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Caribbean Primary School Tourism Writing Competition 2017

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is pleased to announce its  Caribbean Primary School Tourism Writing Competition for 2017, the CTO Year of Adventure in the Caribbean. This competition will open from 1st March – 1st May 2017, for children ages 8 – 12 in every CTO member country and seeks to encourage both creative and formal writing submissions related to strengthening sustainable tourism development in the region.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO and CHTA Statement on CARICOM’s Decision to Advance the Regional Tourism Agenda

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (21 February, 2017)The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the umbrella private sector organization, applaud Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government for taking the lead in recognising the critical contribution of tourism to the economies of member countries and for their commitment to advancing a regional tourism agenda.

Following a presentation, prepared in collaboration with the CHTA, and delivered by CTO secretary general Hugh Riley to the Caribbean leaders at their 28th intersessional in Guyana last week, the Heads of Government supported the advancement of a series of steps addressing transportation and the facilitation of travel, human resource development, building the creative industries, and the marketing of the Caribbean brand.  They also invited CTO and CHTA to come forth with additional information to address the region’s competitiveness and financing for the sustainability of tourism.

They called for an urgent meeting of the Council for Trade and Development (COTED)-Transportation to address air transport issues in particular, including those related to the tourism sector; and supported the establishment of an interim tourism working group to coordinate with regional public and private sector stakeholder groups, the development of specific solutions which can be advanced in priority areas.

The group will comprise representation from the CARICOM Secretariat, the CTO and the CHTA and its mandate includes the preparation of a pilot region-wide public relations and marketing initiative for 2017/2018 for presentation to the Heads at their 38th regular meeting in July.

The CARICOM leaders also agreed that public-private sector partnerships, guiding the development and marketing of tourism for the Caribbean, needed to be more effective and requested that the marketing of tourism encompass, in particular, the eco-tourism product of mainland member states of Belize, Guyana and Suriname.

The CHTA and the CTO firmly believe that tourism is a key driver of socio-economic progress, helping destinations and countries to quickly create jobs and businesses, generate tax revenues and support infrastructure improvements to the benefit of residents and visitor. It is a proven tool to lower unemployment, stimulate indigenous entrepreneurial activity, increase foreign exchange earnings, and grow tax revenues for our treasuries.

However, it is a fiercely competitive business, and we are facing the stark reality that we must find ways of maximizing the collective strength of the Caribbean, if any and all of us are to truly succeed.

The support of the leaders is a progressive and positive move and a welcomed commitment towards furthering the development of our people, so that they can take full advantage of the employment, career and entrepreneurial opportunities available through the region’s largest industry.

We wish to thank the leaders for placing tourism on their agenda. We are particularly appreciative to Prime Minister Perry Christie of the Bahamas, who has responsibility for tourism in the CARICOM quasi-Cabinet, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell for advancing the proposed initiative at the meeting.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News, Destination News

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CTO Caribbean Media Awards: Call for Entries

Entries must be submitted by Friday 28 April, 2017.

The Caribbean tourism industry cherishes its strong relationship with the Media and in appreciation for their constant positive coverage of the Region, recognizes media for influencing their readers to travel to the Caribbean.  This recognition will take place at the Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Luncheon on Thursday, June 8, 2017 during Caribbean Week New York.

To honor the media’s exceptional work in promoting the Caribbean, in feature print, broadcast and online we invite CTO government members, their public relations agencies and journalists to provide us with their top media placements for 2016 on CTO member countries.  We are also inviting submission of photography that has captured the essence of the Caribbean.

Awards will be presented to journalists from US and Caribbean-based media, in the following categories:

  • I Couldn’t Have Written It Better Myself – Best Feature Article in a US-based Consumer Newspaper
  • Been There, Wrote That – Best Feature Article in a US-based Consumer Magazine
  • Inner Circle King/Queen – Best Feature Article in a US-based Trade Publication
  • Oh Snap! – Best Photograph in Conjunction with a Feature Article
  • Golden Mic – Best Feature Broadcast
  • Virtual Visitor Award – Best Feature in an Online publication not including blogs
  • Not Lost in Translation – Best Feature by a US-based Journalist in Foreign Media
  • From Infinity…And beyond – Best Feature by a foreign Journalist that appeared in US Media
  • Me Too! I Rediscovered Home!  – Best Feature by a Diasporan Journalist in US or Caribbean Media
  • No Anansi Story! – Best Feature by a Caribbean-based Journalist that appeared in Caribbean-based media
  • Oh My Word, I Blogged! – Best Caribbean Travel Blog Posting*

*This award is given to the person voted as having written the best travel blog posting about the Caribbean or any CTO member country. Download details on this Travel Blog award. The blog must have been posted during the 2016 calendar year. The winner is decided by public vote.   

