Caribbean Tourism Organisation drops roadshow for training conference

THE Caribbean Tourism Organisation roadshow is to be dropped in favour of a training conference at Aston University in Birmingham.

The event, scheduled for September 5 to 7, will give two groups of up to 200 agents the chance to learn about the Caribbean during an intensive one-day residential seminar.

Group one – probably southern-based agents – will arrive in the afternoon of September 5, and will enjoy a Caribbean party before a full-day seminar the following day.

They will depart at 5pm on September 6, when group two – the northern-based agents – will arrive for their Caribbean party and seminar on September 7.

CTO director of marketing UK and Europe Julia Hendry said the roadshow concept had become tired and was an awkward mix of product knowledge, training and socialising.

She said: “In the new format the party is on the first evening and the next day will be devoted to business, so there will be a clear divide.

“Also, as the agents will stay on the campus and the seminars will be held in the university’s meeting rooms, they will be learning in a serious study environment.

“We believe this will be a more effective use of time for both the agents and our members.”

The CTO is now looking to galvanise members to provide support to make sure the event is a success. Members will provide the training on the night, and the CTO is also looking for sponsorship for transportation and other expenses and wants to confirm that agency managers will agree to release staff for a day.

It is hoped the event will be free, with agents paying a refundable deposit at the time of booking, but this is to be confirmed.

Hendry said: “Some of the agents invited will be signed up to the CTO training programme, but we want to get new retailers who don’t sell many Caribbean holidays. We will be going to the consortia, homeworkers and good long-haul shops.”

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