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CTO Sustainable Tourism Roundup – October 1st, 2019

In this edition we are pleased to announce the launch of the Community-Based Tourism (CBT) Toolkit by the CTO in partnership with Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) and the call for proposals for agro-tourism and community-based tourism initiatives. We also highlight two upcoming conferences and provide a three month drought bulletin and sargassum outlook newsletter developed by our partners.

View Roundup.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO Announces Winners of the 2019 Caribbean Travel Media Awards

London, UK, 5 November 2019: Amidst the sounds and colours of a Barbados Tuk Band, courtesy of headline sponsor, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., the big winners of the 2019 Caribbean Travel Media Awards were revealed last night at an exclusive networking evening held at the Crowne Plaza London Docklands.

Shortlisted by a panel of 14 judges representing the industry, the winners across eight categories were each awarded a prestigious trophy with Certificates for runners-up, in the presence of visiting Caribbean ministers and UK Chapter members, including individual sponsors of the awards.

The first award of the night went to Martin Steady winning in the Best Travel Trade category for ‘A Journey to Belize’* in Selling Travel Magazine, an excellent account of his cultural and historical journey through the Belize islands.

Within the national and regional press categories, Juliet Rix picked up the Best National Newspaper award for her inspiring coverage of Dominica two years after the devastation of Hurricane Irma featured in the Telegraph’s print as ‘The Calm After the Storm’ and online as ‘Rediscovering Dominica two years after the hurricane’; with the Best Regional Newspaper award going to Hannah Stephenson for the second year running. Her feature ‘ Spice of Life – Grenada ’syndicated nationwide for PA Media (formerly the Press Association) offered a refreshing focus on Grenada’s community spirit and its unspoilt nature.

Amongst the other accolades the Best Consumer Feature went to Ronan O’Shea who takes his readers off the beaten track to discover amazing hiking trails and coastal food in his feature ‘ Antigua Beyond the Beaches’ for Escapism Magazine.

In the biggest category overall, with over 40 entries submitted, Blogger Macca Sherifi of An Adventurous World scooped the combined Best Online & Blog Post award. In his feature and video, Macca brings the island of Dominica to life through his passionate and inspiring travel guide ‘ What to do in Dominica-My Travel Guide to Dominica’.

The Best Broadcast category brought up some surprises with two episodes of Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen, Antigua and Dominica, reaching the finalist stage. Presented by Ainsley Harriott, Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen –Antigua, which showcased the island’s local culinary treasures alongside stupendous footage, scooped up the winner’s award. View the trailer at YouTube Antigua Trailer.

In the Social Media category, three impressive campaigns made the shortlist with the winner of the Best Social Media Campaign going to #WhatCoolLooksLike for the Traverse Antigua Conference 2019. Up to 10 UK influencers representing blogs including Dejashu, Travel Documentaries, I Want You To Know, Sandy Makes Sense and Travel Colourfully were part of a Campaign involving 33 content creators who individually presented excellent content across numerous social media platforms.

In the final category for 2019, Audrey Gillan and Nicola Trup scooped the Best Caribbean Round Up award for their feature, ‘Caribbean Cook Up’ in National Geographic Traveller, a fascinating and beautifully illustrated culinary journey through the Caribbean.

Carol Hay, the CTO’s director of marketing for UK and Europe, said “Congratulations to all the finalists and winners in the 2019 awards; the Caribbean Travel Media Awards have successively drawn a high standard of entries in all categories, each entry playing their part in raising awareness of the Caribbean as a region, and this year has been no exception.

“I would like to personally thank all the entrants who took time to submit their entries and express my gratitude to our headline sponsor, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, our individual award sponsors who very generously provided the prizes and the Judges for taking time out to review the entries.”

The 2019 Caribbean Travel Media Awards winners, runners-up (2nd and 3rd place respectively) and sponsors were:

Best Travel Trade Feature:
MARTIN STEADY for ‘A Journey to Belize’, Selling Travel
In 2nd place: Andrew Doherty, TTG with ‘Jamaica Beyond The Beaches’
In 3rd place: Kathryn Liston, Selling Travel, with ‘My Journey – St. Vincent & the Grenadines’
Sponsor: Discover Dominica Authority

Best National Newspaper Feature:
JULIET RIX for ‘Rediscovering Dominica two years after the Hurricane’, The Telegraph and Telegraph.co.uk
In 2nd place: Ian Belcher, The Times for ‘How Grenada turned up the heat’
TIED with James Henderson, The Telegraph for ‘Go Organic, local… and Jamaican’
In 3rd place: Fiona Hyde, Irish Times, for ‘Holidaying solo on the honeymooner’s island of Saint Lucia’
Sponsor: St. Kitts Tourism Authority

