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Archive for Caribbean Week

Grenada Born Social Justice Advocate Jean Augustine Honoured with CTO’s Highest Award

Jean Augustine (right) receives CTO Lifetime Achievement Award from CTO secretary general Hugh Riley (centre) while close friend Rita Cox (left) looks on.

 

Chef Raymond Chung (right) of Doubletree Hilton Downtown Toronto presents cash donation to CTO secretary general Hugh Riley

TORONTO, ON, 13 November, 2017 –  The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has bestowed its most prestigious honour on social advocate Jean Augustine.

The Grenada-born retired Canadian school teacher and politician was given the CTO Lifetime Achievement Award – the first person ever to be given this award in Canada – at a glitzy Caribbean Ball in Toronto on Friday evening.

“For your many years of passionate involvement in civic and diaspora activities, your extensive advocacy for education and social justice, your dedication to the development of the Caribbean and your leadership in investing in our youth by the establishment of the chair in education, community and Diaspora at York University; for these and other outstanding achievements which are symbols of your commitment to our youth, the African Caribbean community and all citizens, we honour you,” the citation said.

Ms. Augustine was a trailblazing politician and social activist, having worked her way from a nanny when she first arrived here in 1960, to become the most powerful black woman in the Canadian parliament.

She was the first black woman elected to the Canadian parliament and the first black cabinet minister, acting as Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s trusted voice on committees and at international meetings and in Parliament when he was absent from the house of commons.

During her acceptance speech, the Ms. Augustine described how she once persuaded the Canadian prime minister to meet Caribbean leaders in the region instead of having them travel to Canada. That meeting was held in her country of birth, Grenada. She also described her battle to get the government to ease visa restrictions on Caribbean nationals, a battle she said she lost.

Prior to serving in parliament, Ms. Augustine was a school teacher and during her career in the teaching service she was an activist in Toronto’s Caribbean communities, volunteering with grassroots organizations to strengthen immigrant and women’s rights and to combat violence against women, drug abuse and poverty. In 1967, she served on the committee that helped organise the first Caribana festival, and in the mid-1990s she played a crucial role in establishing Black History Month in Canada.

“The Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award honours individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to society and who, by their example, have inspired at least one generation.  Ms. Augustine’s achievements have far exceeded those criteria,” the CTO said.

Ms. Augustine promised to place the award in a fitting location where it can be seen and appreciated by members of the public.

The honouree was introduced by her close friend Dr. Rita Cox, who shared compelling stories of Ms. Augustine’s advocacy on behalf of the region and her dedication to teaching.

The event was addressed by Ontario’s minister of education Mitzie Hunter, while minister of tourism, culture and sport Eleanor McMahon, who was unable attend, sent a message of welcome in which she described Caribbean Week Canada as “a wonderful way to celebrate our vibrant Caribbean-Canadian culture, which is such an important part of many communities in Ontario”.

“I invite everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to network and discover new and exciting ways to strengthen tourism ties between Ontario and the Caribbean. I would like to thank the Caribbean Tourism Organization, its partners and volunteers for their commitment to a sustainable tourism industry that contributes to the well-being of the people of the Caribbean,” she stated.

The Caribbean Ball, which was held at the Doubletree Hilton Downtown Toronto, was a fundraiser for the CTO’s hurricane relief fund and the CTO Foundation, the organisation’s scholarship programme which provides scholarships and grants to Caribbean nationals pursuing studies in tourism and hospitality.

During the event, the hotel’s wait staff presented over $1,000 to the CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley, monies collected through their own fundraising efforts to help Caribbean countries that had been affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Organized by the CTO, Caribbean Week Canada 2017 combines business sessions and consumer-oriented events with Caribbean-inspired food, lively entertainment and networking opportunities.  

