The Cayman Islands to Host Caribbean Tourism Organization and IATA Aviation Conference in September

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (13 June 2022) – The Cayman Islands Ministry and Department of Tourism are partnering with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) to host the organization’s Business Meetings from 12-15 September 2022. This conference will be the first major in-person event programme for the CTO. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) will also host Caribbean Aviation Day on 14 September during the CTO event in the Cayman Islands. The event will be attended by the Ministers of CTO member countries, Directors of Tourism, senior executives, media, and regional students who participate in the Caribbean Youth Congress, as well as international aviation experts.

“It is a great honour to be the host country for this significant conference and we look forward to welcoming CTO and the delegations from the member countries to the Cayman Islands,” said Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism and Transport. “The CTO does vital work for the region, and this is an opportunity for regional Ministers and industry leaders to meet face-to-face to have key discussions as the region continues to recover from the pandemic and plan for the future.”

The organization’s annual Business Meetings, hosted in a member destination, bring together CTO members to discuss and plan key items. The conference has been on hold for the past two years due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequently the 2022 CTO Business Meeting hosted in the Cayman Islands will be the first in-person occurrence since the start of the pandemic.

The conference includes the following meetings and events:

  • CTO Board of Directors Meeting – Attended by the Directors of Tourism and the private sector members of the board, this is where the work plan, budget and other proposals for special consideration are discussed and approved.
  • CTO Council of Ministers Meeting – Attended by the Ministers of the CTO member countries, this is where the approved work plan, budget and other special proposals are discussed and ratified.
  • The Election of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers – This event occurs every two years and is where the financial members of the Council of Ministers vote to select the new Chairman of the Council of Ministers.
  • Caribbean Youth Congress – The Youth Congress is a developmental competition involving students aged 14 to 17 from CTO member countries who debate on regional tourism matters. Its main aim is to stimulate greater awareness and excitement about tourism among young people in our Caribbean communities

“The tourism sector and the Caribbean as a whole have faced severe challenges over the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic but have confronted these with a tenacity which has further demonstrated the resilience of the sector,” said Acting CTO Secretary-General, Neil Walters.

“For some months, there have been distinct signs pointing to a robust recovery by the sector, underlined by the fact that the Caribbean is among the regions experiencing the fastest rates of growth since mid-2021 and in some cases outpacing the rest of the world. The CTO believes this is an optimal moment for industry leaders to collaborate and strategise.”

The IATA hosted Caribbean Aviation Day will bring together the top management of the airline and tourism industry in the region, as well as government ministers, aeronautical authorities, the diplomatic corps, media, among others. The objective is to discuss the challenges and opportunities of this sector and the recovery of the region, as well as the roadmap to enhance benefits of aviation in the Caribbean.

Mr. Peter Cerda, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Americas states: “The current spirit of cooperation with governments in the region will enable aviation along with the entire tourism and travel value chain to play a key role in the region’s post-pandemic economic and social recovery.”

The Ministry and Department of Tourism are actively working with local industry stakeholders to organise and facilitate venues, accommodations, and dining and entertainment experiences for the incoming attendees.

“While historically September sees a decrease in tourism activity, the CTO and IATA Aviation Conference will act as a boost for our local tourism businesses,” said Director of Tourism, Mrs. Rosa Harris. “The conference is a chance for collaboration between the government and the private sector as well as our regional colleagues as we work to make tourism more sustainable and inclusive, both in the Cayman Islands and the region.”


About the International Air Transport Association (IATA)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a trade association of the world’s airlines founded in 1945. Its membership consists of some 290 airlines, representing 117 countries and approximately 83% of total available seat miles air traffic. It supports airline activity and helps form industry policy and standards.

About the Cayman Islands

Located 480 miles south of Miami in the vibrant tranquility of western Caribbean, this trio of tiny islands is a premier destination for discriminating travelers, divers, honeymooners, and families. World renowned for its idyllic beaches and recognized as a sophisticated, diverse, and memorable tourist destination, the Cayman
Islands offers spectacular recreational opportunities along with warm, impeccable service. To learn more about the Cayman Islands, please go to or or call your local travel agent.

