Caribbean Tourism Organization Hosts First-Ever Leadership Strategy Conference

BARBADOS – For the first time, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is hosting a high-level leadership strategy conference, taking place in Barbados, October 8-11, 2010.

Ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, as well as senior officials of all tourism-related industries, including labour unions, airlines and airports authorities, hoteliers and other private sector partners are scheduled to attend.

The event coincides with the CTO elections where a new chairman will be elected and allied members will choose five people to represent the region’s interest on the CTO Board of Directors, along with one representative to serve on the executive committee. Holding a position on the CTO Board and contributing to the activities of the organization are the most powerful ways to be involved in the development of Caribbean tourism.

This first-of-its-kind, high-level conference includes a keynote address by Willie Walsh, chief executive officer of British Airways. Walsh will highlight the future of intercontinental travel and the importance of partnerships between airlines and the destinations they serve. Other industry heavy weights presenting to the CTO delegation include Henry Harteveldt, principal analyst of Forrester Travel Research Group, and renowned branding expert Tom Buncle.

“A conference of this caliber has is a first in CTO’s history,” said Sylma Brown Bramble, CTO director of marketing. “Listening to the feedback from our partners and member nations at the CTO Council of Ministers Meeting in New York this past June underscored the importance of hosting an event of this magnitude; it is vital for the continuing evolution of our efforts to increase and improve tourism to the region.”

Via dynamic workshops, presentations and speaking opportunities, thought leaders will address matters pertaining to finance, marketing, branding, distribution, immigration, security and sustainability. Scheduled weekend highlights include:

Sunday, October 10:

Keynote Address by British Airways CEO Willie Walsh, followed by Q&A.

Destination Branding with Tom Buncle: A look at leading destination brands and how the Caribbean as a brand has evolved over the past 20 years.

Monday, October 11:

Henry Harteveldt, Principal Analyst, Forrester Travel Research Group: It’s All in the Numbers – Lessons To Be Learnt.

Fundraising Luncheon at the University of the West Indies: Willie Walsh will address regional business leaders, industry representatives, academics, university students and conference delegates. All proceeds will benefit the CTO Foundation, which provides scholarships for Caribbean nationals pursuing tourism studies.
Panel Discussion moderated by TripAdvisor: The Changing Face of Travel Distribution with Claire Bentley, British Airways Holidays; Brand Communications Firm (BCF) on Marketing Innovations and Social Media/Networking.

CTO press conference hosted by newly elected Chairman, CTO Council of Ministers, and the Secretary General.

To register please download a registration form and those who book by September 18, 2010 receive an early bird discount of $100. To receive updates regarding the CTO Leadership Strategy Conference please visit

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