The Caribbean Tourism Organization will honor
those individuals who have made significant impacts on the Caribbean and Caribbean
tourism at the 34th Annual Governments of the Caribbean State Ball taking place on
June 15 at the Waldorf=Astoria.Included in this list of honorees are a musician and
humanitarian, author and storyteller, and a tourism expert.
“It is a privilege to acknowledge these distinguished citizens who have had such a
significant impact on the Caribbean,” said Hugh Riley, one of the event’s main
“Their work in the various areas of endeavor has brought honor to the Caribbean
brand and we know their legacy will be a lasting encouragement for us all to strive
to do the same,” he added.
Headlining the honors will be the presentation of the Caribbean Tourism
Organization’s (CTO) Lifetime Achievement Award to Reverend Wesley Hall of Barbados
in recognition of his immense contribution to the quality of life of Barbados and
Hall became well known in the Cricket World for his skill as a fast bowler for the
feared West Indies team. He quickly emerged as the region’s first great post-war
fast bowler, culminating his career with 192 wickets in 48 Tests as well as taking
546 wickets in 170 first-class matches.
In addition to being a great fast bowler, Hall has also been a cricket
administrator, senior hotel executive, member of Parliament and a clergyman.
Hall served as the Minister of Tourism in Barbados in the 1980s and implemented many
sports-related initiatives which have been adopted globally. He was also Chairman of
the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
Today, at age 69, Hall continues to serve as an evangelical church leader, while
maintaining an involvement in cricket as a member of the board of directors of the
Stanford 20/20 Cricket Project. He is also chairman of Barbados Legends, and earlier
this year was inducted into the West Indies Cricket Hall of Fame. Among the many
honors Hall has received is the title Doctor of Laws by the University of the West
Also being honored:
Earl B. Smith
The CTO Special Recognition Award is being presented to Earl B. Smith, former
president of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) and CTO chapter leader.
Smith has provided leadership and vision to many in the Caribbean, Canada and
internationally, and is fondly known to many as “Mr. Cayman,” “Uncle Earl” and
Through Smith’s various undertakings, he ensured airlines, Caribbean and Canada
wholesalers/tour operators, tourist boards, travel agencies, tourism associations
nationally and internationally, in-country travel organizations and hotels worked
together to achieve the common goal of serving the customer to the best of their
His most notable clients included the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and
To this day, Smith is highly regarded as an international travel expert and is still
called upon for consultation. Wyclef Jean
The CTO Award of Excellence is being presented to Wyclef Jean, a multiple Grammy
Award-winning artist and renowned humanitarian.
From his groundbreaking recordings with the Fugees in the 1990s to his numerous
platinum solo efforts and production collaborations with well other known artists,
Jean has always preached a message of “oneness and understanding.”
As a successful businessman, Jean carried his one-world vision into a number of
business ventures including clothing lines (DIA’s Refugess brand) and film
He co-founded and owns one of Manhattan’s premier sound studios, Platinum Sound.
Jean has also taken an active role in supporting his native country of Haïti by
creating his own foundation, Yéle Haïti, which provides the country with
humanitarian aid and assistance.
In 2004, Jean released an album in his native Creole, showcasing a range of
Caribbean music and featuring guest appearances by many Caribbean artists such as
Trinidadian Foxy Brown and Jamaica’s very own Buju Banton.
Jean participated in New York’s “Fashion for Relief” show in September 2005, a
benefit for AmeriCares, supporting victims of Hurricane Katrina.
In January 2007, Jean became a roving ambassador for Haiti with the goal of
improving the country’s image abroad. As a proud Caribbean, his work as a
humanitarian, world-class entertainer and cultural ambassador has helped to enhance
the region’s image in the U.S where he now lives, and on the world stage.
Lasana Mwanza Sekou
The CTO Award of Excellence is being presented to Lasana Mwanza Sekou, a brilliant
poet, story-teller, author and publisher. The founder of House of Nehesi Publishers,
which has published over 50 titles, Sekou has also written 13 books of his own.
Sekou began this small publishing outfit 25 years ago with the intention of
providing an outlet for the budding literary talents of St. Martin and the wider
He has surpassed that humble goal by single-handedly revolutionizing the literary
world of St. Martin, while making a significant impact on Caribbean literature.
Sekou began writing when he was 14 years old, and published his first volume of
poetry at age 19.
He is the most prolific and best-known writer in St. Martin, and his work has been
reviewed in literary magazines and has appeared in numerous anthologies.
His books are currently being used in secondary schools and universities in the
Caribbean and North America.
The CTO Award of Excellence is being presented to Josser Daniel, one of the most
recognized individuals in the hospitality sector on the island of St. Eustatius
In 1986, Daniels acquired a permit to operate a taxi service and became a well known
tour guide/taxi operator. Using his knowledge, he educated visitors to Statia
through guided tours.
Daniel’s passion for sharing his knowledge of Statia’s history has extended to St.
Martin and Curacao where he traveled to make presentations at schools. In St.
Eustatius, he has lectured at Golden Era Hotel, Old Gin House Hotel, St. Eustatius
University School of Medicine and at official ceremonies on Statia America Day.
At the end of 2006, Daniel sold his tour bus “Miss Historidal” to a young local taxi
operator, Irwin Lijfrock. Daniel continues to share his tour guiding skills and his
knowledge of Statia’s history with Lijfrock and other young Statians interested in
the profession. He also conducts special presentations upon request.
Rita Cabrer Botello
The CTO Award of Excellence is being presented to Rita Cabrer Botello, a well
respected researcher of the tourism industry.
Rita Cabrer Botello has taught extensively and conducted workshops and seminars in
the Dominican Republic and internationally on the tourism industry and issues
pertaining to it.
She wrote her first article as travel editor for Bohio Dominicano, a magazine she
founded in 1966 with Mr. Luis Augusto Caminero, which specializes in tourism
information and has an international audience. She presided over the publication
from the day it was launched and in 2005 she became it’s publisher as well.
Botello is a founding member of the Association of Dominican Travel Writers
Association -ADOMPRETUR (an entity created on Sept. 27, 1977).
Recognition Awards will be presented to The Bermuda Department of Tourism, The
Puerto Rico Tourism Company and The Turks & Caicos Islands for their special
contributions to the promotion of the Caribbean as a region and their support of
Caribbean Week in New York 2007.