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Caribbean Week NY 2018 Celebrates Rejuvenation of the Region with ‘Revival’ Programme June 3

NEW YORK, NY (11 May 2018) – The Caribbean resiliency will be centre stage as visitors from the region join the New York Diaspora for a lively spiritual celebration highlighted by inspirational words from religious leaders and uplifting performances during a Revival for the Caribbean programme.

The revival will kick-off Caribbean Week New York 2018 (#CaribbeanWeekNewYork2018, #CWNY18) on Sunday, 3 June. This free event is open to the public and will begin at 4 p.m. at the Meredith Global Corporation (225 Liberty Street, 5th floor auditorium). Attendees are asked to register via https://www.caribbeanweek.com/event/revival/.

Master of ceremonies, the riveting gospel singer, Pastor Wendy Mitchell Lewis of Regenerating Lives Ministries in Covington, GA, will join other religious leaders and musicians, including Caribbean nationals and youth representing various faiths. The programme will feature gospel performances and motivational messages by talented and accomplished Caribbean nationals, all out to show their support for Caribbean nations affected by last year’s hurricanes and to give thanks for the recovery efforts.

The Revival for the Caribbean will include:

  • Welcome address by Hugh Riley, Secretary General and CEO, Caribbean Tourism Organization
  • Motivational message by a dynamic youth, Deacon Leandra Lambert, Episcopal Diocese of Long Island
  • Message of hope from Rabbi Bob Kaplan
  • Message of peace from Mohammed Razvi, Makki Mosque
  • Message of thanksgiving from a Guyanese pundit
  • Inspirational reading by Merisalyn Roberts, Miracle Temple Ministries, Brooklyn
  • Invocation by Pastor Gilford Monrose, Director, Faith-Based & Clergy Initiatives, Office of the Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Participants will enjoy performances by:

  • Pastor Wendy Mitchell Lewis – Trinidad & Tobago
  • Minister Janice Charles – Grenada
  • Minister Cora Moore Williamson – Guyana
  • Minister Wayne Johnson – Trinidad & Tobago
  • Keeyana Lampkin – Saint Lucia
  • Braata Performing Arts Group – Jamaica

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 reenergizing and rejuvenating power of Caribbean wellness. During the week-long event (June 3 – 8), 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, 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, Trip Advisor, Unique Vacations/Sandals, West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), William Sonoma. Media Sponsors: ASIA TV USA, Ltd., Meredith Travel Group, and UBC Network.

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].

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization, please visit www.OneCaribbean.org and follow CTO on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to be part of the conversation.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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Ready, Set, Connect!

The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) is going to ‘town for its 13th instalment of Connect Barbados – the destination’s annual four-day business-to-business market place. The 70 tour operators coming will mix and mingle with local industry players under the stars at the Nidhe Israel Synagogue and Museum in Bridgetown, during the Welcome Cocktail Reception on Wednesday, May 9.

CEO of the BTMI, William ‘Billy’ Griffith, said the choice for the Jewish synagogue was driven by the tour operators’ calls for immersion in the destination’s product offerings each year. “The reason we are able to attract so many tour operators to Connect is primarily because of the desire to actually see and experience all of the selling points of the destination. When they come here, they want to see what’s new, what’s interesting, and what’s unique about Barbados, that they can then take back to their markets and sell. So that’s what we’re doing this year – we have hotels and attractions on board to showcase the best of what we have to offer.”

The Nidhe Israel Synagogue is the oldest Jewish synagogue in the Western Hemisphere and traces Jewish history in Barbados back to the 1600s. Beyond the historical element, tour operators will also get a chance to view some of the newly built and refurbished accommodation properties, including the refreshed Sea Breeze Beach House in Maxwell, Christ Church, and the recently opened Sandals Royal nearby, where the official after-party will be held on the Friday night. Guests will party Bajan style to some of the best in local entertainment, getting a foretaste of the destination’s pinnacle Crop Over festival.

70 tour operators on the way

All of Barbados’ top source markets for tourism arrivals will be represented in the 70 tour operators who have registered to attend, including Virgin Holidays out of the U.K., Air Canada Vacations out of Canada, American Airlines Vacations out of the U.S.A, and online travel agencies Expedia and Booking.com.

Of special note is the large contingent coming from Europe, with 13 companies registered, which is a first for the market. This comes as Barbados continues to increase its presence and activity in Europe, set on increasing business from that market.

