A cadre of former Caribbean destination management officials has been elected to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) allied member board of directors by the private sector members of the organization. At its recent election to select a team of five to represent their interests on the CTO board of directors and executive committee, the allied members chose a diverse group, chaired by William “Billy” Griffith, a former CEO of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, now managing director of WCG Consulting Ltd.
“I am honoured to have been elected to represent the allied members of the CTO and represent this diverse group of companies, as its chairman, at this critical stage of our tourism destiny,” said Griffith. “My immediate priority will be to re-energise and increase the membership base, build capacity and work with the executive branch on a cohesive plan to recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19.”
Griffith is one of three new allied members elected to the five-member board. The other two are Seleni Matus, a former director of tourism in Belize, now executive director of the International Institute of Tourism Studies at George Washington University, and Sharon Flax-Brutus, a former director of tourism of the British Virgin Islands, now director and strategist at White Oleander Destinations.
“Strong regional tourism organisations are important now more than ever before. I am delighted to work alongside a great group of regional leaders to assist the Caribbean Tourism Organization and its member states to create new tools and partnerships that will enhance resilience and sustainability of the tourism industry,” said Matus.
“As a director of the allied board I would first like us to help the organisation to regain the confidence of the private sector so that our membership can not only grow but be representative of the various sectors of the tourism industry,” added Flax-Brutus. “I would also like to see increased opportunities for allied members to participate in, and facilitate more, dialogue on how we can all work together for the benefit of Caribbean tourism.”
The new board members will be supported by returning members, Jacqueline Johnson, the CEO of Global Bridal Group and MarryCaribbean.com, and Barry Brown, Afar Media’s executive director for the Caribbean. Both have served on the allied board for many years and both have renewed their commitment to supporting the CTO’s objectives.
“I am happy to be a part of the allied board of the CTO. Particularly in these unprecedented times, allieds have an opportunity to rebuild interest and support for this most vibrant organisation as it creates a new vision for the future,” said Brown.
“I am very pleased with the roster of talent available to help with the rebuilding of the organisation during and after the COVID-19 crisis. The pool of skilled tourism practitioners from the region speaks volume about the importance of tourism and the need to ‘build better together,’” said Johnson. “I am delighted to be included in this important roster of professionals.”
Through various activities and events, the allied members utilise their wide roster of professionals and expertise to assist the CTO with its development programme for Caribbean tourism. In consultation with the wider allied membership, the board makes recommendations on regional tourism programmes to the CTO board of directors, identifies opportunities to build the CTO’s non-government membership programme, and coordinates key activities during
Elections for the allied board are held every two years for the private sector and non-governmental members of the CTO. This year’s election was held virtually for the first time.