Saint Lucia voted Chair of the CTO

NASSAU, Bahamas (2 October, 2018) – Saint Lucia has been voted in as chair of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with the election today of its Minister of Tourism Dominic Fedee, ending the two-year term of the Bahamas, which ascended to the position in Barbados in 2016.

His election took place late this evening at the Atlantis, Paradise Island resort where the CTO held its annual general meeting ahead of the official opening of the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC).

Following his election Mr. Fedee said he was humbled and proud that his colleagues had placed their trust in him. The new chairman also stated: “We have an opportunity to advance the strength of our collective purpose. We have to spare no effort to use our collaboration at the CTO level to help to advance the wider integration movement and the CTO can be seen in the same ilk as West Indies cricket and the University of the West Indies as success stories to unite the Caribbean further.

“The Caribbean is one of the strongest and one of the most iconic and aspirational travel brands in the world but also it is the most underutilised and the opportunity exists for us to ensure that we utilise the strength of the brand for the collective good of the destinations of the Caribbean.”

The Saint Lucian minister has named Tiffany Howard, the acting chief executive officer of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, as chairman of the CTO board of directors, since, according to the CTO constitution, the board chairman and the chairman of the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism must come from the same member country.

In addition to the election of the chairman, vice chairs were elected to serve on the executive committee of the board of directors to represent various sub-groups – Curacao, representing the Dutch Caribbean; Haiti representing the French Caribbean; Bahamas and Jamaica, representing the independent Caribbean Community countries and the Cayman Islands representing the British overseas territories. This committee will be completed with representatives from the private sector.

Today’s vote was in keeping with the CTO constitution which mandates that elections must be held every two years and that the chairman cannot serve consecutive terms.

This year’s conference at the Atlantis, Paradise Island resort is organised in collaboration with the Bahamas’ ministry of tourism and is sponsored by Martinique’s Aimé Césaire International Airport, Cititech Solutions, JetBlue and Delta Air Lines, with support from American Airlines, Bahamas Air, Caribbean Airlines and InterCaribbean Airways.

To view a short video clip of the new chairman, please click on the following link: https://bit.ly/2xPxQzB, and for more information on SOTIC, visit www.sotic.onecaribbean.org.

About the Bahamas

The Islands of the Bahamas have a place in the sun for everyone. Each island has its own personality and attractions for a variety of vacation styles with some of the world’s best scuba diving, fishing, sailing, boating, as well as, shopping and dining. The destination offers an easily accessible tropical getaway and provides convenience for travelers with preclearance through U.S. customs and immigration, and the Bahamian dollar is on par with the U.S. dollar. Do everything or do nothing, just remember It’s Better in The Bahamas. For more information call 1-800-Bahamas or visit www.Bahamas.com. Look for The Bahamas on the web on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Corporate News, SOTIC

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CTO presents Dr. Roy Hastick, Sr., with its Distinguished Citizen Award

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (4 August 2018) – Hugh Riley, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) presented its “Distiguished Caribbean Citizen Award” to Dr. Roy A. Hastick, Sr., president and CEO of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI), during a recent CACCI small business development power breakfast meeting. The honour is part of CTO’s Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards given annually during Caribbean Week New York festivities.

“The Caribbean Tourism Organization recognises Dr. Roy Hastick for his longstanding commitment to representing the interests of Caribbean people at the New York City and State levels,” said Riley (pictured on the right in the photo). “His steadfast endeavours to strengthen commercial links between the Caribbean and the region’s Diaspora are particularly worthy of commendation and for that reason we have bestowed the Distinguished Caribbean Citizen Award on him.”

“I am excited and thrilled to receive the Distinguished Caribbean Citizen Award from the Caribbean Tourism Organization, a prestigious association that promotes tourism in the region throughout the world,” said Hastick (pictured on the left in the photo). “For over 33 years CACCI has been promoting trade, investment and tourism between the United States and the Caribbean as well as helping thousands of small businesses in the New York metropolitan area survive and thrive.”

Hastick was born in Grenada and migrated to the U.S. in 1972 and worked for several years as an administrator, community advocate, entrepreneur and newspaper publisher. Through his involvement with organisations in the Borough of Brooklyn, Hastick recognised the need for the Caribbean community to unify in support of one another in order to improve the quality of life for everyone. As a result of his work in the small business community, Hastick was appointed Honorary Brooklyn Ambassador by Brooklyn Borough president Eric L. Adams.

