Grenada to Welcome a Diverse Lineup of Industry Leaders at CTO’s STC 2024

GRENADA (April 21, 2024) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), in partnership with the Grenada Tourism Authority, has curated a dynamic lineup of industry leaders and development partners for its Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC 2024). The gathering aims to explore new strategies for enhancing sustainable tourism amidst evolving global challenges.

Slated for April 22-24, 2024, and centered around the theme The 5 Ps – People, Planet, Prosperity, Purpose and Partnership, the event brings together experts who will discuss creating innovative tourism experiences that capitalize on the Caribbean’s rich natural and cultural resources and presents strategies and best practice solutions to benefit from emerging opportunities and address sustainable tourism challenges.

Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International and a renowned leader in sustainable tourism, will deliver the keynote address on April 22. His remarks are expected to inspire a series of productive discussions on building a resilient and responsible tourism infrastructure in the region.

The conference will feature an impressive roster of speakers sharing their expertise on sustainable tourism development during the following sessions:

GENERAL SESSION I – Planet: Preserving Paradise – Nurturing Nature for a Sustainable Future (April 22, 10:30 am – 11:45 am): This session recognizes the vital connections between the health of our planet and the well-being of all living beings, including humans. Emphasizing the urgent need for conservation action, participants will engage in discussions that transcend rhetoric, focusing instead on tangible solutions and practical interventions. Speakers include:
• Christopher Corbin, Coordinator, Cartagena Convention Secretariat, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
• Giselle Carr, Head of Brand and Communications, InPlanet
• Maria Fowell, Senior Technical Specialist-Tourism, Economic Development Unit, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission
• Rosana John, Attorney-at-Law, Dentons Delany
• Michael Russek, Artist, Designer, Fabricator & Eco Creator
• Maxine Welsh (Moderator), Director, The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Caribbean Division

GENERAL SESSION II – People: Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges: Harnessing Equity, Education, and Empowerment in Tourism (April 22, 11:45 am – 1:00 pm): The session will explore the pivotal role of diversity, equity, inclusion and education within the tourism sector to empower individuals and drive sustainable development. Speakers include:
• Tonni Brodber, Representative of UN Women Multi-Country Office, Caribbean
• Dr. Acolla Lewis Cameron, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus
• Amrita Bhalla, Managing Director, A.B. Consulting
• Melnecia Marshall, Deputy CEO, St. Kitts Tourism Authority
• Christopher Lee, Executive Recruiter & Consultant, BIPOC Executive Search
• Richard Young (Moderator), Fashion Director & Creative Consultant, Richard Young Inc.

GENERAL SESSION III – Indigenous Excellence: Championing Community, Country and Congruence with Destination Grenada (April 22, 2:15 pm – 3:30 pm): As Grenada celebrates 50 years of independence in 2024, this session highlights the nation’s achievements in fostering Indigenous Excellence through public and private partnerships. Speakers include:
• Dr. Angus Friday, Strategic Partnerships Director, Waitt Institute, and Executive Chairman, Atlantean BioSphere Program
• Tiffany Geer, Marketing Manager, Event Coordinator and Dive Master, Aquanauts Grenada
• Dr. Guido Marcelle, Pharmacognosist, Environmentalist and Practicing Natural Farmer
• Mr. Phil Saye, Director, Grenada Fund for Conservation
• Petra Roach (Moderator), Chief Executive Officer, Grenada Tourism Authority

MASTER CLASS – Building Resilience Across the 5Ps: Strategies for Tourism Resilience & Competitiveness (April 22, 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm): This dynamic session will explore strategies to bolster resilience within the Caribbean tourism sector, focusing on environmental sustainability, comprehensive disaster management, climate variability and climate change. Speakers include:
• Dr. Deborah Brown, Disaster Recovery Specialist, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency
• Barry Collymore, Owner and Executive Chairman, Mount Cinnamon Beach Resort; Co-Founder of West Indies School of Hospitality (WISH)
• Dr. Roché Mahon, Social Scientist, Caribbean Institute for Meteorology & Hydrology
• Prof. Lloyd G. Waller (Moderator), Professor of Digital Transformation Policy and Governance, University of the West Indies; Executive Director, Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre

Market & Industry Insights Panel (April 23, 8:15 am – 9:00 am): A panel convening experts from the primary source markets and key industry stakeholders to offer perspectives on the latest policies, trends, and developments shaping the tourism landscape. Speakers include:
• Carol Rose, Head of Sustainability, ABTA, The Travel Association
• Hannah Swift, Country Manager – Caribbean, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd.
• Dr. Allison T. Walker, Chief Surveillance Officer, Travelers’ Health Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• Rich Pruitt, Vice President of Environmental Operation, Carnival Cruise Line
• Kendra Hopkin Stewart, Deputy Managing Director, Blue Horizons Garden Resort; President, Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association
• Frank Comito (Moderator), Special Advisor and Former CEO/DG, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association