Submit online via:

 https://caribmediaawards.pgtb.me/dDmC8s

Selection Criteria
  • Only entries submitted by CTO government members, their public relations agencies or qualified media shall be eligible.
  • Submissions by foreign-based journalists who contribute to media in the US are eligible.
  • Submissions by US-based journalists who contribute to foreign-based media are eligible.
  • Minimum circulation for newspaper or magazine entries is 20,000 (1,000 for Caribbean media).
  • All entries must have been published or broadcast in the 2016 calendar year.
  • Only one entry per person per category will be entered.
  • Entries must be submitted by Friday 28 April, 2017.
  • Submissions should showcase creativity and thoughtful knowledge of the Caribbean and have a provocative story angle.
  • Award recipient agrees to allow his/her winning work to be published in part or in whole on www.onecaribbean.org, www.caribbeantravel.com and www.CaribbeanWeek.com.
  • By submitting an entry, the participant grants the CTO an irrevocable, royalty free and perpetual license right to use without restriction and reproduce all submitted work, whether article or photo, including without limitation the copying, transmission, distribution and publication for display or promotion purposes. The participant will be credited every time the article or photo is used.
  • By submitting an entry, the participant represents and warrants that he/she is the author of the article or photo entered for the award and shall defend and hold CTO harmless from any action, claim, loss, damage, liability and/or expense arising from or connected to the infringement of intellectual property rights or copyright with respect to the submitted work.
  • The winner agrees to allow his/her photograph to be taken and utilized for publicity purposes.
  • Awards will be presented on Thursday, 8 June, 2017 at the Caribbean Tourism Awards Luncheon in New York
  • Where the selection criteria herein stated have not been met, the entry shall be disqualified.
Guidelines for Submission
  • Only entries submitted by CTO government members, their public relations agencies or qualified journalists shall be eligible.
  • No fee is required to submit.
  • The relevant category being entered must be clearly specified with each entry.
  • Entries must be submitted in the following formats via  https://caribmediaawards.pgtb.me/dDmC8s.
  • Print: A scanned copy from the publication(s) in pdf or jpeg and, where possible, a web link. Print (newspaper and magazine) entries must clearly show the name of the publication, the date of publication, the title(s) and the name(s) of the journalist(s).
  • Broadcast: A copy of the script (to include transcript of the SOTs and lead ins) and a digital link to the feature. Broadcast entries must include name of entity that broadcast the piece, the date and time of broadcast and the names of the producer(s) and presenter(s).
  • Photo: One jpg copy of the photograph and one electronic copy of the publication (to include the photo) in which the photograph appeared, in pdf.
  • Online: A link to the feature.
  • Eligible participants may enter as many categories as they wish but may not submit more than one (1) entry per category.
  • For the Golden Mic (Best Broadcast Feature), where an entry is a series or serial, only one programme from the series or serial shall be submitted.
  • Entries will not be accepted after the stated deadline.
Judging Process
  • The CTO’s communications department shall scrutinize all entries upon receipt and tabulate for the judging process those entries which meet the Selection Criteria and adhere to the Submission Procedures.
  • The CTO shall appoint a panel of judges and shall designate from among them a Chief Judge.
  • The size of the judging panel and its modus operandi shall be determined solely by the CTO.
  • Criteria for the judging of entries shall be:
  • Content – Relevance, accuracy, cohesiveness of material and adherence to journalistic standards.
  • Structure & Form – Relevance of topic, clarity, pace, structure (introduction, development and conclusion), presentation of information & ideas.
  • Title – Relevance of title, concision & clarity.
  • Quality of Language – Use of language, quality of syntax, quality of sentence structure.
  • Originality – Originality of ideas, ability to spark audience’s curiosity, boldness, creativity.
  • Depending on their assessment of the standard of entries, the judges may withhold awards in any category as they see fit. They may also ascribe “Special Mention” (without award) to an entry where warranted.
  • Decisions of the judges shall be final.

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

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CTO Enters Partnership with OAG to Provide Market Insights

(9 Feb, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Caribbean’s tourism development agency, has entered into a marketing partnership with leading air travel data provider OAG to provide members with accurate, timely and actionable insight and analysis to aid decision-making and to spot opportunities in essential markets.

CTO secretary general Hugh Riley (left) and OAG’s Carolina Maitre, head of Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean region

The two organizations signed a cooperation agreement this morning at the CTO’s headquarters in Barbados, which provides for frequency and capacity data for the region, along with commentary on significant changes, to be accessible to CTO members. OAG will also provide CTO members with market reviews highlighting key variances as well as analysis identifying unserved markets and examining air traffic volumes throughout the major gateways serving the region. Members will also be able to access on-time performance data for major airlines and airports.

“The air traffic data aggregated by OAG delivers a comprehensive analysis of regional market dynamics that will be a potent resource for our members. Access to on-time performance data will also be a valuable resource for what is becoming an increasingly important aspect of air travel,” Hugh Riley, the CTO’s secretary general said. “This partnership helps to significantly enhance the value of CTO membership and provides OAG with further exposure throughout the Caribbean, thus extending the reach of this highly respected global brand.”

