CTO News

Caribbean G-8 Islands Collaborate on Intra-regional Tourism Marketing Campaign

St. Eustatius Dutch Caribbean, August 11, 2020…….As Caribbean destinations across the region reopen their borders in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a group of eight neighboring islands have joined together to rethink and re-imagine their tourism marketing strategy in the post-Covid era.  Nevis, St. Kitts, Saba, Statia, French Saint Martin, Dutch St. Maarten, Anguilla and St. Barths have come together to form a Caribbean Group of 8, recognizing that through a joint collaboration they can amplify their presence in the marketplace and create new travel possibilities and fresh itineraries for consumers.

“We are delighted to launch this new initiative,” said Jadine Yarde, CEO, Nevis Tourism Authority.  “Our common objective is to promote intra-regional travel, capitalizing on our proximity to each other, and today’s travelers’ desire to discover new experiences, collecting passport stamps along the way for bragging rights.”

The collaboration has produced an introductory video, with highlights of what makes each island special and different from their neighbors.  The exciting, two-minute video will be rolled out across all their social platforms starting the week of August 11, 2020.  The underlying message is that there is no better place than the Caribbean for travelers who are ready to venture forth when the time is right.

“St. Eustatius welcomes the coming together of all the neighboring Islands in producing this video which is testimony to our solidarity and our unison as one Caribbean destination, said Charles Lindo, Director of Tourism for Statia.”

“Saba welcomes this collaborative initiative and looks forward to welcoming visitors to the Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean, a safe haven where culture, history and nature abound,” stated Glenn Holm, Director of Tourism for the Saba Tourist Bureau.

Nevis, St. Kitts, Saba, Statia, Saint Martin, St. Maarten, Anguilla and St. Barths represent a combination of current and former Dutch, British and French island territories. Each island is a unique encounter, reflecting the vibrant Caribbean culture, creativity and hospitality which has made the region the preferred destination for travelers across the globe.  Together they offer a huge array of experiences, cuisines, art, music and literature, against the backdrop of stunning landscapes, spectacular beaches, land and water sports, and boutique accommodations at a range of price points.

For more information, and to view the video, visit  any one of the participating islands’ websites or social platforms: NevisSt. KittsSaba;  Statia;  French Saint Martin;  Dutch St. Maarten;   Anguilla and St. Barths.





Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts & Nevis to Reopen Borders in October

Basseterre, St. Kitts (August 11, 2020) – In a press briefing today, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, announced that the Federation expects to reopen its borders, October 2020. This would allow for the resumption of air and sea commercial traffic carrying international passengers into the Federation’s ports.

In conjunction with borders reopening, the Prime Minister announced that the Federation’s major hotels remain committed partners to the tourism sector. The St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Park Hyatt St. Kitts will reopen in October 2020. The Park Hyatt’s Fisherman’s Village reopened last week Friday, August 7, 2020.  Koi, a Curio Collection by Hilton hotel, will reopen in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Royal St. Kitts Hotel is currently operating with reduced capacity. The Four Seasons Resort Nevis will soon announce reopening plans.

In preparation for the borders reopening, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, the Nevis Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism in conjunction with the Ministries of Health and Civil Aviation are conducting training for over 5,000 tourism industry stakeholders including hotels at no cost to them. The training aims to educate stakeholders in the health and safety protocols and standards that must be met in order to obtain the “Travel Approved” certification and seal from the respective Tourism Authority that will be required for them to operate.

The phased reopening is being implemented with the advisement of the Chief Medical Officer, the Medical Chief of Staff and medical experts. At their advice, the Federation has successfully flattened the curve. St. Kitts & Nevis has the fewest number of confirmed cases in all the CARICOM independent states at a total of 17 with 0 active cases at this time and 0 deaths to date. This is a direct result of the Federation’s “all society approach” and adherence to established protocols including social distancing, handwashing and mask-wearing that remain in place.


