CTO News

Tobago Promoted as Premier Birdwatching Destination in Canada

SCARBOROUGH Tobago, Wednesday June 12, 2019: The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) facilitated Tobago’s presence at the Huron Fringe Birding Festival in Canada from May 24 to 27, 2019, to promote the island as a premier birdwatching and eco-adventure destination in the Canadian travel market place.

The Festival took place at the MacGregor Point Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, attracting participants with varying levels of interest and skill in botany and ornithology (the study of birds) from around the world. The packed programme included sessions on bird identification and nature photography, guided hikes, and keynote presentations featuring speakers from the international birding community presenting on topics relating to ornithology.

One such session featured Tobago’s very own Mr. Newton George speaking on the topic of “Birding in Tobago”. George is an experienced and knowledgeable ornithologist who is widely acclaimed as Tobago’s premier bird-watching and natural-history guide. During his presentation to event attendees, he highlighted the approximately 220 species of birds found on the island, as well as the unique culture of Tobago.

George’s attendance at the Festival complemented the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited’s efforts in promoting Tobago as an eco-destination, affording the destination an additional platform to be positioned in this niche field of interest.

The four day festival also presented an opportunity for TTAL to raise awareness about the destination through engagement activities at an interactive Tobago booth, managed by the Agency’s Promotional Analyst for the Canadian market Mr. Jesille Peters, along with Mr. George and Mrs. Dianne Pilgrim-George.

In addition to information disseminated about Tobago at the booth, the team engaged with key decision makers in Canadian’s birdwatching community as well as travel trade partners, to build relationships and foster strategic partnerships aimed at increasing the number of birdwatching and eco-adventure visitors to Tobago.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Caribbean Lens International Film & Arts Festival Honors Martinique Filmmaker Euzhan Palcy

New York NY (June 10, 2019) – On June 15, 2019, at a gala event in Hollywood, California, the Caribbean Heritage Organization is paying special tribute to Martinican film director Euzhan Palcy with its Trailblazer Award. The celebration caps the June 10-14 CaribbeanLens International Film & Art Festival, which will also be the first Euzhan Palcy week. Of special note,  a restored version of Palcy’s award-winning film “Rue Cases-Nègres” (“Sugar Cane Alley”) will make its American premier on the festival’s opening night in Hollywood’s historic Grauman’s Egyptian Theater, followed by a Q&A with Palcy.

Born in Martinique and an avid student of literature, theater, art and film, Euzhan Palcy is a pioneering film director, writer and producer, and “Sugar Cane Alley” was her breakthrough feature film, a portrait of native life in Martinique under French colonial rule in the 1930s. Released to great acclaim in 1983, it won a 1984 César Award (the French equivalent of an Academy Award) for Best First Feature Film, a first for a woman and for a black director, and more than a dozen other international prizes, including the Silver Lion (Best First Film) and Best Lead Actress awards at the 1983 Venice Film Festival, more firsts for a black director.

In fact, Palcy has achieved a great many firsts in her storied career, perhaps most notably as the first black female director of a film produced by a major Hollywood studio (MGM). The film, “A Dry White Season,” explores the injustice and exploitation of apartheid in South Africa. At great risk to Palcy’s life, it was partially filmed undercover in apartheid Soweto. The cast includes Donald Sutherland, Susan Sarandon and even Marlon Brando, whom Palcy coaxed out of retirement and directed to a 1990 Best Supporting Actor nomination. This made Palcy the only woman filmmaker ever to direct Brando and the first black director (now joined by Spike Lee) to guide an actor to an Oscar nod.

Although “A Dry White Season” was banned in South Africa, it earned Palcy a devoted international following, and the 30th anniversary of the movie’s release will be commemorated at CaribbeanLens with a showing on June 13, also at Grauman’s Egyptian Theater and proceeded by a Q&A with Palcy.

Euzhan Palcy Week will close with the screening of her third feature film “Simeon” on June 14 at the Writer’s Guild Theater. Hailed by The Los Angeles Times as “’one of the sunniest and most charming ghost stories ever told” Palcy’s lively and colorful Caribbean musical comedy fairytale literally had audiences dancing in the aisles.

Palcy has guided many other notable and lauded projects, most of which focus on history and social justice, and have earned her numerous peer and political tributes – not least the French Legion of Honor – as an iconic humanitarian and cinematographer.

