Caribbean leverages presence at US shows

The Caribbean region was prominently featured at two recent U.S. consumer travel shows, The New York Times Travel Show and the Adventures in Travel Expo, both of which included a Caribbean Pavilion of booths, entertainment, prize giveaways, representative members of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), and authentic Caribbean cuisine. 
“The Caribbean’s participation in these events not only celebrates the vibrant culture of the region, but helps display the region’s prominence in these important U.S. travel shows,” said Hugh Riley, CTO’s director of marketing for the Americas. 
CTO and CHA negotiated special rates for exhibitors at each show and also assisted with a special Caribbean advertorial that appeared in the New York Times Feb. 21 designed to drive consumers to the Caribbean Pavilion at the show.
At the New York Times Travel Show (Feb. 23-25), the “Caribbean Pavilion” was one of the largest regions represented with more than 50 exhibitors and provided consumers with the opportunity to purchase vacation deals from on-site travel agents.
Consumers attending had the opportunity to win great trips to the Caribbean as well as enjoy and learn about the Caribbean culture through a variety of exhibits and entertainment.
Presenters included the Dominican Folkloric Ballet of New York, an intriguing presentation of culture and signature dances from 15 youth of the Dominican Republic, plus a steel pan player and two Moko Jumbies (costumed stilt walkers).
At the Adventures in Travel Expo? in Washington, D.C. (March 3-4), consumers visited a vibrant and colorful “Caribbean Village” where they were met with representatives from more than 20 countries and companies.  Consumers were entertained with Caribbean cooking demonstrations, a renowned Caribbean children’s book author and motivational speaker, and musicians.
        While in D.C., CTO also orchestrated Caribbean cooking demonstrations at the Macy’s in Pentagon City with Chef Jaap Ellis from Aruba and Chef James Murphy from Antigua & Barbuda.  These chefs, as well as the Coral Sea Entertainment Group, joined CTO and CHA for “An Evening of Discovery” reception on March 2 at the National Geographic Society Headquarters in Washington, D.C.