The remainder of the Caribbean Week Canada 2017 agenda includes:

Toronto, Canada

  • Trade Show and Educational Forum for Travel Agents: Tuesday, 14 November, 2017, 8 – noon., Improve Canada
  •  Tourism Industry Panel Discussion: Tuesday, 14 November, 2017, 12:30 – 3:30 p.m., Improve Canada

 Montreal, Canada

  •  Trade Show and Educational Forum for Travel Agents: Thursday 16 November, 2017, 5:30 – 9 p.m.  InterContinental Hotel
  • Media Marketplace: Friday, 17 November, 2017, 10:30 – 12:30 p.m., InterContinental Hotel
  • Media Awards Luncheon with National Tourist Offices: Friday 17 November, 2017, 12:30 – 2 p.m., InterContinental Hotel

 For more information on any of the Caribbean Week Canada events contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization at 905-857-1986 or visit canada.caribbeanweek.com.

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

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CTO Signs MOU With The Travel Foundation During Caribbean Week NY

NEW YORK, NY (June 8, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Travel Foundation (TF) to formally establish a framework of cooperation and facilitate collaboration between the organizations in areas of common interest to contribute to sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean Region. The MOU was signed by CTO secretary general Hugh Riley and Salli Felton, TF chief executive officer on Thursday, June 8, during a CTO press conference held during Caribbean Week New York.

TF, the international charity that works with destinations and leading organizations to improve the impacts of tourism on people and the environment, and CTO will facilitate the joint implementation of projects and publications, the organization of workshops, seminars, meetings, conferences, and other initiatives on matters of common interest. The two organizations will support and participate in each other’s relevant projects and activities.

“The Caribbean Tourism Organization is pleased to align our sustainability and environmental advocacy efforts with the Travel Foundation and come together during Caribbean Week New York to formally announced our new vested partnership,” Mr. Riley said

“To further our ongoing work in the Caribbean, we are pleased to partner with CTO to facilitate future tourism development which promotes thriving communities and a healthy environment,” added Ms. Felton.

This agreement follows the recent announcement of CTO and TF’s launch of a free online sustainable tourism course for ministries, government departments, tourism authorities and tourist boards engaged in destination management in CTO member countries. The course is designed to help increase knowledge of how to review and plan for the sustainable development of Caribbean tourist destinations.

Benchmarked with good practice case studies, the course will sharpen participants’ ability to plan the development of their local tourism industry in a way that meets the needs of both visitors and host communities, creates a more resilient economy, protects tourism assets and secures the future tourism potential of Caribbean destinations. To register for the free online course, please click on the following link: travelfoundationtraining.com/caribbean.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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Links to photos of Caribbean Week 2017

Caribbean Week New York 2017 photographs:

Celebrity Chef Demonstration at Bloomingdales: https://goo.gl/photos/xUDPPsbv4tnYGaqG6

Church Service at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church : https://goo.gl/photos/qxTZcUuw7ZGLUzNN9

Diaspora Forum: https://goo.gl/photos/VcUJUD9GrohVbWv36

Tourism Industry Workshop: https://goo.gl/photos/LeMMVLMm6CZZKoih7

Think Tank: CTO 5 Year Strategic Planning Session: https://goo.gl/photos/QdjjtNxp3kkJwfLh6

Executive Committee Meeting & Travel Agents Trade Show: https://goo.gl/photos/MtN6RWy2ckPYC7kn6

Cocktail Reception for Government Officials & Empire State Building Lighting: https://goo.gl/photos/gEoUnBc11orw5eif8

Board of Directors Meeting: https://goo.gl/photos/c9CJSy8s9uj75caD7

Students Colloquium: https://goo.gl/photos/SGE2Z6VjkBbUZKkF8

Caribbean Tourism Marketing Conference: https://goo.gl/photos/tUw4Q3nZPM8yHchb9

Caribbean Tourism Awards Industry Luncheon: https://goo.gl/photos/rRviH8fWAk2qKHHj9

Press Conference: https://goo.gl/photos/TjxbKxVjNDY3wjfF9

Media Marketplace & Interviews: https://goo.gl/photos/myHpYCBYYpb42eHP9

Rum Rumble Final Mixologist Competition: https://goo.gl/photos/gcMfWN1qtabD9SAs9

Rum & Rhythm:  https://goo.gl/photos/TWZcd44pu7ymsemK8

 

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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Remarks by Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar Chairman, CTO- Caribbean Week News Conference

This has been thus far a fantastic Caribbean Week, with renewed energy and purpose  among our ministers, directors, tourism officials and everyone involved.

