Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO)

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) with headquarters in Barbados, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of 24 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members.

The primary objective of the Caribbean Tourism Organization is to provide to and through its members the services and information necessary for the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people by:

providing an instrument for close collaboration in tourism among the various territories, countries and other interests concerned;

developing and promoting regional travel and tourism programs to and within the Caribbean;

providing members with opportunities to market their products more effectively to both the Caribbean and the international tourism marketplaces;

assisting member countries, particularly the smaller member countries with minimal promotional budgets, to maximize their marketing impact through the collective CTO forum;

carrying out advertising, promotions, publicity and information services calculated to focus the attention of the public upon the Caribbean as one of the world’s outstanding tourist destinations;

providing a liaison for tourism matters between member countries;

providing a sound body of knowledge on tourism through data collection, collation and research;

creating processes and systems for disseminating and sharing tourism information;

providing advice, technical assistance and consultancy services with respect to tourism;

providing training and education for Caribbean nationals and for international travel agents;

seeking to maximize the contribution of tourism to the economic development of member countries and the Caribbean through programs likely to increase foreign exchange earnings, increase employment, strengthen linkages between tourism and other economic sector like manufacturing and agriculture, and to reduce leakages from Caribbean economies;

encouraging coordination with respect to research and planning and the efficient allocation of local, regional and international resources at both government and non-governmental levels in tourism development;

researching and identifying the ecological effects of tourism with a view to recommending and /or initiating action aimed at minimizing the negative and enhancing the positive effects;

promoting the consciousness of the need to preserve both the natural and man-made beauty of the Caribbean environment and demonstrating its direct relationship to the development of an attractive tourism product;

developing a tourism product which is essentially Caribbean and which, through maximizing economic benefits, has minimal adverse social and psychological effects on the integrity of Caribbean peoples

Vision and Purpose

The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination and our purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

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The Caribbean Tourism Organization Has a New Secretary General 

The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization has its long-awaited new top executive. 

Saint Lucia native Dona Regis-Prosper has been appointed as the organization’s new Secretary General and chief executive officer. 

Regis-Prosper’s appointment will take effect on Sept. 1, 2023; she will be the first permanent CEO for the regional tourism organization since the departure of former Secretary General Hugh Riley back in 2019. Regis-Prosper is currently serving as the general manager of the Antigua Cruise Port; her previous experience includes serving as CEO of the Tortola Pier Park in the British Virgin Islands and as director of marketing and product development for the Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority, among others stops. 

“We are extremely pleased to have Dona Regis-Prosper come on board to lead the CTO. Her vast experience, strategic insight, and impressive track record in the tourism sector make her an exceptional choice to propel our organization into a new era,” said Kenneth Bryan, Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization. 

The CTO said Regis-Prosper emerged from a pool of more than 60 applicants. 

She takes over for Acting Secretary General and CEO Neil Walters, who is also the CTO’s Director of Finance and Resource Management. 

“I am deeply honored to have been selected to serve as Secretary General of the CTO and am grateful for the trust and confidence the CTO Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism and the Board of Directors have placed in me,” said Regis-Prosper. “I eagerly look forward to working with our dedicated team and diverse stakeholders to promote the Caribbean tourism sector, champion sustainability, and continue to foster impactful relationships and deliver ROI for our members.”

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June 16 – 21, 2024:  InterContinental New York Times Square


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Join Us Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity

From June 16 to 21, 2024 , the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) brings the magic of the Caribbean to the heart of New York City for Caribbean Week!

Join industry leaders for insightful discussions, workshops, and strategic dialogues shaping the Caribbean's tourism landscape.

Renowned Speakers

Hear from the minds shaping the future of tourism. Gain practical skills and knowledge at insightful workshops and sessions.

Meet the who's who of Caribbean tourism and connect with decision-makers to build lasting relationships and explore new opportunities.

Immerse yourself in cultural events, including the prestigious Caribbean Media Awards and a celebration of the region's spirited cricket heritage.

