CTO Foundation Honours the Visionary Jean Holder by Dedicating its Newest Scholarship to His Memory

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ (27 Feb 2024) – The CTO Foundation – the charity that funds Caribbean nationals pursuing further studies in tourism and related subjects – will honour the memory of the late Jean Holder, the first secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with its newest scholarship.

The foundation is introducing the Jean Holder Memorial Scholarship of up to US$7, 500 to a Caribbean national seeking to enhance their skills in any area of sustainable tourism development.

Recognised globally as the father of Caribbean tourism development, Mr. Holder, who died in January 2022, played a critical role in changing the course of Caribbean tourism. He dedicated over 30 years of his professional life to the development and expansion of the sector in the region by charting its path towards becoming the primary foreign exchange earner and the engine of economic growth.

Among his many priorities were ensuring the region’s tourism sector became sustainable, and helping Caribbean nationals understand that employment in the tourism industry provided a career of service. He stressed the need for Caribbean children to be taught the importance of tourism from a very early age and pioneered the eco-tourism conference, which later became the Sustainable Tourism Conference.

“Jean Holder was a champion of tourism education at all levels in the Caribbean and an architect of the CTO Scholarship Foundation. He was also a relentless advocate for sustainable tourism in all its forms. Therefore, it is fitting that we name this scholarship after him in honour of the yeoman service he gave to Caribbean tourism for over three decades,” said Jacqueline Johnson, chairman of the CTO Foundation and CEO of MarryCaribbean.com, a division of Global Bridal Group “The foundation is thankful to Mr. Holder’s children for allowing us to recognise his contribution in this way.”

Applicants may also apply for the Bonita Morgan Memorial Scholarship, the Audrey Palmer Hawks Memorial Scholarship, the Arley Sobers Memorial Scholarship or a study grant.

The CTO Scholarship Foundation is a 501 (C) (3) entity established in 1997. Its main aim is to provide opportunities for Caribbean nationals to pursue studies in the areas of tourism and other tourism-related disciplines, including hospitality and language training.

To apply for the Jean Holder Memorial Scholarship, or any of the scholarships or grants being offered by the foundation this year, please visit https://ctofoundation.org/apply.

The deadline for the receipt of applications is Friday 10 May 2024.

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Registration Open for CTO Sustainable Tourism Conference in Grenada

BARBADOS (February 22, 2024) – Caribbean and international tourism industry experts will explore the “5 Ps for a Legacy of Caribbean Tourism Sustainability” as the theme for the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism Conference, which takes place in Grenada from April 22 to April 24, 2024. Registration is open for the conference which returns after a four-year hiatus and coincides with Earth Day on April 22.

The conference will delve into the 5 Ps – People, Planet, Prosperity, Purpose and Partnership, with the aim of catalyzing transformative action towards a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable future for Caribbean tourism. Also known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC), the meeting provides a platform for meaningful engagements, networking and knowledge exchanges among Ministers of Tourism, Directors of Tourism, business executives, and other industry professionals.

“STC 2024 promises not only to dissect the challenges but to inspire collective action towards maintaining the delicate equilibrium required for a thriving tourism sector,” stated Petra Roach, Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Tourism Authority. “We look forward to showcasing some of the innovative projects that we have in our beautiful tri-island state which underscore the importance of protecting and preserving our natural and cultural heritage for the tourism sector and future generations of Grenadians,” she added.

Discussions will shed light on sustainability frameworks and strategies to address urgent matters such as climate risk, waste reduction, and bridging the digital divide to optimize the use of technological innovations for people empowerment, to preserve the environment, and contribute to both business and destination competitiveness and resilience.

The Sustainable Tourism Conference is one of many events in the year-long calendar of activities for Grenada’s 50th independence anniversary celebration and coincides with the 10th anniversary of Grenada’s ‘Pure Grenada’ brand.

“Grenada’s focus on socially and environmentally responsible development makes it an ideal destination for the Sustainable Tourism Conference,” remarked Dona Regis-Prosper, CTO’s Secretary-General and CEO. “We believe that Grenada’s commitment to sustainable tourism and its beautiful, unspoiled landscapes will provide an inspiring backdrop for meaningful discussions and provide a compelling showcase of the destination’s sustainability initiatives. Join us in Grenada this April to be a part of this transformative conversation that will chart the course for the sustainability and growth of Caribbean tourism.”

