Hotelschool The Hague and CTO Forge Partnership for Sustainable Tourism Innovation

THE HAGUE (May 22, 2024) – Hotelschool The Hague (HTH) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) have announced a partnership to ignite sustainable practices and innovation across the global tourism landscape. This collaboration expands the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge (SHC) into the Caribbean region, broadening the platform’s reach.

Globally recognized for inspiring students to develop inventive solutions to sustainability challenges in hospitality, SHC is set to bring its impactful competition to the Caribbean. This expansion leverages the region’s unique cultural diversity and perspectives, enriching the competition and sparking new innovative solutions.

Through this collaboration, SHC seeks to create an inclusive space for students worldwide to present their ideas and contribute to the sustainable tourism dialogue. With SHC’s extensive network alongside the CTO’s commitment to positioning the Caribbean as a premier travel destination and its dedication to leading sustainable tourism initiatives, this initiative promises Caribbean students a stage to exhibit their tourism expertise on a global scale.

This collaboration between HTH/SHC and CTO signals the organizations’ shared dedication to driving innovation and sustainability within the hospitality industry. It aims to empower future leaders to foster positive change and build a sustainable legacy for generations to come.

“We are delighted to witness the expansion of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge into the Caribbean region,” says Paul Griep, Director of Alumni & Industry Relations at Hotelschool The Hague and Founder of SHC.

“Personally, I am thrilled by SHC’s extension into such a culturally rich and diverse region. At SHC, we firmly believe that the best innovations can originate from anyone, anywhere. We aim to offer every student worldwide the opportunity to share their ideas. With its abundance of tourism knowledge, the Caribbean region provides an ideal environment for nurturing innovative solutions. We eagerly anticipate the contributions that students from the Caribbean will bring to the table,” he continued.

“Partnering on such an initiative marks a significant stride for CTO, amplifying our ongoing commitment to fostering the next generation of Caribbean tourism leaders,” said Dona Regis-Prosper, CTO’s Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer. “This collaboration not only reinforces our dedication to engaging future leaders in tourism-related activities but also underscores our alignment with global and regional sustainability initiatives,” she continued.

The CTO leader noted that the organizations are poised to catalyze the development of innovative, resilient, equitable and sustainable tourism products that resonate on a local and global scale.

This new endeavor builds upon CTO’s past and present youth development programs, which include the CTO Student Colloquium, which targets tertiary-level students from the Caribbean, and the CTO Regional Youth Congress for secondary school students between the ages of 14 and 17.

Notably, for the first time, the Caribbean will be represented at the SHC, with a team from the University of the West Indies Mona Campus participating in the semifinals in Miami this week.

About Hotelschool The Hague

Hotelschool The Hague is one of the oldest independent hotel schools in the world, with two campuses, one in The Hague and one in Amsterdam, and more than 2,850 students and 250 employees.

The school offers a four-year Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management, a Fast-Track Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management, a 13-month Master of Business Administration in International Hospitality Management, a Masters in Leading Hotel Transformation, and a Professional Doctorate Program in Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality.

For more information, visit www.hotelschool.nl.

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CTO to Focus on Aviation at Caribbean Week in New York

NEW YORK (May 16, 2024) – Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is set to spotlight the future of Caribbean aviation during Caribbean Week in New York, scheduled for June 16-21, 2024, at the InterContinental Times Square in midtown Manhattan.

Under CTO’s annual theme “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity”, the week promises a diverse lineup of activities emphasizing innovation and connectivity.

A key feature of the premier event for travel industry professionals, journalists and members of the Caribbean Diaspora will be the Caribbean Airlift Forum.

Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and Spokesperson for Caribbean Week, will moderate the forum. She emphasized the importance of this session as a critical platform for discussing the challenges and opportunities in Caribbean air transportation.

The session will cover topics including route development, aviation competitiveness, partnerships, infrastructure investment, regulatory frameworks, and market demand strategies. It aims to foster dialogue among airlines, airports, tourism authorities, and aviation ministries, enhancing connectivity and optimizing access to Caribbean destinations.

“In the wake of the pandemic, Caribbean aviation has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability, rebounding strongly in key areas. However, as we celebrate these gains during our Caribbean Week in New York, it’s crucial that we don’t become complacent,” stated Harris.

