Barbados will this year host one of the Caribbean’s biggest tourism conferences, the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC), Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy announced Wednesday.
Sealy told the media at a news conference at the headquarters of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in Warrens, St Michael that the Chief Executive Officer of Sandals Resorts International Adam Stewart would deliver the keynote address at the event.
“Sandals is an influential Caribbean brand. Its impact on the economies of the countries in which it operates, and the other benefits it brings, such as immense global exposure which we otherwise could not afford, cannot be missed,” Sealy said of the Caribbean hotel chain, which announced last month that by Independence Day next year its property here will be the its second largest resort behind only Sandals Ocho Rios following a US$180 million expansion project.
Sealy also announced that Air Canada Leisure Group President Craig Landry would also address the conference, which will be held at the Hilton Barbados Resort from September 14-16.
Landry oversees the Air Canada Vacations tour operator business and the leisure airline Air Canada Rouge, both of which are important partners and stakeholders in Caribbean tourism, the CTO said in a release.
“Canada is itself a longstanding and critically important tourism partner for the region,” the release stated.
The CTO described the State of the Industry Conference as the pre-eminent tourism gathering in the region, bringing together tourism decision-makers, including ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, to discuss issues pertinent to the region’s bread and butter industry.
This year’s conference, themed Honouring Our Legacy, Defining Our Future, is organized in collaboration with Barbados’ Ministry of Tourism and International Transport and the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Sealy is the current CTO Chairman but will demit office on the morning of September 14, following the election of a new chairman.
He has held the position since September 2014.