The visiting participants will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with local service providers during the two days of business-to-business (B2B) meetings at the Hilton Barbados Resort on Thursday and Friday. Thursday morning will see presentations from the BTMI, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) and the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA), as they give the tour operators a visual walk-through of all the new development on island over the past year, including new hotels, restaurants and attractions. Some of the highpoints are sure to be Rihanna Drive, Nikki Beach, Hugo’s restaurant and the upcoming Heritage Railway by St. Nicholas Abbey.

These presentations will be immediately followed by the B2B meetings. Days before the conference opens, over 2000 meeting requests have already been submitted as both visiting tour operators and local industry partners are eager to meet with each other.

“Connect Barbados is really a win-win for both local and visiting participants,” Griffith added. “In addition to the first-hand experiences available to tour operators, it offers a platform for our local partners – who may not otherwise have the opportunity to travel to the big shows overseas like WTM or ITB or Virtuoso – to interact with the guys who are out there every day selling Barbados. They’ll get to hear feedback on what’s working and what isn’t; learn about global tourism trends; and see how they can improve or adapt the product here to meet the needs and demands of potential travellers.”

On the final day, Saturday, May 12, the BTMI will host a round-the-island Attractions Day on-board a vintage Bajan Open Bus. Tour operators will get to see first-hand some of the attractions discussed during the conference.

Culinary theme

Taking a cue from the Year of Culinary Experiences, this year’s theme for Connect Barbados is ‘Blending Exciting Business Opportunities’. Barbados’ diverse culinary landscape will therefore be on display throughout the conference, exposing tour operators to a range of tasty delights from some of the island’s best chefs and mixologists, and showing them why Barbados is considered the culinary capital of the Caribbean.

Connect Barbados begins on Wednesday, May 9 and continues until Saturday, May 12. For more information, see https://connect.visitbarbados.org.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean: Increased Airlift, Improving Cruise Guest Experiences and Adding Value for Summer

The Grenada Tourism Authority has announced a number of new initiatives and programmes aimed at improving the product offerings as well as increasing visitors to the tri-island destination.

Cruise Guest Experience Project Consultancy

Following the visit to Grenada of a high level delegation of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) in June 2017, Grenada’s Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen spearheaded a policy initiative to engage a cruise consultancy to improve the Pure Grenada Cruise Guest Experience.

Since then, Mico Cascais with 30-plus years’ experience in the global cruise industry has been engaged to fill this role. A six-month consultancy was approved by Minister Modeste-Curwen with the aim of developing a Grenada Cruise Guest Experience project proposal and road map.

The project is a 50/50 public private partnership between the Ministry of Tourism/Grenada Tourism Authority and private tourism stakeholders to be funded by both parties.

Today, one of the private sector partners George F. Huggins and Company Grenada Ltd. pledged its financial support for the project with the handover of a cheque to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation Arlene Buckmire Outram. Making the presentation on behalf of company CEO Anya Chow Chung was General Manager of the Services Division Sheldon Alexander. Speaking about the contribution, Mrs.Chow Chung said, “As the main tour operator for cruise ships in Grenada, we are delighted to significantly support this initiative aimed at improving the experience of cruise passengers who visit Grenada.”

Speaking of the project, GTA Nautical Development Manager Nikoyan Roberts said, “Team Grenada wants more passengers to come off the ship, experience Grenada and book tours.”

PS Outram thanked all private partners for joining the Ministry and the GTA in the initiative.

Additional Flights to Pure Grenada for Summer

A number of airline partners have announced more exciting opportunities for travellers to get to Pure Grenada for Summer from the main source markets.

From New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, Jetblue has announced a daily service from June 21  – September 4, 2018. Further to the daily flights, Jetblue has increased capacity from August 15 – September 04 with a larger aircraft.

Additional airlift out of New York will include two non-stop Caribbean Airlines flights in August.

Delta Airlines announced two additional flights from Atlanta’s Hartsfield–Jackson International Airport in August.

From Canada, airlift capacity has doubled from Toronto Pearson International. Air Canada Rouge announced an additional flight increasing the service to two weekly flights from May to August. September and October will continue with one weekly flight making it an all year round service.

Additional airlift out of Toronto will include one charter flight by Sunwing on August 1 and one non-stop flight from Caribbean Airlines on August 9.

