Travel Agent recently spoke with Fernando Abreu, deputy director of marketing for the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), to find out some measures agents attending the 37th annual Caribbean Week should take in order to beef up sales to the destination.
Caribbean Week, which runs from June 9 to June 17 in
Fair at South Street Seaport
From our conversation with Abreu, Travel Agent
learned that, above all else, agents should mark down June 12 on their calendars.
That is the day of the Caribbean Fair at the South Street Seaport in
All CTO member agencies are invited to promote their
business and even make sales at the booths. Abreu says CTO member agencies from
Opportunity to Make Sales
"This is something we hope agents take full advantage of," says Abreu, who has been involved in the event for more than eight years. "We are actually asking the governments to share their booth space with agents. Consumers, whose interest is piqued by the fair, can then book a trip with an agent right then and there."
Agent Kimber Leivi, for her part, has taken full advantage
of this opportunity for the last four years. Leivi, who works for Travel
Collaborative, has made the trip from
"I usually e-mail my clients about a week or so before
I go and ask them what islands they are curious about," she says.
"For example, if someone tells me they are interested in
Travel Collaborative sells 60 percent leisure and 40 percent
corporate, but Leivi sells primarily leisure and is a certified specialist in
such destinations as Puerto Rico and the
Leivi says the week has been instrumental in learning new
hooks to pitch to
"This week is really a great tool for agents," she
says. "The networking alone is worth it. You meet so many government
officials and tourism officials face to face. You get your name out there, your
company's name out there. It's definitely worth it for anyone who sells the
For more information on Caribbean Week, visit www.caribbeanweekny.com.
Fernando J. Abreu, an 18-year veteran of the hospitality and
tourism industry, has been the deputy director of marketing for the Caribbean
Tourism Organization (CTO) since March 1, 1999. Abreu is responsible for
developing strategical marketing programs and securing marketing partners in
North America for the
Prior to joining CTO's marketing staff, Abreu held the
position of U.S. Sales Director for AMHSA Hotels. His responsibilities there
included overseeing advertising and public relations for the hotel group within