Acting Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Neil Walters said he believes the interaction between the media, and regional and international tourism stakeholders later this month in the Cayman Islands will be substantive and “serve to strengthen existing relationships and lead to productive outcomes for the sector”.
Tourism ministers, directors and other stakeholders will participate in the CTO’s “Destination Media Briefings” on September 12 in the Caymans that marks the opening day of activities for the CTO business meetings and Caribbean Aviation Day event, ending on September 15.
The CTO said that this year’s briefings will take on special significance as they will be the first to be staged in-person since the onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
It said with the global travel industry gradually returning to normal and Caribbean destinations already headed towards full re-openings, the briefings will represent perhaps some of the most important since their inception.
“The value of our regional and international media partners and the critical role they play in helping to strengthen the Caribbean tourism brand through the heightened visibility they provide, can never be understated,” Walters said.
“As such, CTO is heartened by the response of media and member countries to these Destination Media Briefings, especially as they are occurring in an in-person format. Along with the return to in-person meetings, these are good signs of the return to normalcy.”
The organisers said 15 countries confirmed their participation in the briefings, which will be an all-day affair, with the host territory being the first to present.
Members are expected to share critical information ranging from current arrival numbers, projections for the upcoming season, along with ongoing developments and future initiatives at their respective destinations.
“Nearly 20 regional and international media entities have confirmed their attendance at the briefings, a strong indicator of the extensive opportunities which will be available to member countries, in helping to promote their messaging and maximize exposure,” a CTO statement indicated.
Cayman Islands Minister of Tourism & Transport, Kenneth Bryan said: “I am immensely proud to be the host of this highly anticipated and prestigious event, and I look forward to kicking off the destination briefings by presenting insights from the Cayman Islands marketing initiatives as we, like all of our Caribbean neighbours, focus on rebuilding our respective tourism industries.
“Today’s travellers are seeking more in-depth and authentic cultural experiences than ever before and the destination briefings will also provide a platform to speak about the distinctive and appealing attributes of our three Cayman Islands, and the travel trends that drive visitation.”
The CTO business meetings and Caribbean Aviation Day are being held in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Meanwhile, the CTO announced its Caribbean Tourism Youth Congress will resume after a two-year break and will be held on September 15.
It is being jointly sponsored by Sandals Barbados Resorts & Spa and the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.