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Grenada to host CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Conference in April

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands (October 16, 2023) – Grenada will play host to the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development to be held from April 22-24, 2024.

Making the announcement via a video recording during the wrap-up press conference following the CTO’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) held in the Turks and Caicos Islands last week, Grenada’s Minister of Tourism Lennox Andrews thanked the CTO for selecting the destination to host the important event, which plays a key role in disseminating information and increasing awareness of the CTO’s vision related to sustainable tourism.

“We are honored to host the CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Conference in 2024. Grenada’s commitment to sustainable and inclusive tourism aligns perfectly with the conference’s objectives,” said Minister Andrews. “We are dedicated to showcasing the transformative power of sustainable tourism and its role as a push for social and economic growth and environmental stewardship throughout the Caribbean.”

Minister Andrews noted that he and his tourism colleagues will be honored to welcome regional and international industry stakeholders and other interested parties to participate in conference discussions and to experience the warm hospitality of the “Spice Island”.

The Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development was last held in 2019 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“We are excited about presenting the Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in Grenada next April. This conference underscores the CTO’s commitment to advancing sustainable tourism policies and practices in the Caribbean. Grenada’s natural beauty and dedication to sustainable tourism make it an ideal host, and we look forward to engaging in fruitful discussions with our colleagues in the industry,” said CTO Chairman Kenneth Bryan.

The conference examines how member states can design and implement sustainable tourism policies and programs, offering a regional forum for information exchange on the successes and pitfalls of national, regional and international initiatives.

Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22, 2024, the opening day of the conference, under the theme “Planet vs. Plastics”.

Posted in: 2023 News, Blog, Corporate News, STC 2023

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CTO’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference Opens in Turks and Caicos

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos (October 10, 2023) – After a hiatus of five years, the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) flagship event, the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) is set to kick off tomorrow at The Shore Club in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Bringing together government and private sector tourism leaders from its member nations under the theme “Invest. Innovate. Inspire – A New Model for Caribbean Tourism Growth”, SOTIC provides stakeholders a unique opportunity to collaboratively examine tourism investment and financing in the Caribbean.

Presiding over the conference for the first time, Dona Regis-Prosper, Secretary-General and CEO of the intergovernmental body, invited delegates to share their perspectives on how best to invigorate the Caribbean tourism industry and establish efficient frameworks for prosperous public-private partnerships during the two-day conference, which follows two days of destination briefings for members of the media and business meetings.

“Tourism Investment and Financing in the Caribbean” is the focus for the presentations and panels taking place on Wednesday, October 11, while delegates will explore “Drivers for Caribbean Tourism Growth” as an overarching topic on Thursday, October 12.

Welcoming travel- and tourism-focused journalists from the Caribbean, Latin America, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as well as local media yesterday, Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands, presented a comprehensive overview of the archipelago’s tourism product, its culture and history, and plans for sustainable development of its lifeblood industry.

Following the Turks and Caicos presentation, invited media received destination briefings and updates from tourism representatives of other CTO member countries and territories in attendance, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Martin, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Tobago.

Monday’s program also included a meeting of the CTO Executive Committee, while meetings of the CTO Board of Directors and the Council of Tourism Ministers and Commissioners took place on Tuesday.

Presentations and panel discussions at SOTIC will address topics such as Sustainable Financing for Caribbean Tourism; Perspectives on Investment Trends, Partnerships and Maximizing Tourism Growth; Strategies for Positioning Caribbean Tourism for New Investment Opportunities; Sustainability: The New Tool in the Destination Marketing Mix; Aviation Competitiveness in the Caribbean; Digital Transformation in Tourism – a Roadmap for the Caribbean; Engaging the filmed entertainment industry to advance Caribbean tourism: Opportunities and Challenges; and Stakeholders Speak Out on the Path Towards Tourism Growth in the context of the TCI Experience.

The conference agenda also includes a recorded video message from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and a keynote address, which will be delivered by Franz Rojas-Ortuste, Director of Water and Sanitation Analysis Division at CAF – Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition to ministers and commissioners of tourism and other related ministries; directors and chief executives of tourism authorities, boards and destination marketing organizations; and members of the media, SOTIC facilitates the participation of regional and international representatives from investment entities, funding institutions, airlines, cruise lines, accommodations providers, property developers, and academia in meaningful discussions around major issues impacting the development of the region’s tourism sector.

The CTO’s popular Caribbean Tourism Youth Congress, which invites students between the ages of 14 and 17 from CTO member countries and territories to research various facets of the tourism sector and share their ideas and vision about future directions for Caribbean tourism, takes place on Friday, October 13, at Beaches Turks and Caicos. Following the student presentations, one youngster will be named Regional Junior Minister of Tourism for 2023-2024, which includes service as a youth ambassador for his or her destination and the region for one year.

SOTIC 2023 concludes with a press conference and wrap-up immediately following the Youth Congress proceedings.

For more information, visit

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), headquartered in Barbados, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency, comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories, including Dutch-, English- and French-speaking, as well as a range 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.

Among the benefits to its members, the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution, and research & information technology.

The CTO’s headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026.

Tel: (246) 427-5242; Email:

For more information about the Caribbean Tourism Organization, visit and follow CTO on FacebookXLinkedIn and Instagram to be part of the conversation.

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The Caribbean Should Lead in Sustainable Tourism Development, Declares CTO Secretary-General

BARBADOS (September 27, 2023) – “We believe the Caribbean should lead, and not follow, on investing in a healthy, sustainable, and productive future for the prosperity of our people and our planet,” declared Dona Regis-Prosper, the newly appointed Secretary-General and CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), as she delivered the feature address at a virtual Caribbean forum celebrating World Tourism Day 2023 on Wednesday.