Learn from Industry Leaders Event Speakers

I. Chester Cooper

Deputy Prime Minister, The Bahamas

Kenneth Bryan

Chairman, CTO, & Minister of Tourism & Ports, Cayman Islands

Kenneth Bryan, a dynamic Caribbean leader, was appointed as the Cayman Islands Minister for Tourism and Ports in 2021. In September 2022, he took on the role of Chairmanship of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism for the 2022-2024 term. Minister Bryan previously served as the Political Assistant to the Premier of the Cayman Islands and is an active member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Cayman Islands Youth Parliament Committee. He holds a degree in Business Administration from the University College of the Cayman Islands and is a certified ‘Backpack Journalist’ from The Poynter Institute. We look forward to Minister Bryan’s stellar contributions during Caribbean Week in New York, June 16-21.  

Rosa Harris

Chairman, CTO Board of Directors, Caribbean Week in NY Spokesperson, Director, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

View biography of Rosa Harris.  

Bonnie Borkin

Senior Director, Caribbean Tourism & Enterprise, ADARA, A RateGain Company

Vice President International Operations American Airlines

Jeremy Jones

Corporate Director, Resort Operations, Jamaica, Sandals Resorts International

View biography of Jeremy Jones.  

Chart a Course for Success

Caribbean Travel Trends, Artificial Intelligence

Explore the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Caribbean business and tourism marketing. This dynamic workshop will equip you with the knowledge to leverage data and AI for marketing success.

Programme Learn. Inspire. Discuss.

Network with industry leaders, learn cutting-edge skills and help shape the future of the industry.

All day registration

All day registration starts at 10:00 am.  

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Non-speaker event

Church Event

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Delegate Networking Breakfast & Registration

Location: Gotham Ballroom

Board of Directors Meeting

Location: Central Park

Ministers' Forum (Leveraging Artificial Intelligence)

Location: Gotham I

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Jennifer Bisram

chester cooper

Edmund Bartlett

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Commissioner Jeanette Moy

femi anthony

Femi Anthony

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Gregg Bishop

Coffee Break

Jean holder scholarship fund luncheon.

joseph boschulte

Joseph Boschulte

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Jacqueline Johnson

Council of Ministers Meeting

Caribbean excellence: shaping service standards in the region.

bill clegg

Joan Leacock

barry collymore

Barry Collymore

kashmie ali

Kashmie Ali

marcia james

Marcia James

Women’s Leadership Breakfast Awards (By Invitation Only)

dona regis prosper

Dona Regis-Prosper

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Hayley Matthews

rosa harris

Audrey Irvine – Keynote

Delegate Networking Breakfast

Caribbean airlift forum.

jose freig

David Appleby

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Valérie Damaseau

haydn hughes

Haydn Hughes

phillip baynard

Philippe Bayard

jonathon kaufman

Jonathan Kaufman

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Brian Mingo

Networking Coffee Break

Gateway Connections

christopher browne

Christopher Browne

evan rogers

Evan Rogers

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Frederick A Morton Jr.

Isabel de Caires

Isabel de Caires

Building Bridges: Caribbean & African American Marketing Luncheon

melissa noel

Melissa Noel

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Elinor Tatum

irwin clare

Irwine Clare OD

Jacqueline Nwobu

Jacqueline Nwobu

Focus Group: Building Sustainable and Resilient Caribbean Destination Policies

Focus Group: Building Sustainable and Resilient Caribbean Destination Policies (By Invitation Only)

Travel Trade Marketing Opportunity Breakfast

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Garth Laird

matt turner

Matt Turner

Public Relations & Crisis Communications Workshop

lisa ann joseph

Lisa-Ann Joseph

jennifer mcguire

Jennifer Maguire

cessie cerrato

Cessie Cerrato

marie theodore

Marie “Driven” Theodore

Smart Destination Management Luncheon

josephine connolly

Josephine Connolly

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Nicola Madden-Greig OD

jeremony jones

Chelsea Collier

Caribbean Business & Tourism Marketing Symposium

donovan white

Donovan White

stan ivankovic

Stan Ivankovic

Caribbean Business & Tourism Marketing Symposium Continues

This session will explore why fostering closer relationships with the cruise sector is essential for governments to harness its full economic potential.

