Archive for SOTIC

British Virgin Islands Wins CTO’s 2023 Regional Tourism Youth Congress

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands (October 14, 2023) – In an inspirational demonstration of passion, preparation and poise, Naomi Onwufuju, Junior Minister of Tourism of the British Virgin Islands, brought home the winner’s plaque at the 19th Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Regional Tourism Youth Congress, held at Beaches Turks & Caicos in Providenciales on Friday.

Competing against students from 13 other Caribbean destinations, the 16-year-old skillfully presented three innovative strategies her country could undertake to develop and implement an initiative whereby tourism stakeholders and their allied partners can work together to enhance access, safety, use, and enjoyment of the destination’s tourism offerings by visitors with disabilities.

“Accessibility is not only a responsible tourism policy but also a moral obligation,” declared the Elmore Stoutt High School student as she described her vision for increasing accessibility to the islands’ beaches, restaurants and other attractions ensuring inclusivity and equity for all visitors.

Elated upon hearing the declaration of her victory, Onwufuju was effusive in her praise of her fellow contestants.

“I love my country and I am honored I have gotten the chance to represent and to win this [award] for my Territory to be able to be an influence in tourism so that my ideas and the ideas of everyone who participated in this competition today can be heard. Truly, everyone had amazing ideas!” she stated during a press conference immediately following the Youth Congress event, which was attended by ministers and commissioners of tourism from numerous CTO member countries and territories.

Seventeen-year-old Jordan Greig of Barbados, a student at Harrison College, who was named the second-place winner, was recognized for his polished presentation of his thoughts related to executing a strategy for addressing tourism workforce issues facing the island’s tourism industry.

Tobago’s Junior Minister of Tourism Jael Morgan was awarded the third-place award. The 17-year-old student from Signal Hill Secondary School described three innovative strategies her country could carry out to realize an initiative to offer visitors unique, sustainably developed wellness tourism experiences.

Layla Leathen, Junior Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, was recognized for her performance with an Honorable Mention for an excellent presentation on the topic of wellness tourism, which demonstrated a unique approach to promoting health and well-being for visitors.

Sharon Banfield-Bovell, Director of Resource Mobilization and Development for the CTO, who served as Master of Ceremonies for the competition, lauded the participants for demonstrating excellence in their research, ideas and presentations. “It is extremely evident that the future of Caribbean tourism is filled with great promise and potential in the hands of these future leaders,” she stated.

Fourteen CTO member countries and territories participated in the Regional Tourism Youth Congress, which was chaired by the 2022 winner, J’nae Brathwaite of Tobago. Each Junior Minister made a three-minute presentation on one of the three topics: Wellness Tourism Beyond the Norm, Accessibility Tourism, and Building a Resilient and Sustainable Tourism Workforce. They were also required to make a one-minute presentation on a “mystery” question. In this category, the contestants were asked to identify an interesting, unusual or unique place, person, thing, event or activity from their respective destinations which they believed would provide a visitor with a rare and exceptional experience.

Barry Brown, Executive Director – Sales with AFAR Media and a member of the CTO Allied Board; Stacey Liburd, Director of Tourism for Anguilla; and Petra Roach, CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, served as judges for the highly anticipated competition.

The 2023 Regional Tourism Youth Congress marked the end of the CTO’s Business Meetings and State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC), which began in the Turks and Caicos Islands on October 9.

Prizes for the winners were provided by the Caribbean Tourism Organization; the Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Tourism; the Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Youth Affairs; Flow; Chukka Caribbean Adventures; Carnival Corporation in partnership with Acordis International Corp; and Dufry.

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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 sotic.onecaribbean.org.

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: CTObarbados@caribtourism.com

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

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CTO Gears Up for SOTIC 2023 in Turks & Caicos Islands

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos (August 14, 2023) – Preparations for the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s much-anticipated State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) are well underway, with the program set to take place at The Shore Club Turks & Caicos on Providenciales from October 9-13, 2023.

CTO’s business meetings and destination media briefings will precede the official conference program, which features panel discussions spanning diverse themes – from tourism investment and financing to aviation competitiveness and the burgeoning film industry. CTO’s popular Caribbean Youth Congress also makes its return this year.

Neil Walters, CTO’s Acting Secretary General, anticipates a plethora of meaningful discussions and industry networking to unfold in Turks and Caicos. “SOTIC has traditionally been the CTO’s flagship event held in the Caribbean, and with its return this year under the leadership of our newly appointed Secretary General Dona Regis-Prosper, we are confident the forum will set the stage for sharpening our industry’s collective vision to become even stronger and more effective in positioning the Caribbean as the world’s leading destination for leisure as well as business travel.”

Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands, shared her pride in hosting the return of SOTIC after a hiatus of five years, stating, “The selection of Turks and Caicos reflects our dedication to hospitality and excellence. As the first major event being held under our new destination marketing and management organization, SOTIC is a significant opportunity for us to collectively shape the narrative of our region’s growth in a post-COVID environment.”

“As Minister of Tourism and Vice Chair of the group of British Overseas countries and territories within the Caribbean Tourism Organization, your presence at SOTIC 2023 holds immense importance,” said Minister Connolly, as she extended a heartfelt invitation to delegates.

Minister Connolly looks forward to showcasing the captivating beauty of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Territory’s dedication to sustainable tourism development. She underscored the potent impact of coordinated action and regional collaboration that conveys a strong message of unity to stakeholders within and beyond the region’s borders.

For further details as the event draws near, visit https://sotic.onecaribbean.org.
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About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which is headquartered in Barbados, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish-speaking, as well as a myriad 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 specialised 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; E-mail: CTObarbados@caribtourism.com.

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

Posted in: 2023 News, Blog, SOTIC

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