CTO News


BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 28 May, 2018 –    The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) offers its congratulations to Prime Minister Mia Mottley and the new Government of Barbados on the historic victory in the May 24 general election. As one of the region’s oldest parliamentary democracies, Barbados continues to break new ground. The CTO wishes the Prime Minister and her Cabinet success and looks forward to welcoming the new Minister of Tourism into our midst. On behalf of our Chairman and Council of Ministers & Commissioners of Tourism, we look forward to further strengthening the long-established relationship between Barbados and the regional tourism sector.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Kittitian and Nevisian University Students Contribute to CTO Hurricane Relief Fund

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (23 May, 2018) – Students from St. Kitts & Nevis pursuing studies at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados have thrown their support behind the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s ongoing efforts to help Caribbean families and countries recover and rebuild after last year’s monstrous hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated some member destinations.

The St. Kitts-Nevis Students’ Association (SKNSA) has made a cash donation of the equivalent of US$600 to the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund, following a fundraiser, which included a “We Care” benefit concert. The association also received donations from the Leeward Islands Students Association of Trinidad & Tobago at UWI in St Augustine, Trinidad.

“We wanted to do something for the affected countries in the region, we wanted to give back to show we really care, and although we are small in numbers we can do a lot,” Dennis McCall Jr, the outgoing SKNSA president said.

The CTO collects donations through the CTO Relief Fund for relief efforts in any of our member countries affected by hurricanes, and to assist other Caribbean countries affected by natural disasters. The CTO Relief Fund has “501(c)(3)” status in the United States, which means it has been approved by the United States Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt, charitable organisation.

“We’d like to offer our gratitude to the St. Kitts Nevis Students Association for their generous donation to the CTO Relief Fund. It is heartwarming to see the care and attention that people throughout the caribbean are paying to this really important cause and, most especially, to see we have engaged the attention and the generosity and compassion of the young people,” Hugh Riley, the CTO’s secretary general said.

“They are the future of the Caribbean and they are as concerned about the well-being of the Caribbean as the rest of us are and they are doing something about it, and we are eternally grateful.”

To make a donation to the CTO Relief Fund please visit https://bit.ly/2H0idHq.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Caribbean Recovery

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Grenada Wins 14th GOLD MEDAL at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

St. George’s, Grenada – May 22nd, 2018 – The Pure Grenada exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 named ‘Grenada-The Road to Success’ has won a highly coveted gold medal. This brings to 14 the number of gold medals awarded to Grenada in 20 years of exhibiting at the Show, with four being awarded in as many consecutive years to Grenada-based lead designer, Catherine John and her extended team of volunteers.

This year, the team brought Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean to life with a fragrant and exuberant representation of one of the island’s iconic historic symbols-the board bus. Measuring 10ft by 4ft, the sides are open to the spice-fragranced breeze and sweeping views as the bus heads back to the countryside from the capital city of St George’s.

The Grenada team’s intricate design emphasises the rich and abundant flora typical of the tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, accented with scented spices and complemented by verdant foliage. Heliconias, orchids, gingers, tropical ferns, fruits and spices all feature prominently.

Mrs. John said: “’Grenada-The Road to Success’ unites Grenadians in the memory of travelling by open-sided bus to and from our capital St George’s. These buses, always resplendent in our national colours of red, gold and green, were an institution in themselves and provided vital transport links to work, school and markets. Goods were carried on the rooftop, represented by our hanging orchids and bananas, whilst the exhibit showcases our islands’ extraordinary fertility and biodiversity with evocative blooms, foliage and spices that thrive at different levels of vegetation.”

She added: “Our rainforest, dry forest, orchids and spices are all represented, revealing their intense colours and fragrances to ensure Grenada really stands out from the floral displays at the Show.”

The blooms, greenery and spices were grown in Grenada and arranged to design ahead of Monday, 21st May when the display enthralled VIP Press Day visitors including Dr Johnson Beharry VC – recipient of the highest military decoration for valour in the British and Commonwealth armed forces, who was born in Grenada. Well-known names including ITV Royal Wedding presenter, Philip Schofield; athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton; singer Beverley Knight; and actors Alison Steadman OBE and Christian Vit (Game of Thrones) were also impressed.

Mrs. John said: “We’re delighted that the exhibit has been awarded a Gold Medal here in London. A journey on an open-sided bus was a delight, and my personal inspiration for the design comes from memories of driving past cocoa and spice trees, palms, exotic blooms and brightly-coloured blooming shrubs. Many more Grenadians will fondly recall idyllic journeys on such buses between the 1930s and 1990s.”

Patricia Maher, CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, said: “We’re proud to sponsor ‘Grenada-The Road to Success’ and the entire team who have once again provided visitors to the world’s premiere flower show with an authentic taste of our islands. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is an unrivalled world stage and continues to play a prominent role in enticing visitors to Pure Grenada, where they are free to wonder at our abundant natural beauty and exquisite gardens.”