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CTO Scholarship Foundation Awards Five Caribbean Students for 2020/2021

NEW YORK, NY (August 10, 2020) — The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Scholarship Foundation is awarding two scholarships and three study grants for 2020/21 despite the fundraising challenges that the organisation has endured during the COVID-19 crisis. The five students receiving funds will be studying tourism and hospitality management as well as culinary arts at universities in the U.S., the Caribbean and Ireland.

“While we always want to do more than we have the funds for, we are proud to be able to help these five students further their tourism education and return to the Caribbean as future leaders in tourism,” said Jacqueline Johnson, CTO Foundation chairman and president of the Global Bridal Group.

The main aim of the CTO Foundation is to provide opportunities for Caribbean nationals to pursue studies in the areas of tourism, hospitality, language training and other tourism-related disciplines. The foundation selects individuals who demonstrate high levels of achievement and leadership both within and outside the classroom and who express a strong interest in making a positive contribution to Caribbean tourism.

2020 Scholarships and Grants

This year scholarships and grants went to the following Caribbean students:

  • Antonia Pierre, Dominica, received the Bonita Morgan Scholarship to study tourism management at the University of the West Indies.
  • Allyson Jno Baptiste, Dominica, was awarded the Audrey Palmer Hawks Scholarship to study hospitality management at Monroe College in New York.  She will begin her studies online.
  • Jenneil Gardener, Jamaica, will get a study grant for a programme in tourism management at the University of the West Indies.
  • Venessa Richardson, Saint Lucia, gets a study grant for courses in hospitality management at Monroe College in Saint Lucia.
  • Chelsea Esquivel, Belize, will get a study grant for her studies in culinary and gastronomic sciences at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in Galway, Ireland.

The CTO Foundation was established in 1997 as a not-for-profit corporation, registered in the State of New York, and formed exclusively for charitable and educational purposes under Section 501(c)(3) of U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Led by a volunteer board of directors, the foundation’s first set of scholarships and study grants were awarded in 1998.

Since 1998 the CTO Foundation has provided 117 major scholarships and 178 study grants to deserving Caribbean nationals, amounting to over US$1 million. Over the years, major foundation sponsors have included American Express, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Interval International, JetBlue, Royal Caribbean International, The Travel Agent Magazine, LIAT, Architectural Digest, CTO chapters worldwide and numerous allied members.

“The CTO Foundation wishes to thank everyone who submitted applications for the 2020 scholarships and grants and encourages those that were not fortunate enough to get a scholarship or grant this year to re-apply next year,” said Johnson.

            For more information visit the CTO Foundation website at: http://ctofoundation.org/


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Belize Postpones Tourism Reopening

Belize City, Belize – Thursday, August 6th, 2020:  As the official destination marketing organization for the country, the safety and comfort of our visitors and residents are of utmost priority for the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). We are continually assessing risks and working with our partners to create protocols to ensure a safe environment for residents and guests when international visitation resumes.

The country is experiencing an increase in Covid-19 cases, and in a press conference held yesterday, the Prime Minister of Belize – Rt. Hon. Dean O. Barrow – in an overabundance of caution, announced that it was necessary to delay the re-opening of the Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE), which was scheduled for August 15th, 2020.

Ensuring that travelers have reliable, trustworthy, and useful information continues to be a top priority so they can make the best decisions for their health and safety when choosing a vacation destination.  As such we encourage visitors to visit www.travelbelize.org often for current travel protocols and destination information.

As a country, we are committed to enhancing our tourism product to be able to welcome back visitors to our shores in a safe and responsible manner. A new date for re-opening has not yet been established, and will be determined based on further developments in country.

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Barbados implements travel bubble

The Government of Barbados has implemented a travel ‘Bubble’ for specific countries with a low incidence of COVID-19, effective August 5, 2020. They are St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada.

Under these new travel protocols, persons travelling within the ‘Bubble’ who have not travelled to or transited through any high, medium or low-risk country within 21 days prior to travel to Barbados, will not be required to take a COVID-19 PCR test prior to or on arrival and do not require monitoring during their stay.

