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BARBADOS — As reported Oct. 15 on Travelweek.ca, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced plans to close its two marketing offices in New York City and London, and to reassess operations at its Barbados headquarters.
CTO Chair and Saint Lucia’s Tourism Minister, Dominic Fedee, hinted there were changes to come back in August 2019 at CTO’s annual press conference in Toronto. “I think the CTO is losing its position that it used to have 20 years ago. We need to maintain and grow what we have [in terms of market share],” said Fedee on Aug. 22.
“We want to make sure the CTO is a lean, mean machine.”
Now the CTO has announced what it calls a restructuring of its offices worldwide, including …
The CTO says the move is being made “to better streamline our operations and finances”.
The statement adds: “Over the past two decades, there has been much discussion surrounding the promotion and development of tourism in the Caribbean, the world’s most tourism dependent region.
“While there have been many visions, plans, papers written and philosophies espoused, there has been widespread acceptance that much improvement is needed to elevate tourism development in the region.
“Some of the most discussed aspirations range from marketing the Caribbean as a single brand, more in-depth research, and a greater uniformed approach to policy formulation and product development.
”The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) therefore recognizes that it plays a most essential role in the changes required to achieve the long held view to enhance tourism’s role as a tool for sustainable development among member states.
“Consequently, we are of the firm view that in order to play a stronger role in the new era of tourism development, we have to reinvent and reposition the organization as a pillar upon which tourism advancement can rest.
”This restructuring exercise is expected to significantly reduce the operational expenditures of CTO, giving it more capacity to undertake its key functions of regional marketing, statistics and research, and product development.”
The CTO acknowledges that “this exercise will lead to some displacement, but firmly believes that it represents a strong revitalization of the organization. This is a necessary process to ensure tourism plays its most vital role as a means to bring about opportunity and prosperity for the people of the Caribbean.”
Earlier this year the Mexican government eliminated the Tourism Promotion Council of Mexico (CPTM) and put into motion the worldwide closure of Mexico Tourism Board offices.