CARIBBEAN WEEK OPENS
The importance of the New York market to the region's tourism industry is being highlighted as the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) hosts its annual week of activities, dubbed Caribbean Week, here in New York.
"It is fitting that Caribbean ministers and directors of tourism and other tourism leaders meet here for this important week of activities not only because this is where two million people of Caribbean origin call home and have made their mark, but because the state of New York is our most important source of visitations to the Caribbean," Arley Sobers, CTO's acting secretary general told approximately 350 people gathered Sunday at the St. George's Episcopal Church in East New York for an "interfaith celebration" to launch Caribbean Week 2005.
Over two million of the approximately 10 million United States visitors who travelled to the Caribbean in 2004 came from New York, Mr Sobers revealed.
The interfaith celebration was an energetic exhibition of dance, poetry, singing and music by a number of Caribbean-based and Caribbean American performers spanning several generations.
"This ceremony is testimony to both the spirituality and the tremendous talent of our Caribbean peoples," said Pamela C. Richards, commissioner of tourism for the U.S Virgin Islands and chairman of CTO.
"We are pleased that not only have our CTO members from the region come here today, but that Caribbean nationals living in New York and nearby have joined us in a splendid show of Caribbean unity to celebrate our collective faith," she told the congregation.
Ms. Richards also spoke of the difficult times that some CTO member states experienced as a result of natural disasters that affected them last year and expressed confidence that they would recover fully.
"We are resilient people and we have survived; we have so much to be thankful for and we pray that those whose lives were touched with upheaval are well on the way to full recovery," the CTO chairman said.
"In this place, at this time it is good to remember that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger; and we are stronger, we are more unified," she said to applause. "We are Caribbean people and we remain fully cognizant that it is our way to laugh at life not cry over it."
Caribbean Week gets into full speed on Tuesday with a Caribbean Fair at the historic South Street Seaport, in New York City. The Caribbean Fair is one of several consumer-focused events that form part of the weeklong series of events.
Caribbean Week ends on Friday, June 4 with a highly anticipated Governments of the Caribbean State Ball, a ritzy, black tie fund-raiser in support of CTO's programmes, particularly, the CTO Foundation Scholarship programme.
For more information on Caribbean Week in New York, contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization at (212) 635-9530 or visit www.caribbeanweekny.com or www.onecaribbean.org.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and marketing operations in New York, London and Toronto, is the Caribbean's tourism development agency and comprises membership of over 30 member governments and a myriad of private sector entities.
The CTO's mission is to provide to and through its members, 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, information technology and sustainable tourism development. The CTO disseminates information on behalf of its member governments to consumers and the travel trade.
CTO's New York office is located at 80 Broad Street, 32nd Floor, New York, NY 10004, USA; Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail: [email protected] CTO's London office is located at 22 The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: [email protected]; CTO Canada is located at 130 Bloor Street West, Suite 301, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1N5, Canada. Tel: (416) 935 0767; Fax: (416) 935 0939. E-mail [email protected] CTO Headquarters is located at One Financial Place, Collymore Rock, St. Michael, Barbados; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected] For more information, please visit www.doitcaribbean.com or www.onecaribbean.org.
Contact: Johnson JohnRose, CTO
Tel: (246) 427-5242
E-mail: [email protected]
Contact: Theresa Oakes, KTC
Tel: (516) 594-4100
E-mail: [email protected] Eed