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Barbara Furey, Publishing Specialist & Long-time Supporter of Caribbean Region, Has Died

PENNSYLVANIA (Jan. 15, 2018) — Barbara Furey, a publishing specialist and long-time supporter and contributor to the promotion and marketing of the Caribbean region, has died from complications following a short illness. She was 76 years of age. She worked alongside her partner and husband, James Furey, for more than 40 years representing the interests of the Caribbean in an assortment of projects, many which left a legacy that will long be remembered by many people in the Region as well as North America.

Barbara graduated from Rutgers University and in one of her first jobs rose to Assistant Plant Manager for Colgate-Palmolive in Jersey City, NJ.

In the early 1980s Barbara was one of the forces behind the launching of the Caribbean Sales Seminars, a forerunner of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Annual Conference that brought hundreds of travel agents to the Region each year for educational programs that enabled these travel professionals to better promote and sell the Caribbean destinations. She was an active member of the CTO Chapter system and served as President of the Greater New York Chapter in the early 2000s.

Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) said: “Barbara and Jim are an important part of the proud history of the CTO and have been champions of the Caribbean brand for as long as any of us can remember.”

She was also an integral part of the Caribbean Hotel Association Small Hotels Advisory Committee which went into destinations to help them focus on how to improve their image and promote tourism. Her efforts in countries such as Dominica, St. John’s, St. Croix and Anguilla and others helped those destinations proudly grow their tourism product. She also helped launch the Caribbean Culinary Federation along with Bill Moore and others working in conjunction with the Caribbean Hotel Association.

As partner of Furey and Associates, she helped produce countless newspaper and magazine sections with editorial and advertising that promoted the Caribbean. These sections appeared in publications such as US News & World Reports, USA Today, The New York Times, Newark Star Ledger, Cleveland Plain Dealer and many more.

Furey and Associates grew to become the leading publication representation company in the U.S., primarily promoting sun destinations, and working with all the top publications. The reputation of the company was impeccable and drew some of the top travel writers and editors to work with them in producing special travel sections.

Jim and Barbara retired in 2015 and moved to their country home in Pennsylvania.

Barbara is survived by her husband Jim and, a brother and sister, 9 nieces and nephews and 15 grandnieces and nephews.

Funeral will take place Tuesday, January 16 at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Hawley, PA.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Corporate News

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New Year’s Message from CTO Secretary General, Hugh Riley

Bridgetown, Barbados (28 Dec 2017) – This has been a challenging year for Caribbean tourism. While the first half of the year saw exciting growth in both tourism infrastructure and tourist arrivals over the previous year, in September we were hit hard by a series of unusual hurricanes that not only destroyed property, but also took the lives of many of our citizens. We must never forget the souls we lost along the way.

Physically, we will recover. Our Caribbean people are a resilient population. We will put the bricks and mortar back together and the hotels and vegetation will rise again and shine in the brilliant sunlight.

We take this time, a season of celebration and joy and the promise of a new beginning, to both reflect on the preceding year and look forward to tomorrow. And we will take the time to give thanks.

Travellers coming to the countries that were impacted by the storms will now see various stages of the rebuild/recover effort. Some are already fully up to speed and ready for the winter; others, only partially so. Our affected islands respect the safety and security of guests and staff and are therefore being frank and open about their state of readiness.

As tourism is the main economic driver for most of the Caribbean, we place enormous emphasis on delivering value and a superb visitor experience. In the hurricane-affected islands guests in 2018 and beyond will expect to see a product that is rebuilt stronger, better and even more attractive than before. That’s the plan, however long it takes to deliver.

We are thankful that the vast majority of the Caribbean never got touched by the hurricanes, so those islands have continued to welcome visitors every day. For them it’s business as usual. We are grateful to the travel professionals, the many visitors and our citizens themselves who continue to share images of the Caribbean today. Those pictures tell a thousand realities.

