The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) hosted its annual State of the Industry Conference on 9-13th October 2017 in the ‘Spice Island’ of Grenada, under the theme “Super Charging the Caribbean Brand: Meeting the needs of the new explorers”.
The conference welcomed a number of high profile speakers, led by Dorsey Levens, Founder and President of Levens Communications, who delivered the key note address; distinguished speakers shared best practices, current trends in tourism and what vacationers are looking for now and in future.
Following the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria which affected several countries across the region the CTO added to its program a special session: Recover & Rebuild, an in-depth three-hour segment. The session focused on the economic cost of disasters, employment, the cost to rebuild and the recovery time from leading experts. The delegation led by Minister Higgs participated in various sessions including:
- Spicing up the Caribbean Brand
- Active Engagement-Riding the Technological Wave
- Who are the new Explorers?
A staple on the program was the highly anticipated tourism youth congress TCI was represented by Miss Zaria Ingham, Jr. Minister of Tourism. The Caribbean Tourism Youth Congress featured the “National Junior Ministers of Tourism” comprising of students between the ages of 14-17 from several CTO member countries. Participants debated on prominent tourism issues sharing their vision for the future direction of regional tourism.
Minister of Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Culture & Gaming, Ralph Higgs commented; “Although we did not secure the top prize in the competition, Miss Ingham did an amazing job representing Turks and Caicos, I must commend her on an outstanding performance, she was well-prepared and poised presenting on the indigenous Rock Iguanas. This year’s conference came at particularly significant time following two devastating hurricanes to ever hit the region, it was important for us as policy makers and tourism professionals to assemble in an effort to share our stories and garner support. Like some of our neighbors, we also used the opportunity to spread the message, that we are open for business.”
The team consisted of Minister Hon. Ralph Higgs, Head of Secretariat Mellisa Ariza, Training Manager Ms. Blythe Clare and Jr. Minister of Tourism, Miss Zaria Ingham.
CTO’s State of the Industry Conference is the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s annual convocation where Caribbean tourism practitioners, policy makers and strategic partners, at the highest levels, gather to discuss issues, identify solutions and generally develop courses of action that will benefit the tourism industry in the Caribbean.
CTO, with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of 28 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members.
The organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology.