CTO News

Archive for Blog

Tobago Tourism Agency hosts press trip with award-winning Irish travel writer

SCARBOROUGH Tobago, Friday July 05, 2019: The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) hosted an award-winning travel-journalist from Ireland for a fast-paced press trip from June 11 to 18 2019, in ongoing marketing efforts to promote unspoilt, untouched, undiscovered Tobago in the Irish market.

Press trips, also known as media familiarization trips, are effective ways for travel journalists to become familiar with the product offering of a destination, in order to effectively and compellingly write about their experiences and persuade potential visitors to book.

The Irish press was specifically targeted for this trip as the Irish market is a potentially rich source of business. Its steadily growing rate of outbound travel over the past few years has reached a rate of approximately 1.73 annual overseas trips per head, as opposed to the UK market’s 1.1 annual overseas trips per head.

Additionally, Ireland is an ideal target for visitor arrivals, as based on information from travel agents and operators serving that region, the Irish tourist is well accustomed to travelling to the UK- specifically Manchester- for connecting flights. This augers well for travel to Tobago as Manchester Airport offers direct airlift to the island.

Dublin-based travel-journalist and content creator Mr. Tadgh Peavoy is a prolific writer for many of Ireland’s national and online publications, and is also a lecturer in journalism in Dublin, Ireland. He has been commissioned by the Irish Daily Star – the 4th biggest news outlet in Ireland – to write a double-page feature on Tobago for their travel section. Mr. Peavoy is also writing an online feature on Tobago for Buzz.ie, the online version of the Irish Daily Star, which achieves around 1 million users a month.

In order to fully capitalize on the opportunity presented by this international press coverage for Tobago, the Agency curated an itinerary for the Irish journalist designed to showcase a variety of Tobago’s natural assets, activities, culinary and cultural experiences, which will then be translated into immersive travel articles for an Irish audience.

Speaking about his week-long experience in Tobago, which was his first time in the Caribbean, Mr. Peavoy enthused about not only the remarkable physical attributes of the island, but also about the friendly locals whose welcoming nature set the destination apart as an ideal vacation destination.

The seasoned travel-writer, who has also visited and written about destinations in Europe, South America and North America, also praised Tobago’s unspoilt, untouched beaches as some of the best in the world, calling the iconic Englishman’s Bay “the postcard-picture definition of tropical paradise”. His resulting articles about his visit to the destination will be used as inspirational marketing content to drive increased arrivals to Tobago from the lucrative Irish Market, which is in alignment with the Tobago Tourism Agency’s Road Map for Growth.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Caribbean Pushes for Inclusive Tourism Development

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (3 July 2019) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is creating a plan for the systematic development of community-based tourism as a viable niche and will present the details during the upcoming Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development.

The event, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (#STC2019), is scheduled for 26-29 Aug. 2019 at the Beachcombers Hotel in St. Vincent and is organised by CTO in partnership with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA).

At a general session titled “Community-based Tourism Driving Tourism Innovations and Experiences” scheduled 11:30 a.m. on 27 August, delegates will be presented with robust market research that encapsulates visitors’ willingness to pay for innovative tourism experiences across the Caribbean. The session will also delve into how community tourism supports product diversification and differentiation and can enhance community participation in tourism, with the ultimate benefit being the creation of a distinctive and responsible tourism brand.

CTO has worked with regional partner the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) – a development programme that focuses on innovative and practical solutions that stimulate economic growth, productivity and competitiveness – to develop the market research.

Session presenters include a Compete Caribbean representative who will address the need for cooperation in tourism to ensure local enterprises, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises, are integrated in the tourism value chain. Judy Karwacki, president of Small Planet Consulting, and a community-based tourism development specialist,  will introduce a community-based tourism toolkit commissioned by the CTO.

Under the theme “Keeping the Right Balance: Tourism Development in an Era of Diversification,” industry experts participating in #STC2019 will address the urgent need for a transformational, disruptive, and regenerative tourism product to meet ever-rising challenges. The full conference programme can be viewed via https://www.caribbeanstc.com/program/

St Vincent and the Grenadines will host STC 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.

To register for the conference, visit https://www.caribbeanstc.com/register. Rates are available for general delegates including CTO members and non-members, St. Vincent & the Grenadines residents, travel agents and students (both local and international rates).

Sponsorships are available for the conference and can be viewed via: https://www.caribbeanstc.com/sponsor. Contact Sylma Brown Bramble at 212-635-9530 or [email protected] for additional information.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, STC

Leave a Comment (0) →

Discover Puerto Rico Reports Highest Tourism Revenue and Visitor Numbers Ever

San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 1, 2019 – Today, Discover Puerto Rico, the Island’s first-ever Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), celebrates its one-year anniversary, announcing that tourism is the strongest it’s ever been, as the destination tracks towards a record-breaking year. Year-to-date revenue is the highest in the Island’s history, with $445M reported through May.[1] The Island has received 1.67M visitors across the San Juan, Ponce, and Aguadilla airports in the first few months of this year, the highest number of airport arrivals in the January-April timeframe in the Island’s history.[2]

“Despite the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimating a recovery between 2021-2022, and New Orleans taking eight years to get back to pre-Katrina levels, we set an aggressive goal to fast-track the visitor economy at a record pace, for the benefit of local communities,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico.

Since its inception last July, Discover Puerto Rico quickly embarked on a mission to reposition Puerto Rico’s brand, fully capitalizing on the Island’s rich tourism product to thrive as a leading Caribbean destination. The organization’s five major initiatives include:

  • Decreased negative perception: Discover Puerto Rico addressed the negative perceptions travelers and meeting planners had, to strengthen both the leisure and meetings and conventions segments.

Consumers’ likelihood to visit Puerto Rico increased 6 points over the past year,[3] an impressive jump, despite significantly reduced marketing budgets.

Among meeting planners, post-Maria perception of Puerto Rico as a fully recovered or ready for business destination has increased 5X (from 8% to 41%) over the past year. Desirability for booking meetings & conventions has grown almost 3X (from 24% to 71%) this year.[4]

  • Repositioned the brand for growth: Given inconsistent branding through the years, Discover Puerto Rico repositioned the brand. They developed a new brand identity, and launched a research-based marketing strategy, along with a new brand campaign, a move that has already yielded results and will yield even greater long-term impact.

Data shows that consumers who are exposed to the new brand campaign are staying nearly three days longer than those who haven’t been.[5]

Media coverage of areas outside San Juan has grown 4X since last July, and there has been a tremendous growth in the number of visitors outside of San Juan. Arrivals into Aguadilla are 44% higher than the previous record from 2017, and the airport is on pace to receive 800,000 passengers this year, which would shatter the existing record.

Media coverage of Puerto Rico most prominently features culture, arts, and cuisine, followed by natural attractions, versus just beaches.

  • Revamped digital marketing that drives results: Discover Puerto Rico is more strongly connecting with travelers online. The new website, revamped approach to driving social media engagement, and strong digital ad performance, are proving effective.

Since launch, traffic to the new website is up 128%. Pages per session are up 34%, showing people are engaging with a range of content. Time on the website is up 31%, and bounce rate is down by 13%, meaning the content is driving interest. Page views are also up 228%.

Discover Puerto Rico has seen nearly 40,000 referrals to local businesses and points of interest.

  • Catapulted the meetings and conventions business: Discover Puerto Rico took a very weak pipeline of sales prospects, and injected strong interest to propel Puerto Rico as a leading force in the space, as the they elevate the Island’s status as the most technologically-advanced destination in the Caribbean, offering ease of traveling, combined with unparalleled culture and diverse natural offerings.

Leads-generated and contracted events are the highest they have been in five years. Requested and contracted rooms are also at an all-time high. And, conversions on bookings are up 121% (from 14% to 31%).

Discover Puerto Rico estimates over $92M in economic impact, with groups already signed and another $288M in potential impact from opportunities in the pipeline.