We want to use this time to thank our member countries that were quick to come to the aid of others not so fortunate. We want to thank our partners, the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, the airlines, cruise lines and the hotels across the region that have worked and are still working to bring the Caribbean back to normal operations. We want to thank our marketing and sales partners, the tour operators, wholesalers and travel agents from around the world who have stood by the region and continue to promote and sell our destinations. And we want to thank the media that have, for the most part, painted a proper picture of our region that is clearly open for business. Through it all, we are also eternally grateful to our visitors and to the Caribbean Diaspora who stand shoulder to shoulder with our region in times of need.

Even as we prepare to greet a New Year let us take a moment to look back on a few of the successes of 2017.

Recently we embarked on a strategy to substantially enhance the Caribbean’s engagement in Canada, to develop business in non-traditional areas and work closely with our members’ representatives for maximum impact. New travel agent training and certification, increased use of targeted social media, enhanced deployment of the CTO’s data analysis tools, and more focused engagement with the Caribbean Diaspora were all components of the 2017 strategy for Canada. The Canadian market was a strong performer for most of 2017, with arrivals up by 6.4 percent. We can now look forward to more expansion of that market in 2018.

We also continued to focus on our two primary markets, the United States and Europe, with the UK, in particular, taking a central role. These markets were more robust in 2017 and we trust this will continue in 2018.

We realized too, that intra-Caribbean tourism, which has also been on the rise, would need our continuous attention, especially under the current circumstances where the task of educating the travelling public and removing the barriers to intra-Caribbean travel will continue to be a challenge.

At the start of the year we declared 2017 the Year of Adventure in the Caribbean and we capitalized on this in multiple promotions with member countries and industry partners. The Caribbean Year of Adventure linked directly with the United Nations Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and allowed us to pair adventure with sustainability.

The year culminated with the World Tourism Organization holding its Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth, in Jamaica, followed by the CTO’s partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank to host the Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum in St. Kitts.

For the New Year the CTO has declared 2018 The Year of Rejuvenation in the Caribbean. With wellness and rejuvenation being important aspects of the Caribbean tourism product, we are encouraging our member countries and private sector partners to plan and organise events and activities around that theme.

For travellers who focus on renewing body and spirit, the options are virtually endless; from beachfront workouts and yoga retreats, to wellness resorts and spa treatments, the notion of being rejuvenated in the Caribbean is one more reason to let us pamper you in 2018.
The 2018 Caribbean Year of Rejuvenation will be promoted through social media and traditional media channels and will create opportunities for locals, travellers and holiday/vacation planners to share their ideas on how to capture the Caribbean’s huge capacity for wellness and rejuvenation. It will be a time of rebirth for us and for those who come to share the joy of a Caribbean vacation experience.

We look forward to 2018 with optimism and excitement.

On behalf of our CTO Chairman, The Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism, the CTO Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism, the Board of Directors, Members and Staff of the CTO, I thank you for your continued support of our region, and I wish you and yours a safe, peaceful and prosperous New Year.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO S.G. Urges Support of Tourism for Caribbean Recovery at UNWTO Confab on Jobs, Growth

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (18 Dec, 2017) – Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, urged building upon the resilience of tourism and supporting Caribbean tourism to prepare, manage and recover from crises, to more than 1,500 participants at the Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism, held recently in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Mr. Riley called for exploring potential strategies for the tourism sector to plan for future preparation, management and recovery, specifically after the category five hurricanes that impacted a handful of member counties. He advised participants of the scope, size and resilience of the tourism sector and of the CTO, and highlighted CTO’s focus on sustainability and the depth and breadth of the relationships CTO has created, as well as the resources the organization makes available for CTO member countries.

The secretary general also urged establishing energy policies and observing protocols that improve the region’s climate resilience, effective disaster risk management and reduction, enforcing and maintaining proper building codes.

“It was truly an honour to present at this conference where the goal was centered on a new, collaborative framework for tourism, moving towards the 2030 agenda for sustainable development,” he said.

Addressing the topic of resilience, Mr. Riley shared the six areas of focus that the CTO considers essential to building support for Caribbean tourism: sustainable development, resource mobilization, brand leadership, research and market development, human capital development and advocacy.