Speaking about the additional airlift, GTA Marketing Manager Francine Stewart said, “ We are thrilled for the additional airlift from our source markets since Pure Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique is in-demand making it a year round destination”

#NextStopGrenada Summer Campaign

Following a particularly long Winter in North America and Europe, Grenada is enticing travellers to come to the destination for Summer deals with its #NextStopGrenada Campaign.

From May 1 to October 31, Grenada’s extended Summer season will provide visitors with the opportunity to enjoy up to a 50% discount on hotel rates, take advantage of room upgrades, complimentary massages, children discounts, complimentary yoga classes, tour discounts and so much more. This campaign is perfectly timed with Grenada’s increased airlift, providing more opportunities for visitors to experience the destination and enjoy savings.

According to GTA CEO Patricia Maher “The value proposition for people booking in the summer period is tremendous and they get to enjoy quality accommodation offerings and excellent customer service that bring visitors back year after year.”

For a complete list of summer deals and participating hotels, guesthouses, villas and tour operators visit www.puregrenada.com/summerdeals.

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Barbados Targetting Foodies For Summer With New Campaign

The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) has partnered with the Expedia Group to offer even more value and further enhance the Year of Culinary Experiences 2018 with a special summer campaign, ‘Brilliant Barbados: Year of Culinary Experiences’. The campaign places a strong emphasis on Barbados’ rich food history and rum as they promote the destination as the culinary capital of the Caribbean.

The announcement of the new campaign was made during the Connect Barbados conference by William ‘Billy’ Griffith, CEO of the BTMI. “The Year of Culinary Experiences is off to a great start. We recently launched it in our top source market – the United Kingdom, with much fanfare, and it was well-received by all in attendance. Everyone is excited to come to Barbados and to see what all the fuss is about. We think that partnering with a giant like the Expedia Group, on top of all the interest and intrigue the Year of Culinary Experiences is gathering, is going to bring a phenomenal boost to our summer business,” Griffith said.

Under this campaign, visitors travelling to Barbados receive up to 40 percent off accommodation rates in participating hotels and access special dining options including lunch discounts at participating restaurants. The offer is valid for booking dates between May 1 and October 31, 2018 and the travel window is open until November 30.

Visitors and locals alike can enjoy top class dining at some of Barbados’ best restaurants for just US$50.00 per person, including VAT and service charge, and a bottle of wine per couple for dinner. For lunch meals, the programme allows savings of 10 percent at participating restaurants.

There are currently over 20 accommodations participating in the summer campaign, across several categories. From all-inclusive options such as Sugar Bay on the South Coast, to boutique hotels such as The Atlantis Hotel in the East, and the recently renovated Fairmont Royal Pavilion on the West have come on board for this major promotion.

Those who book through Expedia will be spoilt for choice as they choose from 14 restaurants offering breakfast specials, 48 with lunch, and 30 for dinner as part of the Re-Discover dine-around programme.

Strong digital focus

“We are already marketing the summer campaign aggressively in all of our international markets through our traditional channels; however, we are also supplementing these efforts with a strategic, integrated digital marketing component,” Griffith said.

The campaign is also supported by other digital initiatives including robust social media campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, as well as newsletters and online advertising in prime digital real estate.

“As consumers’ booking habits continue to diversify, we are charged with ensuring we remain competitive, particularly in the digital field. This is why we are especially excited about this partnership with the Expedia Group, which is not only our biggest Online Travel Agent (OTA) partners, but also the largest OTA in the world. Expedia naturally has a very robust digital marketing focus, and our in-house digital team is working very closely with them on this campaign, and beyond, to augment our efforts in marketing destination Barbados,” Griffith added.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO Honours Top Travel Journalists and Influencers at Expanded Media Awards Ceremony During Caribbean Week New York

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (9 May, 2018) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced the finalists for the Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards, an expanded media awards programme which will, for the first time, feature categories for social media influencers and campaigns in recognition of the changing media landscape and increasing relevance of non-traditional media. The winners will be unveiled at an elegant dinner ceremony at the New Yorker Hotel on 7 June during #CaribbeanWeekNewYork2018.

A distinguished panel of media and industry judges were enthusiastic about the quality of work represented at this year’s event. In particular, the expanded programme attracted a significantly greater number of entries for the No Anansi Story! and Me Too! I Rediscovered Home! categories which honour Caribbean-based and Diaspora media, respectively. The number of submissions for the newly introduced social media categories also surpassed expectations. The judges panel indicated that the prestigeous competition attracts a higher calibre of submissions each year.