This effort secured Connect 2021, which will bring a gathering of 1,700 meeting planners across a wide range of sectors.

  • Increased operational efficiency and effectiveness: The DMO is preparing for industry accreditation to position Discover Puerto Rico among the highest in quality and performance standards for destination marketing and management. A year in advance of being eligible, the DMO checks off meeting high standards in areas including governance, finance, human resources, sales, communications, branding, destination development, and research. The DMO already complies with 70% of the mandatory accreditation standards and 40% of the aspirational or voluntary standards of leading DMOs.

“We’re thrilled to report that Puerto Rico’s tourism is the strongest it’s ever been. However, this is just the first step. Our ultimate objective is to put the transformative power of travel to work in Puerto Rico, by doubling the visitor economy, and continuing to benefit the Island’s residents and businesses. It’s critical to ensure we have the right resources to continue this momentum,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico.

The destination is seeing numerous enhancements to its product, drawing travelers to its growing list of experiences. The Island’s rich culture, cuisine, history, arts, music, and dance are unparalleled. It’s an Island filled with natural wonders, including the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. Forest Service, El Yunque National Forest, and three of the world’s five bioluminescent bays.

The Island has also become a hotspot in the Caribbean for the LGBTQ+ community with a culture of inclusivity, and a variety of attractions and nightlife.

And, with growing hospital developments on the Island, and the benefit of recovery in a tropical climate, the medical tourism sector will also be one of growth in the future.

Among Puerto Rico’s numerous and exciting future endeavors, are the 500-year anniversary of San Juan, with cultural events beginning in Fall 2019, the opening of District San Juan, a five-acre hospitality and entertainment district, destined to be the most vibrant in the Caribbean, and being named the host destination for the upcoming World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) 2020 Global Summit.

For more information on the destination, visit: DiscoverPuertoRico.com.

[1] Source: STR Monthly Trend Report, January-May 2019. AirDNA Monthly Market Summary Report, January-May 2019
[2] Source: Aerostar Airport Holdings, LLC. PMM Business Intelligence, January-April 2019
[3] Source: Strategic Marketing & Research Insights, LLC, Brand Health Research
[4] Source: Discover Puerto Rico, Planners’ Perception Research
[5] Source: Arrivalist

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Welcomes Visitors for Optimist World Dinghy Championships

JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (July 7, 2019) – With just days to go before the start of the Optimist World Dinghy Championships to be staged in Antigua and Barbuda, The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism, the official tourism partners for the 2019 Championships, are excited about the opportunities the prestigious youth sailing event will hold for the destination.

Taking place from July 6 – July 16, 2019 (races start on Monday 8 July at 11 a.m. daily), The Optimist World Dinghy Championships hosted by the International Optimist Dinghy Association, will see young sailors between the ages of 10 – 15 years, displaying their prowess as they maneuver high waves on the waters, strong winds, and difficult courses in their small single-handed sailing dinghies.

A record-breaking 65 countries including Antigua and Barbuda, are registered to participate, bringing throngs of young sailors, their families, officials and well-wishers to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour, where activities will be concentrated for the next two weeks.

CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James, speaking at a media launch for the event held earlier today, said: “Antigua and Barbuda is truly the Mecca of Caribbean Sailing. Our spectacular sailing conditions, 1st class facilities, ease of air access and a host of talented and skilled sailing professionals are all the ingredients needed for a successful competition. Everyone in our beautiful country is hyped and excited as we get closer to the 6th of July which will mark the beginning of 10 days of fun and exciting races that are part of one of the most prestigious youth sporting event in the world.”

The Tourism Authority CEO welcomed visitors already on-island for the championships and extended well-wishes to the young sailors. The event is expected to provide a much-needed boost for Antigua and Barbuda during the shoulder season.

For those eager to get in on the action, an amazing cultural Opening Ceremony takes place at 6 p.m. on July 7 starting with the parade of flags from Falmouth to Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour followed by cultural performances, complete with a firework display at the Dockyard. Spectators can also watch the Fleet races when they kick-off on Monday July 8, at 11 a.m. from various vantage points within the community to include Shirley Heights and Fort Berkley or can follow the race onboard Wadadli Cats, the Official Spectator Boat.