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which is headquartered in Barbados, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish-speaking, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members the organization  provides specialised support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; E-mail:

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

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Regional Tourism Bodies Call on Sector to Advance Hurricane Preparedness

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (June 1, 2022) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) have urged the tourism sector to step up preparations for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 until November 30, and the U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting activity will be “above average” this year.

Between 14 to 21 named storms have been forecast, with six to 10 having the likelihood to become hurricanes, and three to six forecast to be major hurricanes – Category 3 or above on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Underscoring the importance of tourism to the socioeconomic development of the region, CTO and CHTA will be undertaking separate as well as joint initiatives to increase awareness across the sector in coming weeks to reinforce preparations.

Acting CTO Secretary-General Neil Walters asserted that exhaustive planning and information-gathering by all stakeholders was critical, pointing out this was key to the continued resilience of the sector especially during the upcoming season.

“CTO has always provided critical tools aimed at mitigating disasters, such as the Multi-Hazard Risk Management Guide which is available to planners through the online tourism training centre, the Caribbean Tourism Institute,” Walters said.

“The importance of preparedness cannot be reiterated enough. It has proven to be one of the key factors enabling the sector to make swift and solid recoveries following setbacks.”

The guide addresses all phases of the disaster management cycle through the dissemination of crisis communication and social media best practices, and both tourism bodies will continue such awareness initiatives in the weeks ahead.

Vanessa Ledesma, Acting CEO and Director General of CHTA, which has played a pivotal role in helping regional stakeholders navigate hurricane season through awareness campaigns, reiterated the value of planning and preparedness.

“We will continue to provide extensive education on insurance, best practices for businesses, communication strategies, cancellation practices, and regional response mechanisms to ensure stakeholders can weather any challenges associated with this year’s season,” she said.

Both CTO and CHTA believe high levels of preparedness have enabled Caribbean destinations to rebound swiftly from natural disasters in the past.

The organizations stressed that in any given year most of the Caribbean is untouched by a major hurricane, citing the vast geography of the region. Despite the relative safety of the region for summer and fall travel, the region takes planning and readiness seriously. CTO and CHTA attribute that readiness to the Caribbean’s ability to bounce back faster than most areas of the world from a crisis situation.

As part of their preparation activities, the two organizations are conducting a two-part readiness training session this month for public and private sector tourism managers on Friday, June 10 and Thursday, June 30. Registration details will be announced shortly.


About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which is headquartered in Barbados, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency, comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish-speaking, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean. Among the benefits to its members the organisation provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution, and research & information technology.

For more information, visit


About the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA)

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is the Caribbean’s leading association representing the interests of national hotel and tourism associations and the region’s private sector. For 60 years, CHTA has been the backbone of the Caribbean hospitality industry. Working with some 1,000 hotel and allied members, and 33 National Hotel Associations, CHTA is shaping the Caribbean’s future and helping members to grow their businesses. Whether helping to navigate critical issues in sales and marketing, sustainability, legislative issues, emerging technologies, climate change, data and intelligence or, looking for avenues and ideas to better market and manage businesses, CHTA is helping members on issues which matter most.

For further information, visit

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Kimolisa Mings Wins Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Romance Writing Contest

JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (MAY 25, 2022) – The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has officially announced Kimolisa Mings, the winner of the local romance writing contest for her story entitled ‘Rule No. 3’. The contest was part of the ‘Love and Wanderlust’ Romance campaign that was launched by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, on Valentine’s Day, as a way to involve local storytellers and writers in tourism, while offering Antigua and Barbuda’s writing talent an international platform for their work to be seen. The announcement comes days away from the start of Antigua and Barbuda Romance Month in June.

Mings wins EC$1000 as her prize. An elated Mings expressed appreciation to the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) during the cheque presentation. “Thank you to the ABTA for this opportunity for us writers to showcase our abilities to the wider public. Hopefully similar initiatives will emerge for the talented creatives who call Antigua & Barbuda home.”

