Interval International, a leading vacation exchange company, and its resort affiliates last week announced their continued financial support of Caribbean tourism education with a $20,000 donation to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Education Foundation. The check, representing the single largest monetary donation by the private sector, was presented to Jean Holder, secretary general of the CTO, at the Ministers of Tourism/ Board of Directors luncheon during Caribbean Week in New York City (May 29 - 31).
The Caribbean Tourism Organization is the region’s tourism development agency for 32 member governments and numerous private sector companies. The CTO Foundation was established in 1997 to provide scholarship opportunities for Caribbean nationals pursuing studies in the tourism and hospitality industries, as part of CTO’s effort to support the development of highly-skilled tourism personnel serving in the region. Since its inception the CTO Foundation has provided nine major scholarships and 27 study grants to deserving Caribbean nationals amounting to just over $200,000.
“Interval International is proud to continue its commitment to the growth of Caribbean region through the CTO Foundation, an organization that has done so much to further education in the hospitality and tourism industries in the Caribbean,” said Paul W. Rishell, president for the Americas for Interval International. “The Caribbean continues to be the single most sought-after destination among our U.S. members and this high demand creates a on-going need for educated professionals to provide quality tourism products and services in the region.”
“We are deeply appreciative of the support we have received from multi-national corporations such as Interval International and its resort affiliates,” said Jean Holder, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization. “With their help we can make higher education available to Caribbean nationals, enhance the quality of the tourism product in our market and better compete in the global marketplace.”
Interval has made donations to the CTO Foundation in the past and is committed to continue contributing to the economic development of the market in the future. The company has also sponsored multiple research initiatives that demonstrate the positive economic impact of the timeshare industry in the Caribbean.
This year in an attempt to organize a regional effort, Interval invited its Caribbean resort affiliates to contribute to the scholarship fund. As a result, the sum of $20,000 was raised with the participation of the following resorts: Caribbean Palm Village (Aruba); Coral Hotels & Resorts (Dominican Republic); El San Juan Towers (Puerto Rico); Freeport Resort & Club (The Bahamas); Hyatt Hacienda del Mar (Puerto Rico); Ocean Reef Resort (The Bahamas); Pelican Resort & Club (St. Maarten); Playa Linda Beach Resort (Aruba); Plaza Resort at Palmas del Mar (Puerto Rico); Prospect Reef Resort (British Virgin Islands); Renaissance Aruba Beach Resort & Casino (Aruba); Seven Mile Beach Resort (Grand Cayman Island); St. James Village (Antigua); Windsurf Resort (Dominican Republic); and Woodbourne Estates (The Bahamas).
“We are very grateful to our Caribbean affiliates who contributed to the CTO Education Foundation,” said Marcos Agostini, Caribbean region manager resort sales and service for Interval International. “This scholarship fund enables us to provide the means for Caribbean nationals to further their education in the hospitality and tourism industries and in turn make contributions to the region.”
The CTO’s primary objective is to provide its members with 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 statistics and sustainable tourism development.
For more than 25 years, Interval International has led the vacation ownership industry with innovative products and the highest levels of quality, service and value complemented by a global network of more than 1,900 resorts in 75 countries. With its international headquarters located in Miami, Florida, Interval serves its developer clients and 1.3 million members through 28 offices in 19 countries and employs approximately 1,700 people worldwide.
As the Preferred Vacation Exchange Network of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), and an allied member of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Interval has been a long-time supporter of the tourism industry in the Caribbean. Interval is committed to understanding the unique needs of the Caribbean region and providing products and programs tailored to this market. For more information on Interval International, contact Marcos Agostini, Caribbean region manager, Resort Sales and Service, telephone 305-666-1861 ext. 7087; fax: 305-667-4495; e-mail: [email protected]