It’s that time of year again, where the rum, rhythms, sights, sounds, spirits (more rum), colors and cultures of the Caribbean take over New York for a celebration that combines industry business sessions, consumer-oriented events and a party. Yes, Caribbean Week is back, June 4 to 9.
“This year there is so much that has taken on a new look and feel that Caribbean Week in New York will not resemble anything we have done before,” said Hugh Riley, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, which organizes the event for its 31-member nations in the Caribbean region.
Caribbean Week in New York is the largest regional tourism activity in the New York area. It typically attracts thousands of participants to its Caribbean Travel and Cultural Fair and Vacation Mart, which will take place at Grand Central Terminal, on June 6 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. That event is open to the public.
The fair features cultural dancers, stilt walkers, entertainers, regional foods, promotional brochures, a Caribbean wedding sponsored by MarryCaribbean.com and a Vacation Mart offering specially priced packages.
New for consumers this year is the Rum & Rhythm Benefit, June 8 at the restaurant Tribeca 360.
It’s a CTO fundraiser, a party and opportunity for tourism ministers, directors of tourism and consumers to mix, mingle, sample rums and cusine from the islands and bid on vacation packages, hotel stays and Caribbean artwork during a live auction.
The business side of Caribbean Week, which takes place at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, includes a crisis management workshop for tourist office representatives, a sports tourism workshop for travel agents, a celebrity chef program at various locations in Manhattan, a student colloquium on the topic of sustainability, a diaspora forum, the second Investment Power Forum, the Media Marketplace annual event and a marketing conference.
A fashion, art and trade expo wraps up Caribbean Week on June 9.
For a detailed schedule of events, visit www.onecaribbean.org.