Tourism Minister Wilchcombe Elected to Chair the CTO

Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe was elected as the new chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) at the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Barbados on Thursday, September 15.

Minister Wilchcombe, who will serve his second non-consecutive two-year term, replaces Barbados Tourism Minister Richard Sealy.

“I intend to build up on what [Sealy] began and I also intend to build on the relationship with the private sector,” Wilchcombe said in a statement following the election. “I’ve always thought that the CTO is the body that provides equity and we can; and the way is to speak with the same voice. We also have to deal with the issue of inter-regional travel,” Minister Wilchcombe said.

Wilchcombe, who previously served as CTO chairman in 2002, said he is honored to be at helm of the Caribbean organization once again. He added that in order to achieve greater success, the Caribbean community must have a spirit of togetherness.

Tourism Director General Joy Jibrilu was named chairman of CTO Board of Directors. According to the CTO Constitution, the Board Chairman and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism must come from the same Member Country.

Director General Jibrilu said she is “extremely honored” to serve.

“It is a phenomenal opportunity for The Bahamas,” she said. “I am anxious to begin my work and to continue to build on the wonderful job that Minister Sealy and his team has done over the last two years. Minister Wilchcombe and I have our work cut out for us but we are up to the task.”

In addition to the election of the chairman, vice chairs were elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors to represent various sub-groups – Curacao, representing the Dutch Caribbean; Martinique representing the French Caribbean; Barbados and Belize, representing the Independent CARICOM countries and the Turks & Caicos Islands representing the British Overseas Territories,

Each of these Member Countries will form the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, which will be completed with representatives from the private sector.

The conference, at the Hilton Barbados Resort, ends September 16.

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