Caribbean Tourism Organization

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Caribbean Tourism Organization

  • Officially formed in 1989.

  • Formed by the merger of the Caribbean Tourism Association and the Caribbean Tourism Research Center.

  • Main purpose of CTO is the development of sustainable tourism for economic and social benefit of the Caribbean region.


Tourism has a great potential for contributing to employment and income generation in the Caribbean. Many Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda have benefited from having well-developed tourism sectors. CTO, the premier regional tourism association, is comprised of government and private sector operatives in the tourism industry across the Caribbean. CTO collects and disseminates research and data on the development of the regional industry.

Their members include 34 destination countries and private companies - such as airlines, hotels, cruise operators and travel agencies - who are involved in providing holidays to the region. Chapters of the CTO exist around the world and promote travel to the Caribbean. Together, they work to encourage sustainable tourism that is sensitive to the economic, social and cultural interests of the Caribbean people, preserves their natural environment and provides the highest quality of service to their visitors.

Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is an international development agency and the official body for promoting and developing tourism throughout the Caribbean. CTO's offices are located in:




Sir Frank Walcott Building Culloden Road St. Michael, Barbados


80 Broad Street New York, NY 10004 USA


22 The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1BP United Kingdom


512 Duplex Avenue Toronto M4R 2E3 Canada

Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), an international development agency and the official body for promoting and developing tourism throughout the Caribbean. CTO a Caribbean based joint-coalition of 33 independent: committees, boards, consuls, authorities and organizations involved in tourism throughout Central America, the Caribbean basin, South America and Bermuda.
The body is primarily involved in the joint promotion and marketing of Caribbean tourist destinations in North America and Europe.

  • Antigua and Barbuda

  • Bahamas

  • Barbados

  • Belize

  • Cuba

  • Dominica

  • France: Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Martin

  • Grenada

  • Guyana

  • Haiti

  • Jamaica

  • Netherlands: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten

  • St. Kitts and Nevis

  • St. Lucia

  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Suriname

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • United Kingdom: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Monsterrat, Turks and Caicos Islands

  • United States: Puerto Rico, U.S Virgin Islands

The CTO’s mission is to provide to and through its members, the services and information needed for the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people. The organization provides specialized support and technical assistance to member countries in the areas of marketing, human resource development, research and information technology, and sustainable development.

Activities of CTO

  • Tourism marketing: The marketing of the Caribbean to the world as one travel destination.

  • Human Resource Development: The organization assists with the training relevant personnel for the industry.

  • Research and Information Management: Relevant and up to date information to all stakeholders in tourism to aid decision making.

  • Production Development and Technical Assistance: The organisation assists stakeholders to conceptualize a specific role in the tourism sector.

  • Consultancy Services: Providing assistance to all stakeholders by allowing them easy access to a pool of professionals to satisfy the specific needs of different stakeholders.

Achievements of CTO

  • An annual conference on tourism in the Caribbean

  • Sponsors trade shows in Europe and has set up chapters in major markets in Europe and North America

  • Maintains comprehensive tourism information for the public and private sectors

  • Has succeeded in the approach to advertising the Caribbean as one destination.

  • Maintains up-to-date websites in different languages for travelers to access information on the Caribbean. These websites include:

Some Challenges facing CTO

  • Making governments more aware of the need to support the industry

  • Getting tourist to travel to the Caribbean when they are concerned about international terrorism

  • Continuing to market the region as a safe destination in spite of hurricanes and natural disaster which are prone to the Caribbean region.

Caribbean Tourism Organization signs agreement with Caribbean disaster emergency response agency
by CTO press release
Posted: Oct 24, 2006

Caribbean Tourism Organization signs agreement with Caribbean disaster emergency response agency to work together to minimize negative impact from any crisis in the region minimize the negative impact of disasters on the sustainable development of the Caribbean tourism industry.

CDERA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency), is a regional inter-governmental agency established in 1991 by an agreement of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM (the Caribbean Regional Community).

CTO and CDERA will work together to develop a disaster risk management strategy framework for the tourism sector as well as build the capacity of national tourism organizations to deal with disasters.

CDERA will assist any participating CTO member state that requests such assistance and make an immediate and coordinated response to any disastrous event affecting that participating CTO member state.

“We look forward to the guidance and assistance that this highly professional organization can provide to our tourism officials across the region,” said Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, secretary general for CTO. “With CDERA working along with CTO and our member nations, we will be more prepared to mitigate any disaster that comes our way,” he added.

The agreement was ratified and signed during the CTO Board of Directors Meeting at CTC-29 taking place Oct. 22-25, 2006 at the Westin and Sheraton Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort on Grand Bahama Island, in The Bahamas. CTC-29 provides the opportunity for delegates to participate in the evolution and development of the new ‘Caribbean’ brand, and will also demonstrate how they can benefit from it in ways, which up until now never seemed possible.

Meetings of the ministers and commissioners of tourism, the Board of Directors and various CTO committees preceded the conference.

The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Cooperation, Innovation, and Rejuvenation: Creating a Brand New Caribbean.’

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