Caribbean Tourism Exec Delivers Keynote Address

Luther Miller, Director of Finance and Resource Management for the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), will deliver the keynote address at the fifth annual Caribbean Gaming & Hospitality Conference (CGHC) which opens in San Juan, Puerto Rico on June 10.

In making the announcement, Bruce Smith, President, WestVille Enterprises, Inc., presenter of the conference, said that Miller will analyze the state of post-9/11 tourism in the Caribbean and the prospects for a sustained economic turnaround.  “After two soft seasons,” said Smith, “Caribbean gaming hospitality interests took an aggressive position in favor of growth and business development.  Luther will recap these efforts and demonstrate their current and projected impact.  Despite everything, it?s a positive picture and no one can paint it better than Luther.”
Miller has been associated with the CTO since 1979 when he joined the Caribbean Tourism Research and Development Centre, which later merged with the Caribbean Tourism Association to form the present-day CTO. Today the CTO is an international organization, based in Barbados, charged with the broad objective of channeling Caribbean tourism into economic and social developments most beneficial for the region.
“Our members have shown remarkable creativity in addressing a new set of global economic realities” said Miller from CTO headquarters in St. Michael, Barbados.  “We are already starting to see positive outcomes not only in terms of tourism expenditures, but investment monies entering the region.  Long-term, our prognosis is quite favorable, but it will require significant co-operation among all players.”
The CTO comprises 32 Caribbean governments and six regional institutions, including three regional tourism organizations.  In order to develop tourism products and services, the organization collaborates with international agencies such as USAID, the European Union, the Organization of American States, and the World Bank
In addition to developing original market research studies on tourism and economic development patterns, Miller helps advise Caribbean governments and businesses in the private sector on marketing and promotional strategies.  In addition, he is responsible for all CTO financial matters.  This includes the negotiation and implementation of financial and technical agreements with international aid donors.
“New technologies. New Rules.” is the theme of this year?s Caribbean Gaming & Hospitality Conference.  “Technology is transforming our industry at such a rapid pace,“says Smith, “that we decided to focus most of our program on helping managers sharpen their technology I.Q. Each session is going to feel like an immersion course.”
Attendees at CGHC ?03 will learn about downloadable games, wireless technologies for instant data retrieval, advanced microchip-based devices that monitor wagers and wins in real time, and the latest slot machine innovations.  Smith adds that many of these technologies will be on display during exhibit hours:  “Better encryption, expanded broadband, and miniaturization have put technology in the driver?s seat.  If you?re not fully utilizing technology, you?re not really competing?no matter how happy your customers may look.”
CGHC is the only industry forum and exchange of its kind for operators in the Caribbean, Central, and South America.  The conference and trade show will run from June 10-11 at the Caribe Hilton Hotel, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Smith confirmed industry-leading speakers from the regulatory and policymaking arena as well as security and game protection, resort marketing, and slot management.  All sessions will offer simultaneous English-Spanish translation.  Exhibits will feature the latest gaming and hospitality equipment as well as information and other services.
Ensuring the widest attendance possible, WestVille Enterprises has lowered rates from the 2002 conference, and announced special discounts for Early Bird registrants.  Team discount rates are available to companies and government agencies signing up multiple registrants. In addition, the program?s efficient, two-day schedule affords attendees valuable seminar and networking time without taking a third day out of their schedules.
“As always, we acknowledge our sponsors who believe in the Caribbean Gaming & Hospitality Conference,” says Smith. “We have their support because it has become the place to do business in the region.” For the fifth year in a row the Platinum Sponsor is Aristocrat Technologies, Inc., Las Vegas, NV.  Returning as Gold Sponsors are A.C. Coin & Slot Service Company, Pleasantville, NJ; and UNIDESA Gaming, Barcelona, Spain.  Returning Silver Sponsors are Puerto Rico Tourism Company, San Juan PR; and WMS Gaming, Las Vegas, NV.  Brand-new this year are Silver Sponsors CyberView Technology Inc., London, UK; and North American Video, Brick, NJ.
For information on Caribbean Gaming & Hospitality Conference 2003, contact Bruce Smith at WestVille Enterprises, + 914-337-1246; + 914-337-1147 fax; [email protected]; or visit www.caribbeangaming.net for the latest session updates, exhibitor information, and online conference and hotel registration.
Editors:  To schedule interviews with Bruce R. Smith, President, WestVille Enterprises, or any of the scheduled speakers, contact Jeff Fogliano, 212-687-0607; [email protected]

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