CTO News

TV Host and Wellness Enthusiast Santa Rodriguez to Anchor SOTIC 2018

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (13 Aug. 2018) – A California-based television presenter turned wellness enthusiast with strong ties to the Caribbean will host this year’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) in the Bahamas.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has confirmed Santana Rodriguez, the former weather personality and news reporter at Crown City News in Pasadena, and former entertainment host and morning news reporter at KLEO Television in Hollywood, California, as anchor for the 2-5 October conference, being organized in collaboration with the Bahamas ministry of tourism.

Rodriguez, who was born in Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican father and Brazilian mother before moving to the United States at two months old, also worked as an on-air television host and segment producer for the television show, NYC Profiles, on Bloomberg local television in New York.

“As the daughter of a Puerto Rican father I am proud of my Caribbean heritage, and I am humbled, yet honoured and excited to host the Caribbean’s most important tourism event. I encourage everyone with a remote interest in Caribbean tourism or the region as a whole to register and attend the State of the Tourism Industry Conference,” Rodriguez said.

As a fitness and wellness enthusiast, the former fitness champion and magazine print model is the producer and presenter of her own show, Shaping Up With Santana, which first ran in Los Angeles, and is set to air on the South Florida lifestyle network, the Beach Channel, from 17 October, and will be streamed ‘live’ on its website, www.thebeachchannel.tv.

Rodriguez has degrees in fashion merchandising and business administration, and is a former commercial and theatre actress in Los Angeles.

Themed, Rejuvenate, Recreate, Reconnect – New Directions for Caribbean Tourism, this year’s SOTIC at Atlantis, Paradise Island brings together tourism practitioners, policymakers and strategic partners, at the highest levels, along with speakers of international acclaim who will provide best case practices and winning strategies on a wide range of topics that are critical to the growth of regional tourism.

Youth from several CTO member countries will make their contributions to the discussions at a Youth Congress, one of the vehicles through which the CTO encourages the best and brightest to consider tourism as a career.

Sponsorship opportunities and details are available from CTO USA 212-635-9530 or via http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/sponsor.

For further details on the conference, including how to register, please visit http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, SOTIC

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CTO Statement on the Passing of William ‘Bill’ Howard, President, West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (13 August, 2018) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) expresses its sadness at the sudden passing of William ‘Bill’ Howard, the president of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA).

Bill was a dedicated servant of the Caribbean American community and was committed to the continued development of the West Indian Day Carnival as an avenue to transmit the excitement of the Caribbean to millions of participants and viewers in the United States and beyond, provide a nostalgic and creative outlet for members of the Caribbean Diaspora – and those who travel from the region to be part of this spectacle – and advertise our carnivals and festivals in the Caribbean. We greatly appreciated Bill’s commitment to enhancing the cultural, educational and leadership opportunities for Caribbean people.

Under his leadership the CTO and WIADCA established a productive working relationship which we will continue to nurture in his memory.

On behalf of the Chairman and the Council of Ministers, the Board of Directors, Staff and entire membership of the CTO, we offer condolences to Bill’s family and loved ones, and to WIADCA, the organisation to which he devoted his considerable talent and expertise. His contribution will be sorely missed. Our prayers are with his family at this difficult time.

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog

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Aeromexico announces new flight to Belize

Belize City, Monday, 13th August, 2018:   Aeromexico, Mexico’s global airline, today announced the start of a seasonal twice a week nonstop flight to Belize starting on November 17th to April 28th making it the first major Mexican commercial airline to offer such service to the country of Belize.

Aeromexico’s flight 67 will be on Saturdays and Sundays. It will depart Mexico at 8:30 am and will arrive at the Phillip S. W. Goldson International Airport at 10:30 am.  It will depart Belize at 12:00 and arrive in Mexico at 2:25 pm.

