ST THOMAS, USVI — The Caribbean region’s tourism development agency, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), continues to engage its member countries at the highest levels on some of the most critical regional tourism matters.
The organization’s leadership completed a tour of four member-countries last week, continuing a series of country visits which began last year. CTO chairman Beverly Nicholson-Doty and secretary general Hugh Riley, along with the newly appointed director of membership services Faye Gill, met with senior tourism officials in Montserrat, St Lucia, Grenada, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
In addition to gaining a greater appreciation for member-country needs and challenges, the CTO leadership discussed opportunities and initiatives such as CTO’s total visitor satisfaction programme, tourism satellite accounts, regional marketing initiatives and the importance of cruising and aviation to the Caribbean.
“Our meetings have been enlightening and successful,” reported Nicholson-Doty, who also is commissioner of tourism of the US Virgin Islands.
In Montserrat, the CTO team met with Premier Reuben Meade, who is also minister of finance, tourism and economic development; in St Lucia, Lorne Theophilus, minister of tourism, heritage and the creative industries; in Grenada, the recently appointed Alexandra Otway-Noel, minister of tourism, civil aviation and culture; and with Cecil Mckie, minister of tourism, sports and culture in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“The exchanges with my cabinet colleagues in the Eastern Caribbean have underscored one important thing – that we in the Caribbean need each other, and the only way to move tourism in the region to another level is by closely collaborating on key issues,” added Nicholson-Doty, who along with Riley and Faye also interacted with technical tourism professionals of the various ministries of tourism and national tourism offices.
These meetings formed part of a series of member-country visits being undertaken by the CTO leadership to exchange information on the issues involving Caribbean tourism on an individual country and territory basis and to identify solutions. Since this mission began in 2012, the CTO leadership has met senior tourism policymakers and officials in the public and private sectors in the Dutch, English, French and Spanish-speaking member-countries of the CTO.