“Resource mobilization should utilize available resources to sustain, develop, improve and rebuild,” he told the audience. “Rapid recovery of tourism is needed for debt reduction, employment and poverty alleviation, and to most especially to generate foreign exchange.”

Brand leadership should reinforce the value and attributes of the Caribbean brand, Mr. Riley noted. “We need to educate the public and the travel industry on the geography of the Caribbean,” he said, adding: “Every one per cent decline in arrivals could mean a significant loss of revenue.”

Regarding human capital development, the secretary general wants to train, re-train, certify and equip. But he was quick to add: “Being good hosts is not just the responsibility of a select few. As long as the region continues to boast that its people are its most sought after tourism asset, every citizen has a role.”

In closing, Mr. Riley urged the region to enlist champions among celebrities as well as public and private sector leaders. “Effective advocacy speaks powerfully to the issues that facilitate the development of travel and tourism globally,” he added.

In addition to his presentation, Mr. Riley moderated the “Caribbean Tourism within the Context of the Americas” session.

Organised by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Government of Jamaica, the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank, the global conference brought together world leaders from governments, the tourism industry, donors, and international development and finance organizations, to design and coordinate an international road map and foster collaborative relationships for inclusive economic and social development of tourism.

An official event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, the event gathered more than 1,500 participants and over 150 speakers to help identify successful models and initiatives of public-private partnerships that will contribute to sustainable tourism development globally. In order to achieve results, the conference yielded practical plans to guide future development initiatives including specific development protocols and opportunities related to the achievement of global partnerships for sustainable development.

For more information about the UNWTO Global Conference on Building Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism for Development, visit http://know.unwto.org/event/unwto-global-conference-building-partnerships-sustainable-tourism-development.

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UBERSOCA Cruise Patrons Win Luxury Caribbean Vacations at CTO Destination Showcase OnBoard

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) partnered with Ubersoca Cruise (USC), the largest Caribbean soca music and carnival festival at sea, which sailed from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico, November 16 – 20, 2017. CTO hosted a Destination Showcase onboard Ubersoca Cruise 2017, which included a presentation on Caribbean destinations and ongoing CTO initiatives, highlighting the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund and the CTO Scholarship Foundation; initiatives which generate funding to provide financial assistance to support member countries post disaster, and nationals to pursue studies in tourism, hospitality and related fields.

A highlight of the onboard activity was the exciting ‘I Am Caribbean’ Trivia competition which featured questions on the culture, geography and history of the region. A packed auditorium of over 200 patrons participated in the event vying for a chance to win one of the luxury Caribbean vacations on offer.

The CTO is pleased to announce the winners of the Trivia Competition as follows:

Name                          Nationality                 Prize

Valery Lionel        British Virgin Islands        Valentines Residences Resort and Marina, The Bahamas

Jawaan Riley          British Virgin Islands       Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, The Bahamas

Delora Samuel       Dominica                          Kittitian Hill, St. Kitts

Meleke Turnbull    US Virgin Islands                San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Belize

Jason Seignoret      Dominica                            Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort and Spa, Martinique

Kamona Ayres        Trinidad and Tobago        True Blue Bay Boutique Resort, Grenada

The CTO was pleased to partner with Clarke’s Court Rum of Grenada Distillers Limited, Grenada, producers of award-winning rums and spirits, who provided free product samples and rum tastings during the event. Clarke’s Court Rum Distillery in operation since 1937, is the island’s best-known and largest distillery and is an iconic historical site, offering rum making and factory tours and tastings.

Special thanks are extended to all participating resort properties for providing complimentary 3 nights’ accommodation for two, for the trivia competition winners. Special thanks are also owned to our tourism partners in the respective destinations: The Ministries of Tourism, National Tourist Boards and Hotel and Tourism Associations of Belize, The Bahamas, Martinique, Grenada and St Kitts for assisting us in facilitating outreach to the respective resort properties in their destinations.

