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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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CTO’s Regional Tourism Youth Congress Resumes

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (August 25, 2022) – The Regional Tourism Youth Congress, organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Ministry and Department of Tourism, will make a return following a two-year break due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, when it is staged in the Cayman Islands this September.

To date, 11 countries have confirmed their participation for the 18th edition of the Youth Congress, which is scheduled for September 15, as part of the CTO events and Caribbean Aviation Day from September 12-15. Turks & Caicos, the winner of the last Youth Congress staged in Antigua and Barbuda in 2019, is set to chair this year’s Congress.

After two years of inactivity, there is already great enthusiasm surrounding this year’s Youth Congress, and with the tourism sector steadily rebounding, the timing of the event could not be more ideal.

“The Caribbean Tourism Organization is thrilled about the return of the Regional Tourism Youth Congress and despite the break, we as organisers are already envisioning a successful delivery of the event,” said Sharon Banfield-Bovell, CTO’s Director of Resource Mobilization and Development.

“Over the years, the Regional Tourism Youth Congress has been a fundamental part of the region’s tourism development landscape, helping to shape future industry leaders. Therefore, its resumption this year is of special importance, particularly for the region’s young people who annually look forward to participating in this forum and using its platform to incite and inspire change, through their presentations on issues relevant to the growth and sustainability of the tourism sector. CTO is therefore grateful to its member countries and partners for their support and for making another Tourism Youth Congress a reality.”

Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, The ​Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Nevis, St Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Tobago and Turks and Caicos will join the Cayman Islands as the countries confirmed for this year’s event.

“I am excited to be hosting the Regional Tourism Youth Congress as the event reinforces the Cayman Islands Government’s commitment to the development of the next generation of tourism leaders,” said Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Transport (Cayman Islands).

“The past two years have not only affected tourism, they have also had an unmistakable impact on the youth, especially in areas of education and employment. It is therefore imperative that we come together to ensure the continued growth of the future men and women who will ultimately work to improve our collective tourism products,” Minister Bryan added.

The first Regional Tourism Youth Congress was staged in Barbados in the year 2000, and was conceived with the objective of stimulating a greater awareness among the region’s young people about the tourism sector and its importance. Participants are between the ages of 14-17 and assume the role of Junior Ministers/Commissioners of Tourism, representing their respective CTO member country.

CTO Business Meetings and Caribbean Aviation Day, mark the first major in-person gathering for the CTO since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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IATA Caribbean Aviation Day to Host Esteemed Regional Experts

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (15 August 2022) – What do an economist, a former NASA researcher, a Vice President of a regional aviation association and a veteran journalist and broadcaster have in common? They will all be attending the upcoming International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 4th Caribbean Aviation Day held in the Cayman Islands this September.

Economist and Leading Advisor on the Caribbean, Marla Dukharan, professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Dr. John-Paul Clarke, Regional Vice President for the Americas, Peter Cerdá and Managing Director of the Jamaica Observer, Julian Rogers will join Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism and Transport along with other senior members of various Caribbean governments at the highly anticipated event.

Ms. Dukharan and Mr. Rogers will be acting as moderators for discussions on the topics “Transforming Regional connectivity and the Role of the Private Sector in Financing Intra-Regional Travel” and “Multi-Destination Tourism” respectively.

During his career, Dr. John-Paul Clarke has consulted for airlines, airports, original equipment manufacturers, and IT solution providers. He is a member of the NASA Advisory Council and the current Deputy Chair for the Cayman Airways Board of Directors. Dr. Clarke is slated to speak on the panel discussing the “Challenges and Priorities for Air Transport in the Caribbean”.

Caribbean Aviation Day is set for Wednesday 14th of September and is one of the activities surrounding the week of events which also includes the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Council of Members meeting, Youth Congress and Destination Briefings. These events will be hosted by Hon. Kenneth Bryan, the Minister of Tourism and Transport who will address conference goers as the Keynote Speaker.

“I am delighted to announce that the Cayman Islands will play host to some of the most esteemed experts in the Caribbean and Americas for this conference, like Dr. Clarke and Ms. Dukaran,” said Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Transport.

“It is an honour to be among some of the most respected industry influencers and to offer the keynote address on behalf of the people of these islands. I look forward to welcoming my colleagues and drawing information from the wealth of knowledge which will be presented over the week of events,” he added.

The day’s activities consist of Panel discussions, Fireside chats and a Ministerial Roundtable discussion on “Maximising the Social and Economic value of Aviation in the Caribbean”. The Ministerial
Roundtable will feature the Hon. Christopher Saunders, Deputy Premier (Cayman Islands), the Hon. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, (Bahamas), the Hon. Denise Charles, Minister for Tourism, (Dominica) and Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism (Belize).

