CTO News

Archive for Blog

CTO Looks To Double The Number of Hospitality Assured Caribbean Businesses With Support From CDB

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (21 March, 2018) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is looking to double the number of businesses recognised as Hospitality Assured (HA), the certification programme that promotes business and service excellence.

At present, 33 of the 80 tourism and hospitality businesses involved in the programme have been certified as Hospitality Assured, according to Sharon Banfield-Bovell, the regional human resource development consultant with the CTO, who along with Janice Smith-Kipps, an experienced HA assessor and trainer of HA assessors, recently conducted a regional HA programme assessor training workshop at the Ocean Terrace Inn in St. Kitts and Nevis.

“The aim is to raise the number of certified business this year by 30,” Ms. Banfield-Bovell said.

The assessor training workshop, the third of its kind, is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), which has approved over USD$223,000 in support of the HA (Caribbean) certification programme, and which, through its Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services (CTCS) Network, has been  promoting the HA programme as a key means to support the development of tourism quality, business excellence and customer service delivery in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), especially owner-managed businesses in the tourism sector.

“The CDB’s injection of funding support will allow for 30 micro, small or medium tourism enterprises in specific CDB borrowing member countries – Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and The Grenadines – to participate in the HA certification programme and to achieve one of our strategic goals of strengthening the business performance and overall competitiveness of the tourism sector in the Caribbean,” Ms. Banfield-Bovell stressed.

The project will come to end in June this year and the CTO is encouraging tourism businesses to get onboard and fill the remaining 18 available spaces and seek to put in place an effective service quality management system, with the support of the programme’s key personnel, the business advisors and assessors.

At the opening of the St. Kitts workshop, Michel Thomas, the CBD’s operations officer, noted: “CDB fully supports the programme, as the Bank recognises the importance of enhancing the competitiveness of MSMEs in the tourism sector, which plays an integral role in the social and economic development of a number of CDB Borrowing Member Countries”.

Twenty-one participants from 13 CTO member countries – Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Turks and Caicos Islands – participated in the five-day workshop, which was aimed at providing the necessary training to equip participants with the knowledge and performance requirements of HA assessors.

The assessors’ role includes evaluation of businesses, while maintaining commercial confidentiality; ensuring that assessments are undertaken in accordance with certification requirements; providing clear information to businesses in respect of areas for improvement; and clearly identifying best practice, which would benefit these businesses.

Permanent Secretary in the St. Kits Ministry of Tourism Carlene Henry-Morton reminded workshop participants that the initiative “is a service and business excellence programme designed to promote a culture of quality, service excellence and continuous improvement through the use of a business improvement tool and framework that is internationally recognised.”

“Some of the real benefits of this designation are service excellence, customer loyalty and referrals, continuous improvement and international branding,” she said.

Hospitality Assured is a service quality management certification owned by the Institute of Hospitality in the United Kingdom, managed and operated by the Hospitality Limited, U.K. and developed specifically for the tourism sector, to promote and reward the highest levels of service and business excellence. Hospitality Assured in the Caribbean is managed and promoted by the CTO. Any hospitality, leisure, tourism or service-oriented organization is eligible for Hospitality Assured certification, be they large or small, single or multi-operational.

Posted in: 2018 News, Corporate News, Hospitality Assured

Leave a Comment (0) →

SUN* Looking for Partners of the Maurice Strong Legacy Scholarships

SUNx is a legacy program for Maurice Strong, Sustainable Development pioneer. Based on a 25 year collaboration with its founders, Geoffrey Lipman & Felix Dodds, starting at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

Our focus is Climate Change. It is eXistential. If we don’t address it now, it threatens humanity.  We have created a systemic approach to Climate Resilience for Travel & Tourism though our Impact-Travel framework. For further information please download pdf and view a short video interview with Geoffrey Lipman.

Climate Resilience CSR Opportunity – Help us build a cadre of young smart “Champions” committed to climate resilience, build your CSR and strengthen graduate training in your target markets.

Become a Partner of the Maurice Strong Legacy Scholarships the global education arm of SUNx – The Strong Universal Network – a legacy to the late Maurice Strong – Sustainable Development Pioneer. Our goal is to promote Climate Resilient, Impact-Travel with good & bad effects measured and managed coherently: with Green Growth at the core and, 2050-proof in line with the Paris Accords and the W.E.F. 4th Industrial Revolution.

