The Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s work in the UK and Europe can be quite beneficial to Cayman’s own Department of Tourism.
Don McDougall, Regional Manager Europe with the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism believes that the region does work strongly together such as through the Caribbean Tourism Organisation and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.
Mr. McDougall said that the Caribbean as a region, working strongly together in certain circumstances, makes great sense.
‘They are a strong and well recognised organisation and where possible and appropriate we support them. It adds to the mix and is complimentary to what we are doing,’ he said of the CTO.
At a local level the CTO chapter is very active in the UK and the Cayman Islands is very supportive of UK chapter activities, which, Mr. McDougall added, even cross into European countries such as France, Germany and Italy.
He explained that recently the Caribbean voice made itself heard in Milan, Paris, Moscow, Stockholm and Copenhagen, but if the Cayman Islands’ European office had tried to pool all the tour operators in these destinations themselves individually their voice would not be very strong.
‘The CTO uses its combined resources to arrange events and they have databases of the best media and tour operators to deal with. So together we reach much better volume of potential buyers,’ he said.
Of course not every project is a suitable collaboration and some of CTO’s events might duplicate what the CI Department of Tourism is doing, but in general the DoT does support them, said Mr. McDougall.
Another example of many industry players working in a single setting to promote the region would be at Caribbean Marketplace, which is organised by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and takes place in January each year, where about 2000 people within the industry do business in the one setting.
‘It’s a very cost effective way of promoting the region,’ said Mr. McDougall.
The CTO UK Chapter launched and distributed its annual Guide to the Caribbean magazine in early September. The 56-page glossy colour publication will be circulated to 50,000 consumers and members of the travel trade. It will also be made available electronically at www.Caribbean.co.uk. The CTO’s main fulfilment piece for the UK and Ireland, the guide will be sent out in response to all enquiries made to the CTO London office. The CTO UK team will also distribute the guide at all the trade and consumer shows they attend.
Mr. McDougall agreed that these CTO magazines can be helpful in exposing someone to the Cayman Islands who feels it fits their needs and since on the magazine there are links back to individual countries’ websites the consumer can then gather more detailed information on Cayman from the CIDoT’s UK website or office.
The CTO has also done a wedding and honeymoon guide to the Caribbean and they are also bringing out a guide to diving and a consumer guide for what is on in the region.