All connected with the pavilion express their gratitude to the 2018 supporters and those who offered their time and plant materials.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show remains open to the public until Saturday 26th May 2018. For more information on Pure Grenada, visit www.PureGrenada.com or search for #FreeToWonder on social platforms.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Award-winning Journalist Marlie Hall to Host Caribbean Week NY Awards Dinner on June 7

NEW YORK, NY (18 May 2018) – An award winning television journalist with ties to the French Caribbean country of Haiti will host the Caribbean’s most prestigious tourism awards event in the Big Apple.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has named the former CBS News reporter Marlie Hall as the master of ceremonies for its Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Dinner and Fashion Show where the tourism development agency will recognise and honour outstanding journalists, influencers and industry contributors.

The elegant awards dinner is taking place during Caribbean Week New York 2018 (#CaribbeanWeekNewYork2018, #CWNY18) on Thursday, 7 June 2018, from 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel (481 Eighth Avenue). 

Hall, an award-winning broadcast journalist and entrepreneur, is a former correspondent for CBS News and has covered some of the most important news stories across the country.

Known for her in-depth reporting on international issues, Hall holds a degree in journalism from St. John’s University and a master’s degree in business administration from Dowling College. Hall has worked for PHL 17 in Philadelphia, One Caribbean Television and Cablevision’s HDNews where she earned a Bronze Telly Award for her commentary on Haiti’s healthcare crisis.

“As a proud Haitian-American who has taken part in Caribbean Week festivities for years, I’m beyond excited to serve as host of this year’s Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards.  I’m humbled to help honour those whose work has brought the Caribbean to the world,” she says.

The Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards programme recognises excellence in the promotion of Caribbean tourism and honours journalists across the industry whose outstanding, passionate and dedicated work have contributed to the development of tourism business to the region.  The media awards are presented in 12 categories.

In addition to media awards, the evening’s programme will recognise individuals who have influenced the Caribbean tourism industry.  The CTO Allied Awards compromising of the “Jerry”, the Allied and special Recognition Awards will be given.  The Jamaica Tourist Board will present the Marcia Vickery-Wallace and Marcella Martinez Memorial awards.

Caribbean Week New York 2018 will have a special feel this year as the Big Apple’s 8.5 million residents get a taste of the re-energising and rejuvenating power of Caribbean wellness. During the week-long event (3-8 June), the wellness theme will be incorporated into many activities, including a trade show and educational forum for travel agents on how to sell the Caribbean as a wellness destination. Registration details for all events can be found at http://www.onecaribbean.org/events-calendar/cwny-2018/.

About Caribbean Week New York

Caribbean Week New York is the largest regional tourism activity in the New York area. Artists, performers, celebrity chefs, the Diaspora community, investors and other strategic partners join government officials, tourism stakeholders and the media for a week of festivities, raising awareness for the Caribbean’s diverse tourism industry and provide opportunities. Member destinations will have the opportunity to promote their individual products and services, participate in meetings, seminars and other business development activities to further enhance the Caribbean brand, and provide updates and critical support to the travel agents and media who influence key travel demographics in the region’s #1 source market.

Caribbean Week is supported by: Academy Engraving, American Express, Anguilla, Anse Chastanet & Jade Mountain, Antigua & Barbuda, Arrivalist, Islands of the Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean Airlines, Cayman Islands, Cholula Food Company, Cititech Solutions, Club Med, Delta Air Lines, Doctor’s Cave, Dominica, Empire State Building, GoGo Vacations, Grace Foods, Grenada, Haiti, Half Moon, Jamaica, JetBlue, Ka’ana Resort and Spa, Manhattan Beer Distributors, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Seaborne Airlines, Sheraton-Puerto Rico, Sugarcane Restaurant, Travel + Leisure, Travel Impressions, TripAdvisor, Unique Vacations/Sandals, West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), and William Sonoma. Media Sponsors: Meredith Travel Group, UBC Network, and Zee TV.

To participate in, or sponsor any Caribbean Week New York event, visit www.caribbeanweek.com; email [email protected] or call (212) 635-9350.

CTO members receive special concessions when they participate in Caribbean Week New York. To find out more about membership visit http://bit.ly/alliedmembers or email [email protected].

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, in collaboration with St. Martin Tourist Office (French) host journalists from the Netherlands and Belgium

Philipsburg, May 15th 2018 – The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau is currently hosting a group press trip consisting of journalists from the Netherlands and Belgium representing the publications: ‘De Telegraaf’, ‘Reishonger’, ‘We Are Travellers’ as well as ‘KNACK’.

These journalists are on St. Maarten to see the progress made, as well as to receive updates from various stakeholders including Princess Juliana International Airport and Port St. Maarten. In addition, the journalists will partake in various activities on the Dutch and French side to get a sense of what there is to do on the island. The journalists will visit the art gallery of Max Phelipa ‘Art in the Garden’ and Tess Verheij ‘Art Craft Café’. They will also experience the zipline at Rainforest Adventures, take a tour at Topper’s Rhum Distillery as well as take a sunset sail by Aquamania amongst other activities.

