British Virgin Islands Wins CTO’s 2023 Regional Tourism Youth Congress

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands (October 14, 2023) – In an inspirational demonstration of passion, preparation and poise, Naomi Onwufuju, Junior Minister of Tourism of the British Virgin Islands, brought home the winner’s plaque at the 19th Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Regional Tourism Youth Congress, held at Beaches Turks & Caicos in Providenciales on Friday.

Competing against students from 13 other Caribbean destinations, the 16-year-old skillfully presented three innovative strategies her country could undertake to develop and implement an initiative whereby tourism stakeholders and their allied partners can work together to enhance access, safety, use, and enjoyment of the destination’s tourism offerings by visitors with disabilities.

“Accessibility is not only a responsible tourism policy but also a moral obligation,” declared the Elmore Stoutt High School student as she described her vision for increasing accessibility to the islands’ beaches, restaurants and other attractions ensuring inclusivity and equity for all visitors.

Elated upon hearing the declaration of her victory, Onwufuju was effusive in her praise of her fellow contestants.

“I love my country and I am honored I have gotten the chance to represent and to win this [award] for my Territory to be able to be an influence in tourism so that my ideas and the ideas of everyone who participated in this competition today can be heard. Truly, everyone had amazing ideas!” she stated during a press conference immediately following the Youth Congress event, which was attended by ministers and commissioners of tourism from numerous CTO member countries and territories.

Seventeen-year-old Jordan Greig of Barbados, a student at Harrison College, who was named the second-place winner, was recognized for his polished presentation of his thoughts related to executing a strategy for addressing tourism workforce issues facing the island’s tourism industry.

Tobago’s Junior Minister of Tourism Jael Morgan was awarded the third-place award. The 17-year-old student from Signal Hill Secondary School described three innovative strategies her country could carry out to realize an initiative to offer visitors unique, sustainably developed wellness tourism experiences.

Layla Leathen, Junior Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, was recognized for her performance with an Honorable Mention for an excellent presentation on the topic of wellness tourism, which demonstrated a unique approach to promoting health and well-being for visitors.

Sharon Banfield-Bovell, Director of Resource Mobilization and Development for the CTO, who served as Master of Ceremonies for the competition, lauded the participants for demonstrating excellence in their research, ideas and presentations. “It is extremely evident that the future of Caribbean tourism is filled with great promise and potential in the hands of these future leaders,” she stated.

Fourteen CTO member countries and territories participated in the Regional Tourism Youth Congress, which was chaired by the 2022 winner, J’nae Brathwaite of Tobago. Each Junior Minister made a three-minute presentation on one of the three topics: Wellness Tourism Beyond the Norm, Accessibility Tourism, and Building a Resilient and Sustainable Tourism Workforce. They were also required to make a one-minute presentation on a “mystery” question. In this category, the contestants were asked to identify an interesting, unusual or unique place, person, thing, event or activity from their respective destinations which they believed would provide a visitor with a rare and exceptional experience.

Barry Brown, Executive Director – Sales with AFAR Media and a member of the CTO Allied Board; Stacey Liburd, Director of Tourism for Anguilla; and Petra Roach, CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, served as judges for the highly anticipated competition.

The 2023 Regional Tourism Youth Congress marked the end of the CTO’s Business Meetings and State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC), which began in the Turks and Caicos Islands on October 9.

Prizes for the winners were provided by the Caribbean Tourism Organization; the Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Tourism; the Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Youth Affairs; Flow; Chukka Caribbean Adventures; Carnival Corporation in partnership with Acordis International Corp; and Dufry.

Posted in: 2023 News, Blog, SOTIC

Leave a Comment (0) →

Grenada to host CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Conference in April

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands (October 16, 2023) – Grenada will play host to the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development to be held from April 22-24, 2024.

Making the announcement via a video recording during the wrap-up press conference following the CTO’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) held in the Turks and Caicos Islands last week, Grenada’s Minister of Tourism Lennox Andrews thanked the CTO for selecting the destination to host the important event, which plays a key role in disseminating information and increasing awareness of the CTO’s vision related to sustainable tourism.