“We must continue to innovate and address the persistent challenges within intra-regional tourism, which, while recovering, remains a challenge for many of our destinations,” she continued. “Our focus at the Caribbean Airlift Forum is not only on celebrating our successes but also on critically analyzing our challenges to strengthen and diversify our connections to, from and across the region, ensuring a more robust and connected Caribbean.”

The week also features a Business and Tourism Marketing Symposium, the Caribbean Media Awards, and sessions focused on artificial intelligence, crisis communications, and multicultural marketing.

With the support of headline sponsor, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation; gold sponsors Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; and Diamonds International and the Caribbean Media Exchange, Caribbean Week in New York 2024 is poised to be a pivotal meeting for tourism professionals and stakeholders in the region and the Diaspora.

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Caribbean Week 2024 Set to Sparkle in New York City

NEW YORK, NY (May 10, 2024) — The much-awaited Caribbean Week, hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), is scheduled to light up New York City from June 16-21, 2024. This event, a highlight on the calendar for travel industry professionals and enthusiasts alike, will be held at the InterContinental New York Times Square in the bustling heart of midtown Manhattan.

Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and the Week’s spokesperson, said the intergovernmental organization was pleased to return to “The Big Apple” in 2024 to connect with the region’s culture and heritage and have serious conversations about “the business of tourism and the business of the Caribbean.”

Attendees are encouraged to take advantage of special rates offered by the conference host hotel through May 16. Further information on activities is available at https://www.onecaribbean.org/caribbean-week-new-york-2024.

“There’s always business in the New York tri-state area, and we have a burgeoning diaspora that we must connect with,” said Harris, the Director of Tourism for the Cayman Islands. “June is a great time for us to come together as a region and celebrate what we do well during Caribbean-American Heritage Month.”

Under the banner of CTO’s 35th anniversary theme, “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity”, Caribbean Week 2024 will showcase a dynamic lineup of events and business meetings. These sessions will involve the CTO Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and Ministerial Council. The discussions will focus on the critical issues shaping the evolution and growth of Caribbean tourism, providing an opportunity for robust and strategic dialogue.

The week begins with a church service and a Business and Tourism Marketing Symposium. The Caribbean Media Awards, honoring journalists and influencers who have notably promoted Caribbean tourism, will return alongside the much-anticipated Media Marketplace.

In line with fostering innovation, a special session dedicated to artificial intelligence will underscore the organization’s forward-thinking approach. Additionally, the spotlight will be on the impactful work of the CTO Foundation and the recently launched Jean Holder Scholarship.

A wide range of topics will be covered, including service excellence, enhancing connections between New York City and the region, airlift strategies, multicultural marketing, travel trade relations, public relations, crisis communications, and smart destination management. Further emphasizing inclusivity and leadership, the week will feature a leadership breakfast and awards ceremony focused on women’s empowerment, alongside a Cricket Ceremony and Watch Party.

Supported by headline sponsor the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, gold sponsor the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, and the Caribbean Media Exchange, Caribbean Week in New York promises an unforgettable experience.

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Grenada to Welcome a Diverse Lineup of Industry Leaders at CTO’s STC 2024

GRENADA (April 21, 2024) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), in partnership with the Grenada Tourism Authority, has curated a dynamic lineup of industry leaders and development partners for its Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC 2024). The gathering aims to explore new strategies for enhancing sustainable tourism amidst evolving global challenges.

Slated for April 22-24, 2024, and centered around the theme The 5 Ps – People, Planet, Prosperity, Purpose and Partnership, the event brings together experts who will discuss creating innovative tourism experiences that capitalize on the Caribbean’s rich natural and cultural resources and presents strategies and best practice solutions to benefit from emerging opportunities and address sustainable tourism challenges.

Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International and a renowned leader in sustainable tourism, will deliver the keynote address on April 22. His remarks are expected to inspire a series of productive discussions on building a resilient and responsible tourism infrastructure in the region.

