Archive for 2018 News

New Directions for Caribbean Tourism at SOTIC 2018

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (25 July 2018) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is examining new strategies to stimulate growth in the region’s tourism industry at this year’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) themed Rejuvenate, Recreate, Reconnect – New Directions for Caribbean Tourism.

Scheduled 2-5 Oct. 2018 at Atlantis, Paradise Island in The Bahamas, SOTIC 2018 will consider ways to build a tourism industry that is resilient and able to adapt to changing trends, demands and situations.

“Globally, the tourism industry is constantly evolving. At the Caribbean Tourism Organization, we must be in the forefront of anticipating and managing the changes that affect our region – extreme climate phenomena, political and economic realities at home and abroad, and the rapid rise in technological developments,” said Hugh Riley, secretary general and CEO of CTO.

“In order to continue to grow our tourism in a way that is sustainable and beneficial to our communities, we must be open to new thinking, which often means breaking out of traditional comfort zones. SOTIC 2018 is intended to inspire action to develop innovative concepts, tools and models, and implement strategies that recognise the changing demands of international travellers. Exceeding the expectations of increasingly knowledgeable consumers is a challenge the Caribbean must always be prepared to meet,” Riley added.

The SOTIC theme ties in CTO’s declaration of 2018 as the “Caribbean Year of Rejuvenation and Wellness,” with multifaceted themes for each of the three conference days:

  • Day one is centered on “Recreate” with discussions focused on innovation, business development and building better, not just the physical infrastructure, but an entire immersive experience that is driven by technology.
  • The second day will delve into “Rejuvenation,” featuring a blend of creative ideas and cutting edge thinking on what can be done to add vitality, energy and freshness into the Caribbean tourism product. Discussions will also focus on efforts by regional carriers to make travelling through the region less challenging and enhance the visitor experience.
  • Emphasis on day three will be on “Reconnecting,” where participants will explore ways to distinguish the Caribbean tourism product by incorporating the region’s unique cultural hybridism and endemic wellness customs into programmes.

Throughout the three-day event, delegates will address visitors’ desire for new experiences, while being conscious of the impact they have on the communities they visit.

Caribbean tourism practitioners, policymakers, travel professionals and strategic partners from the public and private sectors throughout the region and internationally participate each year in SOTIC.

SOTIC is being organised by the CTO in collaboration with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. The conference will be preceded by business meetings on 1 – 2 Oct. 2018.

Sponsorship opportunities and details are available from CTO USA 212-635-9530 or via http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/sponsor.

For further details on the conference, including how to register, please visit http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, SOTIC

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CTO Honours Top Travel Journalists and Influencers at Expanded Media Awards Ceremony During Caribbean Week New York

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (9 May, 2018) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced the finalists for the Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards, an expanded media awards programme which will, for the first time, feature categories for social media influencers and campaigns in recognition of the changing media landscape and increasing relevance of non-traditional media. The winners will be unveiled at an elegant dinner ceremony at the New Yorker Hotel on 7 June during #CaribbeanWeekNewYork2018.

A distinguished panel of media and industry judges were enthusiastic about the quality of work represented at this year’s event. In particular, the expanded programme attracted a significantly greater number of entries for the No Anansi Story! and Me Too! I Rediscovered Home! categories which honour Caribbean-based and Diaspora media, respectively. The number of submissions for the newly introduced social media categories also surpassed expectations. The judges panel indicated that the prestigeous competition attracts a higher calibre of submissions each year.

A contest in which readers can select the winner for the Oh My Word, I Blogged! Best Caribbean Travel Blog Posting will continue to allow voting through 18 May, 2018.

