35th Annual Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Caribbean Week in New York events- 2024

By: Dr.Adal M.Hussain,Phd (AKA) Dr. Abbey ,Editor @ Large for World Liberty TV

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) had a lineup of speakers for Caribbean Week in New York 2024. This year’s event featured a diverse array of leaders, including a Deputy Prime Minister from the Caribbean, a leading airline executive, a renowned music producer, a world-class Caribbean communications specialist, and a cutting-edge data engineer at the forefront of artificial intelligence developments.

2nd from Right CTO Secretary General Dona Regis-Prosper with US Virgin Tourism Board members

Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and spokesperson for Caribbean Week, noted the strong interest from speakers and panelists.

Among the confirmed speakers are I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism of the Bahamas; José Freig, Vice President of International Operations, American Airlines; music producer Evan Rogers; Lisa-Ann Joseph, Managing Director of the Trinidad and Tobago-based Reputation Management Caribbean Ltd.; and data engineer and solutions architect Femi Anthony.

Caribbean week 2024

“We are delighted by the interest expressed in this year’s event, not to mention the rapid pace of registrations for our program,” said Harris, noting that the InterContinental New York Times Square room block is almost sold out.

Celebrating its 35th anniversary under the theme “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity”, Caribbean Week 2024 will showcase a dynamic lineup of events and business meetings.

CTO 2024

These sessions will involve the CTO Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and Ministerial Council. Discussions will focus on the critical issues shaping the evolution and growth of Caribbean tourism, providing an opportunity for robust and strategic dialogue.

Dr Abbey with Joel Garner Legendary Cricket great

The week kicked off with a church service and a Business and Tourism Marketing Symposium. Returning this year are the Caribbean Media Awards and the much-anticipated Media Marketplace.

Dr Abbey with CTO Chairman Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands

In keeping with its commitment to fostering innovation, CTO hosted a special session dedicated to artificial intelligence, underscoring the organization’s forward-thinking approach. Additionally, the impactful work of the CTO Scholarship Foundation and the recently launched Jean Holder Memorial Scholarship will be in the spotlight along with the highly anticipated Women’s Leadership Breakfast Awards.

Center Marsha Henderson Min of Tourism of St Kitts with her staff members

Speakers for the sessions included: Leveraging Data for Marketing: Stan Ivankovic, Vice President, Business Development, Environics Analytics, Caribbean Travel Trends: Bonnie Borkin, Sr. Director, Tourism & Enterprise, Adara – A RateGain Company.

MICE Marketing: Danny Cohanpour, CEO/Founder, Trove Tourism Development Advisors, The Latin America Market: Jackie Santiago, Senior Strategist, CIIC PR.

Dr Abbey with Jamaican Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett

Unlocking Cruise Potential: Claudine Pohl, Founder & CEO, Lemoneight; Wendy McDonald, Regional Vice President Government Relations, Caribbean, Royal Caribbean Group.

2024 Media Award winners

Caribbean Service Excellence: Barry Collymore, Proprietor, Mount Cinnamon Beach Resort and Founder, West Indies School of Hospitality (WISH); Bill Clegg, Regional Director of Development, BW Hotels & Resorts; Kashmie Ali, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Sailrock South Caicos; Marcia James, Director of Sales & Marketing, The Kimberly Hotel; Joan Leacock, Human Resource Development Consultant, CTO.

Chairman, CTO Scholarship Foundation, Jacqueline Johnson

Artificial Intelligence: Femi Anthony, Solutions Architect and Data Engineer; Nan Marchand Beauvois, Hospitality Strategist; Jennifer Bisram, Reporter, CBS2 News.

Caribbean and African American Marketing: Melissa Noel, Contributing News and Politics Editor, ESSENCE Magazine; Elinor Tatum, Publisher, New York Amsterdam News; Irwine Clare, OD, Founder, Team Jamaica Bickle; Jacqueline Nwobu, CEO, Munaluchi Bride Magazine.

Dr Abbey with an Carnival dancer

Airlift Forum: Rosa Harris, Chairman, CTO Board of Directors, and Director of Tourism, Cayman Islands; Dave Appleby, Director, Air Service Development Consulting ASM, Aviation Week Network, Informa PLC; José Freig, Vice President, International Operations, American Airlines; I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, The Bahamas; Valérie Damaseau; Commissioner of Tourism and Culture, Saint-Martin; Hadyn Hughes, Minister of Tourism and Infrastructure, Anguilla.

