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The CTO Welcomes the USVI

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (January 13, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has started 2023, a  year it sees as one of growth for the regional body, by welcoming the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) as its 25th member country.

The USVI, one of the leading destinations in the Caribbean, joins the organization of regional tourism leaders at a time when the CTO seeks to refocus its mandate on shaping the Caribbean tourism sector of the future.  The relationship between the USVI and the CTO is not a new one, and the organisation is confident that the renewed partnership will result in several positive outcomes for both parties, and the wider CTO membership. In welcoming the new member, Chairman of the CTO, Hon. Kenneth Bryan expressed his belief in the opportunity this relationship presents for regional tourism. “I wholeheartedly welcome the United States Virgin Islands and Commissioner Boschulte to the Membership. Having one of the fastest growing travel destinations in our fraternity further strengthens the Organization and enhances the spirit of collaboration and cohesion among our jurisdictions. The USVI has joined a community that is committed to working together to sustainably grow and develop Caribbean Tourism and we look forward to working with Commissioner Boshulte in this regard.”

Commissioner Boschulte of the USVI, in expressing his thoughts on his destination’s status as a CTO member said, “The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is a key economic driver in the Caribbean’s growth and sustainability, and we are honoured that the USVI is now a member. Sustainability is always top of mind for us as we look to maintain the tranquil and unspoiled landscapes of St Thomas, St Croix and St John. Eco-friendly practices are vital for keeping our islands clean and pristine, and to ensure the preservation of our natural resources and ecosystems. We saw encouraging growth in tourism in the USVI in 2022. We look forward to working with the CTO in 2023 to create mechanisms to ensure that growth continues for both the USVI and our Caribbean neighbours.”

The CTO member countries are representative of the diversity that exists in the Caribbean, which makes the region one of the most unique tourism destinations in the world.   The organization has adopted a mandate to support the sustainable tourism and economic development among its members.

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Caribbean Tourism Month Message from the CTO

Our celebrations of Caribbean Tourism Month this year continue our focus on Caribbean wellness which is the theme for 2022.

Considering the World Tourism Day theme of ‘Rethinking Tourism’, as we navigate the post pandemic period, our region, like all other regions, has been tasked with ensuring that the new tourism paradigm takes into account, first and foremost, sustainability as the mainstay of any rethinking process. This approach is designed to ensure that we carefully consider the economic, environmental, social and other critical factors which affect or are likely to affect the sector in the foreseeable and longer-term future.

Since the start of tourism in the region, going back to the years shortly after our countries began receiving European settlers, persons from these countries travelled to the Caribbean to improve their health, seek their fortune, start a new beginning and, in more recent times, for fun, relaxation and ‘wellness’.

At the recently held Caribbean Community-Based Network Forum, held under the theme ‘Wellness Tourism Beyond the Norm’, feature speaker, Ms. Stephanie Rest, Founder, Caribbean Wellness and Education prefaced her statements by pointing out: “Wellness comes naturally to the Caribbean”.

In rethinking tourism in the Caribbean, we have an opportunity to capitalize on our land and marine based assets including our warm tropical climate, pristine oceans and seas, and the abundance of hot springs, waterfalls, rivers and enchanting flora and fauna that can be found across the Caribbean landscape. Additionally, our rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality further sets our region apart from others, while presenting each destination in the Caribbean as a unique and rewarding experience for visitors.

“The potential of the tourism sector and several elements which can add to its sustainability remain untapped. In rethinking tourism, we have to find the right formula to properly and responsibly use these natural and heritage assets to the advantage of our sector and all Caribbean people” said the Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Chairman of the CTO Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism.

“The reshaped tourism sector in the Caribbean, led by the CTO, in accepting its place as a key economic driver, must remain diverse in its product offerings, and ready to withstand any shock; a lesson learnt from the 18 months of uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

As the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), our member countries, allied and affiliate members and Caribbean tourism interests celebrate Caribbean Tourism Month this November, let us celebrate the Caribbean’s sustained position as the place to visit for wellness as we embrace and highlight the treasures which can be found within our shores.

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About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which is headquartered 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 organisation provides specialised 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; E-mail: CTObarbados@caribtourism.com
For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization, please visit www.OneCaribbean.org and follow CTO on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn to be part of the conversation.

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Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Officials Tapped as Top Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Executives

For the first time, a Cayman Islands Minister of Tourism has been elected as the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Chairman. The Honorable Kenneth Bryan was unanimously elected by CTO members and assumes the chairmanship of the CTO Council of Ministers for the next two years. In addition, Rosa Harris, the Cayman Islands Director of Tourism, will serve as chairman of the CTO Board of Directors for the next two years.

“I am honored to take on this role and proud to serve as Cayman Islands first Chairman elect,” said Honorable Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism. “I am committed to supporting the Caribbean region especially since many of our sister islands recently lifted Covid testing and restrictions making it easier for consumers to travel to the Caribbean which is imperative post-pandemic. Having the confidence from my colleagues to represent the Caribbean is humbling and I look forward to collaborating with them during my chairmanship.”

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.” CTO provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning and execution, and research and information technology.

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit www.onecaribbean.org. For more information on the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism please visit www.visitcaymanislands.com.

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Statement From CTO Chairman, Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Regarding the Passage Of Hurricane Fiona

As the Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Council of Ministers & Commissioners of Tourism, I am confident that I speak for all of my Ministerial Colleagues in saying that our thoughts and prayers go out to our brothers and sisters across the Caribbean that are being impacted by the ravages of Hurricane Fiona.

I sincerely hope that you, your loved ones, and colleagues are safe and secure.

I recognise that the needs of your family, friends and communities are your top concern right now, and I want you to know that the CTO stands ready to assist in whatever ways we can, if and when you need us in the weeks to come.

As Islands in the Caribbean situated in the hurricane belt, we have all faced the impact of tropical storms and hurricanes and can relate to what you are going through. We know that  there will be many difficult months ahead for those for those who have been most affected.

But with our strong faith and commitment to one another’s well-being, we will get through this. As a region, we have strength in our collective support systems and those of us who are unaffected by Hurricane Fiona, stand ready to help our regional neighbors who are in need.

On a personal note, as Chairman, my heart is with you as we move from impact to recovery.

 

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CTO Statement on the Passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

It is with great sadness that the Caribbean Tourism Organization learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and Head of the Commonwealth. The member countries, allied and affiliate members, and staff of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) join in mourning the passing of Her Majesty.

Her long service of seventy years, through many adversities, serves as a solid example of strength of will and character for those of us who have noted the significant milestones during her reign.

Photo courtesy: https://www.royal.uk/

On behalf of the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of tourism, the Board of Directors, and the entire Caribbean tourism family, the CTO extends our deepest condolences to the Royal Family and to the Government and people of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth of Nations.

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