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CHTA’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace to introduce new features in Jamaica

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (March 19, 2024) – The 42nd staging of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA)’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace, scheduled to take place at the Montego Bay Convention Center from May 20-23, 2024, will feature new new additions and three dedicated tracks, promising an even more dynamic and engaging experience for attendees.

During a recent Caribbean Fireworks” press conference in Kingston, CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig stated, “This year we will be taking the event to a new level with three distinct tracks — The Business of Tourism: in the form of the Caribbean Travel Forum; the Marketing of Tourism: CHTA Caribbean Travel Marketplace; and the Community of Tourism: with our first ever Responsible Tourism Day.”

Caribbean Travel Marketplace will kick off with the Caribbean Travel Forum on May 20, focusing on “Visioning a New Tourism Landscape for the Caribbean”. The forum will feature an awards luncheon to honor the Caribbean Hotelier of the Year and present Destination Resilience honors and the President’s Award for Excellence in Caribbean Tourism.

Responsible Tourism Day, which will coincide with Jamaica’s Labour Day on May 23, will include a focus on addressing climate change, sustainable development, and agricultural linkages to emphasize responsible stewardship of tourism communities.

Madden-Greig highlighted the introduction of a dedicated Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) itinerary for the first time, with 20 meeting planners attending the inaugural Caribbean MICE Exchange. She emphasized the significant potential of the MICE market, which generated over US$900 billion globally in 2023 and is expected to double by 2032. “It is time for the Caribbean to focus on getting a bigger slice of that very significant pie,” she asserted.

The event will also welcome 50 regional and international media representatives, a handful of whom will participate in the first multi-destination media familiarization trip to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Cayman Islands, aimed at showcasing the rich cultural diversity of these nations and promoting multi-destination travel within the Caribbean.

Madden-Greig reported that 150 buyer companies are expected to attend Marketplace with significant interest from Asia, Europe, and Latin America. To date, 86 buyer companies have registered, surpassing the number from last year’s event by more than double at this stage. Among these, 14 new companies from countries including Estonia, Italy, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, the UK, and the US have registered.

President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) Robin Russell opined that Marketplace presents excellent opportunities and access for hoteliers and tourism suppliers. “You are able to interact with the very top of the food chain in every aspect of the business, from tour operators to travel agents … everybody who wants to do business comes to Marketplace,” he said. He added that for small enterprises, “It is probably the only opportunity you’re going to get unless you’re spending big money to interact with these persons.”

“(Caribbean Travel Marketplace) is not an event in the context of a single activity, but it’s an opportunity, a great opportunity for us as a Caribbean people, not just to showcase the strength and power of our assets, but also to provide leadership with innovation,” said Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, who thanked CHTA for selecting Jamaica to host this important gathering of tourism stakeholders.

Reflecting on the Caribbean’s performance in 2023, Madden-Greig noted a three percent growth over 2019, according to data from ForwardKeys. She stressed the importance of continuing to drive growth, especially with over 59,000 new hotel rooms planned or in progress across the region, according to STR. “We cannot rest on our laurels as the potential for even more impressive growth is possible (and) events such as CHTA Marketplace must continue to deliver for our region,” she said.

Close to 1,000 delegates are expected to attend Marketplace with approximately 150 supplier companies from various Caribbean destinations already set to participate. Representatives from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint-Martin, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have registered to date.

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Caribbean News

Yellow Fever Outbreak in Region and Beyond, Travellers Warned

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#YellowFever#Caribbean, April 10, 2024 – Reports say there is an outbreak of Yellow fever in the Caribbean according to the Department of Health and official government advice website, Travel Health Pro, and travelers are being warned to be vigilant. The authorities say the outbreak is also in parts of Africa, and Central and South America.

Guyana and Peru so far have seen two cases. Brazil reports the disease in monkeys, an indication that it is spreading across the ccounty. Colombia has seen 3 cases.

In South America, between January 1 and March 18 2024, there have been seven confirmed cases, four fatal.

Yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and can cause potentially fatal hemorrhagic illness. Fortunately, it can be prevented with vaccination and so the World Health Organisation (WHO) is advising people ages nine months and older, traveling to the affected areas, to get vaccinated.

 

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Caribbean News

Four Year Old Beheaded Trinidad 

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

#Homicide#FourYearOld#TrinidadandTobago, April 9, 2024 – Trinidad was left in shock and sorrow with the beheading of a four year old girl, reportedly by her stepfather, early Tuesday April 9, at her home in Arouca, a town in the East-West Corridor of Trinidad and Tobago. The Police informed that when they arrived on the scene, the head of the little girl, identified as Amarah Lallitte, was in one room and her body in another.  

 

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Caribbean News

CariSECURE 2.0 Equipping Youth to Take Charge Against Crime

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Bridgetown, 9 April, 2024 – Amidst rising concerns over citizen security in the Caribbean, a deliberate effort is being made to empower the region’s youth to step into leadership roles and drive change from within. Through a free, online course by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), youth will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle pressing security challenges head-on.

The “Youth on the way to Peace and Security” course is being launched regionally as part of CariSECURE 2.0 (CS2.0), which works to reduce youth involvement in crime and trafficking in persons (TIP) in the region. It will run from 16 April – 3 May, with support from InfoSegura.

This course comes at a crucial time when security issues like crime and violence are on the rise in the Caribbean. By the end of the course, participants will have improved understanding of regional security challenges, enhanced leadership skills, and greater opportunity to network with peers and experts around the region, empowering them to take leadership roles in regional conversations and citizen security activities.

Maia Hibben, Project Manager for CariSECURE 2.0, underscored the significance of engaging young people in matters of citizen security.  ” Throughout the life of our project, input from young people has been invaluable,” she said. “Whether it be helping to craft national workplans to reduce crime, developing a roadmap for youth empowerment in the Caribbean, or creating digital solutions to improve crime reporting as planned for this year, youth have proven that their perspectives are indispensable. This course is just another way for youth to strengthen their skills to address regional security challenges.”

By building capacity of young leaders to address security challenges and promote social cohesion, the course contributes directly to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 16, towards Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

The course will offer lessons in the current mechanisms that impact youth decision making, insight into youth citizen security challenges in the Caribbean, and give practical guidance on the positive roles participants can play in conflict resolution, with complementary webinars, podcasts and practical resources tailored to the English-speaking Caribbean. It is free of charge and open to participants from all backgrounds, regardless of age, nationality, or level of experience. A certificate will be awarded upon completion.

Register for the course by 15 April: escuelavirtualpnud.org/login/index.php?lang=en

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