For the remaining categories, the following finalists have been selected:

I Couldn’t Have Written It Better Myself: Best Feature Article in a U.S.-based Consumer Newspaper

  • Melanie Reffes: “Cost No Object: Caribbean Vacations for the One Percent” – USA Today
  • Jessie Serwer: “Grenada’s Grand Anse May Be the Most Authentic Caribbean Beach” – New York Daily News
  • Mark Rogers: “Graze the Grenada Spice Market” – USA Today

Been There, Wrote That: Best Feature Article in a U.S.-based Consumer Magazine

  • Charlotte Peterson: “Spring Regatta Spices Things Up” – Sailing Magazine
  • Ryan Grim: “What Mangoes Mean to the island of Nevis” – Extra Crispy
  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates: “Home for a Hamilton: Don’t Throw Away Your Shot at Visiting Nevis” – USA Today Go Escape

Inner Circle King/Queen: Best Feature Article in a U.S.-based Trade Publication

  • Ed Wetschler: “8 Resorts Whose Kids Programs Teach Real Skills” – Recommend
  • Dan Peltier: “Cayman Islands Tests U.S. Meal-Kit Service to Boost its Food Tourism Marketing” – Skift
  • Mark A. Thompson: “Stopping to Smell the Flowers at Martinique’s French Coco” – Travel Weekly

Oh Snap! Best Photograph in Conjunction with a Feature Article

  • Patrick Dykstra: photo of sperm whale of Dominica accompanying “What’s New in the Caribbean” by Elaine Glusac – The New York Times
  • Alex Mustard: photo of schools of silversides accompanying “Keepin’ It Easy: 60 Years on, Grand Cayman Dives are as Spectacular as Ever” by Ted Alan Stedman – Scuba Diving Magazine
  • IKenna Douglas: photo for “Photography Takes Centre Stage” – Panache

Golden Mic: Best Feature Broadcast

  • Harold Jessurun: “No Small Feat: Displaced Children of Barbuda” – Isla y Vuelta
  • Nneka Faison: “Take a Trip to Curacao” – WCVB/WABC Boston
  • Darley Newman: “Travels with Darley in Martinique” – Travels with Darley

Virtual Visitor Award: Best Feature in an Online Publication (not including blogs)

  • Alexander Britell: “Following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Bimini” – Caribbean Journal
  • Alexander Britell: “Grenada, the Caribbean Capital of Chocolate” – Caribbean Journal
  • Lebawit (Lily) Girma: “13 Fun Things to Do in Curacao Right Now” – CNN Travel

Up the Social Ladder: Best Social Media Marketing Campaign by a CTO Member Country

  • Saint Lucia – “Let her Inspire You”
  • Grenada – “Free to Wander”
  • Bahamas – “No Filter”

Look, I’ve Gone Social: Most Outstanding Social Media Coverage of an Event or Activity (by a journalist or influencer)

  • Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon and Brian Major: “Get to Know Grenada” – JetSetSarah
  • Krista Simmons: “Experiential Offerings in Grenada” – Tastemade Travel
  • Yashekia Powell: “Full Travellers Guide to Jamaica Food & Drink Festival” – The World Up Closer

Me Too! I Rediscovered Home! Best Feature by a Diasporan Journalist in U.S. or Caribbean Media

  • Dora Isaac Weithers: “St. Kitts: The Little Caribbean Island with Large Tourist Appeal” – HubPages.com
  • Kristin Braswell: “Empathy Not Embargoes: The Hypocrisy of the U.S. Cutting Ties with Cuba” – Essence
  • Danielle Pointdujour: “4 Reasons to Fall in Love with this Classic Bahamas Resort All Over Again” – Essence.com

No Anansi Story! Best Feature by a Caribbean-based Journalist (that appeared in Caribbean-based media)

  • Marie-Claire Williams: “Pilgrimage to the Home of Reggae” – Barbados TODAY
  • Catherine Morris: “Families Flock Pirates Cove: Freeport Welcomes First Bahamian Theme Park” – Welcome Bahamas
  • Kinisha Correia: “More than Just Beads: Story and Myth” – Panache

CTO assembled a panel of expert media and travel industry judges to review submissions and determine the award-winners, led by head judge Yuriy Boykiv, CEO at Gravity Media, LLC:

