iLocal News Archives


DECEMBER 11, 2023

CMEx laureates celebrated

CMEx President Bevan Springer (fourth from right) with seven of the 2023 CMEx Leadership Award laureates (from left) Kevin OReggio, Pat Montague, Joy Jibrilu, Nicola Madden-Greig, Dona Regis-Prosper, Ewald Biemans, and Beverly Nicholson-Doty

On behalf of the Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) and Marketplace Excellence (MPE) teams, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the individuals, attendees and organizations who came together to support the 2023 CMEx Leadership Awards Luncheon and Fundraiser.

The event, held on December 2, 2023, in Miami, Florida, was a resounding success thanks to the invaluable contributions of many. The energy and excitement were palpable as participants celebrated the achievements of the region’s tourism and communications leaders. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to honor the distinguished laureates.

Thank you to the sponsors and supporters whose contributions played a crucial role in the event’s success. Your support not only made this event memorable but also enables CMEx to continue its mission. We are dedicated to supporting and developing the ability of the media, government, the travel and tourism industry and communities to consider the importance of tourism in sustainable development, while lending a hand to the communities involved by sharing relevant expertise, financial and in-kind assistance.

We look forward to sharing more details about our future initiatives and continuing this journey together.

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Caribbean tourism stakeholders chart new tourism course at CHIEF meeting in Miami

CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig, OD

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) marked a successful return of the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) at Hilton Airport Blue Lagoon, November 29 to December 1, 2023.

The conference theme was “A New Era of Tourism: Balancing Tradition, Technology and Community” and delegates explored a wide variety of topics, from digital marketing and entrepreneurship to sustainable tourism development and artificial intelligence.

CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig’s vision for Caribbean tourism, as outlined in her opening speech, focused on several key areas to significantly boost the region’s GDP and jobs by 2032.

Air Connectivity: She emphasized the importance of enhancing air connectivity with new low-cost carriers from both existing and new markets, recognizing this as crucial for significant growth in the region.

Multi-Destination Travel: The CHTA president advocated for promoting the entire Caribbean as a holistic destination, encouraging visitors and Caribbean nationals alike to explore and discover the diverse offerings of the region.

Digital, Human-Centric Solutions: The adoption of digital solutions is seen as vital but should have a human-centric approach. This includes modern infrastructure and a highly trained workforce, ensuring technology enhances, rather than replaces, human jobs.

Authentic Product Offerings: Madden-Greig stressed the importance of offering authentic Caribbean experiences that highlight the region’s unique culture, cuisine and natural assets. She believes in packaging these in a way that represents the Caribbean essence.

Crisis Preparedness: Learning from the COVID-19 pandemic, the award-winning hotelier underscored the importance of being prepared for future crises. This involves collaboration and a strategic approach that proved successful in the past.

Environmental Protection: The vision includes a strong focus on environmental sustainability, particularly revitalizing coral reef systems and ensuring all tourism investments incorporate environmental protection.

Support for Local Entrepreneurs: Emphasizing tourism as a driver for economic growth, Madden-Greig advocated for supporting local entrepreneurs on both the supply and demand sides to build regional and international brands and create generational wealth.

Collaboration and Coordination: She called for seamless collaboration and coordination between industry and government, and amongst all stakeholders in the region.

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Caribbean hotelier and former US/UN Ambassador named new bank directors in Grenada

Caribbean hotelier Barry Collymore (left) and Dr. Angus Friday,former Grenada Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, have been appointed to the Board of Directors of Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited, effective December 1, 2023.

Collymore, former Chairman of the Grenada Tourism Authority, is the owner and executive chairman of Mount Cinnamon Resort & Beach Club and director and co-founder of the West Indies School of Hospitality.

Dr. Friday is Strategic Partnerships Director within the Blue Economy team at the Waitt Institute, helping to accelerate sustainable development and ocean conservation in Smart Sustainable Ocean States. He previously served as Oceans Representative at the World Bank and also as chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) while serving as Grenada’s UN Ambassador.

The bank recently announced the retirement of long-serving directors Leon Charles and Richard Lewis.

Public Relations Tips: Telling your story

In the dynamic world of public relations, the ability to tell a captivating story is a powerful tool that can elevate your brand and engage your audience. Whether you’re promoting a product, sharing company values or highlighting achievements, effective storytelling is key to leaving a lasting impression. 