Inter-Ministerial Dialogue on Cooperation and Intersectoral Linkages (April 23, 9:00 am – 9:30 am): This fireside chat will feature spirited contributions from four Ministers of the Government of Grenada on modern challenges and solutions in sustainable development and disaster risk reduction. Speakers include:
• Senator Adrian Thomas, Minister for Tourism, Creative Economy & Culture, Grenada
• Lennox Andrews, Minister for Economic Development, Planning, Agriculture and Lands, Forestry, Marine Resources & Cooperatives, Grenada
• Kerryne James, Minister for Climate Resilience, Environment & Renewable Energy, Grenada
• Senator Jonathan La Crette, Minister of Youth and Sports, Grenada
• Bevan Springer (Moderator), President, Marketplace Excellence Corporation

GENERAL SESSION IV – Prosperity: Pathways to Prosperity for Sustainable Futures: Sustainable Tourism Financing Donors’ Roundtable (April 23, 9:30 am – 10:30 am): This panel features an illustrious gathering of representatives from primary donor agencies, regional and international development organizations, and financial institutions supporting the Caribbean’s sustainable development. Speakers include:
• Dr. Louise Twining-Ward, Senior Private Sector Specialist, The World Bank
• Dr. Stacy Richards-Kennedy, Regional Manager for the Caribbean, CAF – Development Bank of Latin America & the Caribbean
• Petipha Lewis, Director, Board of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund; Chair, Network of Caribbean Chambers of Commerce (CARICHAM); Executive Director and Secretary to the Board of Directors of the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce
• Chris McNair, Programme Specialist, Business Development, CARICOM Development Fund
• Wayne Elliott, Productivity & Innovation Coordinator, Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility
• Amanda Charles (Moderator), Sustainable Tourism Specialist, Caribbean Tourism Organization

GENERAL SESSION V – Purpose: Purpose Driven Tourism: Uniting Purpose with Passion for Sustainable Tourism (April 23, 11:00 am – 12:15 pm): This session brings together industry leaders, stakeholders and enthusiasts to explore the intersection of purpose and passion in sustainable travel. Discussions will explore how travelers and tourism providers can align their values and aspirations with meaningful experiences contributing to sustainable development goals. Speakers include:
• Alicia Johnson, Author, Lonely Planet
• Dr. Thérèse Yarde, Caribbean Fellow/Senior Director, Caribbean SIDS Programming, Conservation International
• Kirpa Grewal, Co-Chair, Volunteerism Committee and Executive Committee Member, Women in Cleantech & Sustainability Board of Directors
• Kitaka Mawuto, Chief Executive Officer, Elevate Media
• Russ Fielden, Owner, True Blue Bay Resort
• Michael Carabash (Moderator), Partner, DMC LLP

GENERAL SESSION VI – Partnership: Synergizing Sustainability: Fostering Public, Private, and Community Partnerships in Tourism (April 23, 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm): This session focuses on the transformative power of multi-stakeholder partnerships in advancing sustainability within the tourism industry. It aims to chart new pathways toward inclusive and responsible tourism development by fostering collaboration.
• Michael Akin, President, LINK Strategic Partners
• Marc Melville, CEO, Chukka Caribbean Adventures Group
• Trevor Jonas Benson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Bannikin
• Annie Bertrand, Public-Private-Community Partnership Consultant, SIDS Global Business Network
• Glenn Mandziuk, CEO, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance
• Michelle Mason, Social Impact and Recognition Manager, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance
• Kennedy Pemberton (Moderator), Director of Operations, Green Case Consulting

MASTER CLASS – Fu-Tech Tourism: Demystifying the Myths and Exploring the Risks, Benefits and New Opportunities (April 23, 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm): Engage with the future of technology (Fu-Tech) in tourism through this enlightening discussion. The session will debunk myths and explore the risks, benefits, and new opportunities presented by emerging technologies, setting the stage for innovation in the industry. Speakers include:
• Ed Limon, Co-Founder and Producer, Winged Whale Media
• Kyle Maloney, Tech Ecosystem Builder; Digital Marketer; Investor; Co-Founder, Tech Beat Retreat
• Stacey Hines, Founder & CEO, Epic Transformation
• Orlando Romain (Moderator), Advisor, Grenada Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, with responsibility for ICT and the Creative Economy