“Euzhan Palcy is a shining example of the creative and dynamic spirit of Martinique and its people” states Karine Mousseau, Martinique Tourism Commissioner. “We’re thrilled to see her receive such well-deserved recognition. Congratulations as well to the Caribbean Heritage Organization for putting together this remarkable event where the Caribbean gets its due place.”

For information about Euzhan Palcy euzhanpalcy.net/

For information about the festival caribbeanlens.com/

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The Caribbean Records Robust Growth in the First Quarter of 2019

NEW YORK, NY(6 June, 2019) – Spurred on by a 24 per cent rise in arrivals from the United States, the Caribbean recorded a healthy 12 per cent increase in tourist arrivals during the first quarter of 2019, according to statistics compiled by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). In updating the media on the region’s performance at a news conference this morning hosted at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel as part of Caribbean Week New York (#CWNY2019), CTO chairman Dominic Fedee revealed that between January and March this year there were 9.1 million international tourist trips to the region, up by 970,000 over the corresponding period last year.

The arrivals boom extended to the cruise sector as well, with a record 10.7 million cruise passengers visits, an increase of 9.9 per cent or 900,000 more cruise arrivals when compared to the same period in 2018.

Due to its bullish economy, high consumer confidence and the strength of the U.S. dollar against global currencies, the United States was the strongest performing market during the first quarter, with 4.5 million tourist visits, while Canada’s 1.5 million tourist visits to the Caribbean represented a strong four per cent rise.

On the other hand, the performance of the European market was less encouraging, with arrivals up marginally by 0.6 per cent. Of the 1.6 million tourist arrivals from Europe during the first quarter, 300,000 came from the United Kingdom (up 0.1 per cent), while arrivals from Germany fell by 8.1 per cent to 200,000 tourist visits. The Caribbean (up 1.8 per cent) and Latin American (up 1.6 per cent) markets also recorded growth, although at a much slower pace that the major markets.

The overall healthy growth in both stayover and cruise visits, coupled with a 1.4 per cent rise in available airline seats during first quarter of 2019, bringing to 12.4 million the number of international seats attracted to the region during the period, the CTO is bullish in its forecast for the year, predicting an eight per cent to nine per cent increase in tourist arrivals, along with 5.5 per cent to 6.5 per cent growth in cruise arrivals.

“Overall, a statistical analysis of the first quarter gives us much to celebrate as substantial numbers indicate healthy economic conditions in key source markets and a strong resurgence of tourism in destinations impacted by the 2017 hurricanes,” Fedee told the news conference.

Visit www.OneCaribbean.org more information on the performance of the region.

About Caribbean Week New York:

Caribbean Week New York is the largest regional tourism activity in the New York area. Artistes, performers, celebrity chefs, the Diaspora, investors and other strategic partners join government officials and the media for a week of festivities designed to raise awareness of the Caribbean’s diverse tourism industry and provide opportunities for member destinations 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 travel agents and the media who influence key travel demographics.

Caribbean Week is supported by: Academy Engraving, American Express, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bedessee Sports, The British Virgin Islands, Bloomingdale’s, Blue Waters, Calabash Cove Resort & Spa, Cayman Islands, Cititech Solutions, Coyaba Beach Resort, Cool Tech Air Conditioning and Refrigeration LLC, Delta Airlines, Dominica, Doctor’s Cave, Four Season Resort Nevis, Grenada, Jamaica, James Beard Foundation, JetBlue, Lightspeed Reservation system, Martinique, Ocean Terrace Inn, Round Hill Hotel and Villas, Sandals, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Saint Lucia, The Wyndham New Yorker Hotel, Travel+Leisure, Williams-Sonoma.

To participate in, or sponsor any Caribbean Week New York event, visit www.caribbeanweek.com; email [email protected] or call (212) 636-9350.

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].

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American Airlines’ Second Service to AIA

KINGSTOWN, ST.VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, June 3, 2019 – American Airlines (AA) will be adding a second weekly service from the Miami International Airport (MIA) to the Argyle International Airport (SVD). This was confirmed by AA Manager for the Eastern Caribbean Cathy-Ann Joseph. According to Joseph, “our network planning department has confirmed planned flights beginning from mid-December 2019”; she further confirmed that these planned flights are AA 1427 leaving MIA on Wednesdays at 10:30 to SVD and AA 1427 leaving SVD 16:15 to MIA, in addition to AA 1427 leaving MIA on Saturdays at 10:30 to SVD and AA 1427 leaving SVD 16:15 to MIA.

