|From left: Karine Roy-Camille, Martinique’s tourism commissioner; Hugh Riley, secretary general, Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO); Beverly Nicholson-Doty, chairperson, CTO; Richard Doumeng, president, Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association.|
Any doubt about the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) having found a fresh, new face to host the State of the Industry Conference in October was quashed when Richard Doumeng, president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), commented on the choice of host Martinique by admitting he had never been there before.
“Believe it or not, there are still some countries in this region that I have yet to visit,” said Doumeng during the closing press conference to wrap up Caribbean Week in New York last month, “and I’m proud to say that as of October I can check Martinique off that list.”
The State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) will be held in Martinique from October 15-18. The theme will be “Perfecting The Experience. Delivering Authenticity.” Beverly Nicholson-Doty, chairperson for the CTO, explained that the theme allows delegates to explore a range of elements that are critical to the development and success of the sector in the region. These include training and education, service quality, standards, visitor satisfaction and community involvement.
“We also expect to deal with matters such as customs and immigration, airport and seaport facilities, taxis, attractions and more, in the understanding that the vacation experience doesn’t begin and end at accommodations,” said Nicholson-Doty. The “authenticity” part of the theme, she explained, is a natural fit because, “Visitors come to this region for a uniquely Caribbean experience; one which is desirable enough to lead to referrals and repeat visits and we have to deliver on this promise.”
Karine Roy-Camille, Martinique’s commissioner of tourism, said that the French-speaking island will be proud to host its first major CTO event. “We look forward to welcoming the press and delegates to the Isle of Flowers in October for a taste of our special brand of French-Creole warmth and hospitality.”