Archive for 2024 News

CNN Journalist to Headline Women’s Leadership Breakfast at Caribbean Week NY

NEW YORK (June 10, 2024) – Emmy award-winning journalist Audrey Irvine of CNN will headline the inaugural Women’s Leadership Breakfast Awards during the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Caribbean Week in New York on Wednesday, June 19.

Cayman Islands Director of Tourism Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and Spokesperson for Caribbean Week this year, announced that CTO will feature Irvine as the keynote speaker for the ceremony.

Audrey Irvine of CNN

Audrey Irvine of CNN

The event will honor exceptional women in Caribbean tourism leadership across three categories: the Director of Tourism Award 2024, the Minister of Tourism Award 2024 (both selected by industry peers), and the Secretary-General’s Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service award celebrates a female leader with over 20 years of service, notable contributions to regional tourism, and inspirational support to other women in the industry, selected by the Secretary-General.

“We are delighted to welcome Audrey to Caribbean Week in New York as we showcase a Caribbean-American queen of the news media,” said Harris, noting that Irvine’s achievements inspire countless women and girls across the Caribbean and the Diaspora.

Harris and Dona Regis-Prosper, CTO Secretary-General and CEO, will address the attendees at the awards event, which is being sponsored by Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and Diamonds International.

Irvine, Senior Director of CNN’s Newsource Newsgathering, is based in Atlanta. Born to Jamaican parents and raised in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, she has worked in the media industry for over 30 years with major industry leaders, including CNN, ESPN, and ABC News.

Currently, she oversees the affiliate news-gathering operation at CNN Newsource, servicing over 1,000 domestic local stations, including those in Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, and Guam. In partnership with CNN affiliate partners, her department meets the coverage needs of all CNN platforms, programming, and partners.

Irvine earned an Emmy for her contributions to CNN’s coverage of George Floyd and the 2020 summer of protests. She has produced key coverage for CNN, including post-Hurricane Katrina reporting from New Orleans, where she won a Peabody Award.

Before joining CNN, she worked as an assignment editor at ESPN. There, she contributed to Emmy award-winning programs such as SportsCenter, College Gameday, and Sunday NFL Countdown, and covered two Super Bowls.

Irvine expressed her excitement about addressing Caribbean women of excellence during Caribbean Week. “I am thrilled to be among such exceptional women, as I would not have achieved the strides I have made in media without the guidance and inspiration of my late mother, who herself was a Caribbean woman of distinction.”

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation is the headline sponsor of Caribbean Week in New York. Gold sponsors include Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Experience Turks and Caicos, and U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism. The Jamaica Tourist Board and Sandals Resorts International are silver sponsors, and ADARA – A RateGain Company and Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority are bronze sponsors. Additional supporters include Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., Caribbean Media Exchange, Diamonds International, Marketplace Excellence, and S’Aimer NYC.

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West Indies Cricket Legend Joel Garner to be Honored at Caribbean Week NY

NEW YORK (June 6, 2024) – West Indies cricket legend Joel “Big Bird” Garner is set to join the lineup of delegates heading to “The Big Apple” for the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Caribbean Week in New York, June 16-21, 2024.

The 6’8” former Windies fast bowler will participate in a Cricket Ceremony and Watch Party in midtown Manhattan on Monday, June 17, at the Caribbean-owned and -operated S’Aimer NYC restaurant during an event supported by Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

joel garnerGarner was a formidable presence for batsmen in the 1970s and 1980s, renowned for his blistering pace, towering bounce and devastating yorkers that often sent stumps flying. Among bowlers with 200 or more Test wickets, Garner had an impressive average of 20.97. He played his final Test in 1987 alongside his successor, Courtney Walsh, and was the last of the ‘Awesome Foursome’ – Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner and Colin Croft – to retire.

Garner will be honored during the ceremony, which will be attended by CTO Chairman Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands, and Barbados Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Ian Gooding-Edghill. During the reception, there will be a live stream of the West Indies vs. Afghanistan ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match being held in St. Lucia.

“It is important that we recognize the significance of cricket and sports in tourism development, and especially important that we honor our legends,” remarked Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism for the Cayman Islands and Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors. “Their contributions have been invaluable in promoting our region,” added Harris, spokesperson for Caribbean Week in New York.

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation is the headline sponsor of Caribbean Week in New York. Gold sponsors include the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Experience Turks and Caicos, and the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism. Sandals Resorts International is a silver sponsor, and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is a bronze sponsor. Additional supporters include Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., Caribbean Media Exchange, Diamonds International, and Marketplace Excellence.

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Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas, I. Chester Cooper, to Speak at CTO’S Caribbean Week in NY

NASSAU, The Bahamas (6 June 2024) – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation (BMOTIA) is excited to announce its participation as a Platinum Sponsor in the upcoming Caribbean Week, hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), in New York City from 16-21 June 2024. This annual event brings together tourism leaders and stakeholders from across the Caribbean to discuss the latest trends, challenges and opportunities in the region’s tourism industry.

Under the theme “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity,” Caribbean Week 2024 will feature a dynamic lineup of events and business meetings, focusing on the critical issues shaping the evolution and growth of Caribbean tourism. The discussions will provide an opportunity for robust and strategic dialogue on topics such as sustainable tourism, marketing strategies and the role of technology in the industry.

As a platinum headline sponsor of the event, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation will showcase the unique attractions and experiences that the islands have to offer. The Bahamas delegation will participate in the popular Caribbean Media Marketplace, Caribbean Media Awards, and more. In addition, the Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, will be a guest speaker at the Caribbean Airlift Forum on 19th June.