Peter Cerdá, IATA Regional Vice President in the Americas leads a multinational team of professionals who proactively pursue IATA’s industry priorities with governmental authorities and industry stakeholders to make the air transport industry safer, more secure, efficient and profitable.

“This conference aims to bring together the most connected professionals and government ministers in our region to discuss issues the aviation and tourism travel industries currently face. I am hopeful that we will come away with new ideas, strengthened alliances and with the best solutions which benefit the region as a whole,” said Mr. Cerdá.

More than a dozen accredited journalists from the UK, US, Canada, and the Caribbean have been invited to attend the week of activities. They will join local media in covering the CTO Destination Briefings presented by Ministers of Tourism from the region and Caribbean Aviation Day panel discussions.

“This event arrives at a pivotal juncture for the Caribbean, especially as the region confronts the challenges of air travel and the sustainability of the tourism sector, in the wake of the last two years,” said CTO’s Acting Secretary General, Neil Walters.

“A gathering of minds at this high level augurs well for the sector and represents a major step in the right direction towards solving these challenges,” added Mr. Walters.

The Cayman Islands Government together with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, and IATA look forward to welcoming government officials and professionals from the tourism and transport industries to the 4th Caribbean Aviation Day.

This event is being held at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and the IATA Caribbean Aviation Day is open to the public. Attendee registration is US$150 with a discounted resident rate of only US$50. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

To learn more about this important week of events and to register, log on to https://www.iata.org/en/about/worldwide/americas/regional-events/Caribbean-aviation-day/.

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Note to Editors
The IATA Caribbean Aviation Day’s full agenda and speaker bios can be found here https://events.bizzabo.com/CaribbeanAD/agenda

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CTO Launches Integral CBT Online Course

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (August 15, 2022) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization has formally launched its Community-Based Tourism (CBT) Online Course, aimed at strengthening the regional sector through a broadening of the knowledge base and improvement of quality standards.

The Course, developed with the support of UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, was adapted from the Community-Based Tourism Enterprise Handbook, produced with financing from the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF).

Interactive and user-friendly, the Course seeks to assist tourism stakeholders and the business community create and expand their community-based tourism product through practical information and guidelines provided.

It will be hosted through the Caribbean Tourism Institute – the CTO’s online learning platform – and comprises eight micro modules delivered via animated lectures, activity worksheets, case studies, videos and knowledge-test assessments.

CTO’s Acting Secretary General, Neil Walters, said the formulation of the Course was consistent with the organization’s development mandate, a feature of which was the creation of capacity-building tools and delivery of education and training programmes.

“The ability to deliver opportunities for training and in particular, via online learning has become critically important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Walters said.

“This is of strategic importance to the CTO in seeking to ensure that our programmes can be accessed by the widest possible audience of tourism stakeholders across the region.

“CTO also recognizes the value of CBT and the potential it holds to expand the benefits of tourism more directly to local communities and micro, small and medium tourism enterprises.”

Course Modules include Understanding Community-Based Tourism, Planning your CBT Business, Understanding your Markets, Developing your Product, Pricing your Product, Marketing your Product, Developing Financial Management Skills and Health, Safety and Service Standards and Guidelines for CBT.

The Health, Safety and Service Standards and Guidelines chapter, also developed through support from the UNDP, was designed as a guide for the safe delivery of community-based tourism experiences, which has taken on greater significance in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

It outlines trends impacting the tourism sector and community-based tourism in particular while highlighting regional and international best practices related to health, safety and service, and providing recommendations consistent with international standards.

“The current tourism value chain is neither sustainable nor inclusive. Efforts must shift from the traditional ‘three S’s’ – sun, sand and sea – to social inclusion, sustainability, and smart destinations and businesses and that, of course, includes Community Based Tourism (CBT),” said Ugo Blanco, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

“So, knowing the excellent work that the CTO and Compete Caribbean had already done on CBT, for us it felt natural to partner with the CTO. It is hoped that through the new online course, better knowledge and understanding of CBT is spread throughout the region.”

Wayne Elliott, Coordinator of Innovation and Productivity in Caribbean Firms and Clusters at CCPF, described community-based tourism as “a powerful channel for sustainable and inclusive economic development in the Caribbean”, indicating that this was in alignment with CCPF’s mandate.

CBT enables greater market opportunities for a broad base of local entrepreneurs which in turn create employment opportunities,” Elliott said.

“Moreover, CBT represents an opportunity for regional tourism stakeholders to further diversify and to continue to develop their tourism product offering in a unique and value-added way.

“I wish to congratulate CTO for continuing to advance its work to facilitate and guide the development of community-based tourism in the Caribbean.”

For further information on the CBT Online Course and the Health, Safety and Service Standards and Guidelines chapter please see links: https://tinyurl.com/ctoctionline and https://tinyurl.com/cbthealth.

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