CTO News

Nevis Celebrates Success of 6th Annual Mango & Food Festival

Charlestown, Nevis (July 16, 2019) – Nevis is celebrating the success of the sixth annual Nevis Mango & Food Festival, that took place July 4-7, 2019. The four day festival featured 16 local Nevisian Chefs, participation of four local restaurants, the first ever Caribbean Mango Cooking Competition and was headlined by celebrity Chefs Judy Joo and Simon Jenkins. This was the third time UK Iron Chef Judy Joo, a Korean-American French-trained chef based in London, and frequent Food Network host and guest, participated in the Mango and Food Festival. With tripled attendance the Nevis Mango & Food Festival is quickly cementing its position as a the leading Mango and culinary event in the Caribbean.

Nevis mangoes, of which there are 44 varieties, are truly special and prized for their texture and flavor. They inspire culinary creativity among celebrity and local chefs who carefully select their favorites and turn them into everything from soups and salsas, to marinades, sauces, cocktails and fabulous desserts. Locals, however, happily eat them fresh off the trees!

The four-day mango extravaganza began with a press conference hosted by Johnson Johnrose of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and a demonstration by UK Iron Chef Judy Joo and Simon Jenkins of the UK with tips for using mangos in cooking. The press conference was held at the new restaurant, Cleveland Gardens, where Nevisian chefs, Berecia Stapleton and Wentworth Smithen also gave demonstrations highlighting local mango varieties. Afterwards, Iron Chef UK Judy Joo conducted a mango cooking masterclass with leading international media. Michelin starred Chef Simon Jenkins hosted a cake decorating clinic for Nevisian bakers in the afternoon. The Festival featured masterclasses, special hosted evenings at restaurants, tastings, and guided food trails. The highlight of the festival is the Chefs Mango Feast that took place on July 7th where the first ever Caribbean Mango Cooking Competition was held with culinary teams from Antigua, Barbados, Nevis and St. Kitts. Judged by Chefs Judy Joo, Simon Jenkins, and Texas food critic Mai Pham, Barbados was the inaugural winner. The Feast also featured the Mango Baking Competition, and was an opportunity for 16 local Nevisian Chefs to provide samples of their signature mango dishes, and samples from four local restaurants. The event was a real celebration, with the inclusion of Nevis’ Green House Band, providing a taste of local music.

As an added bonus, many of the local restaurants and resorts feature “Mango Fest” menus. Guests from all over the island are happy to reserve their spots for lunches and dinners that feature this special ingredient.

Organized by the Nevis Tourism Authority, the Mango & Food Festival is not only a culinary celebration of Mango for residents and visitors, it provides educational opportunities for local businesses and students. The Festival provides internships for culinary students, mentoring opportunities from headline Chefs, a commercial festival where local businesses sold products made from mangos, and the promotion of the culinary use of mangos to drive the local mango industry. Greg Phillip, CEO, Nevis Tourism Authority shared, “The Nevis Tourism Authority is tremendously pleased with what the Nevis Mango and Food Festival has become.  It has earned a much deserved spot in the Caribbean’s annual calendar of ‘must see’ events and is poised to grow even more.  We are grateful to the individuals and business who supported us this year.  It was an incredibly positive experience to welcome the culinary teams from St. Kitts, Barbados and Antigua who participated in the first annual Caribbean Mango Cooking Competition. We are already looking forward to the 2020 Mango and Food Festival.”

Mark your calendars now for the 2020 Nevis Mango & Food Festival that will take place July 2 – 5, 2020 and will feature even more Caribbean culinary teams in the Caribbean Mango Cooking Competition with even more visitors and activities planned.  To find out more visit www.nevismangofest.com.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO Mourns Loss of Marie Walker, Long-Time Tourism Colleague & Friend of the Caribbean

NEW YORK, NY (July 15, 2019) – Executives and staff of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) are mourning the loss of Marie Walker, a long-time Jamaica-born tourism colleague and friend who dedicated her time to the betterment of the Caribbean region.

“Marie Walker was a passionate tourism regionalist who never missed an opportunity to serve on a CTO committee, most recently at the Caribbean Week debriefing meeting two weeks ago,” said Sylma Brown, director of CTO-USA, Inc. “She shared her expertise freely and supported destination colleagues without hesitation. She exuded with warmth, energy and authenticity. The Caribbean and our small community of National Tourist Offices (NTOs) and allied members in the U.S. has lost a champion. Marie will be missed by all who knew and loved her,” Brown added.

Walker worked in the Caribbean tourism industry for 40 years, most recently as the principal of Turnstyle Marketing where she worked closely with Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Lucia. She served as a director of the Anguilla Tourist Board and vice president of sales and marketing with Antigua and Barbuda.

Walker began her career with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in the Kingston headquarters and later in JTB’s New York office where she worked her way up to become advertising relations manager. She was instrumental in growing business for Jamaica with the award-winning One Love advertising campaign and was an early innovator by engaging Jamaicans living abroad before the Caribbean Diaspora was established as a viable market.