STC attracts representatives from national, regional and international organizations, sustainable development partners, academia, students, and media from North America, the U.K., Europe, and the Caribbean.

The conference will feature presentations by experts, moderated panel discussions, Q&A segments, masterclasses and thematic break-out sessions. Additionally, STC includes experiential field trips (study tours), various networking events, and culminates with the presentation ceremony for CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Awards. Pre- and post-destination tours are optional activities which are offered as part of the conference experience.

For further information about the conference and registration details, visit caribbeanstc.com. To learn more about the Grenada Tourism Authority and ‘Pure Grenada’, visit www.puregrenada.com.

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CTO to Engage in High-Level Talks at Tourism Resilience Meeting in Jamaica

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (February 15, 2024) – Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Chairman Kenneth Bryan highlights the upcoming second Global Tourism Resilience Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from February 16 to 17, as a pivotal moment for regional and global tourism collaboration.

Chairman Bryan, who is Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands, is set to engage with UN Tourism Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili and regional ministerial and private sector colleagues to discuss enhanced collaboration and the sharing of best practices and opportunities between the CTO, UN Tourism and Caribbean and international tourism counterparts.

With the Caribbean’s socioeconomic development deeply dependent on tourism, Chairman Bryan is focused on leveraging the conference to further unify the Caribbean in bolstering its resilience against unpredictable events. “This conference embodies our collective determination to both foresee and adapt to the industry’s challenges. Coming together as one Caribbean enhances our capacity to withstand any adversity,” Bryan remarked.

He extended congratulations to Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett for their pioneering roles in orchestrating the critical event, aimed at advancing important conversations within the sector. The conference, co-organized by Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism and the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), is anticipated to be a significant meeting of minds, with panel discussions, networking sessions, and presentations designed to spur conversations on building tourism resilience.

Aligning with Global Tourism Resilience Day on February 17, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, the conference seeks to highlight the need for resilient tourism development strategies. It calls on Member States to craft national recovery strategies post-disruptions, stressing the importance of public-private partnerships and diversification in tourism offerings.

Chairman Bryan underscored the power of unity, stating, “Our collective vision for a resilient Caribbean, capable of overcoming nature’s unpredictability and other challenges, unites us. This conference marks a step toward realizing that vision, addressing our vulnerabilities while showcasing our recovery and thriving capabilities.”

CTO Secretary-General and CEO Dona Regis-Prosper, who along with the chairman will address the meeting, asserted that the CTO’s collaboration with UN Tourism, regional governments, and industry stakeholders to promote a sustainable, resilient, and thriving Caribbean tourism industry is essential. “Our discussions in Jamaica will underscore Chairman Bryan’s continued calls for collective action and strategic partnerships in safeguarding our region’s tourism sector against the backdrop of global challenges. It is through our unified efforts that we can achieve a more resilient, diverse, and sustainable tourism future,” she stated.

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CTO offers Caribbean tourism leaders exclusive training in airline route development

BARBADOS (February 12, 2024) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in partnership with >Airport Strategy & Marketing (ASM) has announced a landmark two-day training event focused on airline route development, scheduled for February 20-21, 2024, at the CTO Headquarters in Barbados.

Dona Regis-Prosper, Secretary-General & CEO of the CTO, explained that “Aviation Marketing, Incentives & Negotiation” marks a significant milestone in the inter-governmental organization’s efforts to strengthen aerial highways to and from the region. “By collaborating with ASM, a part of Informa’s Aviation Week Network and a major international authority in global route development, we are bringing together the best in the field to provide an unparalleled learning experience for our tourism leaders,” she stated.

The event is geared towards high-level tourism professionals such as Ministers of Tourism, Directors of Tourism, CEOs, and other senior positions. It will offer in-depth knowledge and practical skills in key areas such as effective aviation marketing plans, successful incentive strategies, negotiation techniques for new airline routes, and the fundamentals of route development.

The training is expected to draw significant attention from industry leaders looking to gain an edge in the world of aviation due to its interactive approach; intimate, focused learning environment; and opportunity for networking and exchanging ideas.

