A private company will take over from the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO)’s London office, which is due to close in January.
All of the London office’s activities will go ahead as planned after it closes on 31 January as part of a major restructure of the CTO.
This includes its ball, roadshows, media awards, online travel agent training, Caribbean Days and presence at WTM London.
These activities will be taken over by McKenzie Gayle Limited, a newly formed company set up by CTO director of marketing UK and Europe Carol Hay.
Hay has more than 25 years’ experience in tourism across the CTO, Antigua and Barbuda Tourist Authority, BWIA International Airways, the Jamaica Tourist Board and Jamaica Trade and Invest.
She will work alongside a small team, including her current colleague Florian Devillers.
McKenzie Gayle plans to have a greater consumer focus and increase digital and third-party marketing. It will also reward member loyalty, host networking events, and hold Town Square Caribbean Days.
It will also establish a Future Leaders Advisor Council, featuring 10 members aged 30 or under, who will work with Devillers on the 2020 Caribbean Month programme and other key initiatives.
The CTO UK Chapter Advisory Board will no longer be just advisory, instead working as an executive board to manage the activities of Hay and her team.
“The Caribbean is a very important region for us all, and only by working together can we ensure that we remain strong, productive and financially viable,” said CTO UK chairman Colin Pegler in an email to members.
“We cannot allow this crucial territory to not have a unified marketing body in the UK. The only way to save and develop this entity and all of the great work that it does for the region and each member is for you to show our marketing team, and the board of directors your support by renewing your membership.”
The CTO’s offices in Toronto and New York will close on 31 December. It will also undertake a “comprehensive audit” of its Barbados office.
The organisation said it was restructuring to enable Caribbean marketing under a single brand, more in-depth research and a more uniformed approach to policy formation and product development.
BY FRANKI BERRY