Other travellers from high and medium risk countries are also strongly advised to take a COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited or certified laboratory (ISO, CAP, UKAS or equivalent) within 72 hours of travel to Barbados. Persons travelling from low-risk countries, are advised to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 5 days of travel. Anyone arriving without a documented negative PCR test result from an accredited or recognized laboratory will be required to take the test on arrival in Barbados. Tests will be available at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) free of charge, or at specified satellite/hotel sites for a fee of US $150.

A visitor who does not present a valid negative result and declines testing upon arrival will be denied entry into Barbados. Citizens, Permanent Residents and persons with permanent status who do not present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result and who decline testing on arrival will be quarantined in a Government facility.

Upon arrival from a High-Risk Country

Persons travelling from high-risk countries with a valid negative test will be quarantined at a designated holding hotel or approved villa at their own expense, or at a Government facility free of charge, and will be monitored daily for the onset of symptoms. The quarantine period will last for 14 days with the option of taking a second test between 5-7 days. If the test is negative, persons will not be subject to further quarantine. If the test is positive, persons will be transported to an alternative accommodation for isolation.

Persons from High-Risk countries with a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result will be Upon arrival from a Medium-Risk Country

Persons travelling from medium-risk countries with a valid negative test will be permitted to leave the airport after clearance by Immigration, Customs and Port Health officials. They will be monitored for a period of 14 days with the option of taking a second test between 5-7 days. If the test is negative, the person will no longer be subject to further monitoring. If the test is positive, persons will be transported to an alternative accommodation for isolation.

designated holding hotel or approved villa at their own expense, or free of charge at a g

Upon arrival from a Low-Risk Country

Persons travelling from low-risk countries with a valid negative test will be permitted to leave the airport after clearance by Immigration, Customs and Port Health officials. If the test is positive, they will be transported to an alternative accommodation for isolation.

As of August 5, 2020, we have seen a total of 133 confirmed cases, 100 recoveries, 26 in isolation and 7 deaths.

For more details on Barbados’ travel protocols, visit www.barbadostravelprotocols.com

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Belize: Reopening of the PGIA and Schools Delayed

It was announced that due to a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in three districts, there will be a delay in the reopening of the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA).

Prime Minister Rt. Dean Barrow said that although the airport will not reopen, the weekly repatriation flights for Belizean nationals abroad will continue, including the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

Additionally, the Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber announced that the reopening the schools will also be delayed. He said the Ministry will continue to monitor the situation as it relates to COVID-19, and will make adjustments as deemed necessary. Any details regarding distance learning programs and other preparations for reopening will be made public as they become available.

Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero also announced that the preliminary results from tests conducted in San Pedro Town resulted in 14 new potential positive cases of COVID-19, but the Ministry is currently undergoing the confirmation process.

The opening of both the airport and schools will be announced at a later date.

COVID-19 Update from Office of Director of Health Services

“Fifty-one (51) samples were processed today for SARS-CoV2.

We have identified a further 14 cases today, this is the second highest number of cases after yesterday’s record of 15.

The breakdown is as follows:

– 10 of the cases are related to the case identified on Sunday in San Pedro (some close contacts are still pending to be processed)

– 1 case (in Belmopan) who was contact to the patient hospitalized at the Northern Regional Hospital

– 1 contact related to the case identified in San Pedro yesterday (this would be a second cluster as they are not related to the initial case from Sunday)

– 2 cases in San Pedro that don’t appear to be related to any of the above clusters but these are symptomatic patients that were picked up through the flu clinic routine and enhanced surveillance. One of these cases is a child.

The provisional report in San Pedro is also indicating that at least 20 (twenty) symptomatic cases were swabbed at the flu clinic in San Pedro (not necessarily linked to any of the above cases.

As we move along, we will have to reiterate that we have to assume every person we meet is to be treated as potential case and for which we must take the necessary safety precautions.

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