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Archive for 2019 News

New Year’s Message from Acting Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (31 Dec. 2019) –If we were to stop and reflect on this year as it comes to a close, we would most likely describe 2019 as a varied year, which both highlighted the strengths in Caribbean tourism and its inherent weaknesses.

The sector’s strengths were evident in the significant growth rates experienced by most Caribbean countries. Despite contraction in some larger destinations, such as Cuba and the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean experienced an overall 6.1% level of growth in visitor arrivals during the first nine months of the year. It is noteworthy that the growth rates of those countries affected by the 2017 hurricanes were substantial, in some cases up to triple-digit levels. This level of recovery speaks volumes about the commitment of the Caribbean to this industry which has become the lifeblood of several countries.

During early September, a portion of the northern Bahamas was ravaged by Hurricane Dorian, a super hurricane which broke many records. The devastation caused was a further wake-up call to us in the region that the climatic changes are here and likely irreversible. It is our responsibility to create resilience not only in the tourism sector, but in all sectors of our economies and by extension all sections of our societies. We continue to commiserate with our brothers and sisters in The Bahamas on the loss of life and property experienced as a result of Dorian.

The cruise sector has also had a strong showing in 2019 with a 5.8% growth rate for the first three quarters. Implicit in this growth of cruise visits is the fact that as occurred in 2018, there has been consistent growth of cruise visits in each quarter of 2019, albeit at rates which are lower than those experienced in 2018.

During the last two months of 2019, we at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) announced that the organization would be going through a process of restructuring. This is currently underway, and it is our intention to emerge from this process with a revised structure which more adequately serves the needs of all our members.

The Caribbean tourism sector is ending 2019 in a position of which all of us can be proud, having seen an overall reversal of the position at the end of 2018. As we look to 2020, we should not rest on our laurels, but continue to work to sustain the growth which was realized this year. At the same time, we must remember that we live in a volatile climatic region which while providing the palate for amazing experiences for our visitors, must always be respected and considered in our planning and development.

In 2020 we continue with the theme of the ‘Year of Festivals’ as we recognized that it was all but impossible for us to fully embrace the rich culture of the Caribbean in one twelve-month span. This year we hope to move even further along the path of integrating our festivals and other cultural events into the tourism product in all our countries. We recognize that not only do these aspects of our individual countries distinguish us from each other, but they also hold significant potential in the quest to attract even more visitors to our shores.

What is also becoming clearer to us is that we have not begun to fully and responsibly harness the power of our culture and heritage in defining who we are, and this is critical as we seek to offer authentic experiences which benefit both the visitor and the communities in which these experiences exist.

Given the results recorded so far in 2019, it is our expectation that 2020 will, all things being equal, be another year of growth, likely at a rate slightly lower for both stayover arrivals and cruise visits. One way that we can arrest the reduction in growth – or even maintain growth at current levels – is to embrace the value of speaking with one voice, ONE CARIBBEAN, to the rest of the world. To this end, it is our expectation that one of the outcomes of the restructuring of the CTO will be a new way of speaking with one voice to the rest of the travelling world, thereby pooling our limited resources to become a stronger force for the maintenance and growth of the market share which the Caribbean, the most tourism-dependent region, values.

On behalf of the CTO Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism, Board of Directors and the staff of the CTO, I want to thank you all for standing with us in 2019 and we look forward to your support in 2020. I wish for a year filled with blessings, growth and prosperity for this region we love.

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish-speaking, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected];

The CTO’s London office is located at Suites 52A & 53, 5th Floor AMP House, Dingwall Road, Croydon CR0 2LX, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: [email protected].

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: 2019 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Sustainable Tourism Roundup – December 12th, 2019

Welcome to the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s 6th and final Sustainable Tourism Roundup for 2019. You are encouraged to take action where appropriate and to disseminate this information widely, for the benefit of all tourism stakeholders. We take this opportunity to extend best wishes for the Holiday Season and a Prosperous and Productive New Year.

View Roundup December 12, 2019

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Sustainable Tourism Roundup

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St. Kitts Does It Again! Destination Punches Above Its Weight

Basseterre, St. Kitts (December 16, 2019) – Continuing to set tourism and cruise records, four cruise ships docked at Port Zante today for the first time in St. Kitts’ history, bringing a total of 10,629 cruise passengers to its shores with two of the ships moored at the newly constructed second cruise pier.