For further details please contact:

Olly Wheatcroft

The SUNx Program

Program Manager

m: +44 7765 132408

Skype: olly.wheatcroft



Posted in: 2018 News, Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

Health Officials Determine the Islands of the Bahamas are Zika Free

March 1, 2018 – Two of the world’s leading health organizations have recently declared that The Islands Of The Bahamas do not pose a known risk to travelers of contracting the Zika virus.  No new cases of Zika have been identified in the country within the past 12 months.

On February 2, 2018 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) removed The Bahamas from its list of “Areas with Risk of Zika,” which, according to their website, identifies places where pregnant women should avoid travel, and where travelers should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission during and after the trip.

The CDC now includes The Bahamas under “Areas with Interrupted Transmission,” meaning Zika was previously found in the locations on this list but scientists have determined the virus is no longer present. The CDC states that travelers, including pregnant women, can visit these destinations with no known risk of getting Zika from mosquitoes.

Also on February 2, the World Health Organization (WHO) downgraded The Bahamas from a Category 2 to a Category 3 on its Zika Virus (ZIKV) Classification Table, signifying that there have been no new cases of Zika identified in the area or from travelers in the past 12 months.  This classification table evaluates the geographical distribution of Zika virus across four categories, Category 1 being the most threatening and Category 4 representing areas with no documented past or current transmissions. 


The Bahamas Ministry of Health confirmed that the last reported cases of Zika were in November, 2016. At that time, all cases sought medical attention after having symptoms suggestive of Zika virus infection. All clients were treated for associated symptoms and did well. Based on the histories received from the cases, it was determined that there was a mix of travel-associated and local transmission.

Various government sectors in The Bahamas – the Ministry of Health, Department of Public Health and Department of Environmental Health – continue to work in partnership to operate an active surveillance program and intense vector control and mosquito management to prevent the threat of Zika transmission.


Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected mosquito and by sexual transmission of an infected person. For tips on how to protect against Zika, visit the CDC’s Zika Guide for Travelers. Also visit the CDC’s Zika travel map and refer to the WHO’s ZIKA Classification Table for the most up-to-date information on Zika around the world.

For further information about Zika and The Bahamas, contact the National Disease Surveillance Unit at 242-502-4776, 242-502-4790, 242-376-3809 or 242-376-4705.


The Islands Of The Bahamas have a place in the sun for everyone. Each island has its own personality and attractions for a variety of vacation styles with some of the world’s best scuba diving, fishing, sailing, boating, as well as, shopping and dining. The destination offers an easily accessible tropical getaway and provides convenience for travelers with preclearance through U.S. customs and immigration, and the Bahamian dollar is on par with the U.S. dollar. Do everything or do nothing, just remember It’s Better in The Bahamas. For more information call 1-800-Bahamas or visit www.Bahamas.com. Look for The Bahamas on the web on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. 

Anita Johnson-Patty
General Manager, Global Communications
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation
[email protected]

Weber Shandwick
Public Relations
[email protected]


Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Build Back Better St. Maarten Week of Activities March 16-20, 2018

The Build Back Better SXM week of activities will be held from March 16-20, 2018 and aims to boost knowledge (collecting expertise and connecting experts) around key topics for recovery and reconstruction through knowledge exchanges. The basis for this initiative is St. Maarten’s National Recovery Plan, but the intent is for it to be relevant to other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on the path towards sustainable development and climate resiliency.

The focus areas are:

  1. Sustainable Tourism
  2. Renewable Energy
  3. Entrepreneurship & Relearning

The event will include various expert sessions, opportunities for networking and youth engagement, and will include the following:

  • Fri 16th – Welcome reception and launch event
  • Sat 17th and Sun 18th – 2 day Do-Tank (Action oriented think-tank) to identify actionable ideas, strategies and solutions
  • Mon 19thDo-Trade (Trade show) and business networking events with visiting trade missions
  • Tues 20th – Site visits around ST. Maarten

For information and Registration:


Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Tourism Congress to address theme of Building Resilience in the Tourism sector