CONVERGENCE POINT – Bridging Perspectives for Future Tourism (April 23, 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm): The closing session is designed to bring together diverse perspectives and stimulate dialogue and action that will help shape the future of Caribbean tourism. It explores how stakeholders are working to address challenges, meet market demands, tap into new trends and promote responsible tourism while embracing The 5Ps: People, Planet, Prosperity, Purpose and Partnership. Speakers include:
• Shelley V. Worrell, Founder, I AM CaribBeing and Little Caribbean NYC
• Rodney Payne, Chief Executive Officer, Destination Think
• Oneidge Walrond, Minister of Tourism, Industry & Commerce, Guyana
• Aria Laidlow-Ferdinand, Technical Officer, Caribbean Natural Resource Institute (CANARI)
• Krisma McDonald, Director of Sustainability, Six Senses La Sagesse
• Tenille Clarke (Moderator), Managing Director, Chambers Media Solutions

Partners and sponsors for STC 2024 include LINK Strategic Partners, Little Caribbean NYC, Royal Caribbean International, Silversands Grenada Beach Resort, and Six Senses La Sagesse Grenada Resort.

Airline partners include interCaribbean Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Sponsors of the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards are the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association, Grenada Investment Development Corporation, International Institute of Tourism Studies at the GW School of Business, and World Sustainable Travel and Hospitality Awards.

Media partners signed up for the conference are Breaking Travel News, Caribbean Broadcasting Union, Caribbean Media Corporation, and Wanderlust.

Visit www.caribbeanstc.com for more information about the conference, speakers, sessions and registration details. To learn more about the Grenada Tourism Authority, visit puregrenada.com.

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CTO’S Caribbean Media Awards 2024 to Celebrate Excellence in Journalism

NEW YORK (April 18, 2024) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced the return of its Caribbean Media Awards, the prestigious honor given to journalists and influencers whose work has significantly contributed to the promotion of Caribbean tourism.

The awards ceremony, set to spotlight outstanding media contributions from the United States and the Caribbean, is scheduled to take place amidst the vibrant celebrations of Caribbean Week in New York, from June 16 to 21, 2024.

Submissions from public relations agencies, member countries, and the journalistic community are welcome.

“We’re thrilled to bring back the Caribbean Media Awards,” stated CTO Chairman Kenneth Bryan, who serves as Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands. “These awards are not just about recognizing excellence, they are a testament to the enduring spirit of the Caribbean and its vibrant culture. Our goal is to spotlight the stories that capture the heart of the Caribbean, stories that inspire, inform and engage audiences worldwide. It’s a celebration of the impactful narratives that contribute significantly to our tourism landscape.”

Entries are sought in the following award categories:

Best Feature Article or Story: Recognizes excellence in long-form storytelling (print or online) that provides in-depth analysis, compelling narratives, and unique perspectives on Caribbean culture, history, etc.

Best News Reporting: Honors exceptional reporting of breaking news, events, or issues of significance to the Caribbean region that demonstrates accuracy and journalistic integrity.

Best Podcast/Radio: Celebrates excellence in podcasting/radio reporting, whether itʼs storytelling, interviews or discussions offering engaging and informative Caribbean content.

Best Photojournalism: Celebrates impactful visual storytelling through photography, capturing the essence of life in the Caribbean region, from daily life to cultural events, natural landscapes, or social issues.

Best Video Production: Honors outstanding video production, including broadcast news segments, short films, or online video content that showcases the richness and diversity of Caribbean culture, people and landscapes.

Best Social Media Campaign: Recognizes innovative and effective social media campaigns (by journalists or influencers) that engage audiences, raise awareness, or promote positive change on issues relevant to the Caribbean region.

Best Personal Immersive Story: Highlights a feature story that demonstrated time in the destination, integration and deep exploration of off-the-beaten-path in a destination.

Diaspora Journalist of the Year: Honors members of the Diaspora community who impact tourism in the Caribbean region through their storytelling.

Emerging Journalist of the Year: Spotlights the achievements of up-and-coming journalists, reporters or content creators who have demonstrated exceptional talent, potential and commitment to excellence in Caribbean media.

Only entries submitted by CTO government members, their public relations agencies or qualified media shall be eligible.

Minimum circulation for newspaper or magazine entries is 20,000 (1,000 for Caribbean media).

All entries must have been published or broadcast in the 2023 calendar year.

Only one entry per person per category will be accepted.

Submissions should showcase creativity and thoughtful knowledge of the Caribbean and have a provocative story angle.