Best Regional Newspaper Feature:
HANNAH STEPHENSON, ‘Spice of Life Grenada’, PA Media
In 2nd: Priya Joshi, PA Media for ‘In Jamaica, The Jamaican Way’
In 3rd place: Jane Harris, Waterfront Magazine with ‘Happy Landings Saint Lucia’
Sponsor: Saint Lucia Tourism Authority

Best Consumer Feature:
RONAN O’SHEA for ‘Antigua Beyond the Beaches’ Escapism
In 2nd place: Caroline Robertson-Brown, Scubaverse, for ‘Treasure Island Barbados’
In 3rd place: Nick Redman, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, for ‘Beq in Time’
Sponsor: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

Best Broadcast (TV & Radio) Feature:

AINSLEY HARRIOTT forAinsley’s Caribbean Kitchen – Antigua, ITV
In 2nd place: Greg McKenzie, BBC Travel Show for ‘Swapping dance moves for hard hats in Saint Martin’
In 3rd place: Ainsley Harriott, Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen – Dominica, ITV
Sponsor: Bahamas Tourist Office

Best Online and/or Blog Feature:
MACCA SHERIFI for ‘What to do in Dominica-My Travel Guide’, An Adventurous World
In 2nd place: Ursula Barzey, Caribbean & Co for ‘10 Islands To Visit in St Vincent & The Grenadines’
TIED WITH
Laura French, Lonely Planet, for ‘Wildlife, beaches and rum: Embracing Guadeloupe’s rustic charm’
In 3rd place: Heather Cowper, Heather on her Travels for ‘Kaaboo Cayman Review’
TIED WITH
Ella Alexander, Harper’s Bazaar (Online) for ‘Beyond the beaches, a cultural guide to Jamaica’
Sponsor: Tobago Tourism Agency

Best Social Media Campaign:
#WhatCoolLooksLike campaign for TRAVERSE ANTIGUA CONFERENCE 2019
In 2nd place: Charlie and Jess Wild for Kuoni & the Travel Project ‘Secret Antigua’
In 3rd place: Ursula Barzey, Caribbean & Co for ‘Celebrating Creole Day& Other Things To Do In Saint Lucia’
Sponsor: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

Best Caribbean Round Up:
AUDREY GILLAN & NICOLA TRUP for ‘A Caribbean Cook Up’, National Geographic Traveller
In 2nd place: Lucy Thackray, Mandarin Oriental Magazine for ‘Six luxury trips from Canouan’
In 3rd place: Jo Cooke, Travel Weekly for ‘Eight of the best Caribbean Cities’
Sponsor: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

View photos from Awards.

Posted in: 2019 News, Corporate News, Uncategorized

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Caribbean Tourism Organization Welcomes JetBlue’s Continued Growth in the Region

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (24 Oct. 2019) – Having doubled its seat capacity to the Caribbean over the last decade, JetBlue is looking to expand its business footprint in the region, including through its travel booking arm, JetBlue Travel Products.

Mike Pezzicola, the head of commercial for JetBlue Travel Products, presented at a recent Caribbean outlook forum organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in Antigua and Barbuda.

He said JetBlue operates over 1000 flights daily with a third of its route network in the Caribbean, and this is likely to increase as JetBlue continues to expand capacity in the years ahead. Since May of 2018, JetBlue has added six additional non-stop routes to Caribbean destinations.

In addition, the JetBlue official told the senior tourism policymakers and executives the company was also focused on increasing bookings of ground transportation, tours, hotels and attractions in destinations through the travel booking arm.

“One thing we see is that as folks are planning to travel, when they book their travel vacation with us, and we help them plan it, their stay is longer and they are more likely to return, if not to the destination then to another destination in the tropics,” said Pezzicola.

He added that JetBlue was also focusing on improving its cooperative marketing with destinations and large resorts, while also emphasising the uniqueness of Caribbean destinations by highlighting their culture, food and events.

“We are working very heavily now on explaining the difference and as a lot of our customers, particularly those flying down from the US, have this vision that every  [destination in the Caribbean] is the same and we all know that is not true,” said Pezzicola.

The Caribbean tourism outlook forum was the first organised by the CTO as a platform for discussion between member governments and leaders from the tourism industry that generate business to the region. It was attended by ministers and commissioners of tourism, directors of tourism, chief executives of destination management organisations, permanent secretaries, advisors and specialists and technical officers from 12 member countries.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Corporate News

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2019 Caribbean Travel Media Awards UK Finalists Announced

London, UK 19 October 2019: The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is delighted to announce the final shortlist in each of the eight categories in the 2019 Caribbean Travel Media Awards. More than 130 entries across eight categories were reviewed by an expert panel of judges, representing the media and travel industry, via a strict criteria and points system.

