CTO News

CTO Scholarship Foundation welcomes 2017 applications, deadline April 15

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (10 March, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, has announced that the CTO Scholarship Foundation is accepting applications for scholarships and study grants from Caribbean nationals in CTO member countries until April 15, 2017.

The goal of the CTO Foundation is to provide opportunities for Caribbean nationals to pursue studies in the areas of tourism, hospitality and language training. The foundation selects individuals who demonstrate high levels of achievement and leadership, and who have a strong interest in making positive contributions to Caribbean tourism.

“Facilitating the education and development of Caribbean nationals is not just a philanthropic endeavor, it is an investment in our human resources,” said Bonita Morgan, the CTO’s director of resource mobilization and development. “So many scholarship recipients have gone on to play major roles within their communities and these success stories motivate us to continue our support for promising students who are the future leaders of Caribbean tourism.”

This year the Foundation is offering the following:

  • Scholarships up to US$12,000 to individuals wishing to study tourism or hospitality at a post-graduate level.
  • Study grants up to US$2,500 to individuals pursuing a first-level degree in tourism/hospitality, or industry personnel who wish to learn a second language to enhance job performance.
  • Study grants up to US$2,500 to individuals wishing to study research and statistics in honor of CTO’s former Director of Research and Information Management, Mr. Arley Sobers.
  • Study grant/scholarship in honor of former Director General of the Caribbean Tourism Association, Mrs. Audrey Palmer Hawks, who was responsible for marketing the Caribbean region as a tourist attraction to travelers in the United States and Canada.

Application forms for 2017 scholarships and grants can be accessed online at www.onecaribbean.org. Completed forms must be returned to CTO Foundation’s headquarters (7th Floor, Baobab Tower, Warrens St, Michael, Barbados, W.I.) by April 15, 2017. Applications will not be accepted via email or fax.

The 2017 scholarship winners are scheduled to be announced by the end of June 2017. For additional information, please contact Marvelle Sealy at 246-427-5242 or via [email protected]

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Scholarship Foundation

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New Agro-tourism category in 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards; New May 31 deadline

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (7 March, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has added a new category to its 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards. The Agro-Tourism Award was developed to reflect the CTO Year of Adventure and as part of the ongoing partnership between the CTO and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), where collaborative efforts have been ongoing to advance the integration of agriculture and tourism.

“When a tourist goes on a farm or community tour, or eats our signature foods prepared by local chefs, everyone benefits. Land remains in agriculture, farm incomes increase, business and employment opportunities are created, the environment is preserved, and the nation’s health and food security status are improved,” notes Ena Harvey, IICA representative in Barbados. “This is what sustainable livelihoods are all about, and can be achieved in great measure through agro-tourism linkages,” she added.

The Agro-Tourism Award  is open to any group, organization, tourism business or attraction that offers an agro-tourism product, which incorporates the elements of food production, culinary output and visitor experiences. Applicants should demonstrate how they have successfully achieved sustainable linkages between agriculture and the tourism industry, which promotes the sharing and preservation of local agriculture and culinary heritage.

“Agro-tourism in the Caribbean is an important and growing niche, which in turn supports expansion in agriculture, promotes our rich culinary heritage, and contributes to generating sustainable livelihoods for local host communities,” said Amanda Charles, the CTO’s sustainable tourism specialist. “In the context of the long-standing partnership with IICA, the CTO is pleased to add the agro-tourism category to its 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards, and commends IICA for sponsoring this initiative.”

Applicants for the CTO Sustainable Tourism Awards may apply in the following categories:

  • Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award
  • Destination Stewardship Award
  • Sustainable Accommodation Award
  • Community Benefit Award
  • Heritage Protection Award
  • Biodiversity Conservation Award
  • Agro-Tourism Award in honor of the CTO Year of Adventure

The closing date for receipt of applications is May 31, 2017. For more information, including entry guidelines click here: #CTOSTAwards2017.

CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Awards programme has been in existence for 13 years and recognizes unique and innovative tourism products that embrace sustainable tourism concepts and core values, and help to enhance tourism product offerings. A panel of regional and international tourism and environmental specialists will select the winning projects and the awards will be presented at the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) being held in Grenada from 9-13 October..

About Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) work covers topics such as Agribusiness, Agro-Tourism, Food Safety, and Sustainable Development, with flagship projects that address challenges inclusive of Competitiveness, Resilience and Risk Management, and Productivity. IICA is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, and IICA Barbados is also celebrating 40 years of technical cooperation. IICA and the CTO signed a MOU for cooperation in 2014.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Caribbean Primary School Tourism Writing Competition 2017

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is pleased to announce its  Caribbean Primary School Tourism Writing Competition for 2017, the CTO Year of Adventure in the Caribbean. This competition will open from 1st March – 1st May 2017, for children ages 8 – 12 in every CTO member country and seeks to encourage both creative and formal writing submissions related to strengthening sustainable tourism development in the region.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO and CHTA Statement on CARICOM’s Decision to Advance the Regional Tourism Agenda

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (21 February, 2017)The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the umbrella private sector organization, applaud Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government for taking the lead in recognising the critical contribution of tourism to the economies of member countries and for their commitment to advancing a regional tourism agenda.

Following a presentation, prepared in collaboration with the CHTA, and delivered by CTO secretary general Hugh Riley to the Caribbean leaders at their 28th intersessional in Guyana last week, the Heads of Government supported the advancement of a series of steps addressing transportation and the facilitation of travel, human resource development, building the creative industries, and the marketing of the Caribbean brand.  They also invited CTO and CHTA to come forth with additional information to address the region’s competitiveness and financing for the sustainability of tourism.

They called for an urgent meeting of the Council for Trade and Development (COTED)-Transportation to address air transport issues in particular, including those related to the tourism sector; and supported the establishment of an interim tourism working group to coordinate with regional public and private sector stakeholder groups, the development of specific solutions which can be advanced in priority areas.

The group will comprise representation from the CARICOM Secretariat, the CTO and the CHTA and its mandate includes the preparation of a pilot region-wide public relations and marketing initiative for 2017/2018 for presentation to the Heads at their 38th regular meeting in July.

The CARICOM leaders also agreed that public-private sector partnerships, guiding the development and marketing of tourism for the Caribbean, needed to be more effective and requested that the marketing of tourism encompass, in particular, the eco-tourism product of mainland member states of Belize, Guyana and Suriname.

The CHTA and the CTO firmly believe that tourism is a key driver of socio-economic progress, helping destinations and countries to quickly create jobs and businesses, generate tax revenues and support infrastructure improvements to the benefit of residents and visitor. It is a proven tool to lower unemployment, stimulate indigenous entrepreneurial activity, increase foreign exchange earnings, and grow tax revenues for our treasuries.

However, it is a fiercely competitive business, and we are facing the stark reality that we must find ways of maximizing the collective strength of the Caribbean, if any and all of us are to truly succeed.

The support of the leaders is a progressive and positive move and a welcomed commitment towards furthering the development of our people, so that they can take full advantage of the employment, career and entrepreneurial opportunities available through the region’s largest industry.

We wish to thank the leaders for placing tourism on their agenda. We are particularly appreciative to Prime Minister Perry Christie of the Bahamas, who has responsibility for tourism in the CARICOM quasi-Cabinet, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell for advancing the proposed initiative at the meeting.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News, Destination News

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CTO Enters Partnership with OAG to Provide Market Insights

(9 Feb, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Caribbean’s tourism development agency, has entered into a marketing partnership with leading air travel data provider OAG to provide members with accurate, timely and actionable insight and analysis to aid decision-making and to spot opportunities in essential markets.

