CTO News

Archive for Blog

CTO Honours Eight Tourism Entities with Sustainable Tourism Awards at #STC2019

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (30 Aug. 2019) -The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has recognised eight tourism entities from CTO-member countries with its top awards for embracing sustainable tourism principles. The awards were presented on 29 Aug. during CTO’s Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Following a rigorous judging process by an esteemed panel of judges, across various tourism development and related disciplines, the winners for the eight awards were selected out of 38 entries and are as follows:

  • Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award recognises a product or initiative that contributes to a better quality of life in the destination and provides a unique visitor experience. Winner: True Blue Bay Boutique Resort in Grenada.
  • Destination Stewardship Award honours a CTO-member destination that is making solid strides towards sustainable tourism management at the destination level. Winner: Guyana Tourism Authority.
  • Nature Conservation Award commends any group, organisation, tourism business or attraction working towards the protection of natural and/or marine resources. Winner: Kido Foundation in Carriacou, Grenada.
  • Culture and Heritage Protection Award honours a tourism organisation or initiative making a significant contribution to protect and promote heritage. Winner: Maroon and Stringband Music Festival Committee in Carriacou, Grenada.
  • Sustainable Accommodation Award recognises small or medium-sized (less than 400 rooms) tourist accommodation facilities. Winner: Karanmabu Lodge, Guyana
  • Agro-Tourism Award recognises a business that offers an agro-tourism product incorporating elements of food/agriculture production, culinary output and visitor experience. Winner: Copal Tree Lodge, Belize
  • Community Benefit Award honours an entity that manages tourism well for the long-term benefit of the destination, local people and visitors. Winner: Jus’ Sail, Saint Lucia
  • Tourism Social Enterprise, a special award recognising an initiative by an individual or group/association which addresses social problems by applying innovative tourism development ideas. Winner: Richmond Vale Academy, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Sponsors of the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards include: Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Barbados; International Institute of Tourism Studies, the George Washington University; Massy Stores, St. Vincent and the Grenadines; the Mustique Company Ltd., St. Vincent and the Grenadines; National Properties Ltd., St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission.

“The CTO is pleased to recognise and promote the pioneering sustainability initiatives being implemented in its member countries. The region’s public and private tourism industry stakeholders continue to exhibit a high level of interest and commitment to sustainable tourism development, making the region a world leader in responsible travel and tourism,” said Amanda Charles, CTO’s sustainable tourism specialist.

The Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (#STC2019), was organised by CTO in partnership with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) and was held 26-29 Aug. 2019 at the Beachcombers Hotel in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines hosted #STC2019 amidst an intensified national thrust towards a greener, more climate-resilient destination, including the construction of a geothermal plant on St. Vincent to complement the country’s hydro and solar energy capacity and the restoration of the Ashton Lagoon in Union Island.

 

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, STC

Leave a Comment (0) →

Acting CTO Secretary General Neil Walter’s Remarks for STC-2019

Good morning, everyone. It is with great regret that I am unable to join you today at the official opening of this year’s Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development. Given the arrival of Tropical Storm Dorian I was unable to fly to St. Vincent to participate in person in one of the CTO’s most important conferences, which, given the present climatic circumstances, is very timely.

Despite this hiccup, there are quite a few things for which I am grateful. I am grateful that to date, the impact of the weather has remained minimal and the Caribbean continues to – quite literally – smile through the storm. I am grateful for the technology which has allowed me to have at least a virtual presence at this conference. Most importantly, I am grateful to you, the delegates, who despite the challenges posed by the weather, have decided to attend the conference, which is a testament to your commitment to the development of sustainable tourism in the Caribbean.

We at the CTO would especially like to thank the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for agreeing to host this important event. This event is the first CTO event of its kind being hosted by St. Vincent and the Grenadines and we would like to thank you for your hospitality, especially in the face of the weather conditions earlier this week. We also commend you on your resolve to host the conference given the delay by one day.

It gives me great pleasure to speak to you at the opening of what promises to be a very interesting, thought provoking few days. More importantly, we hope that at the end of this period, the discussions will lead to actions and collaborations which will in turn assist with the reshaping of this industry we rely on for the sustainability of our regional economies.

Indeed, the concept of sustainability, almost unheard of just 30 years ago, has now become a buzz word, as it should. More and more, we realize that this word, hardly spoken in previous generations is now a powerful focal point since it clearly and succinctly defines how we should manage our own lives, in addition to the world around us.

The Caribbean is our slice of the earth, and like everywhere else on this planet, it comes with its own unique blend of natural characteristics. It has sustained life for thousands (maybe millions) of years and continues to do so even as life everywhere becomes more complex. We as custodians have a responsibility to ensure that we contribute to the sustenance of life now and in the future.

