The money saved from the closure of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s UK and US offices will be spent on a huge marketing drive to promote all islands in the region.
Part of that will be bringing its Caribbean Week trade show to London in the future.
Chairman Dominic Fedee set out the plans at World Travel Market, where he said it was important to help promote tourism to smaller islands.
The UK office, in London, is due to close on January 21, 2020, while the US office in New York will shut down on December 31 this year. The CTO will be based from a headquarters in Barbados.
Fedee said: “You will have heard that we are re-investing in ourselves through a massive restructuring exercise.
“It is important to support the many smaller islands, especially countries with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants, like Anguilla which has less than 50,000 inhabitants.
“The whole concept of collaboration is crucial.”
He said the CTO is going to “streamline” its functions to “make more finances available for our poorer members”.
The marketing campaign will be mainly digital, but with a focus on television in “targeted markets”.
“We believe the Caribbean is one of the strongest travel brands in the world, but perhaps the world’s most unappreciated travel brand. We want to bring it back and compete for market share.”
The campaign will also include an investment in statistics and analysis, Fedee added.
“We have one of the world’s most tourism-dependant economies,” he said.
“We must give the government strategists information to ensure that they make very strong policy decisions.”
“Being at WTM is massive for us. We see first-hand how small and vulnerable we are. Our members are lost in this big sea of destinations that have big advertising budgets. We can see from the size of the booths the capacity of various nations represented here, therefore its critical that we have a strong and vibrant CTO that’s bringing all of its members together.”
“Yes it’s a very difficult and challenging time. But we can use this opportunity to take a look at our Caribbean Week [trade show] and really revamp it. We hope to one day bring it to London, bring the whole Caribbean to interact with our partners.”
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