The conference will feature an impressive roster of speakers sharing their expertise on sustainable tourism development during the following sessions:

GENERAL SESSION I – Planet: Preserving Paradise – Nurturing Nature for a Sustainable Future (April 22, 10:30 am – 11:45 am): This session recognizes the vital connections between the health of our planet and the well-being of all living beings, including humans. Emphasizing the urgent need for conservation action, participants will engage in discussions that transcend rhetoric, focusing instead on tangible solutions and practical interventions. Speakers include:
• Christopher Corbin, Coordinator, Cartagena Convention Secretariat, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
• Giselle Carr, Head of Brand and Communications, InPlanet
• Maria Fowell, Senior Technical Specialist-Tourism, Economic Development Unit, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission
• Rosana John, Attorney-at-Law, Dentons Delany
• Michael Russek, Artist, Designer, Fabricator & Eco Creator
• Maxine Welsh (Moderator), Director, The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Caribbean Division

GENERAL SESSION II – People: Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges: Harnessing Equity, Education, and Empowerment in Tourism (April 22, 11:45 am – 1:00 pm): The session will explore the pivotal role of diversity, equity, inclusion and education within the tourism sector to empower individuals and drive sustainable development. Speakers include:
• Tonni Brodber, Representative of UN Women Multi-Country Office, Caribbean
• Dr. Acolla Lewis Cameron, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus
• Amrita Bhalla, Managing Director, A.B. Consulting
• Melnecia Marshall, Deputy CEO, St. Kitts Tourism Authority
• Christopher Lee, Executive Recruiter & Consultant, BIPOC Executive Search
• Richard Young (Moderator), Fashion Director & Creative Consultant, Richard Young Inc.

GENERAL SESSION III – Indigenous Excellence: Championing Community, Country and Congruence with Destination Grenada (April 22, 2:15 pm – 3:30 pm): As Grenada celebrates 50 years of independence in 2024, this session highlights the nation’s achievements in fostering Indigenous Excellence through public and private partnerships. Speakers include:
• Dr. Angus Friday, Strategic Partnerships Director, Waitt Institute, and Executive Chairman, Atlantean BioSphere Program
• Tiffany Geer, Marketing Manager, Event Coordinator and Dive Master, Aquanauts Grenada
• Dr. Guido Marcelle, Pharmacognosist, Environmentalist and Practicing Natural Farmer
• Mr. Phil Saye, Director, Grenada Fund for Conservation
• Petra Roach (Moderator), Chief Executive Officer, Grenada Tourism Authority

MASTER CLASS – Building Resilience Across the 5Ps: Strategies for Tourism Resilience & Competitiveness (April 22, 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm): This dynamic session will explore strategies to bolster resilience within the Caribbean tourism sector, focusing on environmental sustainability, comprehensive disaster management, climate variability and climate change. Speakers include:
• Dr. Deborah Brown, Disaster Recovery Specialist, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency
• Barry Collymore, Owner and Executive Chairman, Mount Cinnamon Beach Resort; Co-Founder of West Indies School of Hospitality (WISH)
• Dr. Roché Mahon, Social Scientist, Caribbean Institute for Meteorology & Hydrology
• Prof. Lloyd G. Waller (Moderator), Professor of Digital Transformation Policy and Governance, University of the West Indies; Executive Director, Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre

Market & Industry Insights Panel (April 23, 8:15 am – 9:00 am): A panel convening experts from the primary source markets and key industry stakeholders to offer perspectives on the latest policies, trends, and developments shaping the tourism landscape. Speakers include:
• Carol Rose, Head of Sustainability, ABTA, The Travel Association
• Hannah Swift, Country Manager – Caribbean, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd.
• Dr. Allison T. Walker, Chief Surveillance Officer, Travelers’ Health Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• Rich Pruitt, Vice President of Environmental Operation, Carnival Cruise Line
• Kendra Hopkin Stewart, Deputy Managing Director, Blue Horizons Garden Resort; President, Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association
• Frank Comito (Moderator), Special Advisor and Former CEO/DG, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association

Inter-Ministerial Dialogue on Cooperation and Intersectoral Linkages (April 23, 9:00 am – 9:30 am): This fireside chat will feature spirited contributions from four Ministers of the Government of Grenada on modern challenges and solutions in sustainable development and disaster risk reduction. Speakers include:
• Senator Adrian Thomas, Minister for Tourism, Creative Economy & Culture, Grenada
• Lennox Andrews, Minister for Economic Development, Planning, Agriculture and Lands, Forestry, Marine Resources & Cooperatives, Grenada
• Kerryne James, Minister for Climate Resilience, Environment & Renewable Energy, Grenada
• Senator Jonathan La Crette, Minister of Youth and Sports, Grenada
• Bevan Springer (Moderator), President, Marketplace Excellence Corporation

