The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) has appointed Lotus its new UK PR agency, and vowed to redouble its efforts to raise awareness of its members and other CTO activity among the trade.
Colin Pegler, chair of the CTO’s UK and Europe chapter, said the firm’s Caribbean expertise made them an "ideal partner" during what he said would be a "vital period" for the region as it emerges from the coronavirus crisis.
Besides Pegler, Lotus will also report to secretariat head Carol Hay. The CO represents more than 65 travel-related businesses, including airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, destinations and hotel representatives, with the aim of increasing tourist numbers, revenue and overall business to the Caribbean.
Jules Ugo, Lotus chief executive, will head up the account, along with associate director Jo Johnson, Lotus’ in-house Caribbean expert.
Her work includes extensive involvement with trade associations and other industry bodies, including the Latin American Travel Association and European Tourism Association – both accounts held by Lotus.
Johnson has been involved in promoting the Caribbean during her entire 30-year PR and communications career. She oversaw communication of Caribbean Connections’ rebrand as ITC, and has headed up campaigns for Royal Pavilion and Glitter Bay in Barbados.
She has also previously worked with the Bahamas National Tourist Office, and advised the St Vincent and Grenadines Tourism Authority.
The new relationship comes with the travel industry facing unprecedented challenges, with Hay and the CTO’s marketing and business development lead Florian Valmy Devillers working closely with the chapter during lockdown to create a membership community while they tackle the impact of a "deeply-decreased" tourism market in a region reliant on tourism revenue.
“The Chapter is greatly looking forward to working with Lotus," said Pegler. "Their knowledge of the Caribbean, senior media contacts and expertise in delivering campaigns for trade associations make them an ideal partner for the chapter during this vital period.”
Lotus’ activity will be focused on media outreach, targeting consumer and trade media raising awareness of both the individual members of the chapter and their initiatives and USPs, and wider chapter activity with the overall goal of recruiting and retaining membership.
“We are delighted to be working with the CTO chapter UK and Europe," Ugo added. "The Caribbean is very close to the Lotus heart and we are huge advocates of the region’s holiday offering.
"We are honoured to be supporting the chapter at this critical time to ensure the profile of the chapter and therefore the Caribbean is optimised and that tourism to the region bounces back.”