It is very instructive that this conference’s theme includes the phrase ‘Keeping the Right Balance’. We must keep at the forefront of our minds the delicate balance between our development as the human race and the changes we have caused in the world around us. In the latter part of the Iron Age in which we now live man has seen exponential levels of mechanical and scientific development. In fact, it is clear that man’s development in the last one hundred years has essentially outpaced the earth’s adaptation to this development. This has led to some dire consequences such as climate change which we face today.

So now, we come to tourism. As the most tourism-dependent region in the world, there is no doubt that tourism is – to a large extent – the region’s economic lifeblood. Millions of our citizens depend on tourism in both direct and indirect ways. In addition to the jobs which have contributed directly to the wellbeing of Caribbean households, tourism has also contributed to the construction of schools and medical facilities, the upgrading of utilities and roads, and has generally improved the quality of life in the region. This has translated, in some cases, to almost phenomenal levels of development in some countries in the last thirty years, especially when compared to the previous thirty years. And, like the global human development versus natural adaptation relationship I referred to earlier, the development of tourism in the Caribbean has at times not been in sync with the environment in which this growth has occurred.

Conferences like this one are very relevant, as they provide platforms for the dissemination of good practices which can, if properly implemented, help to bridge the gap and ensure a symbiotic relationship between the tourism industry and the environment in which it functions.  In this region, like other regions of the world, tourism taps into several different resources, not just the sun, sea and sand. Now more than ever before, visitors are collectors of experiences and not just any experience, but an authentic experience. This places demands on the region’s cultural, heritage, human, financial and natural resources as we seek to refine our tourism product to cater to these ever-expanding needs.

With an industry such as this, which straddles such a wide cross section of our lives while relying on so many of our resources, a sound sustainable framework for tourism is essential, even as we critically examine previous tourism development and look toward the future. As you can imagine, these changes like any other form of change, come at a cost. At this point in time, change is being encouraged when most economies can least afford any additional pull on resources.

The CTO is committed to providing the good practices to its members, which can be used to achieve the ultimate goal of sustainable tourism development.  Our approach has been to seek out ways to bring these good practices using the most contemporary information and methodologies which are available.

The second part of the title phrase: ‘Tourism Development in an Era of Diversification’, recognizes the requirement at this point in tourism development in the Caribbean to embrace our diverse assets. This is especially important as we note that some of our main competition, such as Asian and Pacific tourist destinations, has – to a large extent – built their tourism product from the ground up by embracing their diverse natural and cultural assets. This conference will seek to examine the economic, environmental and socio-cultural pillars of sustainability, thereby offering a holistic approach to addressing the sustainable tourism dynamic.

Sustainable tourism development efforts would not be possible without close collaboration. Consequently, In the implementation of the Sustainable Tourism Development Programme, the CTO partners with various regional and international organizations to enhance inter-sectoral linkages, expand the scope and impact of our initiatives, contribute to capacity-building of the region’s human resources and increase the competitiveness of member destinations.

Two noteworthy initiatives being implemented over the past two years have been the ‘Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry project, funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) through the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Management Programme. This initiative has significantly supported the updating of the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework, the provisioning of training and tools in disaster risk management, and a regional education and awareness campaign to promote sustainability practices.

The Innovation for Tourism Expansion and Diversification project is another pioneering regional initiative being implemented with financial and technical assistance from the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). This initiative, which has a community-based tourism (CBT) focus, will culminate in the provision of a community-based tourism toolkit for Caribbean countries, in-depth primary market research on the demand and willingness to pay for CBT experiences and a project to foster the adoption of digital payments and mobile wallet technologies among Tourism Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

In the execution of its role to support regional tourism development, CTO has a mandate which takes into account the need to maintain product quality, increase profitability, promote the region effectively, engage local populations and strengthen linkages between tourism and other economic sectors. The CTO works collaboratively with its member states and partners to support the development of adequate policies and to implement strategies to maximize potential benefits and opportunities while also mitigating the threats and challenges to the sustainability of Caribbean tourism.

We look forward to continued collaboration beyond this conference. It is our fervent hope that the presentations and discussions enhance the pursuit of sustainable tourism development in the region.

I thank you.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, STC

Leave a Comment (0) →

CTO to Present Lifetime Achievement Awards to Canadian Storyteller Rita Cox

rita coxTORONTO, Canada (7 Aug. 2019) – Retaining the history of the region is vital for future generations to understand their heritage. The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has found the perfect storyteller in Trinidad born Canadian Rita Cox who chronicles the Caribbean legacy, and will honour her with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Media Day luncheon in Toronto on 22 Aug.

A librarian by profession, Cox is a renowned storyteller and admired leader in the community. She joined the Toronto public library as a children’s librarian in 1960 and in 1972 she became the head of the Parkdale branch where she launched literacy programmes and other initiatives that promoted multiculturalism throughout Toronto. During her tenure, Cox pioneered the library’s “Black Heritage and West Indian Resource Collection,” which was renamed in 1998 to the “Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection.” It soon became one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind in Canada and today, continues to be a source of pride for the community.

