Gay Nagle Myers
Gay Nagle Myers

A wellness theme will dominate the Caribbean Tourism Organization's annual Caribbean Week celebrations set for June 3 through 8 in New York.

The theme will be incorporated into many activities, including a trade show and educational forum for travel agents on how to sell the region as a wellness destination. Bev Maloney-Fischback, CEO and founder of Organic Spa Media, is a speaker at the Travel Agent Trade Show & Education Forum on June 5.

Earlier this year the CTO dubbed 2018 as the "Year of Rejuvenation."

But while the wellness topic will be a focal point, other major issues will be addressed as well.

Caribbean Week continues to be an important opportunity to bring together tourism decision-makers from the public and private sectors, industry leaders in the New York area, media and the Caribbean diaspora, according to Hugh Riley, the CTO's secretary general.

"This year's event places an even greater responsibility on the CTO, because the public and the travel industry will expect to hear how the region's tourism sector weathered the 2017 hurricanes in terms of actual recovery and how we are preparing for the years ahead," Riley said.

"Quite frankly, that's understandable," he added. "Tourism is a rapid-recovery, debt-reducing, employment-generating, poverty-alleviating, foreign exchange earning tool, which employs 2.3 million workers across the Caribbean, and the CTO is the region's tourism development agency. We expect to report on our region's plans."

Among those plans will be a short-term regional marketing campaign highlighting the Caribbean's tourism offerings coupled with the launch of a long-term tourism marketing fund in collaboration with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association to help raise the profile of the entire region in the face of global competition.

The CTO's member countries will use the opportunity to update the media on the status of the "build back better" strategy, while those destinations that were untouched by last year's hurricanes will share what's new and different for 2018 and beyond.

Other events during the week include performances by Caribbean celebrity chefs at various locations in Manhattan and a Caribbean Diaspora Forum on June 4.

Scott Wiseman, president of Travel Impressions, will give the keynote address at the Tourism Marketing Conference on June 6 at which Brian Staffa, cannabis operations expert and chief operator of BSC Group, is a panelist.

Steve Lang, CEO of Mon Cheri Bridals, will keynote the Tourism Industry Workshop on June 4. The Caribbean Students Colloquium, which will focus on sustainable tourism projects, is set for June 6.

Most events will take place at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel. For a full schedule, visit www.onecaribbean.org.

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