CTO uses forum, 'Village' to spread the word at ITB

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- The Caribbean demonstrated a strong presence at the recent International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin.

Among the 181 countries and territories participating in the event were 28 of the Caribbean Tourism Organization's (CTO) 32 member countries.

The CTO coordinated a Caribbean Village at the Berlin Exhibition Ground, site of the tourism trade fair.

"The village provided our members with a vehicle by which they could exhibit their products and deal with buyers and suppliers," said Jean Holder, CTO secretary general.

The CTO also hosted the 4th Caribbean Forum, which addressed issues relating to Caribbean tourism.

"This sent a clear message to the tourism world that the Caribbean region remains a top option for vacation travel," Holder said.

Although bookings to the Caribbean from Europe are up this winter compared with last, they still remain below expected levels, according to Holder.

Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica -- key destinations for Europeans -- registered declines in arrivals this winter.

However, other destinations, such as Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos, recorded increases ranging from 2.1% to 15.8% in European visitors.

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