“The Caribbean Tourism Organization appreciates Rita Cox’s passion for promoting Caribbean heritage through the collection she developed for the Toronto public library as well as her storytelling events that pass our history on to the next generation,” said Sylma Brown, director of CTO-USA. “Her commitment to preserving Caribbean culture and dedication to keeping the region at the forefront of Canadian society over decades is the reason we are honouring her with the lifetime achievement award.”

Cox established “Cumbayah,” a festival of black heritage and storytelling. As a renowned storyteller who has entertained audiences worldwide, and she ensured the Toronto public library’s storytelling legacy by training a new generation of storytellers, many of whom are current library staff. After her retirement from the Toronto public library in 1995, Cox was appointed a citizenship court judge by the government of Canada.

Cox has won numerous awards, including the Canadian Library Association’s Public Service Award and the Black Achievement Award (1986). In 1997, Dr. Cox was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for her outstanding work in storytelling and literacy. Both Wilfrid Laurier University and York University have awarded her honorary doctorate degrees.

 

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Corporate News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Mid Year Performance Results Trending in a Positive Direction

St. George’s, Grenada – July 26, 2019 – On the heels of double-digit growth and a landmark total visitor arrival of 528,077 in 2018, the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is delighted to report positive growth in total visitor arrivals of 1% for the first half of 2019. The destination welcomed a total of 318,559 visitors between January to June 2019 compared to 314,916 for the same period in 2018; this represents a 1.15% growth.

The stayover market, which represents our most lucrative visitor, grew by 3.81% with 82,399 visitors staying in our hotels, guesthouses and villa accommodations.  The average length of stay of these visitors from our source markets is 8.5 days. The US accounts for 45% of our market share, followed by the UK with 17% and the Canadian market with 12%. Our focus is on expanding our reach in our traditional source markets and we now have four international gateways in the US for the upcoming Winter Season including JFK New York, Miami International, Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina.

We were able to hold our own with a slight increase of 1.33% in cruise visitor arrivals of 223,051 for the period compared with the phenomenal growth numbers of 220,125 last year. This is testimony of the hard work by the team to increase engagement with the cruise lines and keep Grenada top of mind with cruise executives. The GTA is planning an Aquila Professional Tour Guide training in September for our public and private stakeholders to enhance the customer experience in the destination.

The Yachting sector arrivals for the period remained flat with 15,318 compared to 15,420 in 2018. Grenada’s geographical location south of the hurricane belt should augur well for these numbers in the coming months. Port Louis Camper & Nicholson Marina is currently expanding its berths by 50% to accommodate more yachts for the Winter Season.

The GTA calculates revenue numbers based on monthly visitor expenditure surveys. These survey results indicate that the average daily spend is approx. EC$ 306 for the period January to June 2019. Total revenue generated for the period was EC$ 233,835,812 in the destination.

Based on recent external survey results, the cruise visitor spends on average EC$ 141, compared to the last survey of EC$ 133; a total of EC$ 26,791,436 in revenue generated for the destination. In total for the year to date, we estimate that EC$ 260 million was spent directly in Tourism in Grenada and that is not including the indirect spend in the economy. While this is significant revenue, the GTA is actively encouraging more spend in the destination with the production of a new shopping video and the packaging of immersive experiential tours.

With increased airlift from some of our major airlines, Jetblue, LIAT, Caribbean Airlines and American Airlines for the carnival and winter seasons, the GTA projects stayover visitor arrivals to grow by 5% in 2019.

Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Patricia Maher is encouraging visitors to enjoy the many attractions and experiences throughout Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique. She added “With our abundance of natural assets, warm and friendly people and safe environment, visitors can discover every parish and island of Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean.”

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

CTO Announces Finalists for Canada Travel Media Awards

TORONTO, Canada (24 July, 2019) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced the finalists for its annual media awards competition for the Canadian market. Canadian journalists will be recognised during the Media Day luncheon on 22 August at the Boulevard Club (1491 Lake Shore Blvd. West, Toronto).

Hosted by award-winning journalist Dwight Drummond, the awards luncheon honours journalists who have produced Caribbean stories for Canadian and other media outlets.