The second service will commence on Wednesday December 18, 2019 operating with the A319 aircraft which is currently used for the Saturday service, while the Saturday service “will now be operated by a 737-800 series aircraft which will provide an additional 8 business class and 24 economy seats” or a total of 16 business class and 144 economy seats. American Airlines commenced a weekly non-stop service to St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Saturday December 15, 2018 operating the Airbus A319 which has a capacity of 8 business class seats and 120 economy seats.

Responding to the announcement, CEO of the SVG Tourism Authority Mr. Glen Beache says “ we are pleased that American Airlines had added a second flight to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, having been very happy with the performance of the Saturday service. It shows that we continue to grow as a tourism destination and the problem of access to our destination by international visitors is being solved by the increasing numbers of non-stop flights to our country”.

This second American Airline non-stop service to the Argyle International Airport will complement Caribbean Airlines’ weekly Wednesday non-stop service from JFK International, USA and Air Canada Rouge’s weekly Thursday non-stop service from Pearson International, Canada. Air Canada Rouge will again operate a second weekly Sunday non-stop service for the winter season commencing December 15, 2019.

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Carifta Games Positively Impact Stayover Performance

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (31 May 2019) Air arrivals into the Cayman Islands continued their positive trend in April with 46,079 visitors, an increase of 17.98 percent over 2018. This represents the best April in recorded history and the first time the destination welcomed over 40,000 stayover visitors in the month of April. April also saw an increase of 2.17 percent in cruise arrivals, with 154,983 passengers arriving to our shores. Based on preliminary estimates, total visitor spend for the period January – April 2019 was approximately KY$305 million.

As the official host of the 2019 Carifta Games held 20 – 22 April 2019, the Cayman Islands welcomed a total of 2,076 visitors from the Caribbean. Regional visitation to the Cayman Islands during April 2019 was led by Jamaica and followed by the Bahamas, who added 504 and 218 visitors respectively.  Caribbean arrivals accounted for 2.78 percentage points of the growth rate in total visitation for the destination in April.

“Diversification in visitation is essential to increasing our stayover performance and levelling seasonality,” commented Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism, the Honourable Moses Kirkconnell. “Sports tourism creates opportunities to positively impact both visitation and total visitor spend. I am proud that the Cayman Islands will host the third-annual Cayman Islands Classic this fall and look forward to welcoming the teams and their fans from across the United States.”

The Cayman Islands Classic is an annual preseason college basketball tournament that will be held 25 – 27 November 2019. The tournament features eight division one teams who will compete at the John Gray High School gymnasium. To learn more about The Cayman Islands Classic, please visit www.caymanislandsclassic.com.

For more information and detailed arrival statistics, please visit www.visitcaymanislands.com/statistics.

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Grenada Tourism Authority Prepares for Momentous Caribbean Week 2019 Attendance

St. George’s, Grenada W.I. – June 2, 2019— Caribbean Week New York, hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), is the most highly anticipated Caribbean-focused industry event of the year and 2019 already proves to be the most successful for destination Pure Grenada. With three awardees representing various tourism platforms including media, public relations and administration, the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) has already recorded a “best-in-show” for the destination, with an additional four finalists participating in the Caribbean Media Awards on June 6.

“This is truly a wonderful and enviable position to be in prior to the start of Caribbean Week and the entire team at the GTA are thrilled about the recognition of our partners by colleagues in the industry,” commented Patricia Maher, CEO of the GTA. “We are so very proud of the amazing work done on behalf of destination Pure Grenada and are grateful for the commitment and support given to promote the destination.”

Going into Caribbean Week 2019, the awardees representing the GTA are: Honorable Brenda Hood, Chairperson of the GTA and winner of the CTOAllied Member Award; Cheryl Andrews, Executive Vice President at Zapwater Communications, public relations agency of record for the GTA, was selected as this year’s recipient of the Marcella Martinez Award by the Jamaica Tourist Board and CTO as well as Kered Clement, winner of CTO’s Best Caribbean Travel Blog, as voted by readers.

In addition, finalists for the Caribbean Media Awards are included in the categories Best Feature Broadcast,Best Executed Travel Influencer Campaign, Most Outstanding Social Media Coverage of An Event and Best Feature Article In a US-Based Trade Publication. All awards will be presented during the CTO’s Caribbean Media Awards dinner on June 6, held at the Wyndham New Yorker.

For more information on Pure Grenadavisit www.puregrenada.com.

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