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Published on : Tuesday, November 8, 2016
“Of our 200 destinations, 23 of the countries we sell most frequently are found in the Caribbean. The islands and resorts in the region have been integral partners throughout our 42-year history, and it’s important to celebrate and support tourism to one of the most gorgeous and popular vacation regions in the world,” said Tim Statz, Travel Impression’s business development manager.
Travel Impressions was one of 22 Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) members and partners who joined the recent Caribbean Goes Road Shows & Seminars to the east coast of the United States, with stops in New Haven, CT, Collingswood, NJ and Boston, Massachusetts.
More than 250 top-producing travel agents were brought up to date on “Caribbean Romance and More” through presentations, tradeshows, seminars and networking meetings.
“There is a renewed level of interest in the Caribbean among travel professionals, and as a region we should embrace this opportunity. The CTO road shows provided a platform for destinations and members of the private sector to showcase their products under one umbrella,” said Christine Noel-Horsford, the Grenada Tourism Authority’s director of sales and marketing in the US, and a co-chair of the east coast series of the CTO’s Caribbean Goes road show.
“The north east is our number one source market, and we look forward to seeing a spike in business from those areas,” she added.
Along with Noel-Horsford, Lorine St. Jules, the director of marketing in the US for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board co-chaired the east coast road shows. She, too, spoke of the importance of this event to her country.
“Saint Lucia was pleased to participate in the CTO road shows as it provided unique opportunities to highlight our island’s romantic attributes to a leading market of travel agents,” St. Jules said. “Romance and adventure have been two compelling niches for Saint Lucia and this lineage allowed us to stand out as a destination.”
With romance being a leading feature during the road shows, the presence of the region’s top expert on the subject added even greater value for the travel agents and to the event.
Jacqueline Johnson, the president and chief executive officer of Global Bridal Group, which includes MarryCaribbean.com, described the events as “excellent”, and was highly complementary of the participating destinations.
“The Caribbean Goes Road Shows were excellent. Every detail was thought of and implemented, there were lots of agents at each stop and most important, the destinations participating were all on their game. I am proud and honoured to be involved with this prestigious organization,” she said.
The main objectives of these road shows are to raise awareness of the Caribbean as America’s premier warm-weather holiday destination and to keep top-producing travel agents up-to-date with the latest developments and the variety of experiences that the Caribbean offers to help them drive business to the region.
The road show locations were selected based on a combination of elements, including travel agents with a propensity to book Caribbean travel, demographics of travellers, proximity of airports, as well as current and new airlift to the Caribbean.
“Our Caribbean Goes Road Shows provide our members with the opportunity to meet travel agents in key feeder markets where the Caribbean is sold,” Sylma Brown, director of CTO USA said.
“The shows will help agents capitalize on new offerings such as Caribbean-bound Delta Air Line flights from Boston and new service on JetBlue from Newark International Airport.”
Participating destination and partners of the 2016 east coast shows included: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean Airlines, Celebrity Cruises, Central Holidays, Club Med, Delta Air Lines, Dominica, GoGo Vacations, Grenada, MarryCaribbean.com; Martinique, Radisson Grenada Beach Resort, Saint Lucia, Tobago, Travel Impressions, Turks and Caicos Collection, Sandals & Beaches Resorts and Vacation Express.