Criteria for the judging of entries shall be:

● Content – Relevance, accuracy, cohesiveness of material, adherence to journalistic standards

● Structure & Form – Relevance of topic, clarity, pace, structure (introduction, development and conclusion), presentation of information and ideas

● Title – Relevance of title, concision, clarity

● Quality of Language – Use of language, quality of syntax, quality of sentence structure

● Originality – Originality of ideas, ability to spark audienceʼs curiosity, boldness, creativity

Entries that do not meet the selection criteria will be disqualified.

Depending on their assessment of the standard of entries, the judges may withhold awards in any category as they see fit. They may also ascribe “Special Mention” (without award) to an entry where warranted.

Decisions of the judges shall be final.

Entrants are required to submit their contributions at https://bit.ly/caribbeanmediaawards by the deadline of May 8, 2024.

For questions or further information, contact caribbeanweek@marketplaceexcellence.com.

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Key Partners Sign On As Main Sponsors of CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Conference in Grenada

BARBADOS (April 18, 2024) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has secured key industry partners and sponsors for the upcoming Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC 2024), hosted by the CTO in partnership with the Grenada Tourism Authority in Grenada to be held April 22–24.

Partners and sponsors for STC 2024 include LINK Strategic Partners, Little Caribbean NYC, Royal Caribbean International, Silversands Grenada Beach Resort, and Six Senses La Sagesse Grenada Resort.

Airline partners include interCaribbean Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Sponsors of the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards are the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association, Grenada Investment Development Corporation, International Institute of Tourism Studies at the GW School of Business, and World Sustainable Travel and Hospitality Awards.

Media partners signed up for the conference are Breaking Travel News, Caribbean Broadcasting Union, Caribbean Media Corporation, and Wanderlust.

As a testament to its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, Royal Caribbean will be staging a series of exclusive events at the conference. This will include a sustainability ship tour and onboard luncheon, the first of its kind at a CTO Regional Conference.

Dona Regis-Prosper, CTO’s Secretary-General and CEO, expressed appreciation for the cruise line’s support, stating, “We are delighted to have Royal Caribbean as a sponsor for our Sustainable Tourism Conference. The company’s commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable tourism perfectly aligns with the objectives of our conference, and we eagerly anticipate showcasing their exemplary practices to our delegates.”

Royal Caribbean will offer an exclusive tour of Explorer of the Seas where delegates will have the unique opportunity to explore the energy efficiency initiatives and industry-leading environmental programs implemented on the vessel. Led by subject matter experts, participants will witness firsthand the intricate operations within the Engine Control Room and gain insights into the diligent waste management sorting processes that occur around-the-clock, 365 days a year.

“Royal Caribbean Group is thrilled to support the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Sustainability Conference,” expressed Wendy McDonald, Regional Vice President, Government Relations, Caribbean, Royal Caribbean Group. “We are keen to foster meaningful collaboration with our destination partners to advance sustainable solutions across the Caribbean that not only preserve our planet but also energize local communities.”

Centered around the theme of The 5 Ps – People, Planet, Prosperity, Purpose and Partnership, STC 2024 aims to address pressing issues facing the Caribbean tourism industry and foster collaboration among stakeholders to promote sustainable development. The conference is poised to deliver impactful discussions and initiatives that will drive positive change within the region’s tourism sector.

For more information about the conference and details on registration, visit caribbeanstc.com.

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CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Conference Presents Dynamic Study Tours to Promote Sustainable Practices

BARBADOS (April 15, 2024) – The Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC 2024), slated for April 22-24, 2024 in Grenada, will feature a series of exclusive study tours aligned with the conference theme, The 5 Ps – People, Planet, Prosperity, Purpose and Partnership. These tours have been thoughtfully curated to offer participants an enriching and unique opportunity to delve into innovative sustainability practices and glean insights intended to catalyze transformative action for a more resilient and sustainable Caribbean.

STC 2024 is jointly hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization in collaboration with the Government of Grenada, through the Grenada Tourism Authority, and will welcome a wide range of participants, including government officials, tourism professionals, environmentalists, members of the media and researchers.

This valuable addition to the conference will allow participants to visit various sites and interact with local communities, gaining firsthand knowledge of best practices in sustainable tourism management, conservation efforts, and community engagement.