A contest in which readers can select the winner for the Oh My Word, I Blogged! Best Caribbean Travel Blog Posting will continue to allow voting through 18 May, 2018.

For the remaining categories, the following finalists have been selected:

I Couldn’t Have Written It Better Myself: Best Feature Article in a U.S.-based Consumer Newspaper

  • Melanie Reffes: “Cost No Object: Caribbean Vacations for the One Percent” – USA Today
  • Jessie Serwer: “Grenada’s Grand Anse May Be the Most Authentic Caribbean Beach” – New York Daily News
  • Mark Rogers: “Graze the Grenada Spice Market” – USA Today

Been There, Wrote That: Best Feature Article in a U.S.-based Consumer Magazine

  • Charlotte Peterson: “Spring Regatta Spices Things Up” – Sailing Magazine
  • Ryan Grim: “What Mangoes Mean to the island of Nevis” – Extra Crispy
  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates: “Home for a Hamilton: Don’t Throw Away Your Shot at Visiting Nevis” – USA Today Go Escape

Inner Circle King/Queen: Best Feature Article in a U.S.-based Trade Publication

  • Ed Wetschler: “8 Resorts Whose Kids Programs Teach Real Skills” – Recommend
  • Dan Peltier: “Cayman Islands Tests U.S. Meal-Kit Service to Boost its Food Tourism Marketing” – Skift
  • Mark A. Thompson: “Stopping to Smell the Flowers at Martinique’s French Coco” – Travel Weekly

Oh Snap! Best Photograph in Conjunction with a Feature Article

  • Patrick Dykstra: photo of sperm whale of Dominica accompanying “What’s New in the Caribbean” by Elaine Glusac – The New York Times
  • Alex Mustard: photo of schools of silversides accompanying “Keepin’ It Easy: 60 Years on, Grand Cayman Dives are as Spectacular as Ever” by Ted Alan Stedman – Scuba Diving Magazine
  • IKenna Douglas: photo for “Photography Takes Centre Stage” – Panache

Golden Mic: Best Feature Broadcast

  • Harold Jessurun: “No Small Feat: Displaced Children of Barbuda” – Isla y Vuelta
  • Nneka Faison: “Take a Trip to Curacao” – WCVB/WABC Boston
  • Darley Newman: “Travels with Darley in Martinique” – Travels with Darley

Virtual Visitor Award: Best Feature in an Online Publication (not including blogs)

  • Alexander Britell: “Following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Bimini” – Caribbean Journal
  • Alexander Britell: “Grenada, the Caribbean Capital of Chocolate” – Caribbean Journal
  • Lebawit (Lily) Girma: “13 Fun Things to Do in Curacao Right Now” – CNN Travel

Up the Social Ladder: Best Social Media Marketing Campaign by a CTO Member Country

  • Saint Lucia – “Let her Inspire You”
  • Grenada – “Free to Wander”
  • Bahamas – “No Filter”

Look, I’ve Gone Social: Most Outstanding Social Media Coverage of an Event or Activity (by a journalist or influencer)

  • Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon and Brian Major: “Get to Know Grenada” – JetSetSarah
  • Krista Simmons: “Experiential Offerings in Grenada” – Tastemade Travel
  • Yashekia Powell: “Full Travellers Guide to Jamaica Food & Drink Festival” – The World Up Closer

Me Too! I Rediscovered Home! Best Feature by a Diasporan Journalist in U.S. or Caribbean Media

  • Dora Isaac Weithers: “St. Kitts: The Little Caribbean Island with Large Tourist Appeal” – HubPages.com
  • Kristin Braswell: “Empathy Not Embargoes: The Hypocrisy of the U.S. Cutting Ties with Cuba” – Essence
  • Danielle Pointdujour: “4 Reasons to Fall in Love with this Classic Bahamas Resort All Over Again” – Essence.com

No Anansi Story! Best Feature by a Caribbean-based Journalist (that appeared in Caribbean-based media)

  • Marie-Claire Williams: “Pilgrimage to the Home of Reggae” – Barbados TODAY
  • Catherine Morris: “Families Flock Pirates Cove: Freeport Welcomes First Bahamian Theme Park” – Welcome Bahamas
  • Kinisha Correia: “More than Just Beads: Story and Myth” – Panache