  • Yuriy Boykiv, CEO at Gravity Media, LLC, was responsible for the entire spectrum of global markets in his previous role driving the growth and business of the for the WorldDirect platform as Director of International Business at DIRECTV
  • Tiffany Dowd, Founder and President, Luxe Social Media, advises luxury travel brands on social media marketing and online strategy and was recognized among the “25 Best Luxury Digital Experts To Follow”
  • Tony Fraser, veteran journalist with over 40 years of experience, a graduate in journalism, history, sociology, politics and economics, and international affairs, and part-time lecturer in journalism at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine campus
  • Terry Gallagher, President, Lou Hammond Group, New York, and destination marketing leader with over 30 years’ experience planned and implemented strategic campaigns in the travel industry that resulted in award-winning placements
  • Mark Edward Harris, award-winning travel/documentary photographer whose work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Forbes Life, Islands, National Geographic Traveler, Playboy, Marie Claire, The New York Times and Vanity Fair
  • Andrea Hutchinson, a dynamic public relations expert and freelance events director with a degree in journalism and public relations, and experience in sponsor relations, marketing, logistics and creating strategic alliances on behalf of global brands
  • Josh Kahn, a well-respected tourism industry consultant and public relations specialist at award-winning boutique agency KTCpr as well as Immediate Past Chairman for the prestigious New York Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
  • Norie Quintos, award-winning journalist and Editor at Large for National Geographic Travel Media helping destinations and travel companies find and tell their stories as a consultant on communications strategy, media relations, custom content and messaging
  • Ruthanne Terrero, Vice President – Content/Editorial Director at Questex Travel Group, which includes Travel Agent Magazine, Luxury Travel Advisor, American Spa and Hotel Management, among other well-respected titles

Winners will be announced during #CaribbeanWeekNewYork2018 at an elegant awards ceremony and dinner gala on Thursday, 7 June, 2018. Tickets are available for $250 per person or $2,250 for a table seating 10 persons.

Learn more about the awards programme at https://www.onecaribbean.org/caribbean-media-awards-2018/ or visit www.CaribbeanWeek.com to browse events and activities planned throughout #CaribbeanWeekNewYork2018.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Corporate News

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CTO Mitigates Climate Impact With Launch Of “Regional Tourism Education And Awareness Campaign”

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (1 May, 2018) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will officially launch a Regional Tourism Education and Awareness Campaign on 1 May to foster a discussion on climate resilience and sustainability on both the regional and international stage. The initiative is dedicated to the memory of CTO colleague Bonita Morgan, a beloved regional champion of Tourism Education and Human Resource Development prior to her untimely passing.

“The Caribbean tourism product is to a large extent based on the natural environment, and as such CTO and our member countries are committed to safeguarding these resources on which our very lives and livelihoods depend,” said Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the CTO. “Having recently celebrated Earth Day, we are reminded to respect and protect the fragile planetary resources that are critical to maintaining the integrity and economic stability of our countries. Through the Education and Awareness campaign, it is our intention to inspire and empower the regional tourism stakeholders to concerted action,” he added.

The campaign will run for seven months through November 2018 as part of a series of activities delivered in support of the Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry (CSSCTI) Project made possible by funding from the Caribbean Development Bank via the African Caribbean Pacific, European Union, Caribbean Development Bank Natural Disaster Risk Management (ACP-EU-CDB NDRM) in CARIFORUM Countries Programme.

It will be delivered via CTO’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn social media pages, as well as through the Barbados-based CaribVision Television and the http://ourtourism.onecaribbean.org campaign hub. Tourism stakeholders, media and friends of the region are encouraged to share the campaign via the hashtag #TEAC2018. Photo submissions and short videos of Caribbean tourists and tourism ambassadors for inclusion in the campaign are also welcome.

Materials submitted by CTO-member destinations will be utilized during the campaign for monthly features delving into key themes in sustainable tourism development, including:

  • The work and role of the CTO in tourism sustainability
  • Participating in ‘Sustainable Action Challenges’
  • Fun facts about Caribbean tourism and CTO-member destinations
  • Climate resilience and disaster management in tourism
  • Key players in Caribbean tourism development
  • Sharing in the stories of Caribbean people

“Our efforts will continue to focus on advocacy to mitigate negative impacts on our communities and the environment, including to reduce the overall environmental footprint,” Riley noted. “In this regard, we add our voice to the global appeal as we join the international community in supporting the campaign to End Plastic Pollution!”

