Gay Nagle Myers
Gay Nagle Myers

InsightKeith Williams, CEO of British Airways, will deliver the keynote address at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s inaugural State of the Industry Conference, set to take place Sept. 14 to 17 in St. Martin.

Williams’ speech follows last year’s address by Willie Walsh, former British Airways CEO, at CTO’s Leadership Conference in Barbados in October 2010.

“British Airways has reinforced its position as a truly committed partner in the Caribbean with the introduction of new routes and frequencies,” said Hugh Riley, CTO secretary general. “ We are keen to know how we can support the airline to bring further benefits to the region.”

Themed “How to Win in a Competitive Environment,” the conference will take a critical look at the state of the Caribbean tourism industry and examine ways to beat the global recession.

Session topics include overcoming the hurdles to intra-regional travel, diversifying the region’s visitor base and using limited resources to maximize marketing influence on affluent travelers.

“The state of the industry is not only about challenge, it’s also about opportunity,” Riley said.

Conference leaders are looking for answers to what comes next, how to spot opportunities to move forward and how to beat the recession, according to Riley.

“The tourism business is fiercely competitive, and the Caribbean has to win,” he said.

In addition to tourism ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism and CTO travel agents, attendees and speakers at sessions on Sept. 16 and 17 include Ian Burnes, RedJet CEO; Chad Meyerson, director of global sales, JetBlue; Mary Pannullo, new business development director, Boom Your Brand; David Scowsill, CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council; Miranda Joyce, CEO, Sugarfly Marketing; Bob Saxton, president, International Yacht Collection; and executives from American Express and Virtuoso Luxury Travel Group.

Headquarters hotel and venue for all business meetings is Le Domaine de Lonvilliers in Anse Marcel.

Conference details can be viewed at www.onecaribbean.org.

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