Study Tour Options:

  • The Underwater Sculpture Park/Grand Anse Artificial Reef Tour: Led by Aquanauts Grenada, guests dive into the intricate ecosystem of the Underwater Sculpture Park and Grand Anse Artificial Reef and learn about sustainable practices aimed at protecting and preserving these vital marine habitats.
  • Grand Etang Nature Tour: Dr. Guido Marcelle, an esteemed botanist, guides participants through the lush rainforests surrounding Grand Etang Lake to explore Grenada’s rich biodiversity and gain valuable insights into rainforest conservation efforts.
  • The Rasta Roots Expedition: Immersive Journey into Rastafari Culture and Lands: Led by Ras Ginga, an elder of the Nyahbinghi Tribe, guests experience the Rastafari culture firsthand, learning about organic living practices and farming practices of Grenada’s Rastafari community, complete with a taste of local culinary delights.
  • Mt. Parnassus Plantation and Cocoa Pod Botanicals: Experts Michael Jessamy and Tricia Simon guide participants through the cocoa and spice plantation, uncovering innovative applications of these crops in cosmetics and health products.

The conference’s diverse program, comprising presentations, panel discussions, workshops, study tours and networking opportunities, aims to foster collaboration and facilitate knowledge sharing to advance sustainable tourism in the Caribbean region.

Event sponsors and partners include interCaribbean Airways; Royal Caribbean International; Silversands Grenada; Six Senses La Sagesse, Grenada’s newest resort; and LINK Strategic Partners, an international strategic communications and community engagement consulting firm with offices across the U.S. and in Manchester, England.

Visit caribbeanstc.com for further information about the conference and registration details. To learn more about the Grenada Tourism Authority, visit puregrenada.com.

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Caribbean Destinations Amplify Health and Safety Measures in Preparation for Upcoming Major Events

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (April 7, 2024) – As Caribbean destinations prepare to host major events, including vibrant festivals, carnivals, homecomings, and the highly anticipated International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup, tourism and public health stakeholders call on the region to remain diligent while reaffirming their commitment to health safety measures.

Amidst the excitement of these upcoming events, there is a unified push to recommit to essential health protocols and practices, ensuring the protection of employees and visitors alike. A vital element of this initiative is the expansion of the Caribbean Public Health Agency’s (CARPHA) Tourism Health Information System (THiS) to capture and respond immediately to negative health events. CARPHA is also building capacity in countries to encourage the widespread practice of food safety and to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases in the hospitality sector.

This move builds on a decade of collaboration between health and tourism officials in the Caribbean. The partnership has laid the groundwork for the region’s swift recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic declared by the World Health Organization over four years ago. This collaboration was formed through the Caribbean Tourism and Health Program (THP) in 2014, following a Memorandum of Understanding signed by CARPHA, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

The Caribbean’s successful navigation of the pandemic, marked by one of the lowest per capita COVID-19 rates and among the fastest recoveries worldwide in tourism and the economy, sets a strong foundation for rebuilding its events and group business segments. With groups and events accounting for over 20 percent of the region’s tourism business, ensuring a healthy environment is paramount to its success.

Nicola Madden Greig, President of CHTA, underscored the importance of “cohesive regional cooperation,” which was advanced during the pandemic. She said she had full confidence in the unified public-private sector approach to collaboration: “With the Caribbean being on such a positive growth trajectory, we cannot be complacent, and our efforts must be bolstered by a strong communications approach to continue to protect our residents and visitors while reaping the rewards of our resilient tourism industry.”

Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director of CARPHA, concurred, asserting, “Globally, we are witnessing a resurgence of diseases such as measles, dengue fever, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and noroviruses, while new COVID-19 variants continue to develop. As one of the world’s leading travel destinations, we must remain vigilant to protect our employees and visitors.”

Similarly, CTO’s Secretary General, Dona Regis-Prosper, stressed, “As we continue to welcome visitors to experience the Caribbean’s breathtaking natural beauty and vibrant cultural heritage, we must uphold our commitment to ensuring a healthy environment.”

Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS, shared his commendation of the relaunch and stated, “The OECS is delighted to see the return of major events allowing residents and visitors to share in our authentic experiences, and is pleased to continue its partnership with CARPHA and other regional tourism organizations towards healthier, safer tourism.”

In support of these goals and response to recent health and safety concerns, CARPHA is redoubling its outreach to the tourism industry, offering training, online tools, and resources to enhance health safety protocols.

Dr. Lisa Indar, Director of the Surveillance Disease Prevention and Control Division and Head of the Regional Tourism and Health Program at CARPHA, noted, “This year, we have launched a robust outreach effort to urge all Caribbean tourism-related businesses to renew their commitments to health and safety, refresh their training and protocols, and participate in the highly effective Tourism and Health Information System (THiS), a confidential online knowledge, help center and reporting system, and other CARPHA trainings, all towards advancing a healthier safer tourism product.”

For more information about CARPHA’s training programs and THiS, visit https://carpha.org.

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