Carol Hay, the CTO’s director of marketing for UK and Europe, said, “Over the past few weeks our expert panel of judges have deliberated and debated to decide the finalists for this year’s awards and we congratulate all the nominees who made it on the shortlist. The high calibre of entries received truly underlines the passion that media continue to have for the Caribbean and I am sure this made it a tough job for the judges. We acknowledge our Judges for their time and commitment and look forward to welcoming them and the finalists to the Awards.”

The full list of finalists in each category, in no particular order, is:

Best travel trade feature
Sponsor: Discover Dominica Authority
Kathryn Liston, Selling Travel
Andrew Doherty, TTG
Martin Steady, Selling Travel

Best national newspaper feature
Sponsor: St. Kitts Tourism Authority
Fiona Hyde, Irish Times
Juliet Rix, Telegraph
Ian Belcher, The Times

Best regional newspaper feature
Sponsor: Saint Lucia Tourism Authority
Priya Joshi, Press Association
Hannah Stephenson, Press Association
Jane Harris, Waterfront Magazine

Best consumer feature
Sponsor: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
Nick Redman, Sunday Times Travel Magazine
Caroline Robertson-Brown, Dive Travel Adventures
Ronan O’Shea, Escapism Magazine

Best broadcast, TV and radio feature
Sponsor: Bahamas Tourist Office
Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen in Dominica, ITV
Greg McKenzie, BBC Travel Show
Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen in Antigua, ITV

Best online feature or blog post
Sponsor: Tobago Tourism Agency
Heather Cowper, Heather on her travels + Ella Alexander, Harpers Bazaar
Macca Sherifi-An Adventurous World
Ursula Barzey, Caribbean & Co + Laura French, Lonely Planet

Best Social Media Campaign
Sponsor: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
Celebrating Creole Day – Ursula Barzey, Caribbean & Co.
Traverse Antigua Conference 2019
Charlie and Jess Wild – Kuoni and The Travel Project

Best Caribbean Round Up
Sponsor: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Jo Cooke, Travel Weekly
Audrey Gillan and Nicola Trup, National Geographic Traveller
Lucy Thackray, Mandarin Oriental Magazine.

Amongst the panel of judges for the 2019 Caribbean Travel Media Awards were:
Johnson Johnrose, Communications Specialist, Caribbean Tourism Organization; Helen Tabois, Senior Product & Marketing Manager, Caribbean & Cruise, ITC Travel; Pat Riddell, Editor, National Geographic Traveller (UK); Greg Armstrong, Product Management Director, Blue Bay Travel; Gary Davis, GD Travel & Travel Tips; Donna Joseph, Sales Director, SN Travel; Laverne Walker, Director, Sackville Travel Services Ltd; Daniel Pearce, CEO, TTG Media; Eulanda & Omo, founders & creative curators of HDYTI; Paul Scudamore, Contributing Editor, Travel Bulletin; Rachel O’Reilly, Head of Communications, Kuoni; Denise Greene, Sunrise Marketing; Graham McKenzie, Travelmole.

Click here to read more about each of our 14 judges on the panel.

The Caribbean Travel Media Awards continue to celebrate and reward the very best representation of the Caribbean by the media industry in the areas of story-telling in print and online, social media and broadcast. The overall winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on Monday 4 November to be held at the Crowne Plaza London Docklands at Royal Victoria Dock.

Individual sponsors support each category with this year’s headline sponsor confirmed as Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO Mourns Passing of Flora Gilford, Former President of CTO Northern California Chapter

NEW YORK, NY (17 Oct., 2019) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is grieving the loss of a longtime friend of the Caribbean, Flora Gilford, who passed away on 9 Oct., 2019 in Michigan at the age of 97. Gilford was a travel agent who served as president of the CTO Northern California Chapter between the late 1980s to mid-1990s. Visitation will be held on 21 Oct. from 7 – 8 p.m. at the Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home in Lansing, Michigan.

“Flora Gilford was well loved by her peers; she wholeheartedly loved the Caribbean and was always willing to volunteer when we needed a helping hand,” said Sylma Brown, director of CTO-USA, Inc. “She treated the CTO staff members and young sales representatives for CTO member countries as her children, always looking out for their well-being in a motherly way. To this day, my own children, nieces and nephews that knew her while they were growing up refer to her as ‘Grandma Flora’ because that is what she told them to call her,” Brown added.

Gilford was instrumental in the execution of the Caribbean Sales seminars, held annually in CTO member countries, which provided travel agent members of the CTO Chapters across the U.S. and Canada with the opportunity to participate in exclusive training and in-country workshops. She always attended the Caribbean Tourism Conferences (CTC) and consistently volunteered to assist CTO with managing the travel agents who attended the conferences.

Gilford also spearheaded fundraising efforts for the Audrey Palmer Hawks Memorial Scholarship Fund, a pre-cursor to the current CTO Scholarship Foundation.

“Flora was a loving, compassionate and wonderful woman who will be missed by many who loved her,” said Brown.

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