CTO News

This Blind Spot is Limiting Caribbean Tourism Potential

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (2 Nov. 2018) – A secret to unlock the full potential of Caribbean tourism may be hidden in plain sight. That is according to Tara Tvedt-Pearson, a certified strengths coach at Gallup, who will present a solution at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s 9th Tourism Human Resources Conference in the Cayman Islands from 28-30 November, 2018.

“Our innate talents and strengths represent our most direct path to our success. The problem, however, is that most people can’t accurately identify their own strengths and therefore can’t intentionally use them,” said Tvedt-Pearson.

The message will come as an integral component of the conference theme, ‘Building a Resilient, High-performing & Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Workforce for Global Competitiveness’. Tvedt-Pearson will present a masterclass on ‘Discover Your Strengths, Unlock Your Potential’ on Thursday 29 November.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to people development, most organisations across most cultures are operating from a mindset of weakness fixing. We identify areas of improvement and create annual development improvement plans for our employees even though we hired them for their strengths!” said Tvedt-Pearson.

Tvedt-Pearson has a background in human resources, psychology, and certification in project management which brings an ideal blend and balance to her coaching. Her work focuses on performance and by agreeing on measurements of success upfront, a clear scope and strategy is created for arriving at success.

“To help individuals and organisations worldwide harness the power of strengths, global management consulting company Gallup created the Clifton StrengthsFinder, an assessment that helps people discover and describe their talents. By revealing the ways in which each individual most naturally thinks, feels, and behaves, the assessment can help people identify and build on the areas in which they have the most potential to grow and succeed,” said Tvedt-Pearson.

Participants in the session will have the opportunity to discover their individual innate talents and the contributions they bring to their organisations, as well as understand what impact a strengths-based development approach -a “people solution” – can have to their business and bottom line. As a Gallup certified strengths coach, Tvedt-Pearson regularly helps individuals, leaders, teams, and organisations link their innate talents to specific goals and objectives, facilitate growth and development areas, and boost engagement.

The end goal is building a sustained competitive advantage. “Companies within the tourism sector that focus on measuring and managing employee engagement can withstand tough economic times and gain the competitive advantage that will keep them moving forward,” she said.

The CTO 9th Tourism Human Resources Conference seeks to provide an exciting and educational forum for human resource professionals to gain new knowledge and acquire the necessary skills to help them achieve excellent performance in their organizations. It also discusses pertinent issues impacting on, and relating to the human resource element of tourism in the region; exposes human resource practitioners to good tourism practices in a tourism environment, and provides an opportunity for professional networking.

The conference is sponsored by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and Dart, the Cayman Islands-headquartered global organisation whose portfolio of companies include real estate, hospitality, retail, entertainment, finance and biotech

For further details on the conference, including how to register, visit https://www.onecaribbean.org/events-calendar/tourism-hr-conference-2018/. And for a welcome message from minister of tourism Moses Kirkconnell, click here.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, HR Conference

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Norwegian Air’s Inaugural Flight from Montréal to Martinique

Montréal ǀ Thursday November 2018 1stThis winter, travelers departing from Montréal, Canada will have more options than ever to discover Martinique. Starting November 1, 2018, Norwegian Air will inaugurate non-stop flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 2.25 pm from Montreal Pierre-Elliot-Trudeau International Airport to Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport. Introductory rates start at $ 219 CAD—taxes included. Norwegian has been named «Europe’s best low cost airline » and « Best Value for Money in 2018.”

“We are extremely excited to add a new route between Montréal and Martinique, as we continue to grow our French Caribbean network. Montréal is also our very first Canadian destination, and it made perfect sense for us to start entering this new market by connecting Martinique to Montréal adding this very important North American gateway to our already popular and successful routes from New York and Fort Lauderdale. This week we are also launching direct flights between Fort de France and Cayenne in French Guiana, further strengthening our commitment to Martinique. We look forward to another successful season, which would never have been possible without the strong support of the Martinique Tourism Authority” said Anders Lindström, Director of Communications Norwegian Air, North America.

Our Board of Directors, hoteliers, tour operators and other industry partners of the Martinique Tourism Authority are delighted by the new connection provided by Norwegian Air between Montreal and Fort-de-France. This service which also opens with a connection to French Guiana is an exceptional opportunity to develop travel for Canadians to our island as well as to Cayenne.  I would like to add, that with a 49% growth already recorded in advance bookings for the coming season, the Canadian market is more than ever a priority. Thank you and congratulations Norwegian. Martinique loves you!” said Karine Mousseau, the Martinique Tourism Commissioner.

