BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) says it is seeking to strengthen its relationship with Emirates Holidays, the largest airline tour operator in the Middle East, as it moves to broaden the Caribbean’s appeal in the Arabian market.
The CTO said that meetings with the tour operator have been scheduled during the April 24-27 Arabian Travel Market (ATM) to build on the relationship which began last year when the CTO conducted an in-house training programme in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 40 Emirates Holidays reservations, sales and operation staff to familiarise them with the Caribbean product.
The CTO said that the training followed the announcement by Emirates airlines of providing flights from Dubai to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with a code share agreement with Jet Blue, opening up numerous Caribbean destinations to the UAE.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Ed Bartlett and officials of the Bahamas ministry of tourism are part of the CTO delegation travelling to the ATM.
“Arabian Travel Market presents a great opportunity for the Caribbean to take our product and services to a wider market. There is a great deal of interest in the Caribbean, and our sporting and cricketing legends have really helped to peak interest in the Caribbean throughout the Middle East and Asia,” said Carol Hay, the CTO’s director of marketing for the United Kingdom and Europe.
“We are particularly excited about the opportunity to host two destination briefings for the travel agents, as we know that product knowledge and networking is key to expanding our reach in these markets. It’s also important to have a sustained presence at international tourism events; tourism is an international business, and it is import to be in the arena where important decisions and contacts are made.”
Following ATM, the CTO will host and present road shows across Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia and Finland from May 9-23 visiting Belfast, Dublin and Cork in Ireland; Bergen (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), Helsinki (Finland) and Aarhus (Denmark); and Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland.
The CTO recently returned hosted six Caribbean road shows in France.