CTO secretary general Hugh Riley (left) and OAG’s Carolina Maitre, head of Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean region

The two organizations signed a cooperation agreement this morning at the CTO’s headquarters in Barbados, which provides for frequency and capacity data for the region, along with commentary on significant changes, to be accessible to CTO members. OAG will also provide CTO members with market reviews highlighting key variances as well as analysis identifying unserved markets and examining air traffic volumes throughout the major gateways serving the region. Members will also be able to access on-time performance data for major airlines and airports.

“The air traffic data aggregated by OAG delivers a comprehensive analysis of regional market dynamics that will be a potent resource for our members. Access to on-time performance data will also be a valuable resource for what is becoming an increasingly important aspect of air travel,” Hugh Riley, the CTO’s secretary general said. “This partnership helps to significantly enhance the value of CTO membership and provides OAG with further exposure throughout the Caribbean, thus extending the reach of this highly respected global brand.”

OAG has the world’s largest network of air travel data including the definitive schedules database of more than 900 airlines and over 4,000 airports. With the most extensive flight status information database in the market, OAG handles approximately 54 million records of flight status updates per year, processes 1.4 billion requests and continues to deliver in excess of 35 million dynamic flight status updates daily.

“There is no doubt that the accurate, timely analysis resulting from this partnership, will allow CTO members to make more informed decisions about their strategies,” said Mike Benjamin, the chief operating officer at OAG. “In partnership, the CTO and OAG are committed to making sure that the organization’s members flourish in the coming years.”

With this new strategic partnership with the CTO, OAG becomes the exclusive provider of schedules, traffic and flight status data.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Caribbean Tourism Arrivals Hit All-Time High

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (9 Feb. 2017) – Caribbean tourism broke new ground in 2016, surpassing 29 million arrivals for the first time ever, and once again growing faster than the global average.

“Despite political, security and economic uncertainties and challenges in our main source markets, tourist arrivals to the Caribbean increased by 4.2 per cent in 2016, better than the 3.9 per cent overall internationally,” secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) High Riley announced today in presenting the Caribbean Tourism Performance Report 2016.

“Encouragingly, we welcomed over one million more visitors last year than in 2015, to reach 29.3 million, continuing our proud record of continuous growth for the seventh straight year,” he told a news conference held at CTO headquarters, and streamed to a global audience.

Visitor expenditure also hit a new high, growing by an estimated 3.5 per cent to reach  US$35.5 billion.

The United States remained the Caribbean’s primary market with an estimated 14.6 million stay-over arrivals, up 3.5 per cent on 2015.

However, it was Europe that recorded the highest rate of growth among the main source markets, led by strong increases from Germany (8.2 per cent) and the United Kingdom (4.1 per cent).

“Despite terrorist attacks in some countries, the Brexit referendum in the UK and bumpy economic outcomes across continental Europe, arrivals from that market climbed by 11.4 per cent, to reach 5.6 million. The strong European performance was evident by the healthy increases of between six and 16.8 per cent in each month, compared to the corresponding month in 2015,” Mr. Riley said.

Intra- Caribbean travel also so performed well, recording a 3.6 per cent increase – the second straight year of growth – despite costly and fragmented air service.

Canada, normally a robust market for the Caribbean, recorded a decrease for the first time since 1994, and only the second contraction since 1982. The 3.3 million arrivals from that market represented a 3.4 per cent drop when compared to 2015.

The South American market also contracted by 10.6 per cent, mainly due to political instability in two of the main sources.

The CTO secretary general also revealed that cruise arrivals grew at a slower pace of 1.3 per cent to approximately 26.3 million, while the hotel sector recorded negative growth, with all hotel indicators contracting, with the exception of the number of available rooms, which grew by just over one per cent, according to Smith Travel Research.

Regarding the outlook for 2017, the CTO predicts increases of 2.5 and 3.5 per cent in long-stay arrivals and increases of between 1.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent in cruise passenger arrivals.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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