For booking, please visit  www.norwegian.com/en-ca
For more information about Martinique  www.us.martinique.org

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Antigua & Barbuda Featured in Popular Bravo Television Series “Married to Medicine”

November 1, 2018 (St. John’s, Antigua)Antigua & Barbuda was the obvious choice for the producers from the popular US reality television series Married to Medicine, when the BRAVO network was seeking a romantic and picturesque Caribbean destination to hold a vow renewal ceremony. Originally planned as a single episode, there was so much on island that the destination will now be featured in three separate episodes this Fall.

Married to Medicine, which boasts a weekly viewership of over 1.5 million, chronicles the lives of seven women in the Atlanta medical community; with three of the women being doctors themselves while the others are doctors’ wives. It shows the group as they balance their social circles, careers, and families.

“This television shoot provided us with the opportunity to showcase the best of Antigua & Barbuda to a huge audience in our primary source market,” said the Honorable Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez, Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism and Investment. “Our resorts, beaches and attractions will stream in to living rooms across the country, and around the world through syndication and digital viewing, over a three-week period in November, a time when our potential visitors are considering and planning their winter holiday escapes,” he concluded.

“Partnering with Married to Medicine for a vow renewal was a perfect fit for Antigua and Barbuda for the sixth season of this incredibly popular show. We were just named as the “Most Romantic Destination in the Caribbean,” by the industry leading WTA awards for the fourth year in a row, and are blessed with diverse topography and activities that allowed for various filming opportunities. We are excited to raise awareness of exactly why viewers should be planning their next trip today,” said Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.

The stunning Tamarind Hills Villas, located on a sunset-facing bluff on Antigua’s glorious west coast, showcasing two of the island’s most beautiful beaches, hosted the cast. The popular show spent ten days in Antigua from May 28 through June 6 earlier this year, filming at a variety of locations and properties. The group was welcomed on-island by the Tourism Cadet Corps, and treated to cocktails and dinner hosted by the Ministry of Tourism at the legendary UNESCO World Heritage Site, Clarence House. Officially re-opened for Prince Harry’s visit, the evening was a truly memorable moment for the cast. Among the highlights of their stay were a visit to Stingray City; culinary classes for the ladies and a cricket match for the gents; and for the finale, a spectacular torch lit dinner on the beach with live entertainment under the stars.

The first of the three episodes filmed in Antigua airs on Sunday, November 4 at 9PM Eastern/8PM Central on BRAVO. The second and third episodes will be broadcast on November 11th and November 17th respectively. Preview Bravo’s Welcome to Antigua episode here: http://www.bravotv.com/video/share/3819586

For Antigua and Barbuda vacation information, go to: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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BTB Secures Assistance for Stakeholders in Sargassum Affected Areas

Belize City, Wednesday, 31st October, 2018: In light of the challenges posed by sargassum on our tourism industry, the Belize Tourism Board has secured assistance for accommodation stakeholders in sargassum affected areas in Belize. This comes on the heels of several site visits conducted last month by a BTB team of senior officials, to assess the areas severely impacted and to consult with owners of affected coastline properties (beachfront properties) and members of the Sargassum Task Force (STF), with the hope of designing a concerted strategy to address the situation.

The BTB’s team included Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Mr. Einer Gomez, Chairman of the Board of Directors, BTB and Mrs. Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism.

At the conclusion of these visits, the following assistance was approved and will be implemented immediately, to assist those properties which have been most affected by sargassum.

  • 2% from the 9% hotel tax due, which is a 22.2% reduction on the monthly accommodation tax returns for all coastline properties affected by sargassum, in the four affected destinations of San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Placencia and Hopkins. This reduction in the monthly accommodation tax is applicable for four consecutive months namely October, November, December 2018 and January 2019.
  • In addition, on BTB’s advice, the Government of Belize has agreed that coastline properties in the four affected destinations wishing to import sargassum materials and equipment/machinery, can apply for duty exemption from the Ministry of Finance through the BTB.
  • The Government of Belize has agreed to contribute $1.5 million for BTB to assist the municipal bodies in San Pedro, Caulker, Placencia and Hopkins in the containment and control of sargassum.

The BTB is congnizant of the fact that impacted properties and destinations have faced increased operational costs in their clean up efforts, disposal of sargasssum, implementing barriers and in beach reclamation efforts. The BTB therefore welcomes the above measures, which will aid affected properties especially in preparing for the high tourism season.

The BTB urgues all stakeholders and the public to stay tuned for news emanating from the STF on new developments relating to sargassum. The task force is comprised of NEMO, the Fisheries Department, Ministry of Tourism, the BTB, the Coastal Zone Management Authority, Ministry of Health,  the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Hotel Association (BHA), stakeholders and representatives of the San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Hopkins and Placencia Village Councils. The STF continues to pursue research and consultations for a long term solution of the sargassum situation.

