The Cayman Islands Ministry and Department of Tourism are partnering with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) to host the organization’s Business Meetings from 12-15 September 2022. This conference will be the first major in-person event programme for the CTO. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) will also host Caribbean Aviation Day on 14 September during the CTO event in the Cayman Islands. The event will be attended by the Ministers of CTO member countries, Directors of Tourism, senior executives, media, and regional students who participate in the Caribbean Youth Congress, as well as international aviation experts.
“It is a great honour to be the host country for this significant conference and we look forward to welcoming CTO and the delegations from the member countries to the Cayman Islands,” said Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism and Transport. “The CTO does vital work for the region, and this is an opportunity for regional Ministers and industry leaders to meet face-to-face to have key discussions as the region continues to recover from the pandemic and plan for the future.”
The organisation’s annual Business Meetings, hosted in a member destination, bring together CTO members to discuss and plan key items. The conference has been on hold for the past two years due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequently the 2022 CTO Business Meeting hosted in the Cayman Islands will be the first in-person occurrence since the start of the pandemic.
The conference includes the following meetings and events:
- CTO Board of Directors Meeting – Attended by the Directors of Tourism and the private sector members of the board, this is where the work plan, budget and other proposals for special consideration are discussed and approved.
- CTO Council of Ministers Meeting – Attended by the Ministers of the CTO member countries, this is where the approved work plan, budget and other special proposals are discussed and ratified.
- The Election of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers – This event occurs every two years and is where the financial members of the Council of Ministers vote to select the new Chairman of the Council of Ministers.
- Caribbean Youth Congress – The Youth Congress is a developmental competition involving students aged 14 to 17 from CTO member countries who debate on regional tourism matters. Its main aim is to stimulate greater awareness and excitement about tourism among young people in our Caribbean communities
“The tourism sector and the Caribbean as a whole have faced severe challenges over the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic but have confronted these with a tenacity which has further demonstrated the resilience of the sector,” said Acting CTO Secretary-General, Neil Walters.
“For some months, there have been distinct signs pointing to a robust recovery by the sector, underlined by the fact that the Caribbean is among the regions experiencing the fastest rates of growth since mid-2021 and in some cases outpacing the rest of the world. The CTO believes this is an optimal moment for industry leaders to collaborate and strategise.”
The IATA hosted Caribbean Aviation Day will bring together the top management of the airline and tourism industry in the region, as well as government ministers, aeronautical authorities, the diplomatic corps, media, among others. The objective is to discuss the challenges and opportunities of this sector and the recovery of the region, as well as the roadmap to enhance benefits of aviation in the Caribbean.
Mr. Peter Cerda, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Americas states: “The current spirit of cooperation with governments in the region will enable aviation along with the entire tourism and travel value chain to play a key role in the region’s post-pandemic economic and social recovery.”
The Ministry and Department of Tourism are actively working with local industry stakeholders to organise and facilitate venues, accommodations, and dining and entertainment experiences for the incoming attendees.
“While historically September sees a decrease in tourism activity, the CTO and IATA Aviation Conference will act as a boost for our local tourism businesses,” said Director of Tourism, Mrs. Rosa Harris. “The conference is a chance for collaboration between the government and the private sector as well as our regional colleagues as we work to make tourism more sustainable and inclusive, both in the Cayman Islands and the region.”