Minister to lead Puerto Rico delegation

Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford will lead a Cayman Islands delegation of public and private sector representatives to this year’s Caribbean Hotel Association’s Caribbean Marketplace in Puerto Rico.

Caribbean Marketplace (formerly CHA Marketplace) is a trade event organised by the private sector. The Cayman Islands will be announcing its 2006 Summer Programme at CHA, with all the materials and specific details being released in February and March 2006. This year’s event takes place from 15 -17 January in San Juan.

Also representing the Ministry of Tourism will be Acting Permanent Secretary Gloria McField-Nixon.

From the Department of Tourism head office will be Director of Tourism Pilar Bush. Others from this office may travel but have yet to be confirmed. From the DoT’s US national office Mr. Don Foste, Sr. Manager US Sales (with responsibility for managing wholesaler partnerships) will attend. Ms. Jahaira Goodwin, Partnership Marketing Coordinator (with responsibility for managing partnership marketing initiatives as well as airline partnerships) will also attend. From the DoT European Office, Mr. Don McDougall, Regional Manager Europe, will attend.

Private sector representatives will also be present, including Tom McCallum of The Reef Resort and General Manager Marketing Systems International, Padraic Linnane (Beach Club Colony/Spanish Bay Reef Resort).

Caribbean Marketplace is held every year in January and sets the tone for travel packaging in the Caribbean.

The format of the event is two days of pre-scheduled business appointments. Buyers and suppliers meet face-to-face to discuss existing contracts, develop packages, and contracts for future business.

The website explains, ‘Buyers are wholesalers, incentive buyers, meeting planners, group buyers and dive shop owners – from the USA, Canada, Caribbean, Latin America, Asia/Pacific, Africa, and Europe.

‘Buyers can choose appointments with a range of suppliers from 36 different national hotel associations representing our intimate inns, guesthouses and villas, business, meeting and incentive, time-share, all-inclusive and chain hotels from the entire Caribbean region.’

Caribbean Tourism Suppliers are from 36 Caribbean destinations.

‘Beyond networking, Caribbean Marketplace is above all business-making. It provides indications on how the tourism season will go, what the trends will be, and how offer will meet demand.

‘International buyers are invited to attend Caribbean Marketplace based on their proven capability or potential to sell the Caribbean as a destination. The Caribbean Marketplace International Buyer Screening Committees, overseen by the Caribbean Hotel Association, qualify and approve the buyers.’