“We are honored to host the CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Conference in 2024. Grenada’s commitment to sustainable and inclusive tourism aligns perfectly with the conference’s objectives,” said Minister Andrews. “We are dedicated to showcasing the transformative power of sustainable tourism and its role as a push for social and economic growth and environmental stewardship throughout the Caribbean.”

Minister Andrews noted that he and his tourism colleagues will be honored to welcome regional and international industry stakeholders and other interested parties to participate in conference discussions and to experience the warm hospitality of the “Spice Island”.

The Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development was last held in 2019 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“We are excited about presenting the Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in Grenada next April. This conference underscores the CTO’s commitment to advancing sustainable tourism policies and practices in the Caribbean. Grenada’s natural beauty and dedication to sustainable tourism make it an ideal host, and we look forward to engaging in fruitful discussions with our colleagues in the industry,” said CTO Chairman Kenneth Bryan.

The conference examines how member states can design and implement sustainable tourism policies and programs, offering a regional forum for information exchange on the successes and pitfalls of national, regional and international initiatives.

Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22, 2024, the opening day of the conference, under the theme “Planet vs. Plastics”.

Posted in: 2023 News, Blog, Corporate News, STC 2023

Leave a Comment (0) →

CTO’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference Opens in Turks and Caicos

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos (October 10, 2023) – After a hiatus of five years, the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) flagship event, the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) is set to kick off tomorrow at The Shore Club in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Bringing together government and private sector tourism leaders from its member nations under the theme “Invest. Innovate. Inspire – A New Model for Caribbean Tourism Growth”, SOTIC provides stakeholders a unique opportunity to collaboratively examine tourism investment and financing in the Caribbean.

Presiding over the conference for the first time, Dona Regis-Prosper, Secretary-General and CEO of the intergovernmental body, invited delegates to share their perspectives on how best to invigorate the Caribbean tourism industry and establish efficient frameworks for prosperous public-private partnerships during the two-day conference, which follows two days of destination briefings for members of the media and business meetings.

“Tourism Investment and Financing in the Caribbean” is the focus for the presentations and panels taking place on Wednesday, October 11, while delegates will explore “Drivers for Caribbean Tourism Growth” as an overarching topic on Thursday, October 12.

Welcoming travel- and tourism-focused journalists from the Caribbean, Latin America, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as well as local media yesterday, Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands, presented a comprehensive overview of the archipelago’s tourism product, its culture and history, and plans for sustainable development of its lifeblood industry.

Following the Turks and Caicos presentation, invited media received destination briefings and updates from tourism representatives of other CTO member countries and territories in attendance, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Martin, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Tobago.

Monday’s program also included a meeting of the CTO Executive Committee, while meetings of the CTO Board of Directors and the Council of Tourism Ministers and Commissioners took place on Tuesday.

Presentations and panel discussions at SOTIC will address topics such as Sustainable Financing for Caribbean Tourism; Perspectives on Investment Trends, Partnerships and Maximizing Tourism Growth; Strategies for Positioning Caribbean Tourism for New Investment Opportunities; Sustainability: The New Tool in the Destination Marketing Mix; Aviation Competitiveness in the Caribbean; Digital Transformation in Tourism – a Roadmap for the Caribbean; Engaging the filmed entertainment industry to advance Caribbean tourism: Opportunities and Challenges; and Stakeholders Speak Out on the Path Towards Tourism Growth in the context of the TCI Experience.

The conference agenda also includes a recorded video message from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and a keynote address, which will be delivered by Franz Rojas-Ortuste, Director of Water and Sanitation Analysis Division at CAF – Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition to ministers and commissioners of tourism and other related ministries; directors and chief executives of tourism authorities, boards and destination marketing organizations; and members of the media, SOTIC facilitates the participation of regional and international representatives from investment entities, funding institutions, airlines, cruise lines, accommodations providers, property developers, and academia in meaningful discussions around major issues impacting the development of the region’s tourism sector.