GENERAL SESSION IV – Prosperity: Pathways to Prosperity for Sustainable Futures: Sustainable Tourism Financing Donors’ Roundtable (April 23, 9:30 am – 10:30 am): This panel features an illustrious gathering of representatives from primary donor agencies, regional and international development organizations, and financial institutions supporting the Caribbean’s sustainable development. Speakers include:
• Dr. Louise Twining-Ward, Senior Private Sector Specialist, The World Bank
• Dr. Stacy Richards-Kennedy, Regional Manager for the Caribbean, CAF – Development Bank of Latin America & the Caribbean
• Petipha Lewis, Director, Board of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund; Chair, Network of Caribbean Chambers of Commerce (CARICHAM); Executive Director and Secretary to the Board of Directors of the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce
• Chris McNair, Programme Specialist, Business Development, CARICOM Development Fund
• Wayne Elliott, Productivity & Innovation Coordinator, Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility
• Amanda Charles (Moderator), Sustainable Tourism Specialist, Caribbean Tourism Organization

GENERAL SESSION V – Purpose: Purpose Driven Tourism: Uniting Purpose with Passion for Sustainable Tourism (April 23, 11:00 am – 12:15 pm): This session brings together industry leaders, stakeholders and enthusiasts to explore the intersection of purpose and passion in sustainable travel. Discussions will explore how travelers and tourism providers can align their values and aspirations with meaningful experiences contributing to sustainable development goals. Speakers include:
• Alicia Johnson, Author, Lonely Planet
• Dr. Thérèse Yarde, Caribbean Fellow/Senior Director, Caribbean SIDS Programming, Conservation International
• Kirpa Grewal, Co-Chair, Volunteerism Committee and Executive Committee Member, Women in Cleantech & Sustainability Board of Directors
• Kitaka Mawuto, Chief Executive Officer, Elevate Media
• Russ Fielden, Owner, True Blue Bay Resort
• Michael Carabash (Moderator), Partner, DMC LLP

GENERAL SESSION VI – Partnership: Synergizing Sustainability: Fostering Public, Private, and Community Partnerships in Tourism (April 23, 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm): This session focuses on the transformative power of multi-stakeholder partnerships in advancing sustainability within the tourism industry. It aims to chart new pathways toward inclusive and responsible tourism development by fostering collaboration.
• Michael Akin, President, LINK Strategic Partners
• Marc Melville, CEO, Chukka Caribbean Adventures Group
• Trevor Jonas Benson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Bannikin
• Annie Bertrand, Public-Private-Community Partnership Consultant, SIDS Global Business Network
• Glenn Mandziuk, CEO, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance
• Michelle Mason, Social Impact and Recognition Manager, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance
• Kennedy Pemberton (Moderator), Director of Operations, Green Case Consulting

MASTER CLASS – Fu-Tech Tourism: Demystifying the Myths and Exploring the Risks, Benefits and New Opportunities (April 23, 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm): Engage with the future of technology (Fu-Tech) in tourism through this enlightening discussion. The session will debunk myths and explore the risks, benefits, and new opportunities presented by emerging technologies, setting the stage for innovation in the industry. Speakers include:
• Ed Limon, Co-Founder and Producer, Winged Whale Media
• Kyle Maloney, Tech Ecosystem Builder; Digital Marketer; Investor; Co-Founder, Tech Beat Retreat
• Stacey Hines, Founder & CEO, Epic Transformation
• Orlando Romain (Moderator), Advisor, Grenada Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, with responsibility for ICT and the Creative Economy

CONVERGENCE POINT – Bridging Perspectives for Future Tourism (April 23, 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm): The closing session is designed to bring together diverse perspectives and stimulate dialogue and action that will help shape the future of Caribbean tourism. It explores how stakeholders are working to address challenges, meet market demands, tap into new trends and promote responsible tourism while embracing The 5Ps: People, Planet, Prosperity, Purpose and Partnership. Speakers include:
• Shelley V. Worrell, Founder, I AM CaribBeing and Little Caribbean NYC
• Rodney Payne, Chief Executive Officer, Destination Think
• Oneidge Walrond, Minister of Tourism, Industry & Commerce, Guyana
• Aria Laidlow-Ferdinand, Technical Officer, Caribbean Natural Resource Institute (CANARI)
• Krisma McDonald, Director of Sustainability, Six Senses La Sagesse
• Tenille Clarke (Moderator), Managing Director, Chambers Media Solutions

Partners and sponsors for STC 2024 include LINK Strategic Partners, Little Caribbean NYC, Royal Caribbean International, Silversands Grenada Beach Resort, and Six Senses La Sagesse Grenada Resort.