Limited operations started today at the second cruise pier, with the docking of the Celebrity Summit, with a maximum capacity of 2,450 passengers and the Seabourn Odyssey, with a maximum capacity of 450 passengers. An arrival area is presently under construction for the second pier, meanwhile cruise passengers use a concrete walkway to get to the Port Zante Arrival Hall. The other two ships docked at Port Zante were the Britannia with a maximum capacity of 4,372 passengers, and the Anthem of the Seas, with a maximum capacity of 4,905 passengers.

Prime Minister The Hon. Timothy Harris, Minister of Tourism The Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant, and the Minister of Transport The Hon. Ian Patches Liburd, along with tourism and port officials, were on hand to welcome passengers at the newly opened second pier.

Prime Minister Harris said this was yet another major milestone for St. Kitts, which would result in more ships coming to the island.

“This is indeed an historic day for St. Kitts, as never before have we had four larger cruise ships docked at the same time in Port Zante,” Prime Minister Harris said. “We are moving in the right direction, and the Team Unity Government will continue to invest in projects that empower our people and enlarge the economic opportunities and freedoms within St. Kitts & Nevis.”

Minister Grant noted that the second pier will keep St. Kitts high on the list of the cruise lines’ top Caribbean ports of call.

“This is yet another competitive edge in the Caribbean cruise industry, affirming St. Kitts’ enviable position in the cruise market,” Minister Grant said. “Indeed I am proud to note the growth of our cruise arrivals, the sector’s contribution to GDP, the increase in certified taxi and tour operators and our attainment of marquee port status.”

Last week, St. Kitts added to its growing list of accolades, when the destination was named Cruise Destination of the Year by Caribbean Journal in the publication’s Caribbean Travel Awards 2020. The 2020 Caribbean Travel Awards marks only the 2nd year that Caribbean Journal has included a category for Cruise Destination of the Year and last year it was won by Jamaica, a much larger destination.

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 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 including catamaran cruises, 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: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts Wins Caribbean Journal’s Cruise Destination of the Year Award 2020

Basseterre, St. Kitts (December 13, 2019) – Continuing to set tourism records and add to its growing list of accolades, St. Kitts has just been named Cruise Destination of the Year by Caribbean Journal in the publication’s Caribbean Travel Awards 2020.

“It is truly an honor to receive this distinction from one of the leading media outlets covering our region,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “The fact that St. Kitts was chosen as the best Cruise Destination in the entire Caribbean is yet another testament to the success of our cruise tourism sector. This is a crowning achievement immediately following our being the only destination in the OECS ever to achieve one million cruise passenger arrivals and having done so now for two years in a row.

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, “Earning this award from Caribbean Journal is a an extremely high commendation and endorsement of the quality of our cruise and overall tourism product. It underscores the need for us to continue our training for employees on the front lines of tourism from taxi drivers to aloe rub vendors and strive for even greater levels of visitor satisfaction in order to remain at the top in what is one of the most competitive regions in the world for cruise tourism.”

The 2020 Caribbean Travel Awards marks only the 2nd year that Caribbean Journal has included a category for Cruise Destination of the Year and last year it was won by Jamaica, a much larger destination. The publication states, “While St Kitts is one of the smaller countries in the region, it has long punched above its weight in the ultra-competitive Caribbean tourism industry, most notably with a continually strong showing in the cruise sector.”

This is the 6th Annual Caribbean Travel Awards by Caribbean Journal, which celebrates the best of Caribbean Travel each year. This year’s Caribbean Travel Awards includes winners across 21 categories, selected by Caribbean Journal’s editorial staff and its network of contributors. St. Kitts also won a 2018 Caribbean Travel Award for Caribbean Hotel of the Year for Park Hyatt St. Kitts and a 2017 Caribbean Travel Award for the New Hotel of the Year award for Park Hyatt St. Kitts.

Further, Caribbean Journal has named St. Kitts one of The 19 Best Caribbean Islands to Visit in 2019, one of The 25 Best Caribbean Beaches to Visit in 2019, one of The Best Honeymoon Destinations in the Caribbean, one of the Top 20 Islands to Live On in the Caribbean, one of The 18 Best Islands in the Caribbean to Visit in 2018 (along with sister island Nevis), and one of of 25 Caribbean Destinations to Visit in 2017. St. Kitts has also received extensive editorial coverage in the publication since it was launched in 2012, reaching Caribbean Journal’s ever-growing audience of readers who are interested in travel to and within the Caribbean.