Kimolisa Mings, who was born and currently lives in Antigua, writes contemporary fiction, primarily romance. According to her biography, “when she’s not writing and generally living, she is watching too much shows on streaming services”. Three of her books are available locally at the bookstores ‘Best of Books’ and ‘Ten Pages’ and internationally through Amazon. She is currently working on a new novel.

Shermain Jeremy, lead on the organization’s romance pillar initiative says, “The ABTA is dedicated to making tourism a community effort and this writing contest has allowed us to tap a very creative pool of local storytellers and writers whose talents we plan to weave into our romance messaging and stories”.

Joelle Edwards’ ‘Take My Hand Darling’ and Travis Defreitas’ ‘Love Island’ placed 1st and 2nd runners-up respectively.  The writers will receive free access to the Jhohadli Writing Project Workshop Series in June hosted by acclaimed Antiguan author Joanne Hillhouse. Hillhouse whose published work includes: The Jungle Outside, Musical Youth, Lost, The Boy from Willow Bend and Dancing Nude in the Moonlight has partnered with the ABTA to offer both runners-up the opportunity to expand their craft through her year-long writing series.

“I appreciate the opportunity given to writers in Antigua and Barbuda and the privilege of reading the entries. I would like to congratulate the winner Kimolisa Mings’ whose entry Rule No. 3 winningly frames love as the most daring adventure within a very tight and well-shaped rom-com, rich with pilot tension, character depth and chemistry, and a real sense of place”, said the consulting judge for the contest, Joanne Hillhouse.

The panel of judges included Joel Henry from the Authority’s UK office, Abena Merchant, Digital Platform Manager, Carolyn Punter, Marketing Officer in the New York Office and Donald Watkins of Watkins Multimedia in addition to Joanne Hillhouse.

Entries which received Honorable Mention were ‘Secret Paradise (Island)’ by Petranilla Estraeda-Jospeh and ‘The Viola Pan’ by Dr. Lester Simon.

Other entries included:

‘Finding Love in Silence’ by Hilesha Humphreys
‘Love Meets Paradise’ by Mene Lewis
‘It’s A Fairytale’ by Dalisha Spencer
‘My Love’ by Brenda Cochrane
‘A Letter to My Wife’ by Jeffrey Williams
‘Beneath the Tamarind Tree’ by Zemilia Ishana Lashanda Samuel
‘A Life Worth Living’ by Nicole Leyva

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority intends to create a short video of the winning entry for video and television as well as a romance booklet of all entries for circulation in all Antigua and Barbuda’s source markets to help promote the destination’s romance agenda.

For more information on romantic escapes to Antigua and Barbuda, visit:

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Barbuda’s Caribana Festival Takes Place June 3 – June 6, 2022

ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (May 23, 2022) – Barbuda’s popular Caribana Festival, a four-day celebration of culture, music, and pageantry, normally held over the Whit weekend, is all set to make a grand comeback following a two-year absence.

The highly anticipated festival will take place this year from June 3 – June 6, under the theme ‘Reviving our culture needs me and you, Barbuda Caribana 2022’.

The Culture Coordinator within Barbuda’s Tourism, Sports, and Culture Department Jezette Davis said, “We promise it will be a weekend full of excitement, food, drinks, music, and plenty outside!”

Residents as well as visitors attending Caribana, will have the opportunity to enjoy the horse racing action, battle it out during the fishing tournament, dance to the sweet sounds of calypso and soca music, delight in Barbuda’s famed seafood specialties and much more.

Events taking place for Caribana include:
June 3: Little Mr. and Miss Barbuda
June 4: Johnny Desuza Fishing Tournament & Beach Bash
June 5: Horse Race & Calypso Melting Pot
June 6: J’ouvert, Food Fair & Marketplace

The weekend starts with the ‘Little Mr. and Miss Barbuda’ a cultural display of talent among the youths of Barbuda on Friday. This will be followed by a day soaking up the sun and enjoying Barbuda’s River Beach with the fishing tournament and an epic beach bash packed with lots of games, music, and entertainment. On Sunday, the horse races will wow audiences, and in the evening, the stage will come alive with the eagerly awaited ‘Calypso Melting Pot’ with each calypsonian aiming to emerge the winner.