Airline partners include interCaribbean Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Sponsors of the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards are the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association, Grenada Investment Development Corporation, International Institute of Tourism Studies at the GW School of Business, and World Sustainable Travel and Hospitality Awards.

Media partners signed up for the conference are Breaking Travel News, Caribbean Broadcasting Union, Caribbean Media Corporation, and Wanderlust.

Visit www.caribbeanstc.com for more information about the conference, speakers, sessions and registration details. To learn more about the Grenada Tourism Authority, visit puregrenada.com.

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CTO’S Caribbean Media Awards 2024 to Celebrate Excellence in Journalism

NEW YORK (April 18, 2024) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced the return of its Caribbean Media Awards, the prestigious honor given to journalists and influencers whose work has significantly contributed to the promotion of Caribbean tourism.

The awards ceremony, set to spotlight outstanding media contributions from the United States and the Caribbean, is scheduled to take place amidst the vibrant celebrations of Caribbean Week in New York, from June 16 to 21, 2024.

Submissions from public relations agencies, member countries, and the journalistic community are welcome.

“We’re thrilled to bring back the Caribbean Media Awards,” stated CTO Chairman Kenneth Bryan, who serves as Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands. “These awards are not just about recognizing excellence, they are a testament to the enduring spirit of the Caribbean and its vibrant culture. Our goal is to spotlight the stories that capture the heart of the Caribbean, stories that inspire, inform and engage audiences worldwide. It’s a celebration of the impactful narratives that contribute significantly to our tourism landscape.”

Entries are sought in the following award categories:

Best Feature Article or Story: Recognizes excellence in long-form storytelling (print or online) that provides in-depth analysis, compelling narratives, and unique perspectives on Caribbean culture, history, etc.

Best News Reporting: Honors exceptional reporting of breaking news, events, or issues of significance to the Caribbean region that demonstrates accuracy and journalistic integrity.

Best Podcast/Radio: Celebrates excellence in podcasting/radio reporting, whether itʼs storytelling, interviews or discussions offering engaging and informative Caribbean content.

Best Photojournalism: Celebrates impactful visual storytelling through photography, capturing the essence of life in the Caribbean region, from daily life to cultural events, natural landscapes, or social issues.

Best Video Production: Honors outstanding video production, including broadcast news segments, short films, or online video content that showcases the richness and diversity of Caribbean culture, people and landscapes.

Best Social Media Campaign: Recognizes innovative and effective social media campaigns (by journalists or influencers) that engage audiences, raise awareness, or promote positive change on issues relevant to the Caribbean region.

Best Personal Immersive Story: Highlights a feature story that demonstrated time in the destination, integration and deep exploration of off-the-beaten-path in a destination.

Diaspora Journalist of the Year: Honors members of the Diaspora community who impact tourism in the Caribbean region through their storytelling.

Emerging Journalist of the Year: Spotlights the achievements of up-and-coming journalists, reporters or content creators who have demonstrated exceptional talent, potential and commitment to excellence in Caribbean media.

Only entries submitted by CTO government members, their public relations agencies or qualified media shall be eligible.

Minimum circulation for newspaper or magazine entries is 20,000 (1,000 for Caribbean media).

All entries must have been published or broadcast in the 2023 calendar year.

Only one entry per person per category will be accepted.

Submissions should showcase creativity and thoughtful knowledge of the Caribbean and have a provocative story angle.

Criteria for the judging of entries shall be:

● Content – Relevance, accuracy, cohesiveness of material, adherence to journalistic standards

● Structure & Form – Relevance of topic, clarity, pace, structure (introduction, development and conclusion), presentation of information and ideas

● Title – Relevance of title, concision, clarity

● Quality of Language – Use of language, quality of syntax, quality of sentence structure

● Originality – Originality of ideas, ability to spark audienceʼs curiosity, boldness, creativity

Entries that do not meet the selection criteria will be disqualified.

Depending on their assessment of the standard of entries, the judges may withhold awards in any category as they see fit. They may also ascribe “Special Mention” (without award) to an entry where warranted.

Decisions of the judges shall be final.

Entrants are required to submit their contributions at https://bit.ly/caribbeanmediaawards by the deadline of May 8, 2024.

For questions or further information, contact caribbeanweek@marketplaceexcellence.com.

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