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NASSAU, Bahamas, 13 September 2022 – The Hon. I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation will lead a delegation, including Latia Duncombe, Acting Director General (ADG) and Dr. Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General and Acting Director of Aviation, to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism Meetings, scheduled for 12-15 September 2022, at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Island. The four-day CTO Business Meetings will be attended by Ministers of CTO member countries, Directors of Tourism, Senior Executives, media, aviation experts and regional students participating in the Caribbean Tourism Youth Congress. Conference discussions will focus on regional recovery following the pandemic and plans for the future of tourism.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is a tourism development agency for the Caribbean region, with 24 member countries. CTO’s vision is to “position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination” and provides support to members in marketing, sustainable tourism, communications, and research & information technology.

DPM Cooper said, “We hope to build stronger relations with our tourism counterparts in the region and create a successful strategy that will enhance the Caribbean tourism product and facilitate economic recovery.”

He added, “We all have shared similar challenges and difficulties over the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are hopeful for a brighter future for Caribbean Tourism.”

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During the conference CTO Council Ministers, Tourism Directors and private sector members of the Board will discuss and approve the work plan, budget and other proposals for special consideration. ADG Duncombe will give media briefings on the destination and present on Bahamas tourism developments and related matters.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) will host its fourth Caribbean Aviation Day on Wednesday, 14 September, under the theme “Recover, Reconnect, Revive”, and will bring together top aviation and tourism executives, as well as government ministers and other experts in the field of aviation to discuss the sector’s biggest opportunities and key challenges across the Caribbean region, with the aim of identifying ways to rebuild a more competitive air transport sector in a post-COVID world. DPM Cooper is also scheduled to participate in a panel discussion to be moderated by Peter Cerda, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Americas.

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The Caribbean Youth Congress, which is an annual part of CTO’s Tourism Programme, will be held on the final day of the conference, and will bring together eleven Junior Ministers of Tourism from eleven Caribbean countries, including The Bahamas. The Junior Ministers will compete for the title of “Junior Minister of Tourism of the Caribbean” or “Junior Commissioner of Tourism of the Caribbean”. The regional title is held for one year and the winning student is given the opportunity to be involved in tourism-related activities throughout the year in his/her country to enhance their knowledge of tourism. The Bahamas is being represented at the Youth Congress by Junior Minister of Tourism Kelvin Archer.

CTO Business Meetings have been on hold since 2020, making this meeting the organisation’s first in-person event following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, visit Bahamas.com.

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