“Mexico is a fast growing market for Belize and therefore we welcome Aeromexico’s new flight as it will highly facilitate the movement of people between both neighboring countries. Belize is a country of countless attributes. Its cultural and natural wealth is virtually unmatched.  Its indigenous lineage and multiple ethnic groups, excellent cuisine and friendly people, and the many historical attractions, festivals and natural wonders all makes Belize a perfect Destination, which Mexicans will surely enjoy,” said Mrs. Karen Bevans, BTB’s Director of Tourism.

Mrs. Bevans added that “the BTB is also dedicated to developing and implementing tourism programs that will help strengthen and grow the Belizean tourism industry; promote good destination stewardship; and instill high quality standards for accommodations.”

Announcing the new flight, Aeromexico’s Chief Revenue Officer, Anko van der Werff said “At Aeromexico, we are very happy to celebrate this new route that has also become the airline’s 50th international destination, which will help us expand our global connectivity network. This achievement is another sign that we are working to offer better products to our customers, removing barriers between countries, regions, and people.”

Aeromexico first served New York City in 1957 as its first outside of Mexico destination and since than it has become Mexico’s global airline set on a course to offer travellers enhanced options to connect them with the world.

Aeromexico has served the Central American market for more than 11 years and operates more than 600 scheduled passenger flights per day, with service to 43 destinations in Mexico and 49 international destination from Mexico City. Its fleet  of more than 130 aircraft includes Boeing 787 and 737 jet airliners.

For further details on the new route please visit www.aeromexico.com

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Dive into Pure Grenada’s Underwater Festival

St. George’s, Grenada – August 8, 2018 – Grenada, home of the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park and the Caribbean’s largest wreck dive, the Bianca C, will take the party beneath the surface with the second annual Pure Grenada Dive Fest. The four-day event will take place from October 3-6 and is designed to showcase the destination’s rich and diverse eco-system as well as the bountiful and vibrant marine life that can be found off the islands’ shores.

“This is the only event of its kind on the island and we hope that dive enthusiasts and lovers of the sea will travel to Pure Grenada to enjoy the events we have scheduled,” said Patricia Maher, CEO of Grenada Tourism Authority. “It is the second year of the event and our continued goal is to put the spotlight on Grenada and Carriacou’s amazing undersea world and one-of-a-kind aquatic offerings.”

The first two days of the festival provides participants with the opportunity to discover the destination’s reefs and wreck sites. The festival kicks off on October 3 with the theme of Reef Diving in Grenada and Carriacou, which is known as the Isle of Reefs. Underwater photo enthusiasts can register to participate in the photography competition with the chance to win prizes for categories such as the most creative selfie, best reef photo and best wreck photo. Day two, themed Wreck Diving, caters to all divers offering a beginner’s pool diving course and the opportunity for certified divers to explore some of the islands’ 14 wreck dives including the newest, M/V Anina.

The second half of the festival presents a robust schedule of sustainable activities for participants to make a positive impact on Grenada’s underwater ecosystem. October 5, or Project Aware Dive Against Debris day, includes scheduled clean-up dives off the shores of all three islands and local school outreach presentations that aim to educate Grenada’s next generation on best practices in dive marine conservation. The final day of the festival, Invasive Lionfish Eradication Diving day, starts at Morne Rouge Bay/BBC Beach with the boats sent off to predetermined dive locations and reconvening with their catches at Coconut Beach Restaurant on Grand Anse Beach. The Lionfish are prepared and served at the evening social event where the underwater photographers will be awarded for their photos.

Grenada’s coast is a haven for seahorses, turtles, sharks and rays due to the warm waters and healthy coral reef systems and sponges. Divers and underwater photographers have the opportunity to see a plethora of species of fish and marine creatures in the islands’ waters.