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (March 12, 2018) – When the XXIV Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Tourism opens on Wednesday, March 21 at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, one of the key areas for presentations and discussions will be the matter of building resilience in the Tourism sector in the Americas. In the latter months of 2017 the hemisphere of the Americas received a painful reminder of the relevance and significance of this theme after several countries felt the devastating impacts of hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes. In fact 2017 is regarded as a record-setting year for natural disasters in terms of the number, severity and financial costs of the disasters that occurred.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria that lashed the region last year prompted both emergency and strategic responses as property was destroyed almost overnight and economic livelihoods compromised. While in no way minimising the need for resilience due to storms and natural disasters, the Congress is taking a wider view of the concept of resilience, preferring to see it as a concept that embraces a more comprehensive range of strategies and measures that governments need to adopt in order to ensure the survivability of the sector come what may.      

A number of Tourism heavyweights from the Americas will be addressing this theme at the Congress. Secretary General and CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Mr. Hugh Riley will be giving a CTO perspective on the theme, while Minister of Tourism of Jamaica, Hon. Edmund Bartlett will look at global efforts to promote resilience. Those addresses will be followed by a Presentation by Ms. Kim Osborne, the Executive Secretary for Integral Development at the Organisation of American States (OAS). Finally the Vice-Minister of Tourism of Colombia, Ms. Sandra Howard will discuss Tourism resilience by looking at the impact of the peace process on tourism in Colombia. Those presentations will then be followed by a Ministerial Dialogue.

About the Conference:

The XXIVth Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Tourism under the theme “Connecting the Americas through Sustainable Tourism” will be held on March 21-22, 2018 in Georgetown, Guyana. The Congress is jointly coordinated by the Organization of American States and the Department of Tourism, Ministry of Business.



Donald Sinclair

National Coordinator of XXIV Congress

Director General of Tourism, Department of Tourism

Ministry of Business

229 South Road, Lacytown

Georgetown, Guyana

T: (+592) 225 4237

E: [email protected]


Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →


Fort-de-France, Martinique | March 8, 2018 – Rhum Clément  will receive the world’s best bartenders at Habitation Clément in Martinique for the Grand Finale of its global cocktail competition, the Ti’Punch Cup. For this second edition, the brand pushed across borders and will welcome participants from 14 countries as far as Spain, Germany and China. Rhum Clément has always been eager to promote the richness of Martinique discovered through rhum agricole. The goal of the Ti’Punch Cup is no exception, focusing this time on the classic cocktail of the island, the Ti’Punch.

The national finals held in 2017 in each participating country starting in New Orleans in July, and moving around the world concluding in Vietnam in December 2017, bartenders from all over the world have shown great creativity in bringing their personal “twist” to the traditional Ti’ Punch recipe. Inspired by the Martinican culture, bringing an artist’s look to an iconic classic and breaking the rules of recipes are some of the attributes that allowed 15 bartenders to win their tickets to the world finals.

“It has been simply amazing to see talented bartenders around the world be inspired by Rhum Clément for their cocktails and to watch them dance with our Martinican spirit and create their contemporary version of a Ti’ Punch cocktail” remarks Audrey Bruisson, marketing director for Rhum Clément. “Once you have advanced to the global final, all the bartenders are winners! We have a fun competition planned that will be challenging and entertaining for everyone there.”

The Clément Ti’ Punch Cup will kick off again in Martinique from March 12 to 16, 2018 for a journey to discover the universe of Rhum Clément in its native island, Martinique. The Grand Finale is scheduled for March 14 with three rounds of competitions to  determine which of the world’s top bartenders  will take home the 2018 Ti’ Punch Cup trophy.

The world finals will be held on March 14th, 2018 at Habitation Clément in front of an international jury from the world of fine spirits and cocktails. The candidates will be challenged on three successive rounds with two secretive elements to challenge the bartenders. They will be judged for their signature cocktail based around the Ti’ Punch, their knowledge of rhum agricole, and how well they have incorporated the wealth of Martinique and the world of Rhum Clément in their presentation.

The grand winner of the 2018 Ti’Punch Cup will become a new ambassador of the Ti’ Punch and will hold the Ti’ Punch Cup trophy in their bar,  made by one of GAAM’s artists (Group of Artisans Martinique Art) following a local competition launched by the brand. Germany, England, Belgium, China, Denmark, United States, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Martinique, Netherlands, Switzerland, Vietnam … who will win the second edition of the Clement Ti’Punch Cup? See you at Habitation Clément on March 14th!