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Danny Cohanpour

jackie santiago

Jackie Santiago

claudine pohl

Claudine Pohl

marie mckenzie

Marie McKenzie

wendy mcdonald

Wendy McDonald

Caribbean Media Awards Luncheon

kenneth bryan

CTO Executive Committee Meeting

Location: Gramercy

Media Marketplace

Location: Gotham I & Central Park

Cricket Ceremony & Watch Party

neil walters

Neil Walters

joel garner

Joel Garner

Registration Details Register Now


One Day $250 - Week Long $595



One Day $400 - Week Long $895


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Stacey liburd, anguilla’s director of tourism, on caribbean week.

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NEW YORK (June 6, 2024) – West Indies cricket legend Joel “Big Bird” Garner is set to

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CTO upbeat about 2023 Caribbean tourism outlook

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17th March 2023

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) is voicing optimism on the region’s tourism prospects for the remainder of 2023.

Speaking in Barbados during the organisation’s launch of the 2022 “Tourism Performance and Outlook Report,” Acting Secretary General of the CTO, Neil Walters declared that the Caribbean had one of the quickest recovery rates globally.

Some 28.3mn tourists visited the region in 2022, representing 88.6% of pre-pandemic 2019 visitor arrivals. This performance was buoyed by a 28.1% increase in US tourists, reaching 14.6mn compared to the 11.4mn from that market in 2021.

The CTO noted that while travel restrictions imposed by Canada in early 2022 saw a slower 60% recovery, and major declines in intra-regional connectivity impacted the numbers, “arrivals from the European market increased by 81% in 2022 when compared to 2021”. The 5.2mn tourists from this market were almost double the 2.8mn in 2021 accounting for 18.3% of all arrivals in 2022.

The organisation attributed the improvement to shorter travel restrictions, pent-up demand, and surplus savings accrued during the pandemic, as well as “strategic marketing initiatives and the restoration of some of the airlift capacity between more markets and the Caribbean”.

“Nearly 90% of the region’s travel demand for 2019 has already been recovered,” said Walters, adding that destinations such as Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos, and the US Virgin Islands had already surpassed their pre-pandemic performance. All 27 Caribbean destinations showed an increase in annual stayover arrivals of between 8.3% and 16%.

Revenue in the sector was also up in 2022. Global data company STR reported that the average daily rate at hotels increased by 21.7% to US$290.60 in 2022 on the strength of an uptick in revenue per available room by 66.4% to US$176.46.  The number of available rooms also increased by 4.4% while room income jumped by 73.6%.

All told, data estimates that visitors to the Caribbean region spent between US$36.5bn and $37.5bn in 2022, a significant increase of 70% to 75% when compared to 2021. “As a region, we have responded with hope, strength and the determination to prevail,” said CTO Council of Ministers and Commissioners Chairman and Cayman Islands’ Minister of Tourism and Transport, Kenneth Bryan.

“So, although we have not yet surpassed 2019’s numbers across the board in every jurisdiction, the needle is certainly moving in the right direction,” said Bryan as he voiced optimism about 2023.

The CTO expects that this year, the region will record a 10% to 15% bump in arrivals over its record performance in 2019, when the region welcomed 32mn land-based visitors. “This means that between 31.2 and 32.6 million tourists can be expected to visit the region this year,” said Acting Secretary General Walters.

Prospects for cruise tourism are also on the mend. “All berths in the region have reopened and are expanding. As more ships are deployed to the region, the capacity for cruises will rise and demand will stay high,” predicted Walters. He revealed that estimates put cruise tourists visiting the Caribbean in 2023 at between 32mn and 33mn, an overall increase of 5% to 10% over the pre-COVID-19 baseline.

To ensure continued recovery, the CTO said that it is focused on growing its membership, including countries, territories as well as allied partners.

“It is also my intention to strengthen the relationships with other organizations, such as the United Nations World Travel Organization, the World Travel and Tourism Council, and even the Central American Tourism Promotion Agency (CATA), to foster greater collaboration,” said Chairman Bryan, announcing the return of CTO’s Caribbean Week in New York from 5 to 8 June this year.

Bryan confirmed that consideration is being given to the restructuring of the organisation and reforming its strategic vision and direction for the next five years, which includes the appointment of a new Secretary General and addressing the vexing issue of regional air connectivity.

“It would be illogical for me to promise a solution to this issue during my tenure as chairman. But what I can and will commit to is getting the players around the table to forensically examine what we need to do as a unified region to improve this scenario and start the ball rolling towards the solution,” promised the CTO Chairman.

