Caribbean Week Kicks Off Nov. 16


Caribbean Week in Canada is on the move.

The Caribbean tourism showcase that in most of its past years has been held in Toronto alone will this year visit Ontario’s capital and the other Ontario cities of Burlington and Kitchener-Waterloo, something Caribbean Tourism Organization secretary general Hugh Riley says underscores the CTO’s efforts to reach out to a broad swathe of people.

“The Caribbean loves Canada and we’re extremely grateful that Canada loves us back,” Riley told TravelPress in advance of the Nov. 16-19 event.

Caribbean Week highlights include a Nov. 16 luncheon in Toronto that will see Jennifer Hendry of the Conference Board of Canada speak on Canadian travel trends in the Caribbean.

The Kitchener-Waterloo travel agent workshop will be Nov. 18 and the Burlington equivalent will be held Nov. 19. Both are free.

“There’s such a variety in the Caribbean that we have to keep on letting our travel professionals understand how they can keep selling the Caribbean more profitably,” Riley said.

Riley also suggested the Nov. 17 Media Marketplace – also in Toronto – will be of interest to the travel agency community, enabling it to interact with both tourist board representatives and media members.

Canadian visits to the Caribbean are on the upswing this year, but Riley said there are still opportunities for agents to sell the region “more profitability,” and CTO members on hand for Caribbean Week in Canada will be able to give them suggestions on how to do that.

The Caribbean sees around 3.5 million visits by Canadians a year, with visitors from this country accounting for around 14% of the region’s total tourists, which Riley labels a “tremendous achievement” for Caribbean tourism given this country’s population is around 35 million.

But Riley added he’d like to see more Canadian visits, adding Canadians have a lot of unused vacation time accumulating.
“Canadians need to take more vacations and I truly believe that fun deprivation and sun deprivation is as serious a problem as sleep deprivation,” he said.