazil Honduras, and Africa. They are as committed as ever to their domestic efforts, as they continue into 2019.
About the Caribbean Tourism Organization Scholarship Fund
The main aim of the CTO Foundation is to provide opportunities for Caribbean nationals to pursue studies in the areas of tourism, hospitality and language training. The Foundation selects individuals who demonstrate high levels of achievement and leadership both within and outside the classroom and who express a strong interest in making a positive contribution to Caribbean tourism.
The Discover Dominica Authority is pleased to inform of the end of year gifts that the local Industry has received. Over the past few weeks, various stakeholders and destination Dominica have received good news.
Since reopening November 1, 2018, Secret Bay, an exclusive and intimate eco-luxury boutique resort and the island’s only 5-star hotel, received two coveted awards: The resort was named one of Conde Nast Traveler’s 2018 Reader’s Choice Awards: “Best Resorts in the Caribbean.” This accolade is determined by the public and this year’s list generated 429,000 responses that helped land Secret Bay fourth out of 50 Caribbean resorts. Additionally, Secret Bay was named one of 10 Caribbean properties that made Fodor’s prestigious list of “100 Most Incredible Hotels in the World.” Over the years, Secret Bay has received numerous accolades.
Secret Bay features a limited collection of six freestanding, secluded and sustainably-crafted villas with their own individual plunge pools that are immersed in nature and positioned on a breathtaking clifftop overlooking the azure Caribbean Sea. Offering a wealth of transformational experiences, fine dining, wellness facilities, architectural residential-style villas and night and day access to remote beaches, Secret Bay provides guests with the ultimate five-star hideaway experience. Secret Bay is located at Ti Baie in the north of Dominica and can be reached at [email protected] and online at https://secretbay.dm.
These two accomplishments come soon after our very own Tamarind Tree Hotel was nominated for and awarded with the British Guild of Travel Writers BGTW Annual Tourism Award for Best Tourism Project in the Wider World Category for their project “Clearance and Restoration of Segment 11 of the Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT) in Dominica.” The Tamarind Tree Hotel is a 21 room property which overlooks the Caribbean Sea atop a 100 ft cliff. The property is ideally located between two beaches and with easy access to hiking trails. For more information about the hotel’s trail restoration project contact the Tamarind Tree Hotel at [email protected] or at https://www.tamarindtreedominica.com/.
From December 17th through to December 28th, Dominica welcomed nineteen (19) different cruise ships to our shores, totaling 37,579 cruise passengers. On Monday December 17th, Dominica welcomed three (3) ships for the first time this season as Dominica was visited by the MV Koningsdam, MV Celebrity Silhouette and the SY Royal Clipper. During that period the destination also hosted two ships in port on five different occasions.
Dominica once again benefited from the FCCA Foundation Holiday Gift Project. Crew members of MV Celebrity Silhouette—along with West Dominica Children’s Federation, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Discover Dominica Authority (DDA)—brought holiday cheer and gifts to 200 Dominican children.
For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.
About Dominica: Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a haven for adventure travelers seeking a unique vacation that includes: hiking and adventure, cultural events/festivals, diving and water sports, whale/dolphin watching and canyoning adventures. Dominica lies south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean. Air travelers can connect to Dominica on Air Antilles, Air Sunshine, Coastal Air Transport, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, or WINAIR from the surrounding hubs of Antigua, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. If travelling by sea, travelers can connect to Dominica on L’Express Des Iles ferry service from Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia and on Valferry from Guadeloupe and Martinique.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (28 December, 2018) – As the Caribbean tourism sector prepares to welcome the New Year, we look forward to 2019 with a sense of optimism, excitement and much hope. We are optimistic because we are seeing signs that the lows which Mother Nature imposed upon us during the latter part of 2017 into 2018 are being reversed. We are excited about our prospects because of the incredible turnaround that we are seeing in the most impacted destinations. And we hopeful that the progress of our member countries and supporters can continue unabated, to maintain the momentum they developed since the storms of 2017 when everyone rolled up their sleeves and got down to work to build an improved and more sustainable product.
We are pleased to report that tourism accommodations are being rebuilt and reopened, airports are receiving their full schedule of flights with the return of airlines in full force and the diverse product offerings within our destinations are being restored.
At the same time, increases in the number of available seats, positive messaging and promotions in the marketplace have enabled the unaffected destinations to register continuous growth. The demand among international visitors is strong and Caribbean nationals have continued their quest to explore and enjoy the pleasures of their neighbouring destinations.
Regarding the cruise sector, most ports have been repaired and cruise calls have already returned to normal levels. Indeed, regional cruise visits grew in each month since May, with the region registering growth of 13.7 per cent during the May to September period and 17.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2018.
In October, the region launched a digital awareness campaign “The Rhythm Never Stops” on social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, coinciding with augmented airlift for the 2018/19 tourist winter season. Travel professionals and their clients received the message that the Caribbean is a resilient region with an unstoppable resolve to succeed and to keep on moving in the right direction.
For 2019, the outlook is bright for our destinations. We’re quite excited about declaring 2019 as the “Year of Festivals” in the Caribbean. Simply stated, there’s a rhythm to the region that cannot be replicated anywhere on earth. There’s no escaping the melody of nature, as gentle breezes and free-flowing fronds combine beautifully in perfect harmony; no getting away from the heavenly choruses of tides caressing magnificent world class beaches; no missing the cadence of our conversation, the tempo of our movement.
The Caribbean is a festival of rhythms and a home of festivals – music, art, literary, sailing, lights, food, rum, religious, dance – all with their own attractive rhythms.
The Year of Festivals will focus on the fascinating events that have become an integral part of the Caribbean tourism calendar. Festivals help to energize communities across the region, while giving visitors more reasons to enjoy our destinations.
Despite all there is to celebrate in 2019, we must also approach the New Year with a degree of caution since there’s still much work to be done. While preliminary data from our member countries revealed increased demand for travel to the vast majority of the 24 reporting countries, and despite a 9.1 per cent increase in arrivals in September 2018 when compared to the same month in 2017, overall our performance was still down in 2018. A third quarter decline of 3.2 per cent made this our best quarter, and the rate of tourist arrivals is now expected to slow to -1.0 per cent to -2.0 per cent – a definite sign that the tide is turning. Cruise passenger arrivals are projected to grow at an accelerated rate of around 6 per cent to 7 per cent.
Without doubt, our region is in a stronger position than it was a year ago. We are encouraged by the prospect of even greater collaboration with our partners in the industry, including the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, and a range of travel professionals and industry partners who consistently offer Caribbean holiday experiences to their best clients. Our confidence is buoyed by the progress our region is making to combine its resources to bolster our competitive position internationally. The evidence is clear that a strong, unified Caribbean gives the region a global advantage which individual member-countries on their own have little chance of attaining. The success of our countries rests upon our ability to speak as a region with one strong voice.
On behalf of the CTO Council of ministers and commissioners of tourism, the board of directors, members and staff of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, I thank you for all your commitment, hard work and support in 2018, and wish you a New Year of rich blessings and prosperity.