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TORONTO — Nancy Drolet loves the Caribbean, loves to travel and is looking to stay in the travel industry following her time with the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
Drolet, the CTO’s Business Development Representative here in Canada, joined the organization in spring 2017.
Earlier this week the CTO announced that it plans to close the New York City office effective Dec. 31. Drolet’s work is an offshoot of the U.S. office. Also closing, the UK office will shut down Jan. 31. The CTO is also reassessing its Barbados headquarters.
“It’s sad that CTO won’t have a presence in Canada,” Drolet told Travelweek. “I think we (the tourism boards and I) were all working together well, and I was looking forward to the activities we were planning for 2020 to raise awareness of the region as a whole.”
The CTO doesn’t just promote the Caribbean as a whole, it also provides crucial marketing for many of the region’s smaller islands. “Many smaller member countries, that aren’t as well known in Canada, were promising to participate in some of those events – they won’t have that chance now,” said Drolet.
The CTO says the move to close its two marketing offices is being made “to better streamline our operations and finances”.
The CTO’s Oct. 15 statement also notes that “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. 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.”
With more than 25 years of industry experience, the multilingual Drolet – she speaks English, French and Spanish – has experience with tour operators, cruise lines, hotels and resorts, and tourism boards.
In a senior management position at Sears Travel she managed up to 35 travel agencies. Drolet also worked at Sandals Resorts and Radisson Resorts of the Bahamas.
“I have loved working with the tourism boards here and in destination – and will continue to love the Caribbean region – I love the beaches, love the music, love the people, love the food. I do wish I had had a chance to travel more – certainly to some of the countries that I’ve never visited before!”