  • Atelier Classic Bar | Ivan Urech | Thoune, Switzerland
  • Bar de Vlieg | Vincent Nouws | Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Birds & Bees | Bethany Ham | Los Angeles, California
  • Black Smoke | Donald Simons | Anvers, Belgium
  • Clover Club | Leanne Fevre | New York, New York
  • Dr. Stravinsky | Yeray Monforte | Barcelona, Spain
  • Le Cloud | Yannick Brunot | Fort-de-France, Martinique
  • Le Monfort | Francois Badel | Rennes, France
  • Lighthouse | Nguyen Nguyen Canh | Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
  • MASH | Rasmus Greve Christiansen | Odense, Denmark
  • My Lounge | Michele Picone | Cesana Brianza, Italy
  • Spitaki Cocktail Bar | Konstantinos Ristanis | Ioannina, Greece
  • The Beachcomber | Ashera Goonewardene | London, United Kingdom
  • The Haploid | Dave (Ching Yin) Lam | Shenzen, China
  • Tumbar | Florian Springer | Hamburg, Germany


  • Catherine GOMBART – Martinique – regional delegate Antilles of UMIH Formation, specialized organization on the Café Hotel Restaurant Tourism sector
  • Dimitri MALOUTA – Martinique – commercial director of RHUM CLEMENT Martinique
  • Dirk HANY – Switzerland – 2016 TI’PUNCH CUP World Winner
  • Jonathan POGASH – USA – founder: The Cocktail Guru website www.thecocktailguru.com
  • Simon DIFFORD – England – creator of the cocktail guide DIFFORD’S GUIDE
  • Sullivan DOH – France – co-founder of the cocktail bars LE SYNDICAT (34th best bar of the world in the ranking World’s 50 best bar 2017) and LA COMMUNE in Paris and the event agency Syndicat Agency
  • Thanos PRUNARUS – Greece – owner of the BABA AU RUM cocktail bar in Athens (30th best bar of the world in the World’s 50 best bar ranking 2017)


  • Monday, March 12 – Arrival of candidates
  • Tuesday, March 13 – Discovery of the Habitation Clément and workshops with local producers
  • Wednesday, March 14 – 2018 Ti’Punch Cup World Finals at 18th century Habitation Clément
  • Thursday, March 15 – Tour of the North Atlantic
  • Friday, March 16th – Discovery of the south of the island and departure

For more information about Ti Punch Cup tipunchcup.com/

For more information about Martinique us.martinique.org/

ABOUT MARTINIQUE (us.martinique.orgmartiniquepresskit.com)

The French Caribbean Island of Martinique is also known as the Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, the Birthplace of coffee in the New World, The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire) – Martinique ranks among the most alluring and enchanting destinations in the world. As an overseas region of France, Martinique boasts modern and reliable infrastructure – roads, water and power utilities, hospitals, and telecommunications, services all on par with any other part of the European Union. At the same time, Martinique’s beautifully unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, 80+ miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, streams, and other natural wonders are unparalleled in the Caribbean, so visitors here truly get the best of both worlds. The currency is the Euro, the flag and the official language are French, but Martinique’s character, cuisine, musical heritage, art, culture, common language, and identity are of a distinctly Afro-Caribbean inclination known as Creole. It is this special combination of modern world conveniences, pristine nature, and rich heritage that has earned for Martinique several notable distinctions in recent years. In 2018, Martinique is highlighted in the Caribbean segment of the New York Time’s “52 Places to go in 2018.” and prominently featured in a January 2018 article in Travel + Leisure. In a 2017 review of noteworthy French Islands throughout the world ThePointsGuy.com selected Martinique as number one. Other distinctions include being named as a “Must-Visit” destination by Caribbean Journal, “Best Caribbean Destination” by About.com, and “Top Caribbean Island for Delectable Dining” by Caribbean Travel + Life.


Géraldine Rome                                                                   

Martinique Promotion Bureau

T: 212-838-6887
E: [email protected]

Géraldine Rome | Communications Coordinator | Martinique Promotion Bureau- CMT USA|           

825 Third Avenue, 29th Floor New York, NY 10022 |T: 212 838 68 87 | DL: 212 745 0941 [email protected]  www.us.martinique.org

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 10 of 53 «...89101112...»