CTO assembled a panel of expert media and travel industry judges to review submissions and determine the award-winners, led by head judge Yuriy Boykiv, CEO at Gravity Media, LLC:

  • Yuriy Boykiv, CEO at Gravity Media, LLC, was responsible for the entire spectrum of global markets in his previous role driving the growth and business of the for the WorldDirect platform as Director of International Business at DIRECTV
  • Tiffany Dowd, Founder and President, Luxe Social Media, advises luxury travel brands on social media marketing and online strategy and was recognized among the “25 Best Luxury Digital Experts To Follow”
  • Tony Fraser, veteran journalist with over 40 years of experience, a graduate in journalism, history, sociology, politics and economics, and international affairs, and part-time lecturer in journalism at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine campus
  • Terry Gallagher, President, Lou Hammond Group, New York, and destination marketing leader with over 30 years’ experience planned and implemented strategic campaigns in the travel industry that resulted in award-winning placements
  • Mark Edward Harris, award-winning travel/documentary photographer whose work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Forbes Life, Islands, National Geographic Traveler, Playboy, Marie Claire, The New York Times and Vanity Fair
  • Andrea Hutchinson, a dynamic public relations expert and freelance events director with a degree in journalism and public relations, and experience in sponsor relations, marketing, logistics and creating strategic alliances on behalf of global brands
  • Josh Kahn, a well-respected tourism industry consultant and public relations specialist at award-winning boutique agency KTCpr as well as Immediate Past Chairman for the prestigious New York Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
  • Norie Quintos, award-winning journalist and Editor at Large for National Geographic Travel Media helping destinations and travel companies find and tell their stories as a consultant on communications strategy, media relations, custom content and messaging
  • Ruthanne Terrero, Vice President – Content/Editorial Director at Questex Travel Group, which includes Travel Agent Magazine, Luxury Travel Advisor, American Spa and Hotel Management, among other well-respected titles

Winners will be announced during #CaribbeanWeekNewYork2018 at an elegant awards ceremony and dinner gala on Thursday, 7 June, 2018. Tickets are available for $250 per person or $2,250 for a table seating 10 persons.

Learn more about the awards programme at https://www.onecaribbean.org/caribbean-media-awards-2018/ or visit www.CaribbeanWeek.com to browse events and activities planned throughout #CaribbeanWeekNewYork2018.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Corporate News

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New Caribbeanevents.com Provides At-A-Glance Resource For Travel Agents

CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA (May 9, 2018) – A new online portal for events and festivals scheduled throughout the Caribbean recently launched, providing travel agents with a much-needed resource to help plan and enhance their clients’ vacations.

Caribbeanevents.com currently features more than 200 events, with new events added daily, across the region. This intuitive, easy-to-use calendar provides information for travelers interested in culinary, cultural, musical, and other events, with the ability to search for events by date, island, and even event type.

“The Caribbean has a reputation for some of the world’s most authentic and inspiring festivals and events that on-island partners invest significant human and financial resources in each year,” said Nerdin St. Rose, founder of Caribbeanevents.com. “We developed Caribbeanevents.com to meet a specific need to provide a platform to promote these events while also providing travel planners with concise, up-to-the-minute information that can enhance their clients’ vacations to the region.”

St. Rose brings more than two decades of marketing and event management expertise to the development of Caribbeanevents.com. An authority on doing business in the Caribbean, she has worked and lived in several islands, including the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, and the Turks & Caicos Islands.

St. Rose also noted the benefit to event organizers and planners to submit information directly onto the site, at no cost in this initial phase.  Destinations can list events for free, with fuller details and live links available at a nominal cost.

Planned enhancements include opportunities for hotels and destinations to add richer, customized content as well as value-added advertising opportunities that include homepage features, video, and direct links for ticket sales.

Travel planners can visit Caribbeanevents.com to search the full calendar of events and follow along for updates on Facebook and Instagram.

About Caribbeanevents.com: Caribbeanevents.com is an online portal for events and festivals scheduled throughout the Caribbean. Travel planners and consumers can research by date, island or type of event to find what’s happening in destinations across the region.  Destinations and event organizers can upload information directly onto the site, with enhanced content packages available.

CONTACT:  Stephanie Strommer   |   [email protected] | 212-229-0119

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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