For the first time ever we presented Caribbean culture and heritage in a very practical manner at our Diaspora Forum, which itself returned to Brooklyn after many years.

Truly dynamic performances by La Troupe Zetwal of Haiti and Danza Fiesta of Puerto Rico were a demonstration of our truly rich and diverse culture.

As always, the Students Colloquium was a highlight of the Week. Our congratulations to Monroe College for emerging winners among a group of very impressive students.

We were delighted to host former Congressman, Charles Rangel on Tuesday night, during which he was presented with an award by the Caribbean Community Caucus of Ambassadors in appreciation of his longstanding work in advancing US-Caribbean relations during his 46 years in Congress.

Yesterday, I chaired my first CTO Council of Ministers and Commissioners meeting in what was truly an enriching experience. The passion for CTO and the Caribbean that was so evident at the meeting was extremely encouraging and bodes well for the organization and regional tourism.

The Council of Ministers and Commissioners endorsed a joint CTO/CHTA collaboration to put together for the consideration of Caribbean Community heads of government, a framework for the development of a Caribbean public-private sector tourism marketing and development initiative.

The ministers also strongly supported the development of a five-year strategic plan for the organization, a process that has already begun.

We agreed to continue a process to determine whether or not to expand the CTO membership to countries outside the traditional Caribbean region, but washed by the Caribbean Sea, and which seek membership in the organization.

The ministers also strongly endorsed Jamaica’s hosting of the UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, November 27-29, 2017.

Now, a brief word on the region’s performance so far this year.

In the first quarter of 2017, destinations around the region received 8.7 million international tourist arrivals. This is 150 thousand more than in the same period of 2016, a 1.8 per cent increase.

The grouping which we refer to as other Caribbean destinations – Cancun, Cozumel, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Suriname -led growth across the sub-regions, with international tourist arrivals up 6.3 per cent as of the end of March.

Of the remaining sub-regions, the French Caribbean was the only other to record an increase in international trips. Within the other groupings, visitor arrivals fell by 1.3 per cent.

After an uncharacteristically weak performance in 2016, the Canadian market has rebounded in 2017 to post the highest growth rate of 4.8 per cent in the first quarter.

Europe was up 2.9 per cent and the United States 1.3 per cent.

However, data compiled by STR Global Ltd (STR) for the first quarter indicated that the hotel industry continued to struggle. While the number of available rooms increased by 1.1 per cent, room revenue, average daily rates and revenue per available rooms all fell.

In the first three months, cruise passenger arrivals increased by an estimated 4.5 per cent compared to the same period of last year. This performance translated to approximately 10 million cruise passengers arriving in Caribbean destinations.

Let me also take the opportunity to congratulate those of you in the media who won awards today. Thanks to all of you for all you do to promote the Caribbean.

Congratulations also to our Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Patrick Baucelin of Martinique. A true Caribbean soldier.

I also wish to thank the CTO staff for working so hard to make Caribbean Week a success.

Thanks

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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CTO Presents Rum & Rhythm Benefit During Caribbean Week NY

NEW YORK, NY – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Foundation celebrates the diverse sights, sounds and flavors of the Caribbean at the sixth annual Rum & Rhythm Benefit “The Ultimate Caribbean Epicurean Experience” – taking place June 9, 2017 at Capitale as part of the week-long Caribbean Week in New York (#CWNY17).

Rum & Rhythm Benefit is an elegant Caribbean cultural and culinary experience, but, equally important, it is a major fundraiser for the CTO Foundation, a charitable organization which provides scholarships to Caribbean nationals pursuing studies in tourism, hospitality and languages.

