is the title of this article in the ATME Event Review by James Shillinglaw of ModernAgent.com. It talks about the initiatives of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) under the leadership of its Secretary General, Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace.
I met him many years ago when he was head of the Bahamas DMO and found him to be a very energetic and innovative marketer of that island destination. He certainly has brought a fresh wind into the CTO and I applaud him for it. I’ve long held up the CTO – even the older and sleepier version – to the Europeans, when I was head of the U.S. Operations Group of the European Travel Commission (ETC) in the late ’90s.
Looking at what the CTO has set out to do and the way it is approaching the market, it stands in stark contrast to the perennially underfunded ETC that has so far missed a great opportunity to strengthen its leadership position in the U.S. outbound market by establishing the kind of professional organization here that Europe as the leading overall global tourism destination deserves.
The CTO seems to be blazing the trail here and kudos to Vanderpool-Wallace for showing strong leadership, especially in the face of some lackluster support by his member countries, the one thing he has in common with his ETC counterparts.
What I also applaud him for is the strong focus on web based initiatives to get the message out and stimulate market demand. It is today the most effective means of communications with any audience. Also, the tight integration of information with a direct online booking functionality for the entire region will only increase the effectiveness of effort and improve the ROI of any investment.