As president and CEO of CACCI, he has helped grow the statewide membership organization to over 1,700 and provides expertise in providing business assistance to small start-up and emerging businesses in areas of business planning, financing, procurement, preparation for certification and business expansion, tourism and export/import opportunities.

CACCI’s extensive track record of service delivery includes sponsoring over 600 business networking meetings and establishing partnerships with US government and private business entities. Over the years, CACCI has sponsored numerous trade missions to the Caribbean, convened business meetings and held briefing sessions on behalf of several Caribbean Heads of State including Prime Ministers of Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Barbados, Haiti, Dominica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Chief Minister of Montserrat.

In August 2017, the CTO and CACCI formalised a cooperation strategy between the two organizations to enhance the level of engagement with the Caribbean Diaspora and to strengthen relationships with entities serving the people of the Caribbean.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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CTO Helps Dominica Prepare To Cope With The Impact Of Climate Change

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (30 July 2018) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, has been working closely with its member country, Dominica, to be better able to plan for, withstand and recover from the negative impacts of climate change and natural disasters.

The CTO has completed a two-day climate sensitisation and disaster risk management workshop in Roseau, aimed at facilitating the sharing of knowledge and best practices on strategies related to climate mitigation and adaptation, as well as identifying sound disaster risk management approaches.

Dominica suffered a direct hit by category five Hurricane Maria last September, which wiped out 226 per cent of its gross domestic product, two years after Tropical Storm Erika passed over the island, destroying an entire village, killing 20 people and leaving behind damage to 90 per cent of the country’s GDP.

“The topics of climate change and disaster preparedness are very pertinent to us in Dominica and in the wider Caribbean. We live in a region that is prone to the effects of climate change and disasters especially hurricanes. Of course, we have first-hand knowledge and recent experience with hurricanes,” Colin Piper, the chief executive officer of Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), the island’s tourist board, said at the opening of the workshop

“Anecdotal data indicates that tourism arrivals after natural disasters reduce by up to 30 per cent for up to three years. We are in fact experiencing a reduction in promotable visitor arrivals. For some properties, their occupancy levels may be up due to aid and agency short stays, but we must address this issue which threatens our livelihood within the hospitality industry and as nation,” he added.

Thirty tourism practitioners and decision makers from the public and private sectors participated in the event, which formed part of the “Supporting a Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry” project currently implemented by the CTO, with funding and technical assistance from the Caribbean Development Bank, through the joint Natural Disaster Risk Management (NDRM) programme for Caribbean Forum states, undertaken in conjunction with the African Caribbean and Pacific Group and the European Union.

The 26-27 July workshop, facilitated by strategic planning expert Dr. Jennifer Edwards, was the latest in a series of training programmes being conducted by the CTO for Dominica.

Earlier this month a “Delivering Quality Service” workshop was held for 55 craft and souvenir vendors, hair braiders and tourism taxi service providers to help them better appreciate the importance of their roles in visitor satisfaction; improve people relations through effective communication and understand how positive visitor interactions result in satisfied visitors.

That workshop, facilitated by the CTO’s regional human resources development consultant Sharon Banfield- Bovell,  covered areas such as understanding the customer, the importance of delivering quality customer service and the ten principles of customer service, all areas which Dominica said were critical in ensuring the service providers are equipped with the necessary skill set to deliver the highest level of customer service.

In addition, 25 participants each are to be trained in the management of sites and attractions at a workshop which targets forestry park wardens and the Waitukubuli National Trail Project among others, and a management of service quality workshop for senior executives and general managers in private and public sector tourism enterprises.

The CTO’s resource mobilisation and development division offers several training and development programmes, for member countries and the tourism sector, in keeping with its mandate to assist in developing and strengthening human capital in the region’s tourism sector so as to offer high levels of professional service.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Climate Change, Corporate News

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Tourism Human Resource Professionals To Plan Strategies To Build High Performance Workforce

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (26 July 2018) – When human resource professionals from across the region meet in the Cayman Islands in November for the 9th Tourism Human Resources Conference, they will be challenged to develop effective strategies and plans to build a high performance and motivated workforce.

The 28-30 November conference, organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT), comes at a time when the Caribbean faces increased competition in the global, high-tech, innovation driven industry, and amidst increasing calls for a total rethink of the way tourism leaders engage with the workforce.

