CTO Hosts First European Encounter

The Caribbean Tourism Organization
(CTO) has launched a new initiative to
help raise the profile of the Caribbean
region in Europe.

The regional body kicked off the
European Encounter in London
recently, immediately following World
Travel Market.

The European market represents about
26 percent of business to the Caribbean
and some CTO member states -Barbados,
Cuba and the Dominican
Republic - have a greater dependency
on Europe than they do on the United
States which is the Caribbean’s leading
market.

“What has been interesting from the
point of view of the countries and CTO
is that we still had the greatest
emphasis on our business in the US
market and we needed to examine our
representation and our operations in the
European market,” said Jo Spalburg who heads CTO’s operations in Europe.

“There are many opportunities for our
ministers to meet with the private
sector in North America but there were
no formal arrangements for them to
meet with the private sector in Europe,
so we came up with the idea of the
European Encounter to facilitate that
exchange,” he said.

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Over 80 people attended the initial
Encounter and the various CTO Chapters
in Europe got an opportunity to bring
Caribbean ministers and other
representatives up to date with their
programmes. They were also able to
compare programmes and the issues of
concern in the various segments of the
European market.

CTO also organised “break-out rooms”
during the Encounter to allow country
representatives the opportunity to
discuss potential business arrangements.

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