The final showdown that culminates the four days of culture, sports, entertainment, and revelry is the J’ouvert on Monday, a spectacular display of masqueraders dressed in humorous fashions and colorful t-shirts dancing through the streets of Codrington to live band performances and DJ music. The Monday will also feature a not-to-be missed food fair, that will display the culinary skills of amazing cooks in Barbuda and satisfy the appetite of revelers.

“Barbuda’s pink sand beaches, turquoise waters, Magnificent Frigatebird Sanctuary, and laid-back lifestyle have for years been an attraction for visitors. Those arriving in Barbuda for the Whit weekend, will be drawn into the vibrant celebrations and revel in the feel-good vibes that will surround Caribana City during the festival”, said Marketing Communications Manager within the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Maria Blackman.

Visitors are advised to book flights, ferry, and accommodation early to ensure they don’t miss out on the excitement of Caribana.

For more information on Barbuda’s Caribana, contact Barbuda Marketing Officer at the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Anreka Geness at 1 268 562 7600.

Find more information on Barbuda on:

Antigua’s Carnival, The Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival, will also return following a two-year hiatus. The summer celebrations will take place from July 27 – August 2, 2022, under the theme: ‘Reigniting The Spirit’.

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Representatives from Top Global Organizations Will Speak at World Free Zones Organization’s Annual International Conference & Exhibition in Jamaica

KINGSTON, JAMAICA, MAY 24, 2022 – Jamaica is looking forward to welcoming keynote speakers and panelists from top organizations around the world for the World Free Zones Organization’s 8th Annual International Conference & Exhibition (AICE) 2022, the first to be held in the Caribbean, when the highly anticipated event takes place on island this summer.

“Hosting this premier global event provides Jamaica with the opportunity to host a number of key individuals specializing in sustainable economic growth and the advancement of international trade,” said the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica. “As we are working to diversify our tourism sector to make it more resilient to disruption, we could not be more pleased to have the opportunity to speak with and learn from those who specialize in attracting investment that will align with and support our goals.”

The 2022 AICE program will feature executives from multilateral organizations and other major institutions who will speak about free zones as partners for building resilience, promoting sustainability and achieving prosperity. Among the noteworthy professionals confirmed to participate in the program are: the Hon. Andrew Holness, Prime Minister, Jamaica; Dr. Samir Hamrouni, CEO, World Free Zones Organization, UAE; James Zhan, Director, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Switzerland; Richard Trevino, Deputy Secretary General, World Customs Organization, Belgium; Scott Hodge, President, Tax Foundation, USA; Emilio Pineda Ayerbe, Chief, Fiscal Management Division, Inter-American Development Bank, USA; and Jacopo Dettoni, Editor, fDi Intelligence, Financial Times, UK.

Among the topics they will be discussing at the event are: shaping the future of supply chain resilience; reforming the global tax system; charting the future of inclusive e-commerce; building a new generation of sustainable and environmental entities; and ecosystems of trust driving prosperity.

Dr. Samir Hamrouni, CEO of the World Free Zones Organization (WFZO), emphasized the importance of the WFZO AICE returning to an in-person event, especially in Jamaica, as it is a bridge to the Latin American and US markets. He said, “As we come out of this pandemic, we continue to see the effects it is having on society and economies, and more directly on the global supply chains and Free Zones. The WFZO remains committed to our philosophy of ‘Converge, Connect and Converse’. We see a great number of opportunities arising and believe that the AICE is the perfect platform for bringing together key international decision makers, service providers and consultants to exchange knowledge, experiences, and best practices to drive our industry into the future.”

“The conference is expected to advance Jamaica’s goal to attract major investment opportunities for the development of large-scale modern Special Economic Zones,” said Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce. “It will also showcase our country as an ideal location for Special Economic Zone investment while underscoring our rich cultural heritage.”

Themed, ‘Zones: Your Partner for Resilience, Sustainability and Prosperity,’ the World Free Zones Organization’s AICE 2022 five-day event will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from June 13-17, 2022. It is expected to bring over 1,000 visitors into Jamaica.

Registration for AICE in Jamaica is now open at and a complete event program and speakers may also be viewed on the website.

For more information about Jamaica, please visit

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