The Regional Tourism Education and Awareness Campaign is led by the CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Division with support from The Youth Project Agency and the Caribbean Media Corporation. Other campaign partners include CTO member countries, digital media company Travelspective, industry partner the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and CTO’s PR agency partner KTCpr. LIAT and Caribbean Airlines will also be engaged to support dissemination and outreach activities.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO Signs Agreement With BITT to Promote Use of Digital Currency in Regional Tourism

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (5 April, 2018) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, has entered into an agreement with blockchain technology company, Bitt Inc., aimed at facilitating the implementation of more efficient payment processes for tourism-related products and services.

The two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) this morning at the CTO’s headquarters in Barbados, under which Bitt’s digital wallet and merchant applications will be promoted to help foster broader economic participation in community-based tourism and related sectors.

“The Caribbean aims to fully examine the advantages offered by new financial technology. In particular, blockchain financial services have the potential to advance the objectives of specific programmes and activities within the tourism sector, and the CTO has a responsibility on behalf of our members to fully explore those possibilities. Our memorandum of understanding with Bitt underscores the importance of collaborating with this forward-thinking, cutting edge, Caribbean company with whom we have a shared commitment to the economic success of our region,” Hugh Riley, the CTO’s secretary general, said.

Both organisations anticipate that by leveraging digital currency, the Caribbean region could become a more integrated economy in terms of the ease of doing business for visitors who move through multiple regional destinations.

CTO secretary general Hugh Riley (left) and Bitt CEO Rawdon Adams (right) sign MOU

“Expanding Bitt’s footprint throughout the region is very important to us because we know how transformational our technology can be. That’s particularly the case for the region’s informal sector, for the unbanked and by extension for the economy. Tourism is the largest single contributor to the Caribbean economy and is absolutely critical to every single Caribbean nation’s well-being and development. Thus we see this as a very natural and necessary association,” Rawdon Adams, Bitt’s chief executive officer, said.

The arrangement is for an initial three-year period, but it can be extended by mutual agreement.

The Barbados-based Bitt Inc. is a financial technology company that utilises distributed ledger technology to offer efficient, cost-effective digital payment products and services through its Bitt Suite.

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Corporate News

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New York To Wake Up To Caribbean Wellness During Enhanced Caribbean Week 2018 From 2-8 June

NEW YORK, NY (26 March 2018) – Caribbean Week New York (#CWNY18) will have a special feel this year as the city of over 8.5 million people gets a taste of the re-energising and rejuvenating power of Caribbean wellness.

During the weeklong event the wellness theme will be incorporated into many of the bespoke activities, including a trade show and educational forum for travel agents on Tuesday 5 June to better prepare them to sell the Caribbean as a wellness and rejuvenation destination.

Caribbean Week New York is the largest regional tourism activity in the New York area. Artistes, performers, celebrity chefs, investors and other strategic partners join government officials and the media as all converge on the Big Apple for a week of festivities designed to raise awareness for the Caribbean’s diverse tourism industry and provide opportunities for member destinations to promote their individual products and services.

Ministers, directors of tourism, national tourist office representatives and other tourism and hospitality officials will participate in meetings, seminars and other business development events to further enhance the Caribbean brand and provide necessary updates and critical support to the travel agents and press who influence key traveler demographics.

One of the key changes this year is the “Getting up Close & Personal with Top Journalists”, event, Caribbean Media Marketplace which is set to be even more effective with a refreshing morning schedule on Thursday, 7 June. The media will have an additional opportunity to network with tourism officials and industry executives later that evening with the expanded, Jamaica co-sponsored Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Dinner. In addition to the traditional media categories, this year’s programme will recognize excellence and innovation in digital marketing and social media news coverage.

Caribbean Week New York culminates with a star-studded cultural celebration at the iconic Capitale in New York City for the annual Rum & RhythmTM Benefitthe Ultimate Food and Rum Experience in New York City – where the region’s top food and beverage talents will serve as flavour ambassadors for Caribbean gastronomy and mixology on Friday 8 June.