Echoing the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s message this year, Regis-Prosper elaborated on the holistic strategy that focuses on more and better-targeted investments “for people, for planet and for prosperity.” This strategy captures community empowerment, environmentally responsible growth, and equitable wealth creation underpinned by resilience.

Highlighting the urgency of the call to action, the regional tourism chief posed three pivotal questions:

• “How is the Caribbean, the world’s most tourism-dependent region, going to respond to this international call?”

• “How will we contribute our unique experience and expertise to the global discussion on matters such as renewable energy, climate change and carbon neutrality, inclusivity, and the need for economies of scale to increase local linkages and reduce leakages?”

• “How will our leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors translate theories into policies and practical applications that allow our communities and our industry to develop more sustainably and more equitably?”

The tourism leader delved into the three foundational pillars underpinning this year’s World Tourism Day theme:

People: Regis-Prosper stressed the need for a focus on people-centered tourism, which requires addressing the Caribbean’s knowledge and skills gap. Affirming the critical importance of interpersonal relationships in tourism, she shared, “Research confirms what those of us in the tourism and travel industry know firsthand – that inter-personal, face-to-face interactions with others play a significant part in the visitor experience.”

Planet: Pointing to the Caribbean’s role as a guardian of fragile ecosystems, she underscored the urgency for “green investments and environmentally conscious practices.” Citing initiatives such as the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action Project, she emphasized the Caribbean’s commitment to sustainability: “As a global brand, Caribbean tourism must continue to embrace best practices in environmental, social and governance activities that demonstrate our commitment to future generations.”

Prosperity: According to the CTO Secretary-General, the final pillar highlights the need for public-private sector and community collaborations to enhance benefits from tourism. She outlined the need for diversity, equity and inclusion, and cultural respect, stating, “The CTO supports the call of the UNWTO for new and innovative solutions and investments that stimulate and underpin the tourism sector’s growth, productivity and sustainability. It is a call to invest simultaneously in our talented human capital. When our people, our communities and our planet thrive, our industry and our destinations prosper.”

Building on the three S’s of Social Inclusion, Sustainability, and Smart Destinations and Businesses, Regis-Prosper envisions Caribbean tourism led by green growth, which involves green investments, green technologies, and green business practices.

The virtual forum was a combined initiative of the Caribbean Tourism Organization in collaboration with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the University of the West Indies, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Commission, the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, and CTO allied members: the International Institute of Tourism Studies at The George Washington University, and Hibiscus International.

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CTO Mourns the Passing of Former Chairman Obediah Wilchcombe

BARBADOS (September 25, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Wilchcombe was serving as Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting, and Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly of the Bahamas.

“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.

Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.

Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.

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CTO to Showcase the Caribbean at FIT Tourism Fair in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (September 23, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) brings the region’s vibrant culture and diverse travel experiences to the Latin American market during the highly anticipated FIT Tourism Fair in Argentina this month.

FIT, Feria Internacional de Turismo (International Tourism Fair), one of the most renowned tourism shows in Latin America, attracts thousands of travel industry professionals and enthusiasts from around the world. This year’s event will take place from September 30 to October 3 at La Rural Convention Center, and it promises to be a dynamic platform for showcasing the Caribbean’s unparalleled tourism offerings.

“FIT Tourism Fair provides an excellent opportunity for us to share the enchanting Caribbean experience with the people of Argentina and Latin America,” said Dona Regis-Prosper, Secretary-General and CEO of the CTO. “We look forward to showcasing the warmth of our people, the richness of our culture, and the beauty of our landscapes,” she added.

The CTO’s presence at FIT reaffirms its commitment to making the Caribbean a premier travel destination in this vital market, representing nearly 34.5 million outbound travelers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay. The Caribbean welcomed a record 1.5 million Latin American visitors in 2019.

Visitors to the CTO booth will have the opportunity to explore the region’s diversity as representatives from Antigua & Barbuda and the Cayman Islands will be on-site sharing the Caribbean’s universal appeal. The Dutch Antilles country of Curaçao, also a CTO member, will also have a presence at the Fair.

CTO Allied Member EM Marketing, which is facilitating the participation of member governments in opportunities to tap the Latin American market, will be on hand to share insights into the region’s latest travel trends and experiences.

On Monday, October 2, at 4 p.m., there will be a 45-minute Caribbean-themed presentation in the Nogal Room, highlighting the region for the trade attendees. All attendees and travel enthusiasts are invited to visit booth #2420 during the event.

“We are proud to be allied members of the CTO and look forward to lending support to the region during this year’s FIT, as we have been doing since 2015,” remarked Elsa Petersen, Founder and CEO of EM Marketing. “The Latin American market offers significant growth potential for the Caribbean, and we are excited to showcase the region’s unique value proposition to conference attendees,” she continued.
EM Marketing, a Buenos Aires-based integrated communications agency specializing in tourism marketing, takes a creative approach to make a real impact for its clients throughout Latin America.

CTO Allied Members play a pivotal role by providing recommendations concerning regional tourism programs, identifying opportunities to enhance the CTO’s non-government membership program, and facilitating the coordination of essential activities during major CTO events. These events include the Allied Marketing Conference and networking initiatives designed for both government and allied members.

CTO is the premier regional tourism development agency for the Caribbean. It represents 25 Caribbean countries and territories, fostering sustainable tourism development and promoting the region as the most desirable, year-round, warm-weather destination.

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