This is the first time that Antigua and Barbuda will host the World Championships.  The North American Optimist Dinghy Championships were held in Antigua in 2015 and in 2016.

For more information on the Optimist World Championships go to:
Website: http://2019worlds.optiworld.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/optiworldantigua2019/

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Global Tourism Resilience Centre to partner with MIT on Sargassum Research

MONTEGO BAY, St. James; June 29, 2019: The recently established Global Tourism and Crisis Management Centre is set to partner with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to conduct research on the potential threat of sargassum to the destination and wider Caribbean.

Sargassum is a type of brown seaweed. Numerous species are distributed throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world, where they inhabit shallow water and coral reefs.

Minister Bartlett, who made the announcement at the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association’s 58th Annual General Meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Montego Bay today, said, “The issue of managing sargassum has become more urgent since large quantities of different species of the algae accumulated along the shores of many of the countries on the Caribbean Sea in 2015.

Sargassum, as a disruptive phenomenon, can negatively impact our destination as when washed up on shore, it often causes a foul odour, releasing fumes of sulphur compounds that rust metals, and damage modern conveniences.”

The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, which will open its door in October at the University of the West Indies, Mona, is tasked with assessing (research/monitor), plan-for, forecast, mitigate, and manage risks related to tourism resilience and crisis management. This will be achieved through five objectives – Research and Development, Advocacy and Communication, Programme/Project Design and Management, as well as Training and Capacity Building.

“The Centre will be partnering with MIT, one of the leading research institutions out of the U.S, to explore the best possible strategies that Jamaica and the Caribbean can implement to be proactive and prevent sargassum from populating our shores,” added Minister Bartlett.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

Saint Lucia Tourism Authority Appoints Mrs. Beverly Nicholson-Doty as its CEO

CASTRIES – Thursday, June 27, 2019 – The Board of Directors at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) has appointed Mrs. Beverly Nicholson-Doty as the organisation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Mrs. Nicholson-Doty has over three decades of industry leadership experience, including most recently serving as Commissioner of Tourism at the USVI Department of Tourism from 2007 to 2018. She brings significant experience in marketing, sales and strategic planning in Caribbean travel, tourism and hospitality. Mrs. Nicholson-Doty has developed deep relationships with executives across the airline, cruise, hotel and service industries that serve the region, and has created partnership opportunities that include public, private, non-profit, non-governmental and community-based entities.

Mrs. Nicholson Doty’s achievements include the successful development of the Ports of the Virgin Islands concept to brand and develop a collaborative effort to elevate the territory’s port facilities, and the creation of a strategic plan for positioning the USVI as one of the top destinations for the Meetings and Incentives (MICE) market. She was also instrumental in engineering double-digit airline capacity growth over a 10-year period.

The CEO will be responsible for overall management of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, including oversight of the development of the Authority’s marketing and destination services, and general administration. She intends to work closely with agencies, institutions and individuals within the public and private sectors of Saint Lucia at home and abroad.

“We welcome Mrs. Nicholson-Doty to the organisation and look forward to the strategic leadership that she will provide implementing and developing our sustainable tourism growth strategy,” said Nicholas John, Chairman of the Board at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority.

In addition, as CEO, Mrs. Nicholson-Doty will work closely with the Board of Directors to achieve overall objectives, including coordinating and directing the programmes of the Board. In marketing, promotions and publicity, she will be tasked to utilize and deploy resources in the best interest of the development of tourism to Saint Lucia.

“I look forward to this opportunity. Our team at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority will be focused on developing and implementing a strong strategic plan aimed at increasing market share, and even more importantly, increasing visitor spend for maximum return on investment,” said Mrs. Nicholson Doty.

Mrs. Nicholson-Doty takes up her new role effective Monday, July 1, 2019.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 8 of 51 «...678910...»