Dr Abbey with Bevan Springer, President and CEO of Marketplace Excellence

Gateway Connections: Mark Walton, Associate Professor of the Professional Practice in Media Management, The New School; Evan Rogers, Music Producer; Frederick A. Morton, Jr., Chairman & CEO, TEMPO Networks, LLC; Christopher Browne, CEO, The Buckler Group.

Dr Abbey with Barry Collymore, Proprietor, Mount Cinnamon Beach Resort

Public Relations and Crisis Communications: Lisa-Ann Joseph, Managing Director, Reputation Management Caribbean Ltd.; Jennifer Maguire, President, JMCPR; Cessie Cerrato, Founder, Cessie C. Communications; Marie “Driven” Theodore, Managing Partner, Playbookmg.

Deputy Commissioner Rosie Farrington for US Virgin Islands Tourism Dept

Caribbean Media Awards: Kenneth Bryan, Chairman, CTO, and Minister of Tourism and Ports, Cayman Islands, Jean Holder Memorial Scholarship Luncheon: Joseph Boschulte, Commissioner of Tourism, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Smart Destination Management: Nicola Madden-Greig, OD, President, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association; Jeremy Jones, Corporate Director, Resort Operations – Jamaica, Sandals Resorts International; Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism, Turks and Caicos and Travel Trade Marketing: Ruthanne Terrero, VP/Editorial Director, Questex Travel Group.

Dr Abbey with G.P. Ian Gooding-Edghill Minister of Tourism For Barbados

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation is the headline sponsor of Caribbean Week in New York. Gold sponsors include the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Experience Turks and Caicos, and the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism. Sandals Resorts International is a silver sponsor. Additional supporters include Caribbean Media Exchange, Diamonds International, and Marketplace Excellence.

Dr Abbey with Joseph Boschulte Commissioner the U.S. Virgin Islands Dept of Tourism

West Indies cricket legend Joel “Big Bird” Garner was an honored guest. Mr. Garner was honored during the ceremony, which was be attended by CTO Chairman Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands, and Barbados Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Ian Gooding-Edghill.

Guests Enjoying Lunch at Caribbean Media Awards

During the reception, there will be a live stream of the West Indies vs. Afghanistan ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match being held in St. Lucia.

Emmy award-winning journalist Audrey Irvine of CNN headlined the inaugural Women’s Leadership Breakfast Awards during the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Caribbean Week in New York on Wednesday, June 19.

The event honored exceptional women in Caribbean tourism leadership across three categories: The Director of Tourism Award 2024, the Minister of Tourism Award 2024 (both selected by industry peers), and the Secretary-General’s Distinguished Service Award.

Jean Holder Memorial Scholarship Luncheon

The Distinguished Service award celebrates a female leader with over 20 years of service, notable contributions to regional tourism, and inspirational support to other women in the industry, selected by the Secretary-General.

Evan Rogers, the acclaimed music producer who discovered global singing sensation Rihanna, was a key speaker at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Caribbean Week in New York from June 16 to 21, 2024.

The event, proudly headlined by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, featured Rogers, shedding light on the nexus between Caribbean talent and New York City’s vibrant business landscape.

Dr Abbey with Charles Fernandez Min of Tourism Antigua & Barbuda & Colin James CEO

Co-founder of SRP Music Group, Rogers has charted an illustrious career over four decades as a songwriter, producer and entrepreneur.

His panel, “Gateway Connections: Exploring Caribbean-New York City Tourism Dynamics”, will explore opportunities for investment and collaboration between these regions and highlight the significant impact of Caribbean musical heritage on tourism.

Under CTO’s annual theme “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity”, the week promises a diverse lineup of activities emphasizing innovation and connectivity.

L-R CTO Secretary General Dona Regis-Prosper presenting Check to Ms.Johnson

A key feature of the premier event for travel industry professionals, journalists and members of the Caribbean Diaspora was the Caribbean Airlift Forum.

Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and Spokesperson for Caribbean Week, moderated the forum. She emphasized the importance of this session as a critical platform for discussing the challenges and opportunities in Caribbean air transportation.

Stage set for CW 2024

The session covered topics including route development, aviation competitiveness, partnerships, infrastructure investment, regulatory frameworks, and market demand strategies. It aims to foster dialogue among airlines, airports, tourism authorities, and aviation ministries, enhancing connectivity and optimizing access to Caribbean destinations.

We also participated in Media market watch event, where media meets many destination, heads Ministers of tourism, PR Companies and many more stake holders, to showcase their destinations in the Caribbean.

