Caribbean Tourism Experts Join CTO Allied Board

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s private sector members elected several experienced Caribbean marketing professionals to its allied member board of directors. The group of five officials will represent the members’ interests on the CTO board of directors and executive committee, and is chaired by William “Billy” Griffith, former CEO of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Griffith is one of three new allied board members joining Seleni Matus, a former Belize tourism director and now executive director of the International Institute of Tourism Studies at George Washington University, and Sharon Flax-Brutus, a former British Virgin Islands director of tourism and now director at White Oleander Destinations.

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The new allied board members join returnees Jacqueline Johnson, CEO of Global Bridal Group and MarryCaribbean.com, and Barry Brown, executive director for the Caribbean for Afar Media. Both have served on the allied board for several years and “have renewed their commitment to supporting the CTO’s objectives,” said CTO officials in a statement.

“My immediate priority will be to re-energize [CTO] and increase the membership base,” said Griffith, as well as “build capacity and work with the executive branch on a cohesive plan to recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19.” CTO, the Caribbean’s primary tourism marketing organization, last year closed its New York and London offices.

At the time, the group also announced a “comprehensive audit” of its Barbados headquarters, adding “much improvement” was needed in CTO’s ability to “elevate tourism development in the region.”

“I would first like us to help the [CTO] to regain the confidence of the private sector so that our membership can not only grow but be representative of the various sectors of the tourism industry,” said Flax-Brutus. “I would also like to see increased opportunities for allied members to participate in, and facilitate more, dialogue on how we can all work together for the benefit of Caribbean tourism.”

Said Matus, “Strong regional tourism organizations are important now more than ever before. I am delighted to work alongside a great group of regional leaders to assist CTO and its member states to create new tools and partnerships that will enhance resilience and sustainability of the tourism industry.”

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