There is no registration fee for the Pure Grenada Dive Festival. Interested parties are invited to visit www.puredivinggrenada.com to choose their preferred dive shops to book specific events listed in the festival calendar. The official hashtag of the festival is #PureDiveFest.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO presents Dr. Roy Hastick, Sr., with its Distinguished Citizen Award

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (4 August 2018) – Hugh Riley, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) presented its “Distiguished Caribbean Citizen Award” to Dr. Roy A. Hastick, Sr., president and CEO of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI), during a recent CACCI small business development power breakfast meeting. The honour is part of CTO’s Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards given annually during Caribbean Week New York festivities.

“The Caribbean Tourism Organization recognises Dr. Roy Hastick for his longstanding commitment to representing the interests of Caribbean people at the New York City and State levels,” said Riley (pictured on the right in the photo). “His steadfast endeavours to strengthen commercial links between the Caribbean and the region’s Diaspora are particularly worthy of commendation and for that reason we have bestowed the Distinguished Caribbean Citizen Award on him.”

“I am excited and thrilled to receive the Distinguished Caribbean Citizen Award from the Caribbean Tourism Organization, a prestigious association that promotes tourism in the region throughout the world,” said Hastick (pictured on the left in the photo). “For over 33 years CACCI has been promoting trade, investment and tourism between the United States and the Caribbean as well as helping thousands of small businesses in the New York metropolitan area survive and thrive.”

Hastick was born in Grenada and migrated to the U.S. in 1972 and worked for several years as an administrator, community advocate, entrepreneur and newspaper publisher. Through his involvement with organisations in the Borough of Brooklyn, Hastick recognised the need for the Caribbean community to unify in support of one another in order to improve the quality of life for everyone. As a result of his work in the small business community, Hastick was appointed Honorary Brooklyn Ambassador by Brooklyn Borough president Eric L. Adams.

As president and CEO of CACCI, he has helped grow the statewide membership organization to over 1,700 and provides expertise in providing business assistance to small start-up and emerging businesses in areas of business planning, financing, procurement, preparation for certification and business expansion, tourism and export/import opportunities.

CACCI’s extensive track record of service delivery includes sponsoring over 600 business networking meetings and establishing partnerships with US government and private business entities. Over the years, CACCI has sponsored numerous trade missions to the Caribbean, convened business meetings and held briefing sessions on behalf of several Caribbean Heads of State including Prime Ministers of Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Barbados, Haiti, Dominica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Chief Minister of Montserrat.

In August 2017, the CTO and CACCI formalised a cooperation strategy between the two organizations to enhance the level of engagement with the Caribbean Diaspora and to strengthen relationships with entities serving the people of the Caribbean.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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Jamaica to Host Tourism Resilience Summit of the Americas in September

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica; July 27, 2018: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has announced that Jamaica will host a resilience summit with key global stakeholders and thought leaders on September 13 at the University of the West Indies, Mona. The date was selected to commemorate hurricanes Irma and Maria, two of the most devastating weather systems to have affected the region.

“This summit forms part of my ministry’s efforts to build resilience within the region and globally. Resilience building has become even more crucial in a world that is hyper connected and as such more susceptible to climate change, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism and cybercrime,” Minister Bartlett said.

The resilience summit, to be held under the theme ‘Tourism Resilience through Global Synergies’, will seek to assess existing and emerging disruptions related to tourism management globally;  examine the risk of these disruptions to the global tourism product; and identify a synergetic strategic and operational framework for mutual partnerships between and among major governmental, non-governmental and business entities to address as well as develop mitigation strategies for these global disruptions.

Speaking today at the press conference in Montego Bay to announce the summit, Minister Bartlett added that this is “A precursor to the official launch of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre in January next year and this centre will be the global hub to assist destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that affect tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.”

The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre was one of the major outcomes of the Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism under the esteemed partnership of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Government of Jamaica, the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Slated to be housed at the University of the West Indies, Mona, the Centre will have a Chairman of the Board of Directors and Vice Chairmen include Dr. Talib Rifai, former UNWTO Secretary General and the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism of Jamaica. Dr. Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Professor Lee Miles, Professor of Crisis management at Bournemouth University, England will be members of the Board of Directors.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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