Walker was the founder of the popular Jerk to Go restaurants in New York City and was planning the company’s expansion across the U.S.

She previously sat on the board of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies and has served on several CTO committees including the committee for the CTO’s Governments of the Caribbean State Ball.

Walker is survived by her husband, New York Supreme Court Justice Sam Walker, her parents Sadie and Clinton Deeble, her sister Jackie Vickers, nieces Nicola and Celine and other relatives and friends. A celebration of life ceremony is being planned for New York and Florida.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog

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Balancing People, Planet and Profits for a Viable Tourism Economy, a Major Discussion Point at STC 2019

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (15 July 2019) – Any Caribbean economic development plan must respect the intricate relationship between the environment, societal needs and profitability, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

It’s in this context that the need to balance people, planet and profits for a viable tourism economy will be included as a major issue for discussion at the upcoming Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

During a general session entitled “The Caring Economy: People, Planet and Profits,” scheduled for Friday 29 Aug. at 9 a.m., participants will be presented with examples of tangible best practices of equitable balance among the three Ps of sustainability that have been implemented at the local, regional and international levels. The presenters will demonstrate how development planners can build a caring economy by that encompasses every sustainability pillar.

One of the examples to be featured is the People-to-People programme in the Bahamas through which visitors are paired with local hosts who share Bahamian culture, cuisine and history, and develop long-lasting friendships.

The conference, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (#STC2019), is scheduled for 26-29 Aug. 2019 at the Beachcombers Hotel in St. Vincent and is organised by CTO in partnership with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA).

Under the theme “Keeping the Right Balance: Tourism Development in an Era of Diversification,” industry experts participating in #STC2019 will address the urgent need for a transformational, disruptive, and regenerative tourism product to meet ever-rising challenges. The full conference programme can be viewed via https://www.caribbeanstc.com/program/

St Vincent and the Grenadines will host STC amidst an intensified national thrust towards a greener, more climate-resilient destination, including the construction of a geothermal plant on St. Vincent to complement the country’s hydro and solar energy capacity and the restoration of the Ashton Lagoon in Union Island.

To register for the conference, visit https://www.caribbeanstc.com/register. Rates are available for general delegates including CTO members and non-members, St. Vincent & the Grenadines residents, travel agents and students (both local and international rates).

Sponsorships are available for the conference and can be viewed via: https://www.caribbeanstc.com/sponsor. Contact Sylma Brown Bramble at 212-635-9530 or [email protected] for additional information.


About the Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development

The Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development is part of the information dissemination and regional awareness component of CTO’s strategy for sustainable tourism. It looks at how member states can design and implement sustainable tourism policies and programmes, offering a regional forum for information exchange on the successes and pitfalls of national, regional and international initiatives.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, STC

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Nevisian Educator is First-Ever Recipient of Bonita Morgan Memorial Scholarship

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (11 July 2019) – A Nevisian secondary school teacher with a history of success in preparing students for the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s Tourism Youth Congress has been selected as the first-ever recipient of the Bonita Morgan Memorial Scholarship.

Philicia Walters, a graduate teacher at Gingerland Secondary School, was chosen by the CTO Scholarship Foundation for this scholarship named in honour of the organisation’s former head of human resources who passed away in April 2018 after serving 22 years as the CTO’s director of human resources and later, the director of resource mobilisation and development.

“As a recent teacher chaperone of the CTO Tourism Youth Congress, I would have interacted with Bonita Morgan on several occasions and have always been impacted by her dedication and zeal to ensure that the Caribbean’s tourism product remains among the best in the world. Furthermore, she was also passionate about making certain that our young tourism ambassadors were aware of the region’s diverse contributions. Hence, to be accorded a scholarship in her honour is a humbling experience,” said Walters, who is pursuing a Masters Degree in Tourism Management at Colorado State University in the United States.

Since 2011 Walters has been preparing students at her school for the youth congress, two of whom have emerged as winners. She also teaches tourism and delves deeper into tourism concepts as part of her syllabus for her geography and social studies courses.

“I am confident that with the aid of the Bonita Morgan Memorial Scholarship to finalise this aspect of my educational journey, I will be better empowered to assist in the development of tourism in Nevis and the Caribbean by extension,” Walters said.

This year the foundation granted five scholarships and five study grants – approximately US$35,000 – from a list of over 60 applications. Among the recipients is Valerie Derosin, a meteorological trainee officer at the Bahamas department of meteorology, who is the first-ever recipient of the Delta Air Lines scholarship for Caribbean nationals interested in pursuing studies in aviation or air transport technologies. Derosin is pursuing an aircraft/airline dispatcher programme that includes U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and National Aviation Administration certification at Jeppesen in Denver, Colorado.

The other scholarship recipients are:

  • Peter Thompson of Jamaica, who’s pursuing a BSc. in Tourism Management at the University of the West Indies
  • Nyssa Pierre of Trinidad and Tobago, who’s pursuing a destination management graduate certificate at Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Johnnel Smith of Jamaica, the recipient of theAudrey Palmer Hawks Scholarship.