Photo L to R: Gianira Arrindell (St. Maarten Tourist Bureau), Alexander Bakker (de Telegraaf), Audrey St. Luce-Jack (Princess Juliana International Airport), Acting Minister TEATT Cornelius de Weever, Tanja Olde Weghuis (Aviareps), May-ling Chun Interim Head of Tourism, Ichel Moeslikan (Port St. Maarten), Kamiel Vermeylen (KNACK), Lotte Wildiers (Reishonger), Agnes Nijholt (We are travelers), William Bell (St. Maarten Tourist Bureau)

At the welcome dinner organized for the journalists, Acting Minister of TEATT Cornelius de Weever was present, alongside Interim Head of Tourism May-Ling Chun and members from Port St. Maarten, Princess Juliana International Airport and St. Maarten Tourist Bureau. Students of the National Institute of Arts gave a heartwarming performance at the welcome dinner that show cased the local dance and attire.

“Our Tourism product has drastically changed and we have the opportunity to rebuild St. Maarten phase by phase better and stronger and public relations is a high priority in this entire process” says May-Ling Chun.

It is imperative that the consumer markets in the Netherlands and Belgium know that there is progress being made on the island after the devastation of Hurricane Irma, and most importantly that there are ample tourism activities and hotels that are open and ready to welcome tourists again.
Therefore, the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau will continuously work on public relations to ensure that the trade and consumer markets are aware that St. Maarten is open for business and that they receive updates about the progress of the island as it happens.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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BTB and Love FM to Hold First Ever 218 Mile Sea Kayak Race From Punta Gorda to Corozal

Belize City, Wednesday, May 16th , 2018:  The first ever sea kayak race from Punta Gorda Town to Corozal will be held from May 17 to 21, a grueling five-day adventurous extreme challenge covering over 218 miles of sea paddling.

Dubbed as the BTB Love Belize Sea Challenge, the race is a joint venture between the Belize Tourism Board and Love FM.

Besides providing a truly unforgettable lifetime experience the race aims to promote Belize as a key tourism destination for paddlers and kayakers; underscore Belize’s rich and effervescent culture and history, including food, music and tradition, of the communities along the coastline; create environmental awareness with paddlers and fans on the important of protecting Belize’s natural and cultural resources and provide visiting teams with a unique Belizean experience and opportunity to see Belize from a closer and local perspective.

The race will kick off at 5 am on Thursday May 17th from Punta Gorda and the contenders will travel to Abalone Caye to Monkey River to Placencia. On the second day, they will travel from Placencia to Riversdale then to Hopkins and Dangriga. On the third day the paddlers will go from Dangriga Town to Gales Point Manatee Bar Mouth to Old Belize then Belize City. The Fourth day will cover the distance from Belize City to St. George’s Caye to Caye Caulker and San Pedro and on the final day the paddlers will travel from San Pedro to Blackadore Caye to Sarteneja and finishing at Rainbow Beach in Corozal Town.

The race is open to kayakers worldwide. There will be three different categories of competitors, namely Male, Female and Mix teams with cash prizes totaling $30,000.

The BTB Love Belize Sea Challenge will be broadcast live on Love FM, Estereo Amor and Love TV where a joint BTB/Love FM broadcast team, in addition to providing updates on the kayak race, will highlight the various points of attractions and local tourism regions along the race path.

So far eight teams have registered to participate in the kayak sea challenge, which promises to be a trilling, adrenaline-charged and unforgettable event. Whether you find yourself at the kick-off point in the southernmost point of Belize or cheering at the finish line on the northernmost point, you cannot miss this sea challenge that is sure to become a Belizean tradition.

BTB is proud to be a part of this historic event as we join in exploring, promoting and conserving our beautiful Jewel.

Here are some spots that you can join in for some fun and entertainment:

Wednesday, May 16 – 4pm– 6pm –  Opening Event  at Garbutt’s Marina, Punta Gorda Town
Thursday, May 17th –  Race departs 5 am from Garbutt’s Marina,  Punta Gorda arriving in Placencia 3 pm at Placencia Point
Friday, May 18th –  Race departs Placencia 5 am to Dangriga arriving Dangriga at 3pm at Alejo Beni Park
Saturday, May 19th – Race departs Dangriga 5 am to Belize City, arriving Belize City at 3 pm at BTL Park
Sunday, May 20th – Race departs Belize City 5 am to San Pedro, arriving San Pedro at 3 pm at Central Park
Monday, May 21st   – Race departs San Pedro 5 am to Corozal Town, arriving at 3 pm at Rainbow Beach (Grand Finale)

For further details on the BTB LOVE BELIZE SEA CHALLENGE please visit the following link:

https://www.travelbelize.org/race-become-tradition or contact Love FM at 223-0246 or 203-0528 or call Julia at 621-1955 or Manuela  at 622-5807; email: [email protected]

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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