This is a lead article from Caribbean Insight, The Caribbean Council’s flagship fortnightly publication. From The Bahamas to French Guiana, each edition consists of country-by-country analysis of the leading news stories of consequence, distilling business and political developments across the Caribbean into a single must-read publication. Please follow the links on the right-hand side of this page to subscribe, or access a free trial .

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The Caribbean Tourism Organization and The Grenada Tourism Authority announce The 2024 Sustainable Tourism Conference theme

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The Sustainable Tourism Conference is one of many events in the year-long calendar of activities for Grenada’s 50th independence anniversary celebration and coincides with the 10th anniversary of Grenada’s ‘Pure Grenada Brand’.

ST. GEORGE, GRENADA – Caribbean and international tourism industry experts will explore the “5 Ps for a Legacy of Caribbean Tourism Sustainability” as the theme for the Caribbean Tourism Organization ’s Sustainable Tourism Conference , which takes place in Grenada from April 22 to April 24, 2024.

Under the overarching theme, the conference will delve into the pivotal 5 Ps – People, Planet, Prosperity, Purpose and Partnership, with the aim of catalyzing transformative action towards a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable future for Caribbean tourism.

The Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development, also known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC), provides a platform for meaningful engagements, networking and knowledge exchanges among Ministers of Tourism, Directors of Tourism, business executives, and other industry professionals. The conference will feature presentations by experts, moderated panel discussions, Q&A segments, masterclasses and thematic break-out sessions. Sustainability champions and thought leaders will share insights, best practices, and innovative strategies to ensure that tourism in the Caribbean contributes positively to local communities and the environment. Attendees can expect thought-provoking and stimulating discussions on how the 5 P’s intertwine to shape the future trajectory of Caribbean tourism.

“We are quite pleased with the experiences we’re curating in Grenada – from insightful sessions and study tours to immersive, authentic adventures across our tri-island nation,” stated Petra Roach , Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Tourism Authority . “We eagerly look forward to showcasing the transformative impact of sustainable tourism and underscoring the importance of protecting and preserving our natural and cultural heritage for the tourism sector and future generations of Grenadians.”

The Sustainable Tourism Conference 2024 promises not only to dissect the challenges but to inspire collective action towards maintaining the delicate equilibrium required for a thriving tourism sector. Discussions will shed light on sustainability frameworks and strategies to address urgent matters such as climate risk, waste reduction, and bridging the digital divide to optimize the use of technological innovations for people empowerment, to preserve the environment, and contribute to both business and destination competitiveness and resilience. The Conference returns after a 4-year hiatus since the Covid Pandemic and forms part of regional activities marking Earth Day, celebrated on April 22.

“Grenada’s focus on socially and environmentally responsible development makes it an ideal destination for the Sustainable Tourism Conference,” remarked Dona Regis-Prosper , CTO’s Secretary-General and CEO. “We believe that Grenada’s commitment to sustainable tourism and its beautiful, unspoilt landscapes will provide an inspiring backdrop for meaningful discussions and provide a compelling showcase of the destination’s sustainability initiatives. Join us in Grenada this April to be a part of this transformative conversation that will chart the course for the sustainability and growth of Caribbean tourism.”

The Sustainable Tourism Conference attracts representatives from national, regional, and international organizations, sustainable development partners, academia, students, and media from North America, the U.K., Europe, and the Caribbean. In addition to the plenary sessions, the conference includes experiential field trips (study tours), various networking events, and culminates with the presentation ceremony for CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Awards. Pre- and post-destination tours are optional activities which are offered as part of the conference experience.

Theodore Koumelis

Theodore Koumelis

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is the Caribbean’s regional tourism development agency .

The CTO was established in 1989 and was set up with the aim of being an organized body to focus on the entire region of the Caribbean as a single destination entity .

Now, with a membership of over 30 countries and territories, as well as private sector members, the CTO is the region’s umbrella agency for the international promotion of the tourism industry for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people.

Sustainable Tourism

The CTO’s vision is to ‘position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination by 2017’ , with a focus on sustainable tourism .

The CTO’s mission is to provide to and through its members, the services and information needed for the development of sustainable regional tourism and the overall Caribbean tourism product .

