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CTO wraps up Meetings in Saint-Martin, spearheading Caribbean Tourism revival

Monday, February 12, 2024

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Caribbean Tourism Organization

Last week, in Saint-Martin, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) wrapped up its business meetings, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to bolster and rejuvenate the Caribbean tourism sector. Led by Chairman Kenneth Bryan, who also holds the position of Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands, the CTO has embarked on a transformative journey to redefine its role and influence within the global tourism arena.

“When I took over as chairman (in 2022), we decided to go through a reimagining exercise and you can start to see the changes already,” said Chairman Bryan, citing the appointment of Secretary-General and CEO Dona Regis-Prosper, the return of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Bermuda to the 25-member body, and the re-engagement of destinations such as Montserrat as examples of the progress made.

A highlight of the meetings was the unveiling of a comprehensive plan for the upcoming year by Regis-Prosper, who made history as the first woman to hold this position within the organization.

The initial series of business meetings for this year focused on charting a strategic course for the future and reviewing the achievements since Minister Bryan’s tenure began.

“The discussions were fruitful and reflective of the vibrant spirit that characterizes our collective efforts,” stated Minister Bryan. “The CTO is moving towards a reimagined, revitalized and relevant future, with a clear focus on overcoming challenges through unity and shared vision,” he asserted.

A significant portion of the meetings revolved around the pivotal role of aviation in connecting the Caribbean. Chairman Bryan stressed the dedication to improving regional connectivity and addressing aviation logistics complexities. This included plans to collaborate with key stakeholders like the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and regional airlines to advocate for increased seat capacity and smoother travel experiences within the Caribbean.

The group also explored the idea of hosting a Caribbean aviation conference, bringing together executives from airlines and airport authorities, hotel brands, tourism stakeholders, and government ministers responsible for tourism, civil aviation, regulatory, and finance matters. Minister Bryan emphasized the urgency of robust dialogue to drive necessary changes and enhance connectivity within the region.

Reflecting on his tenure, Minister Bryan expressed encouragement at the progress made, particularly in stabilizing the organization’s finances, bolstering membership confidence, and elevating the CTO’s standing in global tourism discourse. Efforts have also been directed towards leveraging technology, artificial intelligence, and digital media to amplify the Caribbean’s allure as the premier warm-weather destination worldwide.

The CTO’s vision also encompasses a rebranding of the organization and a reinforcement of the foundational spirit of Caribbean kinship. “Our goal is to ensure that every member state feels tangible value from its involvement with the CTO, fostering a sense of belonging and collective achievement,” commented Minister Bryan.

He said CTO’s strategic direction, under the Secretary-General’s leadership, promises a dynamic and inclusive future for Caribbean tourism, one that emphasizes innovation, collaboration, and a deepened sense of regional camaraderie.

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