“There is an urgent need for a high performance, resilient workforce which is critical for sustainability of the tourism sector in this ever-changing environment,” Sharon Banfield-Bovell, the CTO’s regional human resource development consultant said as planning for the conference intensifies.

Building high performance teams come with challenges, she said, including employees’ unwillingness or lack of motivation to change; low employee productivity and morale; and the scarcity of relevant skills, as well as weak or outdated leadership thinking and styles.

However, Banfield-Bovell said, while technology can help drive efficiency, “the real value in tourism is our human resources – the power of people – and the ability of a well-trained, highly valued, and fairly compensated workforce to transcend beyond process and profit”.

The conference, which has as its theme Building a Resilient, High-Performing and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Workforce For Global Competitiveness, will feature experts in human resources, tourism and labour, including Claudia Coenjaerts, director of the International Labour Organization’s decent work team  and office for the Caribbean, who will deliver the keynote address on, The Future of Work – What will become the New Normal.

The CTO team has been working with the CIDOT to produce a dynamic programme of plenaries, masterclasses, a students’ forum and a tour.

“As Caribbean nations, it is imperative that we make the necessary investments which drive visitation in this globally competitive industry. While these investments often come in the form of property development or increased marketing, it is my belief that the greatest asset any tourism product has is its people,” commented Rosa Harris, director of tourism for the Cayman Islands. “The Cayman Islands has continued to develop our local tourism workforce through nationwide customer service training, tertiary education scholarships and the establishment of a vocational certification programme through our School of Hospitality Studies. We are proud to host the 2018 Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Human Resources Conference and look forward to inviting professionals from across the region, to share best practices on ways we can strengthen our tourism workforces for collective success.”

Registration and other information available at www.onecaribbean.org.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, HR Conference

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New Directions for Caribbean Tourism at SOTIC 2018

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (25 July 2018) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is examining new strategies to stimulate growth in the region’s tourism industry at this year’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) themed Rejuvenate, Recreate, Reconnect – New Directions for Caribbean Tourism.

Scheduled 2-5 Oct. 2018 at Atlantis, Paradise Island in The Bahamas, SOTIC 2018 will consider ways to build a tourism industry that is resilient and able to adapt to changing trends, demands and situations.

“Globally, the tourism industry is constantly evolving. At the Caribbean Tourism Organization, we must be in the forefront of anticipating and managing the changes that affect our region – extreme climate phenomena, political and economic realities at home and abroad, and the rapid rise in technological developments,” said Hugh Riley, secretary general and CEO of CTO.

“In order to continue to grow our tourism in a way that is sustainable and beneficial to our communities, we must be open to new thinking, which often means breaking out of traditional comfort zones. SOTIC 2018 is intended to inspire action to develop innovative concepts, tools and models, and implement strategies that recognise the changing demands of international travellers. Exceeding the expectations of increasingly knowledgeable consumers is a challenge the Caribbean must always be prepared to meet,” Riley added.

The SOTIC theme ties in CTO’s declaration of 2018 as the “Caribbean Year of Rejuvenation and Wellness,” with multifaceted themes for each of the three conference days:

  • Day one is centered on “Recreate” with discussions focused on innovation, business development and building better, not just the physical infrastructure, but an entire immersive experience that is driven by technology.
  • The second day will delve into “Rejuvenation,” featuring a blend of creative ideas and cutting edge thinking on what can be done to add vitality, energy and freshness into the Caribbean tourism product. Discussions will also focus on efforts by regional carriers to make travelling through the region less challenging and enhance the visitor experience.
  • Emphasis on day three will be on “Reconnecting,” where participants will explore ways to distinguish the Caribbean tourism product by incorporating the region’s unique cultural hybridism and endemic wellness customs into programmes.

Throughout the three-day event, delegates will address visitors’ desire for new experiences, while being conscious of the impact they have on the communities they visit.

Caribbean tourism practitioners, policymakers, travel professionals and strategic partners from the public and private sectors throughout the region and internationally participate each year in SOTIC.

SOTIC is being organised by the CTO in collaboration with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. The conference will be preceded by business meetings on 1 – 2 Oct. 2018.

Sponsorship opportunities and details are available from CTO USA 212-635-9530 or via http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/sponsor.

For further details on the conference, including how to register, please visit http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, SOTIC

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