Sylma Brown Bramble, deputy director, projects and administration for the Caribbean Tourism Organization, has been involved with CTO's Caribbean Week for 30 of its 37 years.
She said it was very rewarding to see the once-small event
devoted solely to private business meetings grow into a week-long celebration
of the region in
But while the week has grown drastically in the past five years or so, something else hasn't: the attendance of travel agents.
Fernando Abreu, deputy director of marketing for the CTO,
says fewer than 100 member agents usually show up for the week. Brown
attributes the low stat to the fact that travel agents still don't understand
how instrumental the week is in selling the
After all, as Brown put it, this is the one week of the year
where you have consumers who all want to travel to the
Agents, especially those with offices or homes in the
"We put this week on for the agents; this is for
them," Bramble told Travel Agent. "We don't sell the
As if that isn't reason enough for agents to attend the event, which runs through June 17th, Bramble shared with Travel Agent a prime example of the beauty of Caribbean Week for agents.
"I was at a trade show last week where a woman was
interested in booking a trip to the
For that reason alone, both Abreu and Bramble agree that the
single most important event for agents to attend during Caribbean Week is the
Caribbean Fair. The Caribbean Fair is at the South Street Seaport from 11 a.m.
to 6 p.m. on June 12. Booths will be manned by CTO countries and private sector
partners and will display promotional materials, indigenous products and other
items representative of the
Who'll Be There
All CTO member agencies are invited to promote their
business and even make sales at the booths. Abreu says CTO member agencies from
And, based on Bramble's story, it sounds like agents should take the CTO up on their offer.
For more information on Caribbean Week, visit www.caribbeanweekny.com.