PRESS RELEASE: Describing this as one of the most productive Caribbean Week events that she has ever attended, British Virgin Islands Director of Tourism Mrs. Sharon Flax Brutus, said that the Territory benefitted from fruitful discussion on tourism issues with their regional counterparts, connected with supporters of the BVI from the travel trade and was able to provide updates to the media on the state of tourism in the Territory.
The Director was part of a local delegation led by Junior Minister of Tourism, Hon. Archibald Christian, which attended the annual Caribbean Week New York event from June 3-9, 2018. Deputy Director of Tourism Mr Rhodni Skelton was also part of the delegation. They were joined by members of the BVI Tourist Board’s North American staff in attending the various activities for Caribbean Week New York.
The BVI delegation attended several high-level meetings including the OECS Ministers of Tourism Meeting, the OECS Caribbean Diaspora Forum, the 73rd Meeting of the CTO Board of Directors, the CTO Foundation Board Meeting, and the CTO Council of Ministers and Commissioners Meeting. Key topics discussed at these meetings included the emergence of cryptocurrency in Tourism, improving airlift, joint marketing initiatives, disaster recovery updates and the latest trends in travel. A presentation was made on the development of CaribSky, an alliance of regional airlines, with the goal of establishing a much larger network to improve airlift within the Caribbean. The Junior Minister of Tourism was selected as a panellist alongside other industry leaders, for the Caribbean Diaspora Forum, which addressed the theme, “Welcome, Reconnecting with the Caribbean”. Additionally, members of the local delegation were present at the CTO Breakfast Press Conference and the Caribbean Media Marketplace, which took place under the theme, “Getting Up Close and Personal with Top Journalists”.
In commenting on the BVI’s attendance at Caribbean Week, Junior Minister of Tourism Hon. Archibald Christian said, “We were pleased to take advantage of opportunities to meet with regional and international media and provide them with updates on our progress in rebuilding the Territory. There were also opportunities to network with our regional counterparts and strategize programmes we can work on to our mutual benefit. I was impressed with the Culinary exhibition put on by young Chef Brentfield Lettsome at Bloomingdale’s. I was also happy to connect with the BVI Tourist Board Staff, agencies and BVI Industry partners based in New York. Further, I was heartened and encouraged by the members of the BVI diaspora in the New York area, who spoke of the BVI with immense pride and pledged their continued commitment to supporting our destination renewal efforts.”
One of the highlights for the Territory at Caribbean Week was the Caribbean Celebrity Chef Cooking Demonstration on Wednesday, 6th June, at the luxurious Bloomingdale’s shopping emporium on 59th Street. At this event, BVI Chef Brentfield Lettsome, using the store’s mock kitchen and its latest selection of culinary ware, wowed his audience with skilful demonstrations including a delicious spin on the BVI’s red snapper. The Territory received exceptional exposure at this event as there were not only several persons attending the demonstration, including members of the BVI New York area diaspora, but the demonstration was also on every television screen on each of the store’s nine floors. The young chef’s performance underscored the BVI’s reputation as a great destination for culinary tourism and gave patrons a foretaste of BVI’s major culinary showcase, the BVI Food Fete, a monthlong celebration of enticing culinary events held at various venues during the month of November.
The BVI delegation had one-on-one meetings with editors and other representatives from key travel trade and consumer media. This interaction is projected to result in significant media coverage for the Territory in the coming months, which will also see the reopening of more tourism businesses.
The US-based representatives of the BVI Tourist Board attended other events including, the special faith-based revival event, the Trade Show and Education Forum and Dinner, and the Caribbean Marketing Conference, which was themed, “New Markets, New Products, New Opportunities”.
Celebrating the theme of Caribbean Wellness, Caribbean Week New York is the largest regional, annual tourism event in the New York area, where regional tourism executives, international media, travel agents, cultural ambassadors converge to promote, network and enjoy a stunning display of the rich and diverse culture of the Caribbean. Caribbean Week is organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the regional tourism development organisation comprised of 24 Caribbean Government members along with several private sector entities.
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