The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) says St. Lucia was voted chair on Tuesday of the regional tourism body, with the election of Minister of Tourism Dominic Fedee.
CTO said Fedee’s election ends the two-year term of the Bahamas, which ascended to the position in Barbados in 2016.
Fedee’s election took place late Tuesday at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, where the CTO held its annual general meeting ahead of the official opening of the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC).
Following his election Fedee said he was humbled and proud that his colleagues had placed their trust in him.
“We have an opportunity to advance the strength of our collective purpose,” he said. “We have to spare no effort to use our collaboration at the CTO level to help to advance the wider integration movement and the CTO can be seen in the same ilk as West Indies cricket and the University of the West Indies as success stories to unite the Caribbean further.
“The Caribbean is one of the strongest and one of the most iconic and aspirational travel brands in the world but also it is the most underutilized, and the opportunity exists for us to ensure that we utilize the strength of the brand for the collective good of the destinations of the Caribbean,” he added.
The St. Lucian minister has named Tiffany Howard, the acting chief executive officer of the St. Lucia Tourism Authority, as chairman of the CTO board of directors, since, according to the CTO constitution, the board chairman and the chairman of the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism must come from the same member-country.
In addition to the election of the chairman, CTO said vice chairs were elected to serve on the executive committee of the board of directors to represent various sub-groups — Curacao, representing the Dutch Caribbean; Haiti representing the French Caribbean; Bahamas and Jamaica, representing the independent Caribbean Community countries and the Cayman Islands representing the British Overseas Territories.
This committee will be completed with representatives from the private sector, CTO said.
It said Tuesday’s vote was in keeping with its constitution, which mandates that elections must be held every two years and that the chairman cannot serve consecutive terms.