The event is returning to the historic Capitale, where colorful lights and live entertainment will transform the venue into an island haven where guests will be given a virtual journey through the Caribbean with food samplings and rum demonstrations. Consumers, travel industry professionals, officials from the region and Ministers and Directors of Tourism will mix and mingle while savoring eclectic cuisines and flavorful cocktails or immersing themselves into  pulsating rhythms and cultural experiences that only the Dutch, English, French and Spanish Caribbean can showcase.

The evening will include a raffle featuring a Caribbean holiday package including airfare.   The Auction will be online, but patrons will be able to bid on the many vacation packages, hotels stays and other travel related items from the event. Rum & Rhythm also features special appearances from top Caribbean personalities and celebrities, and Caribbean chefs and mixologists will showcase their talents with traditional Caribbean dishes and top-rated cocktails.  Rum and Rhythm is the quintessential Caribbean cultural experience.

Leading up to Caribbean Week New York, the CTO presents Rum Rumble, a series of promotional mixologist competitions held at popular rum bars in Manhattan. Throughout May, well-known mixologists compete for the title of Caribbean Week Mixologist of the Year, which is announced at Rum & Rhythm.  The Rum Rumble finalists will debut their winning cocktails at the event.

Tickets are $125 each and can be purchased here. For more information about Rum and Rhythm and Caribbean Week New York, visit www.caribbeanweek.com.

Caribbean Week New York is supported by: Academy Engraving, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Anse Chastanet & Jade Mountain Saint Lucia, Arrivalist, The Atrebor Group, Islands of The Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean Airlines, Castles in Paradise Villa Resort – Saint Lucia, Cayman Islands, Cholula Food Company, Cititech Solutions, Delta Air Lines, Dominica, FlightCentre, Grenada, Grace Foods, Guyana, Jamaica, Laura Davidson Public Relations, Martinique, Montserrat, Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board, Nevis, Pleasant Holidays, Questex, Saint Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Spice Island Beach Resort, Sugar Beach-A Viceroy Resort, TripAdvisor, Island of Tobago, Tower Isle Patties, Travel Impressions, Travel + Leisure, Trinidad, and Turks & Caicos Islands.

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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Canadian travel industry partners recognised by the Caribbean Tourism Organization

TORONTO, Canada, 22 November, 2016 – Two Canadian travel industry partners have been recognized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) for their contributions to the region’s development through tourism.

The CTO presented its Special Recognition Award to WestJet and Flight Centre Ltd at the Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Luncheon in Toronto on 22 November held as part of Caribbean Media Day organised to underscore the importance of the Canadian market to the Caribbean.

WestJet’s award was “in appreciation of your unquestionable commitment to the development of the Caribbean through tourism by providing a decade of outstanding, uninterrupted service to the region” while Flight Centre Ltd was “in recognition of your significant impact on the development of the Caribbean through tourism and your outstanding contribution to the region”.

2016 marks a decade of WestJet service to the Caribbean, with the Bahamas being its first international destination.

Flight Centre Ltd is a leading retailer of travel products and services for the leisure and corporate markets. Its wholesale brand GOGO Worldwide Vacations supplies a variety of services, including packages, accommodation, tours and cruises, and is its largest global supplier of land product.

From left: Gavin Miller, Flight Centre’s VP of retail operations; Hugh Riley, CTO’s secretary general and Andrew Jones of Flight Centre’s product department. Below (from left) Lyell Farquharson, WestJet’s VP of sales and distribution; Hugh Riley and Dave Cecco, director of Westjet product

From left: Gavin Miller, Flight Centre’s VP of retail operations; Hugh Riley, CTO’s secretary general and Andrew Jones of Flight Centre’s product department. Below (from left) Lyell Farquharson, WestJet’s VP of sales and distribution; Hugh Riley and Dave Cecco, director of Westjet product

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Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Media Awards

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