The week-long agenda of consumer and trade events includes:

Celebrity Chefs Programme
Multiple locations

The Caribbean is well known for its culinary diversity with a variety of gastronomic influences. Throughout the week, Caribbean celebrity chefs will prepare authentic Caribbean dishes at highly visible, upscale locations whose customers match the profile of Caribbean vacationers.

Tourism Industry Workshop: 9:00 a.m. – noon on Monday, 4 June

Wyndham New Yorker Hotel, 481 Eighth Avenue, New York City

NTOs and other government and industry representatives will receive valuable insights on “Employing Successful Sales Strategies” to increase confidence and performance.

Caribbean Diaspora Forum: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Monday, 4 June

Wyndham New Yorker, 481 Eighth Avenue, New York City

The Caribbean Diaspora Forum engages New York’s vibrant Caribbean-American community as unofficial brand ambassadors and gives it a powerful voice via stimulating dialogue between members of the Caribbean Diaspora, regional tourism officials and other industry and civic leaders.

Trade Show and Educational Forum for Travel Agents: 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 5 June

Wyndham New Yorker, 481 Eighth Avenue, New York City

Provides travel retail professionals with tools and information to keep the Caribbean’s diverse product at the forefront of the warm weather vacation industry with a focus on wellness and rejuvenation to aid in the planning of travel experiences that soothe the mind, body and spirit.

Caribbean Students Colloquium: 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 6 June

Wyndham New Yorker, 481 Eighth Avenue, New York City

Co-sponsored by Academy Engraving with a focus on Sustainable Tourism Development, the Caribbean Students Colloquium will see “Students Taking Centre Stage” in a programme designed to serve as a catalyst for creativity while engaging future tourism leaders of the Caribbean.

Caribbean Marketing Conference: 8:00 a.m. – noon on Wednesday, 6 June
Wyndham New Yorker, 481 Eighth Avenue, New York City
Scott Wiseman, President of Travel Impressions, will return to join other experts offering insights on cutting-edge trends and best practices for innovatively developing and marketing niche tourism sectors with an emphasis on wellness travel.

CTO Press Conference: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, 7 June

Wyndham New Yorker, 481 Eighth Avenue, New York City

Members of the press will learn about the latest developments originating from the CTO Board of Directors meeting along with Caribbean tourism performance data and forecasts predicting future growth in the region.

Caribbean Media Marketplace: 9:30 a.m. – noon on Thursday, 7 June – NEW TIME

Wyndham New Yorker, 481 Eighth Avenue, New York City

A broad section of television, radio, print and digital media will gather to network with top representatives from CTO-member governments and the private tourism sector, including high-level tourism officials and industry executives who will be on-hand to showcase their respective brands and influence the media narrative on the regional tourism industry.

Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Dinner: 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, 7 June

Wyndham New Yorker, 481 Eighth Avenue, New York City

An expanded awards programme will feature a more prestigious dinner presentation honoring journalists and influencers who have made an impact on Caribbean tourism. With digital media radically altering the way information is shared on social platforms, this expanded event will recognize journalists who utilize innovative ways to communicate the allure of the Caribbean as well as destinations that develop successful campaigns to attract visitors to the region.

Rum & RhythmTM Benefit: 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. on Friday, 8 June

Capitale, 130 Bowery Street, New York City

The CTO Foundation will celebrate the diverse sights, sounds and flavours of the Caribbean at the 7th annual Rum & RhythmTM Benefit – “The Ultimate Food and Rum Experience in New York City” – and the signature flagship event of Caribbean Week New York open to the public with tickets on sale at the early bird rate of $80 until 31 March 3l.  Participants will enjoy authentic Caribbean entertainment as they sample the region’s cuisine in support of a scholarship program for Caribbean nationals pursuing studies in tourism, hospitality and language training. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

For more information on Caribbean Week events contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization at 212-635-9530. Registration details for all events can be found at http://www.onecaribbean.org/events-calendar/cwny-2018/

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information on exhibiting at any of the Caribbean Week events or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, click here or contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization at 212-635-9530.

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization, please visit www.OneCaribbean.org and follow CTO on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to be part of the conversation.

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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