Scholarships & Grants

Scholarships & Grants

The main aim of the CTO Foundation is to provide opportunities for Caribbean nationals to pursue studies in the areas of tourism, hospitality and language training.  The Foundation selects individuals who demonstrate high levels of achievement and leadership both within and outside the classroom and who express a strong interest in making a positive contribution to Caribbean tourism.


Applications for 2022 are now closed.

Updates on successful applicants are at the CTO Foundation website.


Types of CTO Scholarships/Grants

The Foundation offers the following types of assistance:

The Jean Holder Memorial Scholarship – up to $7,500

The CTO Foundation is introducing this scholarship of up to $7,500 in the name of the late Jean Holder, who was considered by many as the father of Caribbean tourism development. Mr. Holder was instrumental in merging the Caribbean Tourism Research and Development Centre (CTRC), which he headed from its inception in 1974, with the Caribbean Tourism Association to form the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in 1989. Holder was the CTO’s first Secretary General and served the region in that capacity until his retirement in 2004. Subsequent to his retirement he served as Chairman of LIAT until 2019. Mr. Holder was a Cambridge educated Barbadian and visionary who served in the Barbados diplomatic corps prior to being seconded to the CTRC.

At the CTRC he promoted tourism education and training, tourism planning and research, as well as statistics, causes he continued to champion throughout his three decades as a servant of Caribbean tourism. While at the helm of the CTO, Mr. Holder was focused on making the region’s tourism product the envy other tourism destinations and felt that this could be achieved by changing the mindset in the Caribbean to 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 so that they understood the importance of the sector as an economic driver. He was passionate about sustainable tourism in all of its aspects and was ahead of his time in encouraging the members of the organization to begin to put it into practice in their various countries. He was the architect of the region’s first eco-tourism conferences, and later, the Sustainable Tourism Conference. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the CTO Scholarship Foundation in 1997.

Mr. Holder served on the boards of the most important international tourism organizations and represented the Caribbean with pride, honour, skill and gravitas.

The Jean Holder Memorial Scholarship is being offered to a Caribbean national seeking to enhance their skill in any area of Sustainable Tourism Development.

Arley Sobers Memorial Scholarship (US $2,500)

This study grant of up to US$2500 is being offered to Caribbean nationals seeking to enhance their skills in tourism research or statistics. Applicants must provide details of how he/she will cover the difference should the grant be insufficient to cover all additional costs associated with the course of study.

Mr. Arley Sobers was the director of information management and research and acting secretary general at the CTO when he passed away suddenly in 2008.
Mr. Sobers dedicated over two decades of his working life in the service of the Caribbean Tourism Organization. He was very determined to ensure that tourism statistical information and research disseminated with respect to the Caribbean was accurate, reliable and properly validated, thus reflecting the very high standards which he demanded of himself and of those who worked with him.

He was of high intellect, analytical, and very fair in his deliberations with all. From very early on in his career he clearly recognised tourism’s importance to the economies of the Caribbean, and while Mr. Sobers worked primarily in the area of research and statistics, his overall influence and contribution to Caribbean tourism was wide reaching.

Audrey Palmer Hawks Memorial Scholarship (US $5,000)

A scholarship of up to US$5,000 is offered in the name of the late Mrs. Audrey Palmer Hawks who was the past director general of the Caribbean Tourism Association (CTA) based in New York, which eventually merged in 1989 with the Caribbean Tourism Research and Development Centre based in Barbados, to form the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

Audrey Palmer Hawks was born in Guyana and grew up in Grenada. She graduated from Cornell University and entered public service in Grenada, where she became senator and then minister of state for tourism. She moved to New York as the public relations director of the CTA and became executive director. For nine years she was director general of CTA, the first woman and the first Caribbean national to head the organisation. As director general, Audrey promoted the Caribbean not only in the U.S. but worldwide. She was instrumental in developing a half-time Caribbean show at an early Super Bowl and in setting up the award-winning Caribbean Village at ITB. She died at the age of 44 in 1987.

The Audrey Palmer Hawks Memorial Scholarship is being offered to Caribbean nationals currently employed in the Caribbean tourism industry seeking to enhance their skills in public relations and/or communications.

Bonita Morgan Memorial Scholarship (US $5,000)

A scholarship of up to US$5,000 is offered in the name of the late Mrs. Bonita Morgan, director of resource mobilization and development at the Caribbean Tourism Organization, where she worked from April 1996 until her untimely passing in 2018. Mrs. Morgan had a great passion for the development of Caribbean youth and world class service, and she dedicated the best part of her working life to helping release the potential of Caribbean people through education, training and professional development.

She introduced many impactful projects and programmes during her tenure at the CTO, including the development of harmonized curricula for the associate degree tourism/hospitality programme across the region, tourism education materials for primary and secondary schools, showcasing careers in tourism through a variety of media, organising an annual tourism youth congress and biennial tourism human resources conference, and being the driving force behind the CTO Foundation.

This Bonita Morgan Memorial Scholarship is being offered to Caribbean nationals seeking to enhance their skills in tourism education or human resources development.


CTO Scholarship Foundation/Delta Air Lines Scholarship (US $5,000)

This scholarship of up to US$5,000 is being offered to Caribbean nationals interested in pursuing studies in aviation or air transport technologies.


CTO Scholarship Foundation Study Grant (US $2,500)

These grants are being offered to Caribbean nationals seeking financial assistance to improve their skills in any tourism-related field of study that will enhance the development of a sustainable tourism industry and boost service excellence in the region.  Grant amounts do not exceed US$2500.