The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) partnered with the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) in June, helping build a multiorgazational relationship for Caribbean communities locally and abroad. Because of the joint-partnership, French Guiana will debut at the annual carnival for the first time.
“We’ve had a relationship for a great many years but in recent times we have strengthened that relationship,” said Hugh Riley, secretary general of the organization.
“Leading up to Caribbean week in New York we had a number of meetings with WIADCA – but during Caribbean week we had our first official event together.”
Riley praised WIADCA and the carnival association’s president, William Howard – for facilitating and creating more communication between the two organizations to expand to communities they want to reach.
“It seemed natural that we would have a relationship with WIADCA — they are very focused on their mission statement,” said Riley. “It fits very neatly with our own objectives. WIADCA has a complete understanding of what our objectives are.”
The partnership also earned CTO a spot in the iconic parade. But representatives from the organization also want this dual partnership to increase their relationship with Caribbean communities abroad in regards to tourism — their mission.
“We as CTO want to strengthen our engagement with the Caribbean Diaspora,” said Riley. “We are keen to helping our various constituents understand the value and scope of the Caribbean Diaspora, because we are the tourism development agency for Caribbean tourism.”
As a result of the partnership CTO hopes participate in more cultural celebrations, as well as increased engagement from the Caribbean Diaspora about economic change. “
“The Diaspora is keen on using its success, skills, education to invest in the Caribbean. It’s great if they invest in tourism,” said Riley. “Tourism is our main function – if we are the conduit for that or catalyst for that conversation, then so be it. We are happy to do that.”