PRESS RELEASE: CARIBBEAN CANADIAN TOURISM & BUSINESS FORUM
(From left to right: Kevin William, Adminstrative Volunteer; Gemma Follini, Gems Event Planner; Mr. Wilson Jn. Baptiste, CEO, Gems; Mr. Jean-Sébastien Charron, EDC; Mr. Murillo Torres, Sponsor; Ms. Sylma Bramble-Brown, Director, CTO; Ms. Magdalene Cooman, Gems Dirctor of Operations; Mr. Johnson Johnrose, CTO Communication Specialist and Mr. David Mina, OCLF Smart Ambasador)
History was created on Monday, June 23, 2014, when Gems of Saint Lucia hosted the Caribbean Tourism Organization for its inaugural Diaspora Forum at the Chimo Hotel in Ottawa. The Forum presented the Caribbean Tourism Organization with an opportunity to inform the Diaspora of its work as a vehicle for managing and promoting the touristic resources of the Caribbean. The Forum was addressed by Mr. Johnson JohnRose, the Communication Specialist for the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Other speakers at the Forum included Mr. Jean-Sébastien Charron, Regional Manager-Caribbean and Central America Export Development Corporation, David Mine, a SMART Ambassador from the Ottawa Community Loan Fund and Wilson Jn Baptiste, CEO of Gems of Saint Lucia.
Mr. Johnrose explained the role of CTO in the development of Caribbean Tourism and the structure of the organization which provides a wide range of advisory services to international institutions, national governments and public and private sector organizations. CTO continues to represent the Caribbean tourism industry’s interests in the UK on the implementation of the UK Air Passenger Duty. The CTO Aviation Task Force is a highly focused committee formed to facilitate and enhance air lift into and throughout the Caribbean. CTO collects donations through the CTO Relief Fund for relief efforts in any of its member countries affected by hurricanes.
CTO is the only representative body in the Caribbean which can provide up to date and accurate statistics on tourist arrivals in the Caribbean. CTO believes that the Caribbean, as the world’s most tourism-dependent region, has the responsibility to lead in the area of visitor satisfaction. In short, the Caribbean ought to be developing a reputation for service that is so excellent and an environment so welcoming, that it engenders an emotional attachment and generates repeat visitors.
Mr. Johnson also highlighted the CTO Foundation which provides opportunities for Caribbean nationals to pursue studies in the areas of tourism, hospitality and language training. The Foundation selects individuals who demonstrate high levels of achievement and leadership both within and outside the classroom and who express a strong interest in making a positive contribution to Caribbean tourism. Since 1998, the CTO Foundation has provided 83 major scholarships and 114 study grants to deserving Caribbean nationals, amounting to just over US$760,000. Major Foundation sponsors include American Express, American Airlines, Interval International, the CTO chapters worldwide and numerous allied members.
More about CTO:
Mr. Jean-Sébastien’s presentation focused on the work which Export Development Canada is currently doing in the Caribbean región and made special reference to projects in Jamaica, Trinidad, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. EDC facilitates about CDN$95.4 billion in businesses carried out by Canadian companies and contributes 4% of GDP, creating about 568,799 jobs. It’s mandate is to support and develop, directly or indirectly, Canada’s export trade and Canadian capacity to engage in Trade and respond to international business opportunities.One of the key messages which Mr. Jean-Sébastien pointed out was that the Caribbean’s food import bill is over US$5 billion. Caribbean islands need to reduce on this import bill and produce food within thier own islands. One of things which EDC can support with is machinary to facilitate in production.
More about Export Development Canada:
Mr David Mina from the Ottawa Community Loan Fund provided an overview of how the OCLF can support entrepreneurs in accessing business advice and financial assistance in starting up their own businesses in Ottawa.
More about OCLF:
Wilson Jn. Baptiste addressed the audience on how individuals can become friends of Gems of Saint Lucia in helping to market the island’s cultural and heritage sites. The primary mission of Gems of Saint Lucia is to identify tourism products which are owned and managed by indigenous people on the island. The goal is to increase occupancy levels during the slow season, for that sector, which has neither the financial capacity nor the human resources to engage in overseas marketing, individually. This goal will be achieved through the creation of marketing consulting teams, globally, involving St. Lucians and friends of St. Lucia.
The country is well perceived by the media as an ideal destination for honeymoons and weddings. However, Saint Lucia currently has only one office in Toronto and the Gems of Saint Lucia, through its marketing strategy “Marketing Is Everybody’s Business” will increase the island’s visibility.
Read more about how to be a friend of Gems of Saint Lucia.
GEMS SUMMER SOCCER CLINIC
Through Gem’s strategic partnership with JetBlue, Southern Taxi Association, the Vieux Fort Youth and Sports Council’s representative, Emmanuel Belasse, in Saint Lucia, Coach Alvin Charlery based in the US and the Saint Lucia Ottawa Association and Taj Weekes collaborated to carry out a Soccer clinic for the under 12 soccer kids at the Phillip Marcellin grounds in Viex –Fort, Saint Lucia from July 23rd to July 26th 2012.The Soccer clinic utilize the implied concept of Sports tourism, the summer vacation period to engage the youth, thus enabling a continuous mechanism to learn and have fun in an environment that caters to their physical, social and psychological needs under the theme “Sports Tourism For Our Kids.”
Key components of the clinic such as the technical and leadership aspects were make available under the unique guidance and experience of Coach Alvin Charlery. He holds a US, Soccer Federation “A” coaching license, a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Education, in addition to his ability as a singer, song writer and author of a poetry collection title, Evolution. The social impact of the clinic helps emphasize the discipline of sports, and the fundaments of listening skills, and leadership qualities that participants will keep for a life time, in addition to lectures and practical advice on coping with change and conflict management. Gem’s of Saint Lucia is delighted with the success of this Soccer clinic and the marketing concept and wish to encourage all volunteers and sponsors to continue with this enormous show of support, social outreach and economic potential.
Gems of Saint Lucia will also work with the marketing consultants to develop Spring Break Festivals, college games and educational development sessions. The development team will use the environmental planning approach, which emphasizes conservation of the natural environment as well as the design of visitor facilities and organizing visitor use that fit well into the environment and do not degrade it. In addition, these activities will also provide recreational opportunities for residents.
The information is provided by Gems of Saint Lucia and we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to products and services. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own discretion.