The CTO’s popular Caribbean Tourism Youth Congress, which invites students between the ages of 14 and 17 from CTO member countries and territories to research various facets of the tourism sector and share their ideas and vision about future directions for Caribbean tourism, takes place on Friday, October 13, at Beaches Turks and Caicos. Following the student presentations, one youngster will be named Regional Junior Minister of Tourism for 2023-2024, which includes service as a youth ambassador for his or her destination and the region for one year.

SOTIC 2023 concludes with a press conference and wrap-up immediately following the Youth Congress proceedings.

For more information, visit sotic.onecaribbean.org.

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), headquartered in Barbados, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency, comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories, including Dutch-, English- and French-speaking, as well as a range 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 specialized 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; Email: CTObarbados@caribtourism.com

For more information about the Caribbean Tourism Organization, visit www.OneCaribbean.org and follow CTO on FacebookXLinkedIn and Instagram to be part of the conversation.

Posted in: 2023 News, Blog, Corporate News, SOTIC

Leave a Comment (0) →

The Caribbean Should Lead in Sustainable Tourism Development, Declares CTO Secretary-General

BARBADOS (September 27, 2023) – “We believe the Caribbean should lead, and not follow, on investing in a healthy, sustainable, and productive future for the prosperity of our people and our planet,” declared Dona Regis-Prosper, the newly appointed Secretary-General and CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), as she delivered the feature address at a virtual Caribbean forum celebrating World Tourism Day 2023 on Wednesday.

Echoing the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s message this year, Regis-Prosper elaborated on the holistic strategy that focuses on more and better-targeted investments “for people, for planet and for prosperity.” This strategy captures community empowerment, environmentally responsible growth, and equitable wealth creation underpinned by resilience.

Highlighting the urgency of the call to action, the regional tourism chief posed three pivotal questions:

• “How is the Caribbean, the world’s most tourism-dependent region, going to respond to this international call?”

• “How will we contribute our unique experience and expertise to the global discussion on matters such as renewable energy, climate change and carbon neutrality, inclusivity, and the need for economies of scale to increase local linkages and reduce leakages?”

• “How will our leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors translate theories into policies and practical applications that allow our communities and our industry to develop more sustainably and more equitably?”

The tourism leader delved into the three foundational pillars underpinning this year’s World Tourism Day theme:

People: Regis-Prosper stressed the need for a focus on people-centered tourism, which requires addressing the Caribbean’s knowledge and skills gap. Affirming the critical importance of interpersonal relationships in tourism, she shared, “Research confirms what those of us in the tourism and travel industry know firsthand – that inter-personal, face-to-face interactions with others play a significant part in the visitor experience.”

Planet: Pointing to the Caribbean’s role as a guardian of fragile ecosystems, she underscored the urgency for “green investments and environmentally conscious practices.” Citing initiatives such as the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action Project, she emphasized the Caribbean’s commitment to sustainability: “As a global brand, Caribbean tourism must continue to embrace best practices in environmental, social and governance activities that demonstrate our commitment to future generations.”

Prosperity: According to the CTO Secretary-General, the final pillar highlights the need for public-private sector and community collaborations to enhance benefits from tourism. She outlined the need for diversity, equity and inclusion, and cultural respect, stating, “The CTO supports the call of the UNWTO for new and innovative solutions and investments that stimulate and underpin the tourism sector’s growth, productivity and sustainability. It is a call to invest simultaneously in our talented human capital. When our people, our communities and our planet thrive, our industry and our destinations prosper.”

Building on the three S’s of Social Inclusion, Sustainability, and Smart Destinations and Businesses, Regis-Prosper envisions Caribbean tourism led by green growth, which involves green investments, green technologies, and green business practices.

The virtual forum was a combined initiative of the Caribbean Tourism Organization in collaboration with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the University of the West Indies, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Commission, the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, and CTO allied members: the International Institute of Tourism Studies at The George Washington University, and Hibiscus International.

Posted in: 2023 News, Blog, Corporate News

Leave a Comment (0) →

CTO Mourns the Passing of Former Chairman Obediah Wilchcombe

BARBADOS (September 25, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Wilchcombe was serving as Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting, and Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly of the Bahamas.

“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.

Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.

Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.

Posted in: 2023 News, Blog, Corporate News

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 5 of 98 «...34567...»