Caribbean Tourism Organization to Restructure, Close Offices

Bridgetown, Barbados
Bridgetown, Barbados // Photo by Shutterstock / NAPA

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced it is undergoing a restructuring, which includes the closure of its New York City office by December 31, 2019, and its U.K. office by January 31, 2020. Additionally, the CTO will perform “a comprehensive audit” of the Barbados office.

“Over the past two decades, there has been much discussion surrounding the promotion and development of tourism in the Caribbean, the world's most tourism dependent region. While there have been many visions, plans, papers written and philosophies espoused, there has been widespread acceptance that much improvement is needed to elevate tourism development in the region,” said the CTO in a statement announcing the decision.

Additionally, as part of the larger organizational restructuring, the CTO said it has discussed aspirations that include marketing the Caribbean as a single brand, more in-depth research and a more uniform approach to policy formulation and product development. The changes are required, the CTO said, “to achieve the long-held view to enhance tourism's role as a tool for sustainable development among member states.”

“In order to play a stronger role in the new era of tourism development, we have to reinvent and reposition the organization as a pillar upon which tourism advancement can rest,” the CTO said.

The restructuring is expected to significantly reduce the operational expenditures of the CTO, including “some displacement;” however, the moves give the CTO more capacity to undertake its key functions of regional marketing, statistics and research, and product development.

“This is a necessary process to ensure tourism plays its most vital role as a means to bring about opportunity and prosperity for the people of the Caribbean,” the CTO said.

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