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 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 including catamaran cruises, 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: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Grenada Crowns CTO Year of Festivals with New Festival of Lights

11th December, 2019–To crown the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Year of Festivals in 2019, Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean debuted its newest event, Festival of Lights on the 6th and 7th of December. The Festival took place on the Carenage, which is one of the most stunning spots in the destination.  The beauty of the festoon lights on the Carenage was further enhanced by new spotlights, which lined the entire harbor area, lighting the historical buildings in a multi-coloured glow as well as a new laser light show. Added to the ambience created by the lights was a mixture of carols, steel plan music, parang music, local cuisine, a Santa’s grotto and a night market that provided all the Grenadian Christmas goodies such as sorrel, ginger and household items. Performances by local artists and groups such as the PBC Boys Choir, Sonika McKie, Kareem Alexis, Emily Rapier and Hess and the Boys crowned the entire affair.

The Festival of Lights was the brainchild of the Chairman of the Grenada Tourism Authority and adviser to the Minister of Tourism, Mrs. Brenda Hood who championed the idea for a few years. She said, “ The Festival of Lights is an opportunity for us to show the world how wonderful and authentic Christmastime is in Grenada. It is also an opportunity for our visitors to interact with our friendly citizens.”

The Ministry for Tourism and Civil Aviation collaborated with the Grenada Tourism Authority to form a hard working Committee to bring the Festival of Lights to fruition. Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen said it was a great achievement for Grenada to host its first Festival of Lights. She said, “This was true collaborative effort and we thank all the businesses that came on board. The Carenage is a stunning location and we hope to enhance it every year with the Festival of Lights.”

The Festival of Lights Committee, the Grenada Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation are already receiving positive feedback from the general public and looking at ways to further enhance Grenada’s newest festival for 2020. There will be two more events on Saturday December 14 starting at 5pm and December 21 at 3pm to close out the Festival of Lights for 2019.

About Grenada The tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique is located in the eastern Caribbean just south of Barbados. Grenada is best known as the “Spice Island of the Caribbean” for its cinnamon and nutmeg production, but the lush destination draws visitors for so much more. The Pure Grenada experience beckons visitors to its 40 white sandy beaches such as the world famous Grand Anse Beach, 15 breathtaking waterfalls, five chocolate producers, three rum distilleries and more than 50 unforgettable dive sites, including the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean ‘Bianca C’ and the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park. Grenada’s approach to hospitality is infused with a warm charm which is apparent from its luxury resorts to barefoot chic boutique hotels and villas. There are direct flights to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport from the US, Caribbean, Canada, UK and Germany making the island accessible to visitors from around the world that wish to experience Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean.

 

Media Contact

Ria Murray, Communications Officer, Grenada Tourism Authority / [email protected]

473 440 2001/2279 / 473 420 2557 (mobile)

For all our recent news releases go to www.puregrenada.com/news

 

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Love is in the Air on Grand Bahama Island

Grand Bahama Island welcomed its first international destination wedding since Hurricane Dorian.

Fay Rickhuss and Thomas Doyle from England were married in a beautiful ceremony at the Grand Lucayan Lighthouse Pointe Gazebo on November 9, followed by a reception on Spanish Main.  The wedding group included some 28 guests, friends and family who accompanied the couple from England.

The bride and groom were determined to be married on Grand Bahama island, as the bride’s father had been treated at the Immunology Center some years ago.  When their flights were cancelled, they opted to arrive on Balearia Caribbean Cruise Line.

The couple also started a hurricane fund for the island.

“We are thrilled that Fay and Tom chose to celebrate their vows here on Grand Bahama Island, and we wish them a long and happy life together,” said Ian Rolle, Acting Chairman, the GBITB’s Board of Directors.  “This is a wonderful vote of confidence in our island, and we are grateful for their support.”

The wedding arrangements at Grand Lucayan Resort were coordinated on island by Chic Bahamas Weddings, a leading Bahamas wedding planning company.

About Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board

The Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board (GBITB) is the private sector marketing and promotion agency for Grand Bahama Island.  The GBITB is mandated to support economic growth for tourism stakeholders on Grand Bahama Island.

Activities include the development and execution of various marketing and promotional initiatives designed to enhance and increase Grand Bahama Island’s awareness and profile in the market.  The Board’s membership includes a wide range of tourism related businesses including the accommodation sector, restaurants, bars, attractions, transportation providers, artisans and retailers.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT

Carmel Churchill 

T: 242-727-9002

E: [email protected]

President of Doncar Hospitality Management Services Limited 

Sales & Marketing Consultant for the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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