“I look forward to sharing insights of our success in airlift with CTO. We are also thrilled to be a Platinum Sponsor of Caribbean Week 2024 and the opportunity it presents to grow tourism in our country and across the region,” said the Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation. “This annual event is a fantastic platform to share strategies, reinvigorate connections and polish the image of the greater Caribbean as an inviting destination for travel of all types.”

“We believe in the power of unity and collaboration within the Caribbean region. By coming together at this crucial gathering of tourism leaders, our aim is to collectively engage in insightful discussions that shape the future of our tourism landscape,” said Latia Duncombe, Director General, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation. “As a Platinum headline sponsor, The Bahamas is leading efforts to drive regional growth, celebrating the strength and diversity of our islands. Our culture, heritage, and sustainable offerings showcase the unique and vibrant spirit of the Caribbean, reinforcing our position as a premier global destination.” said Latia Duncombe, Director General, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation. “

To view Caribbean Week 2024 events, please see here.

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CTO Mourns the Passing of Former Chairman Pamela Richards

BARBADOS (May 25, 2024) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) mourns the passing of Pamela Richards, former U.S. Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism and CTO Chairman, this week.

CTO Chairman Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands, stated, “The U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean have lost a tireless leader who championed the cause of the Virgin Islands and the broader Caribbean tourism industry.”

Richards’ dedication to tourism and numerous important causes throughout the Virgin Islands helped to advance socioeconomic development and quality of life in the Virgin Islands. “She was an exemplar when it came to service, and her passion, visionary leadership and unwavering commitment have left an indelible mark on the region,” Bryan added.

As CTO chairman from 2004 to 2006, Richards presided over the appointment of Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace as Secretary-General in 2005, following the late Jean Holder’s retirement in December 2004.

During her chairmanship, CTO embarked on several initiatives to strengthen Caribbean tourism, including improving tourism data collection across the region, expanding training and development for staff in the tourism sector, developing a world-class membership site focused on best practices, expanding public relations activities, and committing to public-private sector-focused sustainable development and cooperation through an MOU with the Caribbean Hotel Association (the forerunner of today’s Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association).

Richards led the USVI in expertly hosting the CTO’s annual Caribbean Tourism Conference (CTC-28) meeting in St. Thomas in October 2005.

Chairman Bryan extended condolences to Richards’ family, friends, and the government and people of the Virgin Islands.

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Hotelschool The Hague and CTO Forge Partnership for Sustainable Tourism Innovation

THE HAGUE (May 22, 2024) – Hotelschool The Hague (HTH) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) have announced a partnership to ignite sustainable practices and innovation across the global tourism landscape. This collaboration expands the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge (SHC) into the Caribbean region, broadening the platform’s reach.

Globally recognized for inspiring students to develop inventive solutions to sustainability challenges in hospitality, SHC is set to bring its impactful competition to the Caribbean. This expansion leverages the region’s unique cultural diversity and perspectives, enriching the competition and sparking new innovative solutions.

Through this collaboration, SHC seeks to create an inclusive space for students worldwide to present their ideas and contribute to the sustainable tourism dialogue. With SHC’s extensive network alongside the CTO’s commitment to positioning the Caribbean as a premier travel destination and its dedication to leading sustainable tourism initiatives, this initiative promises Caribbean students a stage to exhibit their tourism expertise on a global scale.

This collaboration between HTH/SHC and CTO signals the organizations’ shared dedication to driving innovation and sustainability within the hospitality industry. It aims to empower future leaders to foster positive change and build a sustainable legacy for generations to come.

“We are delighted to witness the expansion of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge into the Caribbean region,” says Paul Griep, Director of Alumni & Industry Relations at Hotelschool The Hague and Founder of SHC.

“Personally, I am thrilled by SHC’s extension into such a culturally rich and diverse region. At SHC, we firmly believe that the best innovations can originate from anyone, anywhere. We aim to offer every student worldwide the opportunity to share their ideas. With its abundance of tourism knowledge, the Caribbean region provides an ideal environment for nurturing innovative solutions. We eagerly anticipate the contributions that students from the Caribbean will bring to the table,” he continued.

“Partnering on such an initiative marks a significant stride for CTO, amplifying our ongoing commitment to fostering the next generation of Caribbean tourism leaders,” said Dona Regis-Prosper, CTO’s Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer. “This collaboration not only reinforces our dedication to engaging future leaders in tourism-related activities but also underscores our alignment with global and regional sustainability initiatives,” she continued.

The CTO leader noted that the organizations are poised to catalyze the development of innovative, resilient, equitable and sustainable tourism products that resonate on a local and global scale.

This new endeavor builds upon CTO’s past and present youth development programs, which include the CTO Student Colloquium, which targets tertiary-level students from the Caribbean, and the CTO Regional Youth Congress for secondary school students between the ages of 14 and 17.

Notably, for the first time, the Caribbean will be represented at the SHC, with a team from the University of the West Indies Mona Campus participating in the semifinals in Miami this week.

About Hotelschool The Hague

Hotelschool The Hague is one of the oldest independent hotel schools in the world, with two campuses, one in The Hague and one in Amsterdam, and more than 2,850 students and 250 employees.

The school offers a four-year Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management, a Fast-Track Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management, a 13-month Master of Business Administration in International Hospitality Management, a Masters in Leading Hotel Transformation, and a Professional Doctorate Program in Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality.

For more information, visit www.hotelschool.nl.

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