According to the CTO’s website, the term ‘sustainable tourism’ in the Caribbean is understood as the optimal use of natural, cultural, social and financial resources for tourism development on both regional and international levels.

The goal is to provide a unique tourist experience and quality of life through strategic partnerships on all tiers – government, the private sector and communities.

CTO members work towards designing and implementing sustainable tourism policies and programs , with the help of the overarching CTO.

How Does The CTO Function?

The Organization consists of both government and private sector operatives in tourism. Its members include destination countries as well as private companies involved in providing holidays to the region; companies such as airlines, hotels, cruise operators and travel agencies.

There are chapters of the CTO all over the world, each with the key objective to promote travel to the Caribbean .

Countries pay for membership and contribute to a Regional Marketing Fund (RMF), based on a tourism arrivals formula.

Want the full list of destination members ? Please see the CTO’s website for information about each member ( ).

There are government and non-government members of the CTO.

Government members – countries are represented on the CTO’s Council of Ministers and Board of Directors by tourism government officials .

Representing Barbados is the Hon. Richard Sealy , Minister for Tourism and International Transport (current as at October 2014).

Non-government members include:

— allied members – companies, corporations, firms, organizations, agencies and individuals providing goods and services to, or are otherwise engaged in, the Caribbean tourism industry.

— affiliate members – tourism industry organizations whose objectives and activities complement those of the CTO (in the opinion of the Board of Directors).

Need to know more? For more detailed information on government members see , and for non-government members see .

It’s All About Collaboration

The CTO aims to bring forth closer collaboration in Caribbean tourism among its members, and assists its member countries to maximize on their international marketing opportunities, with a view to focus the world’s attention on the Caribbean as one of the world’s outstanding tourist destinations.

The Organization provides specialized support and technical assistance to member countries in the areas of marketing, human resource development, research and statistics, information technology and sustainable tourism development. The CTO disseminates information on behalf of its member governments to consumers and the travel trade.

Want To Know More?

Refer to the CTO’s website at . The CTO headquarters is based in Barbados with marketing offices in the United States (New York), the United Kingdom (London) and Canada (Toronto).

Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Head Office Ground Floor Baobab Tower, Warrens St. Michael Barbados T : (246) 427-5242 E : [email protected]

Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) New York 80 Broad Street Suite 3302 NY 10004 New York USA T : (212) 635-9530 E : [email protected] W :

Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) London 22 The Quadrant Richmond Surrey, TW9 1BP United Kingdom T : (44) 208 948 0057 E : [email protected] W :

Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Canada 512 Duplex Avenue Toronto, M4R 2E3 Canada T : (416) 485-8724 E : [email protected]

There are also CTO offices in Europe. To see the list of locations, please visit the CTO website at .

Author: Brett Callaghan

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Sargassum is choking the Caribbean’s white sand beaches, fueling an economic and public health crisis

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Assistant Professor of Emergency and Disaster Health Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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Farah Nibbs does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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The Caribbean’s sandy beaches, clear turquoise water and vibrant coral reefs filled with an amazing variety of sea creatures have long been the pride of the islands.

The big three – sun, sea and sand – have made this tropical paradise the most tourism-reliant region in the world .

But now, all of that is under threat. The explosive growth of a type of seaweed called sargassum is wreaking havoc on economies, coastal environments and human health across the islands.

I study the intersection of critical infrastructure and disasters , particularly in the Caribbean. The sargassum invasion has worsened since it exploded in the region in 2011. Forecasts and the seaweed already washing up suggest that 2024 will be another alarming year .

A map shows sargassum around many of the eastern Carribbean islands.

The Sargasso Sea

The Sargasso Sea is often referred to as a golden, floating rainforest for its vast floating sargassum blooms and the wide variety of sea life that it supports.

It is the only sea in the world with no land borders . Instead, it is bounded by four Atlantic Ocean currents: the North Atlantic current, the Gulf Stream, the North Atlantic Equatorial Current and the Canary Current.

A map shows the Sargasso sea in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, west of Florida and Georgia, and sargassum belt through the Caribbean

Without human interference, and under normal conditions, sargassum is a good thing. It has existed in the Caribbean for centuries, providing habitat and food for ocean wildlife, including threatened and endangered species such as the porbeagle shark and the anguillid eel .