Ubersoca cruise is the first and only full cruise ship charter dedicated exclusively to Caribbean Soca music and culture, which brings together Caribbean nationals with members of the Diaspora and friends of the region from across the globe. In addition to multiple live concerts and themed events, Ubersoca cruise offers a myriad of other exciting activities onboard, which make it an ‘experience beyond the music’. To learn more about Ubersoca Cruise and partner for the 2018 sailing, please email [email protected] or visit www.ubersocacruise.com.

Feel free to book your next Caribbean adventure with our partnered hotels:

Valentines Residences Resort and Marina, The Bahamas – https://www.valentinesresort.com/

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, The Bahamas – https://bahamar.grand.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

Kittitian Hill, St Kitts – http://www.kittitianhill.com/

San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Belize – https://www.sanignaciobelize.com/

True Blue Bay Boutique Resort, Grenada – https://truebluebay.com/

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BBC Presenter Encourages Broadcasters To Help People Understand Climate Change

Basseterre, St Kitts, 13 December, 2017 – The keynote speaker at the Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum (CSSTF) being held in St. Kitts and Nevis, encouraged participants to think about people and how their decisions as potential and actual travellers were influenced by media reports. Gregory McKenzie, television presenter and reporter with the BBC, was the opening speaker for the CSSTF on Wednesday, December 12, which is being held at the Ocean Terrace Inn.

He explained that viewers may not want to know about climate change because they might not find it interesting or easy to understand.

“Our role as broadcasters is to…help people understand that it’s real, it’s happening,” he said. “…It’s about how we can tap into that and show people around the world on our shows that…it’s an issue. People’s lives are a at risk and many have died.”

However, he noted that while media practitioners should aim to educate their audiences about climate change, they also needed to accurately describe climate change-related events and the areas in which they occurred. For example, the coverage on the destruction in the region caused by the passage of two major hurricanes recently might have led some persons to believe that the entire region suffered severe damage.

“The global picture is [that] the Caribbean [is] one, and people forget there’s different islands,” the broadcast journalist said. “So, a part of my role is to show people the Caribbean is open for business.”

Having spent more than 15 years working for the BBC, Gregory McKenzie said he considered his role with the entity and thought about how he could encourage editors there to think about climate change in a different way. For the past four years, McKenzie has been directing, producing and reporting content for the BBC’s flagship Travel Show which is broadcast to more than 300 million viewers a week.  In doing so he has travelled to more than 30 destinations across the world.

Where the tourism industry was concerned, McKenzie explained that as more territories developed their tourism industry, it would produce significant impacts on their natural resources, consumption patterns, pollution and social systems. Because of this, he said that sustainable and responsible planning and management was imperative for the industry to survive.

“Now we already know that global tourism is reaching unprecedented levels. The demand is huge, and, for the first time in our history, the number of tourists crossing international borders in a single year has reached over the one billion mark, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation;” he said.

“The role of the consumer in all of this really shouldn’t be overlooked.”

Consumers, he added, needed to be engaged and stakeholders needed to find ways to prompt them to think in a sustainable way.

“When you’re on holiday, probably the last thing a tourist is thinking about [is] ‘where do I put the plastic?’ or ‘what do I do with that?’, but we can change that in terms of the mindset of tourists and show them different initiatives,” he explained.

“A balance has to be found between limits and usage so that [we] continuously change monitoring and planning [to] ensure that tourism can be managed, and this requires long term thinking and realizing that change is often gradual and often irreversible for economic, social and environmental aspects. Sustaining development must include the interests of all stakeholders, including indigenous people, local communities, visitors, industries and of course more importantly, government.”

The 12-13 December forum, jointly organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the St. Kitts and Nevis Ministry of Tourism, is the region’s bespoke event in observance of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.  The conference theme is “Good for Use, Better for All”.

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Climate Change, Climate Smart Forum, Corporate News

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CTO Investment Guide Distributed in Toronto and at Caribbean Business Events

TORONTO, Canada , 21 November, 2017 – The Caribbean Tourism and Hospitality Investment Guide, a bi-annual publication of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), was distributed during Caribbean Week in Toronto to Canadian entrepreneurs, business organizations and Diaspora leaders.

