BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (August 25, 2022) – The Regional Tourism Youth Congress, organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Ministry and Department of Tourism, will make a return following a two-year break due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, when it is staged in the Cayman Islands this September.
To date, 11 countries have confirmed their participation for the 18th edition of the Youth Congress, which is scheduled for September 15, as part of the CTO events and Caribbean Aviation Day from September 12-15. Turks & Caicos, the winner of the last Youth Congress staged in Antigua and Barbuda in 2019, is set to chair this year’s Congress.
After two years of inactivity, there is already great enthusiasm surrounding this year’s Youth Congress, and with the tourism sector steadily rebounding, the timing of the event could not be more ideal.
“The Caribbean Tourism Organization is thrilled about the return of the Regional Tourism Youth Congress and despite the break, we as organisers are already envisioning a successful delivery of the event,” said Sharon Banfield-Bovell, CTO’s Director of Resource Mobilization and Development.
“Over the years, the Regional Tourism Youth Congress has been a fundamental part of the region’s tourism development landscape, helping to shape future industry leaders. Therefore, its resumption this year is of special importance, particularly for the region’s young people who annually look forward to participating in this forum and using its platform to incite and inspire change, through their presentations on issues relevant to the growth and sustainability of the tourism sector. CTO is therefore grateful to its member countries and partners for their support and for making another Tourism Youth Congress a reality.”
Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, The Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Nevis, St Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Tobago and Turks and Caicos will join the Cayman Islands as the countries confirmed for this year’s event.
“I am excited to be hosting the Regional Tourism Youth Congress as the event reinforces the Cayman Islands Government’s commitment to the development of the next generation of tourism leaders,” said Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Transport (Cayman Islands).
“The past two years have not only affected tourism, they have also had an unmistakable impact on the youth, especially in areas of education and employment. It is therefore imperative that we come together to ensure the continued growth of the future men and women who will ultimately work to improve our collective tourism products,” Minister Bryan added.
The first Regional Tourism Youth Congress was staged in Barbados in the year 2000, and was conceived with the objective of stimulating a greater awareness among the region’s young people about the tourism sector and its importance. Participants are between the ages of 14-17 and assume the role of Junior Ministers/Commissioners of Tourism, representing their respective CTO member country.
CTO Business Meetings and Caribbean Aviation Day, mark the first major in-person gathering for the CTO since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.