Conditions over the past decade around the Caribbean Sea, North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, however, have been anything but normal .

Since 2011 , vast mats of sargassum seaweed have been washing up on Caribbean islands. On shore, they pile up into a dead and stinky mass.

An illustration showing sargassum washing ashore and some of the problems it causes, including health effects, inaccessible beaches and clogged water intakes.

These sargassum events have been occurring more frequently and are lasting longer, and the amount of algae is increasing.

The situation has gotten so bad that NOAA created a weekly sargassum inundation risk index in collaboration with the University of South Florida. They have predicted that 2024 will be another terrible year for the Caribbean.

Pollution fuels a hazardous algae bloom

So, what is causing the explosive growth of this algae? Studies have pointed to pollution that the Caribbean region itself has done little to contribute to.

Humans are altering the nutrient cycle by releasing fertilizer runoff and industrial wastewater into rivers, which sends phosphates and nitrates down river systems and out into the oceans. These are key nutrients for plant growth.

An underwater photo looking up at a diver with seaweed at the surface above her.

A rapid increase in ranching, logging and agriculture along the Amazon River in South America is one source, sending huge amounts of nutrients washing into the river , which terminates in the Caribbean Sea.

Another culprit is the Mississippi River, which carries nutrient-rich effluent from farms and industries into the Gulf of Mexico .

The Congo River in Africa also carries pollutants into the ocean from deforestation , and burning forests can deliver nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and iron, that further fuel algae growth .

These pollutants are swept up by ocean currents . An increase in phosphate and nitrogen water pollution, combined with warming waters, is believed to have supercharged seaweed normally carried by currents from the Sargasso Sea and created the sargassum belt , which persists across the Caribbean today.

Coasts, fishing industries can’t escape the harm

In small quantities, sargassum plays a role in beach nourishment . But when it inundates coastlines, the rotting seaweed smothers beaches and reduces the amount of oxygen in the water , killing fish and harming fragile coral reefs.

Boats sit among seaweed in an harbor. The beach between the photographer and the central boat in the image is covered with seaweed.

The massive influx of sargassum has also disrupted fishing operations. Fishers find themselves struggling to maintain their livelihoods as sargassum is diminishing their catch . The seaweed has damaged fishing gear and boat engines and blocked access to harbors and mooring sites .

In addition, sargassum can concentrate arsenic , which poses the risk of contaminating fish and harming people who may eat them.

Sargassum on land is a public health threat

Sargassum rots quickly when stranded. Within 48 hours, it begins to degrade, releasing hydrogen sulphide and ammonia . At certain concentrations, these gases become not only toxic to the marine environment but also to human health.

There have been a growing number of reported cases of neurological, digestive and respiratory disorders associated with the noxious gases being emitted. Guadeloupe’s air-quality monitoring institute Gwad’Air has issued red alerts in recent years because of dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide gas being emitted from rotting sargassum.

The most common symptoms experienced by people living within close proximity to sargassum are headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, cough, rashes, eye disorders and effects on mood. Sargassum odors have led to an increase in nausea and headaches among school-age children . Pregnant women in the region are also being affected, with increasing reported cases of preeclampsia .

Sargassum has also clogged water intake tubes for desalination plants and power plants that use seawater for cooling , causing these units to shut down.

In the British Virgin Islands, sargassum sucked into the main desalination plant in 2023 led to smelly tap water and sporadic water shut-offs . In Virgin Gorda and St. Croix , people have reported smells, a burning sensation and skin rashes from their tap water.

Sargassum blooms also damage economies

Millions of tons of dead and rotting seaweed washing ashore can have widespread economic consequences.

The odor of the rotting seaweed attracts insects, which has been a repellent for some tourists . Cleaning the beaches and disposing of tons of debris, typically in landfills, cost the Caribbean about US$120 million in 2018 .

That doesn’t include the economic losses for hotels, fisheries and other businesses.

Small businesses such as Jet Ski rentals that depend on the coast for revenue generation have at times been forced to shut down because of the odorous gases released from the decaying mass.

Is there a solution?

Research and entrepreneurial initiatives are underway to try to deal with the seaweed. Companies have tried turning it into fertilizer , cattle feed and concrete , but so far only at small scale.