We at World Liberty TV, have been covering Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), for over 21 years, I remember Mr. Jean Holder, who founded the CTO, organization and met on four different occasions, as he was the 1st Secretary general / CEO of the Organization, a wonderful man who would sit down with you and speak with you in detail about the progress of Tourism in the Caribbean, I would go as far to say, he was the Godfather of the Tourism industry in the Caribbean and a great visionary, Mr. Holder passed away in Feb 2022, may he rest in peace,  I was very touched to attend Jean Holder Memorial Scholarship, luncheon in his honor, this year, he will never be forgotten by me and millions more in the Caribbean diaspora.

Bevan Springer, President and CEO of Marketplace Excellence, Luncheon donated $2500.00 dollars to the Jean Holder Memorial Scholarship fund. alongside with his team were the organizers of Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), week. I also want to say I have known Bevan over 20 years, he is a very honorable man, who strives to the very highest level, and I believe he and his team are the right choice to help put the Caribbean Tourist organization back to his glory days. He and his staff are professional and headed in the right way, I also want to give a shout out to Heather Gibbs, who is always helping and getting information to us.

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization: The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), headquartered in Barbados, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency, comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories, including Dutch-, English- and French-speaking, as well as a range of private sector allied members.

The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm-weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members, the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning and execution, and research and information technology.

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation is the headline sponsor of Caribbean Week in New York. Gold sponsors include the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Experience Turks and Caicos, and the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.

Sandals Resorts International is a silver sponsor, and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is a bronze sponsor. Additional supporters include Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., Caribbean Media Exchange, Diamonds International, and Marketplace Excellence.

The Island of Bahamas 2024

Also a quick shout out to the 1st Woman to hold the title as the Secretary General/ CEO, MS. Dona Regis-Prosper, congrats to her. Minister Bryan lauded Regis-Prosper for her “wealth of experience, a passion for tourism and a commitment to the Caribbean that aligns perfectly with our organization’s vision”.

Dona Regis-Prosper has held prominent leadership roles in the public and private sectors within the Caribbean region. “Her qualified understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face positions her as an ideal leader to guide the organization into a prosperous future,” said Minister Bryan.

Joel Big Bird Garner Cricket great

As Secretary-General, Regis-Prosper will be charged with providing strategic direction and leadership to the CTO staff, collaborating with more than two dozen member countries and territories, and working closely with partners and stakeholders to advance the organization’s mission.

Dr Abbey at Cayman VIP Event

Evening Brunch with Cayman Islands, VIP Reception During Caribbean Tourism Week NYC 2024:  took place at Studio 525 in NYC, the place was transformed in a mini- Cayman islands, Known as the culinary Capital of the Caribbean , the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Brunch is considered a national pastime in Cayman and they wanted the invitee’s to have an experience during Caribbean week.

Dr Abbey with Andre Blasczak Executive Chef Westin Grand Cayman Hotel

Local chefs from the Grand Cayman Marriott Resort and The Westin Grand Cayman, Executive Chef Andre Blasczak of The Westin Grand Cayman, prepared wonderful dishes, Octopus, Cesar Salad, a wonderful Seafood salad and many appetizers, the one i enjoyed was the Avocado toast with a piece of orange,  i have tried many of these same , this was the grand daddy of them all. There were many national drinks served, one drink alot of people enjoyed was the  Seven Fathom Rum, by Cayman Spirits Co, Founded by Nelson Dilbert. I would go as far as to say, that was the Official drink of the Caribbean Tourist Organization and Caribbean week 2024.

R-L Carol Johnson of Trip Advisor presenting award to Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism of Cayman & Rosa Harris

The highlight of the show was Mr Raymond Mathias, Cayman Business Manager for New York and Canada, who welcomed Ms.Carol Johnson, Sr.Client Partner of TRIPADVISOR, who presented award to Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism of Cayman and CTO Chairman and Ms. Rosa Harris , director of Tourism for Cayman Islands, Ms Johnson went on to say, Cayman is the 8th greatest destination in the world to travel to.

Dr Abbey with Nelson Dilbert owner of Seven Fathom Rum, official drink of CTO 2024

Mr, Bryan in his speech went to say, he is the face of the Cayman organization , he gets the money from Parliament and tells his team spend it and get people over to Cayman for vacation and activities. He also went on to say, that his team is wonderful and they do most of the work.  This was a great event to attend and meet wonderful people from Cayman Islands.

This was one of the best CTO, events I attended, many great speakers, Ministers in attendance and of course meeting the Cricket Legend Joel Garner and interviewing him. You can see his exclusive interview in our World Liberty TV, Sports Channels by Clicking here.

Welcoming Remarks by CTO Chairman Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands

You can see many videos and blogs of CTO, in our World Liberty TV, Travel and Tourism Channels by clicking here.

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