In addition, the foundation approved study grants to Shanel Edmund of Grenada, Christine Gibson of Barbados, Randel Henry and Nigel Peters of Dominica, and Metellus Werlens of Haiti.

The CTO Scholarship Foundation offers assistance to 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.

Individuals who wish to make a contribution to the CTO Scholarship Foundation can do so via its GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/cto-scholarship-foundation. Corporations interested in participating with the Scholarship program should contact Sylma Brown at CTO directly: Tel: (212) 635-9530; E-mail: [email protected].

The CTO Scholarship Foundation is a 501 (C)(3) entity established in 1997 with the aim of training and developing future leaders for the Caribbean tourism industry by funding studies in tourism and tourism-related subjects, hospitality and language. Since its inception, the foundation has raised over US$1 million in scholarship funds and has provided over 280 grants and scholarships.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Scholarship Foundation

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Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council to Host Africa Resilience Summit

The African Resilience Summit, organized by the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council in partnership with the Africa Travel Association, is taking place during the 42nd the World Tourism Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 24th, 2019.

CTO members who use the code ‘JMCTO’ to attend the African Resilience Summit will receive a 50% discount. Using the code ‘ACTO’ will give members a 25% discount to attend the full World Tourism Conference including the African Resilience Summit. Registration information can be found here: World Tourism Conference Registration

The African Resilience Summit will focus on key challenges for the 54 countries of the continent in differentiating themselves from the misconception of “Africa as a country”. The Summit will highlight the importance of preparedness and planning for sustainability as well as addressing current challenges. Sessions will cover topics such as tourism in government, security, risk management and media perspectives whilst discussing the opportunities tourism provides as a platform for resiliency and an engine for economic growth and job creation.

In line with the Resilience Council’s objectives, the Ministry of Tourism of Jamaica (MOT) and the University of the West Indies are also working to establish a Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRMC) which, once established and fully operational, will be handed over to the University of the West Indies on October 31, 2020, with the MOT still maintaining an interest in the Centre. The project, which is the brainchild of Minister of Tourism of Jamaica, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has an estimated start date of November 1, 2018. The project will run for two years until October 31, 2020.

The Resilience Council provides a platform for professionals from various industries to share information and best practices regarding resilience, crises and disasters – both man-made and natural – in the context of tourism. The council is partnered with multiple governments around the world, including Jordan, South Africa, Jamaica, Greece and Nepal, in order to host events which, provide this forum.

For more information on the summit, visit https://www.resiliencecouncil.com/resiliencecouncil/en/page/african-resilience-summit-about?utm_source=pr

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NEW YORK, NY (July 10, 2019) – What started as a simple local event is now the national sport of Martinique. The “Tour de Yoles” is one of the most important nautical competition unique to Martinique as well as a cultural emblem of the island. The event was created by local fishermen who combined their Creole know-how and the maritime legacy of sea navigation to product a distinctly Martinican event.  This year’s event, the 35th edition, will take place from July 28-August 4th throughout the island in seven stages. Book your American Airlines flight direct from Miami to take advantage of this unique spectacle.

All eyes will be on the sea that week as island life will beat to the rhythms of the event.  All Martinicans are excused from work and the coastline is lined with people gathering to admire the colorful boats or enjoy the various musical events that accompany the race.  You can even follow in the wake of the race by boat and cheer on your team.

The festivities begin in the town of Le François on Saturday, July 27th.  While the exact route is still being finalized, these are the expected stages. The race kicks off on July 28th from Francois to La Trinité.  The second stage on July 29th runs along the northern tip of the island from La Trinité to Saint-Pierre.  July 30th brings the race along the western coast from Saint-Pierre to the capitol city of Fort-de-France.  Stage four on July 31st traces the route from Fort-de-France to the coves of Les Anses d’Arlet.  The fifth stage runs from Les Anses d’Arlet to Diamant on August 1st with stage six hugging the southern coast of the island from Diamant to Sainte-Anne. Stage seven on August 3rd goes from Sainte-Anne to Vauclin.  The eighth and final stage will take place on Sunday, August 4th from Vauclin to Robert.

The “Yole Ronde” was created in the 1940s by a carpenter from le François, inspired by both the gomyé (or gommier) fishing boat and the European yole. At that time, the fishermen mainly used sail boats strictly for work. However, wild races were organized every Sunday and then with more frequency during the community celebrations in the towns of Le François, Robert, and Vauclin. The growing interest inspired the “Société des Yoles et Gommiers de la Martinique ” in 1972. In 1984 the gums separated from the yoles and ” La Societe des Yoles Rondes de La Martinique ” was born.

The Tour des Yoles week is a moment of intense communion of emotion and fun where all eyes are turned towards the horizon and our sails deployed.

For Americans wanting to experience this festive moment, American Airlines is providing daily and non-stop service to Fort-de-France, Martinique from Miami, starting June 7 and through September 3, 2019.

For more information on travel to Martinique, please visit us.martinique.org

For more detail about the race, please visit http://www.tourdesyoles.com/


Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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