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Industry Briefs
Progress On Caribbean Tourism Market
The Caribbean Tourism Development Company (CTDC)'s website  CaribbeanTravel.com is making significant strides in promoting the region to the world.

Meeting in Miami during May the CTDC board learned that 28 percent of visitors to its consumer website took the next steps and were tracked as leads, either to the destination or to specific hotels or tourism business websites.

"These early wins are encouraging as we ramp up," said Beverly Nicolson Doty, co-Chairman of the board, "and we look forward to more successes as our strategic development unfolds."

The CTDC is a cooperative marketing and business development initiative of the inter-governmental Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the private sector driven Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).

Board members were also encouraged to learn that 100 percent of CTO destination members are listed on CaribbeanTravel.com with more than 600 CHTA members on the site.

"We will be encouraging members and non-members alike to sign onto the website, taking advantage of their free 180-day listing, and to remain engaged by regularly updating their information which adds rich content to the site," said Richard Doumeng, CHTA President and co-Chairman of the CTDC.

To more widely spread the delights of the region the board urged more use of social media to identify influencers to support and guide traffic to the site and were additionally asked to identify "low, to no, cost" ways and means to promote a united Caribbean message.

"Ensuring the sustainability for Caribbean destinations and tourism businesses was high on the agenda as was the development and delivery of services and products to our membership," said Nicholson-Doty, who also serves as CTO Chairman and Commissioner of Tourism of the United States Virgin Islands.

She also called for closer collaboration between CTO and CHTA at consumer events to expand the region's exposure, to share resources, and to identify funding opportunities.

As well as encouraging tourism-related stakeholders, Board delegates concurred on the need to engage the Diaspora and Caribbean residents to promote CaribbeanTravel.com, and to enlist Caribbean celebrities as voices of the Caribbean and as promoters of the site. Delegates also agreed on strategies for business development and attracting additional funding to deliver the mandate of the company.

The creation of a monthly radio program was seen as a valuable tool for updating the Caribbean and its Diaspora communities on what the CTDC is doing to promote tourism and how this impacts each resident personally.

Also discussed was the feasibility of a Caribbean festival to highlight the region's music, art, cuisine, and literature within the region as well as to the US and Canada.

Pictured above, CTDC Board Members who met in Miami (from left)Neil Walters CTO's director of Finance and Resource Manager; tourism consultant Warren Binder; Karolin Troubetzkoy, president of the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association; CHTA Director-General Jeff Vasser; CTO Chairman Beverly Nicholson-Doty; CHTA President Richard Doumeng; Bahamas Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe; Lisa Hamilton, president of the United States Virgin Islands Hotel and Tourism Association; CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley; and St. Maarten hotelier Emil Lee.

For further information, visit www.CaribbeanTravel.com.

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