Caribbean Week activities in Toronto and Montreal run from November 10-17.

The Investment Guide showcases a wide range of investment opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector in CTO member states and lists incentives that Caribbean Governments are offering to attract new business.

The publication was distributed at the recent Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit (CHICOS) in Bermuda and is available to delegates at this week’s Miami Conference on the Caribbean organized by Caribbean Central American Action (CCAA).

Tourism Ministers from across the region and selected companies and business organizations received copies of the publication during Caribbean Week events in New York.

The publication includes information on the performance of the region’s tourism industry with highlights from the CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley and Acting Director of Research Ryan Skeete. It also provides an outlook for the region’s hotel sector.

The Investment Guide highlights new investments in the region’s tourism and hospitality sector including properties in The Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Cayman Islands.
“The Caribbean has a strong competitive advantage due to our natural and physical resources, and is ripe for new hotel and tourism infrastructure projects. There are opportunities for investments in airports, seaports and shopping centres, as well as unique tourism products such as outfitting heritage sites with modern technology and clean energy sources,” CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley said.

The Investment Guide is produced by Marketing, Communications and Investment Promotion Specialist, Sandra Ann Baptiste, who heads Florida-based Carigold Signature.

“CTO member countries are also seeking investment to expand the medical tourism and health and wellness sectors. There are investment opportunities for new restaurants and cafes, sports tourism facilities and new convention centers, yachting and marine services, new attractions, river and land transportation services, and to develop the creative industries,” Baptiste said in the editorial.

The Investment Guide is one of the projects of the New York-based CTO USA Inc. office headed by Sylma Brown Bramble.

The publication will be available on www.onecaribbean.org for a minimal fee.

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

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The CTO Declares 2018 The Year of Wellness And Rejuvenation In The Caribbean

TORONTO, ON, 14 November, 2017 –   The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has declared 2018 the Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation in the Caribbean.

The CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley announced the theme for next year at a news conference here on Monday 13 November, as part of the programme for Caribbean Week Canada 2017.

With wellness and rejuvenation being important aspects of the Caribbean tourism product offering, the CTO is encouraging member countries and private sector partners to plan and organise events and activities around the theme that will appeal to consumers, travel agents and tour operators.

“For those who focus on renewing body and spirit, the options are virtually endless; from beachfront workouts and yoga retreats, to wellness resorts and spa treatments, the notion of being rejuvenated in the Caribbean is one more reason to let us pamper you in 2018,” the secretary general said.

“The region’s diverse tropical landscape with mountain ranges, valleys and volcanoes, provide excellent opportunities for a variety of ages and physical abilities. Individual trekking, group hiking, health walks, fun-runs, marathons and a range of water-based health-related activities are held throughout the year in our CTO member-countries.”

The global wellness sector is a $3.72 trillion industry, according to the Global Wellness Institute, a Miami, Florida-based non-profit-making organisation that provides global research and insight into the wellness industry.

The 2018 Caribbean Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation will be promoted through social media and traditional media channels and will create opportunities for travellers and holiday planners to share their experiences and ideas of how to welcome visitors to the region for wellness and rejuvenation.

Through the campaign, CTO, its member countries and private sector partners will highlight the Caribbean as the leading choice for wellness and rejuvenation.

At the briefing, Mr. Riley also announced that the Canadian market was a strong performer during the first half of 2017, with arrivals up by 6.4 per cent over the corresponding period last year, and is expected to continue to register growth this year despite the hurricanes which impacted about 25 per cent of CTO member countries.

“The Conference Board of Canada is predicting that decent capacity and relative value will support growth and expects a transfer of demand from affected destinations to unaffected countries, with the overall impact likely to be minimal,” he said.

In addition, the Conference Board of Canada predicts that Caribbean air lift from Canada will be stable, with capacity up by double digits to about a dozen Caribbean countries through to July, while several others showed strong growth of between five per cent and ten per cent.

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

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