There are a few ways to master the art of storytelling. The first is to know your audience. Understanding your target audience is the foundation of a compelling story. Shape your narrative to resonate with their interests, values and aspirations. Speak their language, and you’ll establish a connection that goes beyond mere communication. Tailor your storytelling approach to the medium you’re using. A story that works well in a news release might need adjustment for a social media post or a blog. Consider the platform’s nuances and audience expectations.

When starting your story, it’s important to grab your audience’s attention from the beginning. Whether it’s a surprising fact, a relatable anecdote, or a thought-provoking question, a strong hook sets the tone for the rest of your story. Craft a story that unfolds logically, keeping your audience engaged from start to finish. Build anticipation, introduce tension, and offer a satisfying resolution. Authenticity builds trust, so sharing genuine experiences, challenges and triumphs will get the desired audience interest. Authentic stories resonate more deeply and create a human connection that traditional marketing tactics often lack.

Lastly, brevity is often key. While your story should be rich in detail, avoid unnecessary information. Get to the point and keep your audience’s attention by respecting their time. Remember, storytelling is an ongoing process of refinement. By developing a narrative strategy, you’ll not only capture attention but also build a brand that resonates with your audience on a deeper level. Craft your story with intention and watch your PR efforts unfold with lasting impact.

Quotable Caribbean

“Stop worrying about HOW it will get done. Press GO, have fun, and enjoy the process fully.” – Vanessa James, Founder, VJ Media (Medium)

Digital Digest

The power of AI and Human perspectives

AI or Artificial Intelligence is a powerful tool for content production, including articles, images, and videos. However, it requires not only intelligent input from the user, but also a keen eye to understand the product. AI is only part of the solution because it’s the human element that makes it powerful and effective. Here’s a guide to understanding the balance.

  • Supercharging Production: Using prompts to create your content and visuals, AI will supercharge your process, but the quality of the input will determine the quality of the output. Take time to learn and perfect prompts.
  • Realign Focus: AI will take away the major load of your production leaving behind time for strategy, high-level planning, and other tactics. 
  • The Human Element: AI is only part of the solution. To reach the desired output it’s imperative to leverage the AI product as a starting point for more qualitative assignments such as content writing and problem solving. Once a basepoint is established, drive it to the finish line using your own methods. 
  • Establishing Ethics and Oversight: Misuse of generative AI poses brand, legal, and ethical issues around infringement, fairness, misinformation, and more. Internal governance is key to ensuring AI use is within ethical guidelines.
  • Work Distribution: Once AI production becomes part of the flow, reevaluate your process in a few months to assess the pros and cons of the system. The best practice would be to learn and evolve with AI and master the art of balance, not reliance, between human intervention and AI.

Generative AI brings revolutionary potential but it’s not a plug-and-play system in its true form. Work with AI like you would work on any other skill to harness its true potential. The intellectual capacity of the human mind can and should not be underestimated.

Need a training session on integrating AI in your marketing operations? Give us a call or drop us a line on +1 201 861-2056 or [email protected].

Medical Moment

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day takes place on December 12, 2023, and serves as an opportunity to reinvigorate commitments to expedite the implementation of Universal Health Coverage , particularly in the aftermath of the profound economic and social repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the overarching theme of “Health for All: Time for Action” for this year’s UHC Day, the emphasis is on taking immediate and tangible measures to shape the desired global landscape.

The 2023 UHC Day campaign endeavors to:

  • Acknowledge and celebrate the strides made in the realm of Universal Health Coverage.
  • Enhance awareness to foster a better understanding of the significance of UHC for societal and economic well-being.
  • Empower the public and civil societies, urging them to actively participate in engaging policymakers to fulfill their commitments to Universal Health Coverage.

CHIEF Spotlight

Dr. Basil Springer (center), CHIEF panelist Isabel de Caires of CIBC First Caribbean International Bank (left) and panel moderator Snjezana Andrews of Clearwater Capital (right)

A standout session at the recent CHIEF conference in Miami was the panel on “Next Gen Ownership: Financing and Development Opportunities for Young Entrepreneurs”. Among the distinguished panelists was Marketplace Excellence Director Dr. Basil Springer, who offered valuable insights on shepherding the next generation of entrepreneurs. The session, led by the adept moderation of Snjezana Andrews, CEO of Clearwater Capital in the Turks and Caicos Islands, was both engaging and informative. Isabel de Caires, Director of Investment Banking at CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, also contributed significantly, bringing a dynamic perspective to the discussion.


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