OAG has the world’s largest network of air travel data including the definitive schedules database of more than 900 airlines and over 4,000 airports. With the most extensive flight status information database in the market, OAG handles approximately 54 million records of flight status updates per year, processes 1.4 billion requests and continues to deliver in excess of 35 million dynamic flight status updates daily.

“There is no doubt that the accurate, timely analysis resulting from this partnership, will allow CTO members to make more informed decisions about their strategies,” said Mike Benjamin, the chief operating officer at OAG. “In partnership, the CTO and OAG are committed to making sure that the organization’s members flourish in the coming years.”

With this new strategic partnership with the CTO, OAG becomes the exclusive provider of schedules, traffic and flight status data.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Caribbean Tourism Arrivals Hit All-Time High

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (9 Feb. 2017) – Caribbean tourism broke new ground in 2016, surpassing 29 million arrivals for the first time ever, and once again growing faster than the global average.

“Despite political, security and economic uncertainties and challenges in our main source markets, tourist arrivals to the Caribbean increased by 4.2 per cent in 2016, better than the 3.9 per cent overall internationally,” secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) High Riley announced today in presenting the Caribbean Tourism Performance Report 2016.

“Encouragingly, we welcomed over one million more visitors last year than in 2015, to reach 29.3 million, continuing our proud record of continuous growth for the seventh straight year,” he told a news conference held at CTO headquarters, and streamed to a global audience.

Visitor expenditure also hit a new high, growing by an estimated 3.5 per cent to reach  US$35.5 billion.

The United States remained the Caribbean’s primary market with an estimated 14.6 million stay-over arrivals, up 3.5 per cent on 2015.

However, it was Europe that recorded the highest rate of growth among the main source markets, led by strong increases from Germany (8.2 per cent) and the United Kingdom (4.1 per cent).

“Despite terrorist attacks in some countries, the Brexit referendum in the UK and bumpy economic outcomes across continental Europe, arrivals from that market climbed by 11.4 per cent, to reach 5.6 million. The strong European performance was evident by the healthy increases of between six and 16.8 per cent in each month, compared to the corresponding month in 2015,” Mr. Riley said.

Intra- Caribbean travel also so performed well, recording a 3.6 per cent increase – the second straight year of growth – despite costly and fragmented air service.

Canada, normally a robust market for the Caribbean, recorded a decrease for the first time since 1994, and only the second contraction since 1982. The 3.3 million arrivals from that market represented a 3.4 per cent drop when compared to 2015.

The South American market also contracted by 10.6 per cent, mainly due to political instability in two of the main sources.

The CTO secretary general also revealed that cruise arrivals grew at a slower pace of 1.3 per cent to approximately 26.3 million, while the hotel sector recorded negative growth, with all hotel indicators contracting, with the exception of the number of available rooms, which grew by just over one per cent, according to Smith Travel Research.

Regarding the outlook for 2017, the CTO predicts increases of 2.5 and 3.5 per cent in long-stay arrivals and increases of between 1.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent in cruise passenger arrivals.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO Signs MOU with AirBnB

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (7 Feb. 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, and Airbnb, whose community marketplace provides access to millions of unique accommodations, today signed a landmark agreement to develop a set of policy principles and recommendations on the sharing economy for Caribbean governments and other stakeholders.

Under the agreement, signed at the CTO’s headquarters secretary general and chief executive officer Hugh Riley and Airbnb’s Shawn Sullivan, public policy director for Central America the Caribbean, both organizations will share data and studies with policymakers about the positive impact of the sharing economy in the region; identify ways to make it more inclusive; and broaden the benefits of tourism to non-traditional actors, attract new stakeholders and focus on providing amazing and unique travel and cultural experiences to visitors.

This partnership agreement will also provide to the CTO an economic analysis of Airbnb’s positive impact on local economies. By reviewing Airbnb’s aggregate data, key stakeholders will be briefed on the value of a peer-to-peer review mechanisms, at the same time Caribbean government officials and other stakeholders learn about the long term benefits of the sharing economy and home sharing in particular.

“The CTO is establishing a basis for mutual cooperation with Airbnb. It is important for us to examine all aspects of this important segment of the sharing economy. We believe that by clearly understanding Airbnb’s massive influence in capturing consumers’ interest in unique accommodations we will be in a position to properly advise our members and to allow the Caribbean to achieve the goals of year-round profitability, visitor satisfaction and sustainable tourism development,” Mr. Riley said.

Currently, there are 41 thousand listings across the Caribbean and a typical host in the Caribbean earns approximately US$3,900 per year. Today’s agreement will also help to identify new ways to market the Caribbean as a region: One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean and grow the tourism industry.

“This is an exciting partnership for Airbnb. We look forward to working with the CTO to develop policy recommendations for regional governments and other stakeholders on the sharing economy. The Caribbean is an important and growing market for Airbnb and we expect continued growth there,” Mr. Sullivan said.

With this cooperation agreement, Airbnb will continue promoting tourism and highlighting Caribbean history and culture. The strategy focuses on the diversification of the tourism industry and the expansion of the economic opportunities for the Caribbean people

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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