nsider offers tidbits from
speeches delivered at the recent Caribbean Tourism Conference in
Barbados:At the opening speech, Jean Holder, the secretary general of
the Caribbean Tourism Organization, decided it was better to take
the offensive from the get-go. "If any of you encounter
organizational glitches at this conference, I offer my apologies up
front to blunt any problems later."Billie Miller, acting prime minister of Barbados, described the
current environment within the world of the Web as uneven. "I have
never seen a level playing field in my life and I never expect
to."Keynote speaker Terry Jones, president and chief executive
officer of Travelocity, was preceded by Miller, local
singer/entertainer John King and a choral group of youngsters from
"A public-speaking lesson I learned early in life was to not
follow little children, great singers and a prime minister to the
podium. I am in that situation now. Judge me later," he said.Andrew McKee, chairman and chief information officer of
Vacation.com, was the last of four speakers at a long morning
session on technology.
His opening remark assured delegates that the end was in
"The only thing that stands between my presentation and your
lunch is me, so I'll try and be as quick as I can."
...CTC first aid
Reporters covering conferences get used to being herded in
groups, especially to and from interviews conducted in meeting
rooms with a slew of conference organizers or keynote speakers.
We usually have a room designated for our use between interviews
where we file our stories, make phone calls or trade gossip.
These are generally called press rooms.
So, Insider did a double take and had a good laugh when she saw
the designation for the media gathering spot at a recent
The fact the room description was right above the First Aid sign
wasn't lost on her either.
She could almost hear the stampede behind her.
... more from CTC
Managing change in the 21st century was the theme of the tourism
General sessions, workshops and many speeches filled the
daylight hours; nighttime was a round of parties, cocktail
receptions and buffet lines.
So it wasn't unusual to see delegates nodding off at times
during the day in the midst of long-winded speeches.
during an afternoon presentation on human resource management
issues in the Caribbean tourism sector, one delegate did more than
He fell sound asleep and toppled off his chair directly onto the
rug in the center aisle.
He awoke quickly, but was obviously disoriented when he opened
his eyes and found himself on all fours.
Sheepishly, he got to his feet and fled for the nearest
As he left the room, which was filled now with uncontrollable
laughter, he turned, waved to the audience and said, "Good
That effectively ended the presentation.
... and in the air
Insider thought she'd heard all sorts of excuses for food
service -- or lack of it -- on Caribbean flights.
However, she was proved wrong on a recent morning flight from
San Juan to one of the islands.
She'd been assured by the gate agent prior to boarding that
breakfast was included.
Insider knew it would not be steak and eggs.
In all probability it would be the cold cereal-frozen
banana-yogurt combo she'd grown to know -- not necessarily
Midway through the flight, a bag of fried plantains landed on
her tray table.
"Is this it? Why no meal?" she asked the flight attendant.
The answer: "It's low season."