Governments have made little progress beyond agreeing to some fisheries management rules to protect vulnerable species . A few countries have draft management strategies , but action is typically focused on protecting the tourism industry, with little attention given to fisherfolk and local communities.

The sargassum invasion is fueled by global pollution, and fixing that requires a global response.

The United Nations Environment Program has called for increased international cooperation to understand the causes and impact of sargassum invasions and to find ways to help the countries affected. But so far, the international community has done little to address the pollution at the root of the problem.

  • Climate change
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  • Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt

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Meet The Winners: Japan National Tourism Organization

During Routes Asia 2024 in Langkawi, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) spoke to Routes about growing inbound traveler numbers and what it meant to be named the Overall Winner at the Routes Awards.  

JNTO’s primary objective is to promote inbound tourism to Japan, providing services for foreign visitors and the Japanese tourism industry. Achieving an 85% recovery in passenger numbers compared to pre-pandemic levels, JNTO has pursued sustained growth through a strategic approach to route development. 

The organization’s market development strategy encompasses initiatives to promote visitors to regional areas. Collaborating with airlines and travel agencies, including online platforms, it runs campaigns with a focus on key targets like Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand, identified for their high interest in regional exploration and repeat visits. 

Akira Watabe, director global projects at JNTO, said that by analyzing data, its successful campaigns to increase passenger numbers on discounted routes from Hong Kong and Bangkok to Kansai International Airport (KIX) led to more than 2,300 international flight reservations from Hong Kong and over 900 from Thailand. 

JNTO also provides valuable insights into local market trends, consumer behavior, and regulatory requirements, helping airlines develop profitable routes. Work includes collaborations with carriers such as Peach on airline-specific marketing campaigns to promote passenger incentives and attractions. 

Japan has also been selected as the host country for World Expo 2025 in Osaka, Kansai. More than 160 and 28.2 million visitors are expected to visit the event, while the Asia-Pacific Institute of Research estimates visitor spending at ¥891.3 billion ($5.67 billion). Watabe noted that this presents “a great opportunity to promote Japan to the world and increase passenger numbers.” 

At the Routes Awards in Langkawi, JNTO was named the winner of the Destination Category and crowned the Overall Winner. Recognized by its airline partners, Watabe told Routes: “We are very much honored to receive this prestigious award.” 

  • Routes Asia 2024
  • Japan National Tourism Organization

Routes Asia 2024 brings together the network development community from the region ands beyond for the event in langkawi, Malaysia, alongside a conference programme with high-level speakers. Read all the news from Routes Asia 2024.

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    The Caribbean Tourism Organization aims to promote and market the Caribbean destination brand. CTO envisions the global recognition of the Caribbean as a growing set of places and experiences that ...

  9. Contact CTO

    The Caribbean Tourism Organization is located in Barbados. BARBADOS. 7th Floor Baobab Tower, Warrens St Michael, BB 22026 Barbados. Tel: 246-427-5242. Email: ctobarbados @ caribtourism . com. ... We send out press releases about CTO's work, developments in the Caribbean tourism industry, news about tourism statistics and news from our ...

  10. Caribbean Tourism Organization celebrates 35 years, announces 2024

    BARBADOS - Secretary-General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Dona Regis-Prosper has welcomed 2024 by recognizing January as the organization's 35th anniversary and inviting regional tourism stakeholders to join the CTO in a yearlong journey of celebrating the rich tapestry of cultures, landscapes and experiences that define the Caribbean.

  11. Tourism Awareness Campaign

    Welcome to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region's tourism development agency representing 24 Dutch, English, Spanish and French country members, as well as a myriad of private sector entities. Tourism concerns all of us, and the CTO is working to ensure the sustainable development of Caribbean Tourism for the enjoyment of ...

  12. The Caribbean Tourism Organization Has a New Secretary General

    The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization has its long-awaited new top executive. Saint Lucia native Dona Regis-Prosper has been appointed as the organization's new Secretary General and ...

  13. Caribbean Week

    Kenneth Bryan, a dynamic Caribbean leader, was appointed as the Cayman Islands Minister for Tourism and Ports in 2021. In September 2022, he took on the role of Chairmanship of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism for the 2022-2024 term.

