CAYMAN ISLANDS – Addressing a group of local, regional and international media during a live press briefing in the Cayman Islands yesterday, Dona Regis-Prosper, Secretary-General and CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) presented some of her initial plans for leading the intergovernmental body that serves as the tourism development agency for 25 Caribbean countries and territories.
Regis-Prosper, who is St. Lucian by birth, was joined by Kenneth Bryan, Chairman of the CTO’s Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism, who also serves as Minister of Tourism & Ports of the Cayman Islands, and Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO’s Board of Directors and Director of Tourism for the Cayman Islands.
Acknowledging the strategic, multidimensional nature of the CEO’s responsibilities, Minister Bryan lauded Regis-Prosper for her “wealth of experience, a passion for tourism and a commitment to the Caribbean that aligns perfectly with our organization’s vision”.
Regis-Prosper has held prominent leadership roles in the public and private sectors within the Caribbean region. “Her qualified understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face positions her as an ideal leader to guide the organization into a prosperous future,” said Minister Bryan.
As Secretary-General, Regis-Prosper will be charged with providing strategic direction and leadership to the CTO staff, collaborating with more than two dozen member countries and territories, and working closely with partners and stakeholders to advance the organization’s mission.
In addition to re-imagining and transforming the organization, Director Harris noted that Regis-Prosper’s role also involves addressing a range of pressing issues facing the Caribbean’s tourism industry, including advocacy, research, airlift, sustainability, and resilience.
During the past week, Regis-Prosper was introduced to the focus areas that the organization’s members and partners have indicated are most important to them, including delivering membership benefits and value; generating greater tourism linkages between the industry and other economic sectors nationally, regionally, and globally; promoting multi-destination tourism as a collaborative strategy; climate change; crisis management; establishing tourism standards to ensure the region’s continued competitiveness and attractiveness; human resources capital and workforce management; and the promotion of the Caribbean’s diverse heritage and culture.
“I am deeply honored to step into the role of Secretary-General of the CTO. The Caribbean is a dynamic region with immense tourism potential. With the support of my Chairmanship and the CTO team, I am confident that we will implement the best strategy for leveraging our Caribbean brand for the benefit and greater good of the people of the Caribbean region," stated Regis-Prosper, who added that she is committed to “collaborating closely with all our members” to grow the region’s tourism industry.
Before fielding questions from media on topics ranging from airport management and capacity to marketing and the sharing economy, Regis-Prosper pledged to have open ears for members’ concerns.
“My first order of business has been and will continue to be listening in the coming months. I intend to learn and be informed as much as possible about the challenges faced by each member and to develop workable solutions that will be beneficial nationally and regionally,” she assured.
Next up on the agenda for the new Secretary-General and her team is the returning State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC), the Caribbean’s premier forum for the presentation and exploration of the major issues impacting the development of the sector in the region, which will be held in the Turks and Caicos Islands, October 9-13, 2023.
Prior to the appointment of Regis-Prosper, Neil Walters, CTO’s Director of Finance and Resource Management, had been filling the position as Acting Secretary-General and CEO since 2019.