The collaboration between CTO and ASM, a leader in aviation strategy and marketing and founder of the renowned Routes events, is a strategic move to bolster the Caribbean’s position in the worldwide aviation market. As the Caribbean continues to evolve as a key player in the global tourism industry, training and networking events are crucial for staying ahead in an increasingly competitive field, the Secretary-General posited.

“We encourage our key stakeholders to seize this unique opportunity to elevate their expertise related to airline route development and reshape their aviation strategies,” said Regis-Prosper.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with the CTO on this two-day workshop. Airline negotiations and route support mechanisms have become such an important part of air service development, and this course will provide delegates with the understanding and the techniques required to come to new agreements with airlines that will help bolster the airlift of the Caribbean,” said David Stroud, Managing Director of Strategy and Consulting for Aviation Week Network.

The training session precedes Routes Americas 2024, the leading air service development event in the Americas, scheduled to be held in Bogota, Colombia from March 19-21. This key industry gathering will bring together senior professionals from airlines, airports and destinations, offering an efficient platform for building high-value relationships with key air service development decision-makers from across the region and beyond.

For more details or to register, interested parties may contact Faye Gill at fgill@caribtourism.com

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CTO Chairman Hails Success of Business Meetings in Saint-Martin

SAINT-MARTIN (February 11, 2024) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) concluded its business meetings last week in Saint-Martin, marking a significant milestone in the collaborative efforts to strengthen and revitalize the Caribbean tourism sector. Under the direction of Chairman Kenneth Bryan, who also serves as Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands, the CTO has embarked on a transformative journey to reimagine its role and impact within the global tourism landscape.

“When I took over as chairman (in 2022), we decided to go through a reimagining exercise and you can start to see the changes already,” said Chairman Bryan, citing the appointment of Secretary-General and CEO Dona Regis-Prosper, the return of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Bermuda to the 25-member body, and the re-engagement of destinations such as Montserrat as examples of the progress made.

A highlight of the meetings was the presentation of a comprehensive plan for the year ahead by Regis-Prosper, the first woman appointed to the post in the organization’s history.

This year’s first series of business meetings focused on defining a strategic direction for the upcoming year and reviewing the organization’s accomplishments since Minister Bryan’s tenure began. “The discussions were fruitful and reflective of the vibrant spirit that characterizes our collective efforts,” stated Minister Bryan. “The CTO is moving towards a reimagined, revitalized and relevant future, with a clear focus on overcoming challenges through unity and shared vision,” he asserted.

A significant part of the meetings centered on the critical role of aviation in connecting the Caribbean. Chairman Bryan emphasized the commitment to enhancing regional connectivity and addressing the complexities of aviation logistics, highlighting a resolution to engage with key stakeholders, including the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and regional airlines, to advocate for increased seat capacity and facilitate more seamless travel within the Caribbean.

The group discussed the possibility of staging a Caribbean aviation conference: an assembly of airline and airport authority executives; hotel brands; tourism stakeholders; and government ministers with responsibility for tourism, civil aviation, regulatory and finance matters. “We need robust dialogue on the necessary changes to incentivize more connectivity within the region, so we’re going to put our foot down on the gas concerning this because it’s a serious concern for many members, particularly in the Eastern Caribbean.”

Reflecting on his tenure as chairman, Minister Bryan is encouraged by the progress made, particularly in stabilizing the organization’s fiscal position, increasing membership confidence, and positioning the CTO prominently in global tourism discussions. The CTO’s efforts have also focused on leveraging technology, artificial intelligence, and digital media to enhance the Caribbean’s appeal as the world’s leading warm-weather destination.

The CTO’s vision also encompasses a rebranding of the organization and a reinforcement of the foundational spirit of Caribbean kinship. “Our goal is to ensure that every member state feels tangible value from its involvement with the CTO, fostering a sense of belonging and collective achievement,” commented Minister Bryan.

He said CTO’s strategic direction, under the Secretary-General’s leadership, promises a dynamic and inclusive future for Caribbean tourism, one that emphasizes innovation, collaboration, and a deepened sense of regional camaraderie.

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