Following are the Caribbean Media Awards finalists for each category:

I Couldn’t Have Written It Better Myself: Best Feature in a Consumer Newspaper

  • Melanie Reffes: “Caribbean Cruise Ports: What to do When You Get There” – The Suburban
  • Pamela Fieber: “Much to Sip and Savour High Up in the Blue Mountains” – Calgary Herald
  • Erin MacLeod: “In Post-Carnival Trinidad, the Party Never Really Ends” – The New York Times

Been There, Wrote That: Best Feature in a Consumer Magazine

  • Mark Stevens: “Looking for Jerk in All the Right Places” – All At Sea
  • Josephine Matyas: “The Soul Cleansing Beauty of Dominica” –  Luxe
  • Wayne Curtis: “Rum for It” – En Route

Inner Circle King/Queen: Best Feature in a Trade Publication

  • Mark Stevens: “Saint Lucia: Inspiration Island” – Caribbean Business & Travel
  • Martha Chapman: “Inside the Real Barbados” – Open Jaw
  • Anita Draycott: “Liming Bajan Style” –  Travel Industry Today

Virtual Visitor Award: Best Online Feature

  • Josephine Matyas: “Cruising the British Virgin Islands”  – Dreamscapes
  • Jennifer Merrick: “Montego Bay – Relearning the Art of Doing Nothing” – Modern Mississauga
  • Bianca Bujan: “How to Eat Like a Bajan” – BC Living

Oh Snap! Best Photograph Accompanying a Story

  • Jennifer Merrick: “Bob Marley’s Jamaica”  –  Buffalo Spree
  • Sharon Matthews-Stevens: “An Abacos Adventure” –  Canadian Yachting
  • Ann Ruppenstein: “Discovering Another Side of Jamaica” –  Travel Courier

Oh My Word, I Blogged!: Best Blog Posting

  • Tamara Elliott: “Belize’s ATM Cave Tour: Where Adventure Meets Mayan Sacrifices” – Globe Guide
  • Marilyn Préfontaine: “Douce Martinique: l’île aux mille couleurs” – Marginale et heureuse
  • Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil: “ Green Grotto Caves –  The Natural Beauty of Runaway Bay” – The PlanetD.com

Me Too! I Rediscovered Home! Best Feature by a Diasporan Journalist in Diaspora Media

  • Michael Van Cooten: “Soca Royalty”  –  Pride News
  • Parm Palmer: “Things to do in Grenada” – The Planet D
  • Simone Jennifer Smith: “How Much Can You Fit into One Day? – The Journey Through Kingston, Jamaica!” – Toronto Caribbean Newspaper

Look, I’ve Gone Social: Best Social Media Coverage of an Event or Activity

  • Kael Rebick: “Fam Trip to St. Vincent and the Grenadines”
  • Diana Becevello: “A Catamaran Trip to Turks and Caicos Islands”

I Have Influence: Best Executed Influencer Campaign That Delivered Results Based On Agreed Objectives

  • Monika Koehler: “#LoveBarbadosFood”

CTO assembled a panel of expert media and travel industry judges to review submissions and determine the award winners, led by head judge Tim Doyle:

  • Tim Doyle is coordinator of journalism programmes at Centennial College, including the school’s innovative postgraduate programme in contemporary journalism that was introduced in 2018. Doyle worked for more than 20 years in print journalism before moving to digital in 1999 as founding executive producer of hockey website, Faceoff.com. Later, with Canwest and Postmedia, he held a number of senior roles including founding editor-in-chief of the Canada.com network and vice president and editor-in-chief New Media. Doyle joined the faculty at Centennial in 2014 and teaches in the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and in the school’s joint programme with the University of Toronto Scarborough.
  • Kattrin Duncan has more than 15 years on Destination Ontario’s media relations team and has been a trusted partner to journalists, editors and the travel PR industry across the globe. Duncan is always eager to pitch interesting Ontario story ideas or assist media with finding compelling content.
  • Anna Hobbs turned to travelling – across Canada and around the world –writing about her experiences after a fulfilling 25-year stint on the editorial staff at Canadian Living.
  • Josh Kahn is a well-respected tourism industry consultant and public relations specialist at award-winning boutique agency KTCpr as well as immediate past chairman for the prestigious New York Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
  • Sandra Kitchen, following a 20 year career with Sunquest Vacations, established Worldly Marketing Strategies in 2001. With a focus towards the entrepreneurial tourism and publishing industries, Kitchen has been associated with Dreamscapes Travel and Lifestyle Magazine as publisher from 2001 to 2011, and is currently associate publisher.

About Dwight Drummond:

Dwight Drummond is an award-winning journalist and the host on CBC Toronto News at Six, which airs weeknights on CBC television. Drummond has been a reporter and news anchor for over two decades. With Drummond at the helm, CBC Toronto News is yet again nominated for Best Local Newscast at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards (CSA). Dwight is also nominated for Best Local Anchor. In 2015, Drummond and CBC Toronto News at Six were recognised as Canada’s best local newscast. As a reporter, Drummond was known for his exclusives –  he broke local stories that went national, and has reported internationally. Drummond has also received a number of awards for his police reporting and commendations for his community work. He is a recipient of the Men of Excellence Award, the Distinguished Men of Honour Award and the African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Media.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Media Awards

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 67 of 74 «...4050606566676869...»