SAINT LUCIA’S Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee has been elected to Chair the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) for the next two years.
Minister Fedee’s election came ahead of the official start of the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas where the CTO held its annual general meeting on October 2, 2018.
He succeeds the Minister for Tourism and Aviation of the Bahamas, Honourable Dionisio James D’Aguilar, in the position.
On assuming the Chairmanship, Mr Fedee stated, “We have an opportunity to advance the strength of our collective purpose. We must spare no effort to use our collaboration at the CTO level to help advance the wider integration movement: the CTO can be seen in the ilk of West Indies Cricket and the University of the West Indies as a pillar of Caribbean integration.”
He added, “The Caribbean is one of the strongest, most iconic and aspirational travel brands in the world but it is also the most underutilised and the opportunity exists for us to ensure that we utilise the strength of the brand for the collective good of all destinations of the Caribbean.”
As his first order of business, Fedee has named the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority acting CEO, Mrs. Tiffany Howard, as Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors, in keeping with the CTO constitution, which requires that the Chairman of the Board and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Commissioners represent the same member state.
“Saint Lucia is honoured by this announcement and these new roles will afford us the opportunity to continue to provide quality leadership to the CTO” said Howard. “Our mandate is to ensure that the Caribbean is a top choice for visitors, and that growth and development within the industry, including a long term marketing plan for the Caribbean, become effective.”
A number of Vice Chairs were also elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors to represent various sub-groups: Curacao, representing the Dutch Caribbean; Haiti representing the French Caribbean; Bahamas and Jamaica, representing the independent Caribbean Community countries; and the Cayman Islands representing the British overseas territories. Private sector representatives will complete the composition of the Committee.
The State of Tourism Industry Conference will continue at the Atlantis, Paradise Island until October 5, 2018 and will focus on opportunities for enhancing the region’s tourism product. It is being led by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation under the theme, “Rejuvenate. Recreate. Reconnect. New Directions for Caribbean Tourism.”