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The Caribbean Tourism Organization Applauds the Work of Former Communications Specialist

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (May 10, 2022) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) wishes to extend heartfelt appreciation to Mr. Johnson Johnrose, who has moved on from the CTO after 20 years at the organization.

Johnson, as he is more commonly known, joined the CTO in February 2002 as a communications consultant and he was immediately thrown into the ‘fray’ as the Caribbean like the rest of the world, was recovering from the upheaval caused by the September 2001 attacks in the USA and the significant changes they caused for aviation and travel overall. This period cemented Johnson’s role and position in the CTO, and he was appointed as the organization’s communications specialist in January 2003, a position he held until May 6, 2022.

During the ensuing years, Johnson’s work has been a significant part of the communications landscape in the Caribbean.  This has extended from economic downturns to natural disasters and crimes against visitors. Throughout these events, the overarching focus of CTO communications, led by him, was to ensure that the Caribbean’s voice was clearly heard and recognized, and in the case of disasters, the Caribbean was shown as open for business as quickly as it was possible.  This was particularly well demonstrated during the aftermath of the super hurricanes of 2017 and more recently during the ongoing pandemic, ever since its start in March 2020 in the Caribbean.

Johnson’s role as a conduit for information on Caribbean tourism and the Caribbean in general is well known and will live on for a long time.  The CTO’s Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism, Board of Directors and staff wish Johnson well as he moves on to this new phase of his life.

 

 

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Caribbean Tourism Organization Appoints New Communications Consultant

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (9 May, 2022) –  The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has appointed Kevin Pile as Communications Consultant, effective May 9.

Mr Johnson Johnrose, the former Communications Specialist who was at the CTO since Feb 2002, has moved on.

Mr. Pile is a career media and communications practitioner of 27 years and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the Caribbean media landscape to the position. He has in the past served as a Managing Editor with the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) and has worked extensively in public relations with the Caribbean Premier League.

Mr. Pile will collaborate with the CTO team in driving and implementing the organization’s public relations and communications strategies and programmes.

The Communications Consultant is primarily responsible for establishing and maintaining a positive image of both the CTO and Caribbean tourism and raising the awareness and understanding of the importance of the sector to the Region.

He will also be expected to enhance the visibility of CTO members, increase their social media presence, and improve communications between CTO and  member countries.

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The Caribbean Joins Airbnb “Live and Work Anywhere” Campaign to Welcome Digital Nomads to the Region

May 06th, 2022: As flexibility becomes a permanent part of so many company cultures, Airbnb wants to make it easier for workers to take advantage of their newly enshrined flexibility. With more than 6 million listings worldwide, the platform launched last Thursday its “Live and Work Anywhere” program, an ongoing initiative to continue working with governments and DMOs to create a one-stop-shop for remote workers, and encourage them to try new locations to work, while helping to revive tourism and provide economic support to communities after years of travel restrictions.

For the Caribbean region, Airbnb found that[1]:

  • The share of nights booked for long term stays in Q1 2022 almost doubled compared to the same period in 2019.
  • In Q1 2019, almost 6% of all bookings were for long term stays, while in Q1 2022 this percentage reached almost 10%.
  • The number of nights booked for long term stays tripled in Q1’22 compared to Q1’19.

With this being said, Airbnb and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) have partnered to promote the Caribbean as a viable destination to live and work anywhere, through the launch of their “Work from the Caribbean” campaign. This Campaign is designed to highlight and promote the various destinations through a landing page that provides information on digital nomad visas for each respective country, and also highlights the best Airbnb options to stay in and work from.

This promotional landing page will be unique to others worldwide and will highlight the following 16 participating destinations as options for Digital Nomads: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Guyana, Martinique, Montserrat, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Trinidad.

The steady recovery of Caribbean tourism has been driven by innovation and a willingness to seize opportunities, like the rise of digital nomads and development of long stay programmes to diversify the visitor experience in the region.  The CTO is pleased that Airbnb has identified the Caribbean as one to highlight in its global Live and Work Anywhere program, and in doing so, support the continued success of the region”.- Faye Gill, CTO Director, Membership Services

Airbnb is proud to partner again with the CTO in order to keep promoting different destinations in the Caribbean so people can work and travel within. This campaign is a new joint effort that will continue to help with the promotion of the wonderful region”. – Airbnb Policy Manager for Central America and the Caribbean Carlos Muñoz

This partnership is one of the many initiatives in the CTO’s ongoing programme to help its members rebuild tourism and shine a light on digital nomad programmes in their destinations. 

About Airbnb

Airbnb was born in 2007 when two Hosts welcomed three guests to their San Francisco home, and has since grown to 4 million Hosts who have welcomed more than 1 billion guest arrivals in almost every country across the globe. Every day, Hosts offer one-of-a-kind stays and unique Experiences that make it possible for guests to experience the world in a more authentic, connected way.

About The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)

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. 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.

[1] Airbnb Data comparing Q1 2019 vs Q1 2022 on Long Term Stays in the CTO participating countries.

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Community-Based Tourism is an opportunity for MSMEs to become beneficiaries and guardians of well-developed strategies say UNDP and CTO

Bridgetown April 1st, 2022 — As part of its goal to support the recovery of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the United Nations Development Programme UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean has recently formalized a partnership with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which will assist in enhancing the knowledge of tourism-based MSMEs in the areas of Community-based Tourism (CBT).

This support is multi-pronged in approach and aims to help MSMEs by converting the CBT Enterprise Handbook, jointly developed by the CTO and the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF), into a self-paced and user-friendly online course. Through this capacity-building initiative, which will be led by the CTO, tourism stakeholders will be provided with access to convenient, up to date and innovative training to support their CBT development efforts, improve their business skills and productivity. The Online Course will be hosted via the recently launched Caribbean Tourism Institute and include animated lectures, activity work sheets, case studies, videos and knowledge-test assessments that will form part of a user-focussed interactive e-learning package.

“In order to create a more sustainable and inclusive tourism industry, there must be capacity building for both public and private stakeholders within the industry,” Valerie Cliff, Resident Representative UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean noted. “Community-based tourism provides the opportunity for tourists to have authentic experiences while ensuring that MSMEs are also beneficiaries and guardians of well-developed tourism strategies, which embraces the unique cultural heritage of the region. To realise this vision, collaboration with stakeholders such as the CTO, the lead regional organisation on tourism, is critical, if we want to strengthen the capacity of MSMEs throughout the region.”  She added, highlighting the need for greater collaboration with regional tourism stakeholders, as a conduit for regional transformation in the tourism sector.

The collaboration is being delivered in the frame of the UNDP Future Tourism Project, which aims to create socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable value chains. The Future-Tourism project was developed out of a need to adapt to the new post-COVID-19 environment and to build resilience within the economic sectors of the region. This collaboration with the CTO is one of many collaborative efforts, which seek to improve the long-term socioeconomic and cultural interests of the region.

CTO’s Acting Secretary General, Mr. Neil Walters, speaking on the collaboration, expressed his appreciation to the UNDP for the support and technical assistance to the CTO and by extension, the regional tourism sector. He added, “the CTO has identified CBT as a regional tourism development strategy. This is further justified by the shift in tourism demand enabling the evolution of niche markets and specially curated tourism products in the areas of rural and indigenous tourism, heritage and wellness tourism. As we herald a new era of Caribbean tourism, industry resilience and recovery should incorporate the introduction of innovative ideas for product diversification and enhancement, and capacity-building for various stakeholders including MSMEs to navigate the new normal and generate more direct benefits from tourism”.

The Online Course will facilitate delivery of training to the widest possible regional audience, and is expected to enhance CBT know-how, improve quality standards in the region, and contribute to the success and viability of MSMEs in host communities. Participants will obtain a Certificate for successful completion of the course, which will add value to regional populations that have scarce opportunities for professional development.

The UNDP Future Tourism project aims to assist governments with identifying and implementing tourism revitalisation strategies, as well as enhancing the resilience of MSMEs to external shocks while advancing their recovery and supporting digital transformation. With UNDP’s partnership with the CTO, phase 2 which aims to provide technical support for MSME retooling and access to markets within the tourism value chain, MSMEs will benefit from the additional support of the self-paced course which will provide an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills.

As part of its commitment to promote economic diversification, job creation and resilience with the “Blue Economy for Green Islands” vision, UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean aims to continue to leverage partnerships with key stakeholders in the region. UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, in partnership with governments and stakeholders, remains dedicated to the advancement of inclusive and sustainable development throughout the region and the creation of resilient communities which can withstand shocks and crises through targeted projects and programmes.

About the United Nations Development Programme, Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean

UNDP is the leading United Nations organisation fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at www.bb.undp.org or follow at @UNDPBarbados

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Caribbean Tourism Professionals Receive Certification in Sustainable Tourism Destination Management

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (22 Feb. 2022) – Close to 20 senior tourism professionals from the region are now certified in sustainable destination management after completing a six-course programme designed by the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies through a partnership with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

The programme, which exposes the participants to practical tools that facilitate the successful planning, development, management and marketing of sustainable tourism destinations and businesses, also presents them with the opportunity to improve their professional standing, expand their industry network, and deepen their understanding of tourism’s ability to contribute to environmental, social and economic goals.

Already, nearly 50 participants from CTO member countries, including permanent secretaries and directors of tourism, have completed at least one of the six-course online programme, 18 of whom have completed the full curriculum.

“We are pleased to see how this partnership with the International Institute for Tourism Studies, which was envisioned to equip tourism professionals across our membership with the skills needed to move the sector into the future, has been embraced by so many,” said Faye Gill, the CTO membership services director and the programme lead at the CTO. “We congratulate everyone who has enrolled in the professional certificate course on the success achieved and we look forward to seeing even more of our tourism leaders take up the challenge to broaden their knowledge and build on their expertise.”

Also commenting on the success of the collaboration, Seleni Matus, the institute’s executive director, said: “We are thrilled with the broad success of our partnership with the CTO through which we jointly offer a professional certificate in sustainable tourism destination management. Many tourism directors are graduates, as are professional staff from destination organisations throughout the region.  Because tourism is critically important to Caribbean economies, George Washington University is committed to working closely with the CTO to introduce new professional development programmes that will aid Caribbean nations in tackling relevant industry issues such as visitor management, product development and climate change adaptation.”

Each of the six self-managed, expert-led courses is offered over a one-week period. The six core courses include an introduction to sustainable tourism, destination management, destination marketing, product development, destination investment and finance and destination policy and planning.  Students must complete the six online courses to earn a sustainable tourism destination management certificate.

The certificate programme will be offered in three-course sets twice in 2022, with the first course scheduled to begin in June and the second in October.

About the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies 

For more than 30 years, the International Institute of Tourism Studies has been a global leader in tourism education, research, and consulting. We are helping to build a sustainable industry that balances visitor interests with destination well-being by providing guidance and support to community development and governance projects around the world. We also offer professional certificate programs in cultural heritage tourism, destination management and event management to prepare the next generation of doers, leaders and thinkers in these growth fields.

For more information on the GW International Institute of Tourism Studies, please visit https://business.gwu.edu/research/IITS and follow GW IITS on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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