The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced it will shut its UK office at the end of January next year as part of a major restructuring exercise.
The CTO said in a statement issued on Tuesday evening (15 October) it recognised the need to “reinvent and reposition” the organisation.
Closure of the UK office will be preceded by closure of the CTO’s New York office at the end of the year.
The CTO will also carry out a “comprehensive audit” of its Barbados office.
“Over the past two decades, there has been much discussion surrounding the promotion and development of tourism in the Caribbean, the world’s most tourism-dependent region” read the CTO statement.
“While there have been many visions, plans, papers written and philosophies espoused, there has been widespread acceptance that much improvement is needed to elevate tourism development in the region.”
The CTO said the most commonly discussed aspirations for the organisation included marketing the Caribbean as a single brand, undertaking more in-depth research and pursuing a “greater uniformed approach to policy formation and product development”.
“We are of the firm view that in order to play a stronger role in the new era of tourism development, we have to reinvent and reposition the organization as a pillar upon which tourism advancement can rest,” it said.
“This restructuring exercise is expected to significantly reduce the operational expenditures of CTO, giving it more capacity to undertake its key functions of regional marketing, statistics and research, and product development.
“[The] CTO notes that this exercise will lead to some displacement, but firmly believes that it represents a strong revitalization of the organization.
“This is a necessary process to ensure tourism plays its most vital role as a means to bring about opportunity and prosperity for the people of the Caribbean.”