The BTB also reiterates its unwavering commitment to continuous consultations with valued stakeholders on the issue of sargassum and to ensure that our dynamic tourism industry is always fully protected.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Pure Grenada Supports the CTO’s Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation

St. George’s, Grenada – 1st November, 2018 – Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean fully supports the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s year of wellness and rejuvenation. The Caribbean is blessed with a beautiful natural environment and naturally friendly people that make perfect escapes for relaxation. This theme is timely as the Caribbean seeks to position itself as the ultimate global destination for wellness and rejuvenation.

The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is thrilled to be highlighted in the CTO’s Guide to Wellness and Rejuvenation which showcases some of our diverse offerings in this sector, and in its publication of Caribbean Wellness Ambassadors. We look forward to our ambassadors being featured on the CTO’s social media platforms in the coming weeks, including during Caribbean Tourism Month starting November 1.

CEO of the GTA Patricia Maher said, “Our Pure Grenada with pristine beaches, crystal clear waterfalls, organic chocolate and our warm and friendly people, complimented by the Spice of the Caribbean create unique and memorable wellness experiences.”

She further stated, “We are happy to provide the grand prize for this year’s wellness ambassador winner, including airfare, accommodation, and an island tour that will convince our winner of our spicy wellness offerings.”

For more information, visit www.puregrenada.com

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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The 2018 Caribbean Travel Media Awards Finalists Announced

London, UK 26 October 2018: The Caribbean Tourism Organization is delighted to announce the shortlist of three finalists in each of the ten categories in the 2018 Caribbean Travel Media Awards. More than 130 entries across ten categories were reviewed by a panel of judges, representing the media and travel industry, via a strict criteria and points system.

Carol Hay, the CTO’s director of marketing for UK and Europe, said, “Congratulations go to all the nominees who made it to the shortlist. The standard of submissions was very competitive this year which included a record number of impressive blog posts and social media campaigns. This clearly reflects the huge part that social media now plays in helping to raise awareness and tell the great stories of the Caribbean. I was also pleased to note the huge variety of niche media also represented. We thank our Judges for taking the time to review the entries and make their decisions and look forward to welcoming them and the finalists to the Awards.”

The full lists of finalists in each category, in no particular order, is:

Best travel trade feature
Laura French, Travel Weekly
Andrew Doherty, TTG
Tamara Hinson, Travel Weekly

Best national newspaper feature
Tamara Hinson, Express Weekend Magazine
Keith Miller, Telegraph
Sally Peck, Telegraph

Best regional newspaper feature
Tim Hughes, Oxford Mail & Oxford Times
Hannah Stephenson, Press Association
Nicola Brady, Evening Standard

Best consumer feature
Will Bruton, Yachting Monthly
Katie Bowman, Sunday Times Travel Magazine and
Fred Mawer, Sunday Telegraph
Vitali Vitaliev, Geographical Magazine

Best broadcast, TV and radio feature
Alison Hammond, ITV This Morning
Donna Clarke, BBC TV – ‘An Island Parish Anguilla – After the Hurricane
Cathy Bartrop, Travelguru TV

Best online feature
Oliver Smith, The Telegraph
Rupert Parker, Metro.co.uk
Amy Hopkins, Family Traveller

Best blog feature/post
Macca Sherifi – An Adventurous World
Lloyd and Yaya, Hand Luggage Only
Terry Lee, LiveShareTravel

Best piece of photojournalism
Nick Robertson-Brown, Scubaverse Annual 2018
Julianna Barnaby, The Discoveries of
Andrew Simm, Alongdustyroads.com

Best Social Media Campaign
Heather Cowper, Heather on her Travels
Ursula Barzey, Caribbean & Co.
Caroline & Nick Robertson-Brown, Scubaverse

Best Caribbean Round Up
Nigel Tisdall, Telegraph
Heather Cowper, Heather on her travels
Ursula Barzey, Caribbean & Co.

Amongst the panel of judges for the 2018 Caribbean Travel Media Awards were Johnson Johnrose, CTO; Debbie Marshall, Silver Travel Advisor; Vivianne McGrath, Mot Mot Travel; David Kevan, Chic Locations; Peter Grace, Bespoke Travel Marketing;  Graham McKenzie, Travelmole; Paul Gocke, Independent Traveller, Claire Irvin, Telegraph Media Group, Steve Hartridge, BMI Publishing; Andy Huntley Photography and Gary Davis, GD Travel.

The overall winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on Monday 5 November to be held at The [email protected] ExCel (Restaurant) located at the West Entrance of the Excel Centre.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Media Awards

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