Caribbean Travel Expo Welcomes Visitors Back to Sun, Safety and Sustainable Travel

Caribbean Travel Expo Welcomes Visitors Back to Sun, Safety and Sustainable Travel

[ATLANTA] – Organized by Caribbean people to promote Caribbean tourism, the inaugural Caribbean Virtual Travel Expo, a collaboration between Travel Advisors Selling the Caribbean (TASC) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), was launched on June 17th 2021.

The one-day virtual event, hosted via v-Fairs, a state-of-the-art 3-D platform, was designed to send a strong message. A message that the Caribbean has reopened safely for business.  The theme of the event was “From Survival to Sustainability: Charting the Future Course of Caribbean Tourism.”

Representatives from hotels, attractions, airlines, cruise lines and tours provided expert advice, travel deals and free information sessions, to strengthen industry connections and showcase some of the best vacation options in the region.

Some 1,425 delegates registered to participate in the 12-hour program. The program featured 23 sessions and 40 speakers on the Expo’s virtual stage. Presentations geared exclusively towards travel advisors were held between 8am – 5pm and from 5pm – 8pm.  The sessions were opened to consumers. The Expo featured four main areas – the Lobby, Exhibit Hall, Auditorium and Networking Lounge. In addition, audience engagement was facilitated through webinars, chat rooms, one-on-one chats, live polls and push notifications.

“Thanks to our sponsors, partners, speakers and travel advisors, the Expo was a major success and generated significant interest throughout the Caribbean community. It was designed to strengthen industry connections in innovative ways to give us a competitive edge in the marketplace.  As the Caribbean reopens for business, this event allowed us to meet travel advisors where they are, by facilitating key learning and networking opportunities. This on-line platform provided a way to resume business, while we continue to “iron out” issues related to the recovery process,” said Kelly Fontenelle, TASC Founder.

Highlights of the Caribbean Travel Expo

Caribbean Travel Expo Welcomes Visitors Back to Sun, Safety and Sustainable Travel

The Expo featured a diverse program line-up of educational and experiential presentations that included:

  • Product and cultural presentations from Sponsors: Belize, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, Dreamy Weddings and Sandals and Beaches Resorts.
  • Keynote Address: Delivered by Dr Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS about the Current Impact of Caribbean Tourism and Future Opportunities.
  • Educational sessions: Professional topics such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, Storytelling, Email and SEO marketing  to enhance skills building and strengthen sales and marketing strategies.
  • Panel discussions: Insights from travel industry officials and destination leaders about the state of the industry and the future outlook, post-pandemic.
  • Sustainable initiatives: Recognizing a greater desire for responsible and authentic travel, the Youth Forum featured 3 Caribbean youth-owned businesses, built on sustainability practices.
  • Caribbean talent: A Tribute to St. Vincent and the Grenadines following the recent volcano eruption. It featured performer Skinny Fabulous, five-time Soca Monarch winner of the country and Jamaican cultural performer Dr. Amina Blackwood- Meeks.  Veteran Caribbean broadcaster, Julian Rogers, MBE hosted the Opening Ceremony.
  • Mind of the Advisor Polls: Audience insights to gauge the perceptions and intentions of travel advisors.
  • Prize Bank: Featuring over 15 Caribbean experiences.
Exhibit Hall

Caribbean suppliers engaged delegates in one-to-one consultations and accessed downloadable content such as brochures, presentations and videos.  Representatives of these Caribbean brands discussed itinerary suggestions and special promotions and offers. As a result, providing travel advisors with the inspiration to sell more Caribbean travel experiences. The list of exhibitors were:

  • Antigua and Barbuda Hotels Association
  • The Bahamas
  • Belize
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Montserrat
  • Saint Lucia
  • Sandals and Beaches Resorts
  • Travel Advisors Selling the Caribbean
  • United States Virgin Islands
Networking Lounge

In this common area, attendees could increase their knowledge by engaging in live chats with sponsors, exhibitors, speakers or their peers. Additionally, there were opportunities to share opinions, provide information, ask questions, expand their network of contacts and generate business opportunities.

“Virtual events make it possible to continue to broaden learning opportunities and engagement in the travel industry at this critical time. Throughout the Expo, we prioritized education, networking and entrepreneurship, to support travel advisors and suppliers as they rebuild their business.  Virtual events provide a cost effective, safe and measurable option for suppliers to spend their marketing dollars. As a result, we expect that more Caribbean destinations will leverage this promotional tool. Especially,  to enhance their sales,” said Derede Whitlock, Senior Administrator at TASC.

South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

Related Articles

Back to top button