The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) is closing offices in New York and the United Kingdom, and warns there may be job losses during the restructuring process.
In a release today, the CTO said the New York office would be closed by December 31 this year and that in the United Kingdom by January 31, 2020.
An audit of the Barbados office will also be conducted “to better streamline our operations and finances”.
“Over the past two decades, there has been much discussion surrounding the promotion and development of tourism in the Caribbean, the world’s most tourism dependent region. While there have been many visions, plans, papers written and philosophies espoused, there has been widespread acceptance that much improvement is needed to elevate tourism development in the region,” the release said.
These solutions included marketing the Caribbean as a single brand, more in-depth research, and a greater uniformed approach to policy formulation and product development.
The CTO said it recognises it plays a critical role in the changes needed to “achieve the long held view to enhance tourism’s role as a tool for sustainable development among member states”.
“Consequently, we are of the firm view that in order to play a stronger role in the new era of tourism development, we have to reinvent and reposition the organisation as a pillar upon which tourism advancement can rest,” the release continued.
And while this exercise “will lead to some displacement”, the CTO said it would lead to revitalisation of the organisation, which is “a necessary process to ensure tourism plays its most vital role as a means to bring about opportunity and prosperity for the people of the Caribbean”.