  14. Caribbean Tourism Organisation

    The magnificent Caribbean countries have been blessed with more than their fair share of the planet's natural beauty. From the iconic panoramas of white sand beaches and aquamarine oceans, to the lush, verdant interiors decorated with rainforests, waterfalls, swamps and volcanic mountains, there's a jaw-dropping picture-postcard image at every ...

  15. CTO upbeat about 2023 Caribbean tourism outlook

    The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) is voicing optimism on the region's tourism prospects for the remainder of 2023. Speaking in Barbados during the organisation's launch of the 2022 "Tourism Performance and Outlook Report," Acting Secretary General of the CTO, Neil Walters declared that the Caribbean had one of the quickest ...

  16. The Caribbean Tourism Organization and The Grenada Tourism Authority

    ST. GEORGE, GRENADA - Caribbean and international tourism industry experts will explore the "5 Ps for a Legacy of Caribbean Tourism Sustainability" as the theme for the Caribbean Tourism Organization's Sustainable Tourism Conference, which takes place in Grenada from April 22 to April 24, 2024.. Under the overarching theme, the conference will delve into the pivotal 5 Ps - People ...

  17. Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework 2020

    The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), is the region's tourism development agency, with 25 Dutch, English and French country members and a myriad of private sector allied members. More details:

  18. Home

    Caribbean Tourism Organization. Training with Visual Storytelling. Caribbean Tourism Organization. Bite-sized microlearning to get straight to the point. Learning On Your Schedule Our world-class online programs and courses offer you the flexibility to learn at your own pace, on a schedule that suits your lifestyle.

  19. Annual Reviews & Prospects

    State of the Industry Report - Hon. Richard Sealy, Chairman, Caribbean Tourism Organization. State of the Industry Report - Hugh Riley, Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism Organization. Caribbean Tourism Review, End of Year 2014 ~ updated Feb. 11, 2015. Minor changes were made to Figure 2.2.2, Table A1 and the analysis of the cruise sector.

  20. Caribbean Tourism Organization CTO

    One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is the Caribbean's regional tourism development agency. The CTO was established in 1989 and was set up with the aim of being an organized body to focus on the entire region of the Caribbean as a single destination entity. Now, with a membership of over 30 countries and territories, as well as private sector members ...

  21. Statistics

    Latest Monthly Tourism Statistics (published by 30th) : US$45 per issue ; US$360 per annual subscription. Quarterly Statistical Review (published by 30th of the second month after the end of the quarter) : US $125 per issue; US $385 per annual subscription. Annual Report (published by 30th April of the following year) : US$495US per issue.

  22. About STC 2024

    About STC 2024. The Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development, popularly known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC) is the Caribbean region's premier event for high-level networking and regional dialogue on sustainable tourism development and provides a platform for tourism policy makers, private sector stakeholders, thought leaders and strategic partners, to discuss the ...

  23. Tourism Minister Bartlett in New York for CTO Caribbean Week

    3 minutes ago. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett arrived in New York City to participate in a series of events and activities for the Caribbean Tourism Organization's (CTO) Caribbean ...

  24. Cabo Verde Must Invest in the Blue Economy for Growth and Sustainability

    Praia, June 10, 2024 - Cabo Verde has shown resilience in the post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery, but the crisis highlighted vulnerabilities such as dependence on tourism and risks from underperforming State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).Climate change is exacerbating these weaknesses. In its report, Cabo Verde Economic Update 2024, the World Bank analyzes the state of the Cape Verdean economy in 2023 ...

  25. Sargassum is choking the Caribbean's white sand beaches, fueling an

    Sargassum levels were already high around many eastern Caribbean islands in late May 2024. Forecasters expect increasing sargassum washing up in June on many of the islands and in the Gulf of Mexico.

  26. Meet The Winners: Japan National Tourism Organization

    June 14, 2024. During Routes Asia 2024 in Langkawi, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) spoke to Routes about growing inbound traveler numbers and what it meant to be named the Overall ...

  27. Annual Statistical Report

    CTO Annual Statistical Report 2019. The Caribbean destinations received an estimated 32.0 million international tourist arrivals in 2019, 4.4% or some 1.3 million more than the 30.7 million of 2018. The region has maintained its 2.2% share of global arrivals from the previous year as destinations impacted during the 2017 hurricane season ...