iLocal News Archives


FEBRUARY 5, 2024

St. Martin to host CTO business meetings

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will hold its first round of 2024 business meetings in St. Martin this week.

Tourism Ministers, Commissioners and Directors from the 25-member interregional grouping and industry executives will converge on the French side of the dual-nation island for a series of meetings focused on charting the future of Caribbean tourism.

The CTO will convene the staging of three distinct meetings: the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and the Council of Ministers & Commissioners of Tourism. 

CTO celebrated its 35th anniversary last month and announced “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity” as this year’s theme, a call to embrace the uniqueness of each Caribbean destination while recognizing the shared thread that binds the region together as one vibrant and diverse Caribbean family.

CTO Secretary-General Dona Regis-Prosper commented, “Guided by this theme, we aim to foster deeper connections among our Caribbean nations and the entire global community.”

During the visit, delegates will also visit Anguilla, a 25-minute ferry ride away.

She expressed appreciation to the governments of St. Martin and Anguilla for hosting the regional delegation during the week.

Bay Gardens, Monroe College unite to elevate hospitality education

Bay Gardens Executive Director Sanovnik Destang (left), guest speaker at Monroe College’s graduation ceremony in St. Lucia last year, is pictured with Monroe College President Marc Jerome.

Bay Gardens Resorts, the locally owned and operated hospitality group in St. Lucia, has inked a progressive partnership with Monroe College in New York, offering staff members opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree in Business Management and Hospitality Management.

The College will provide scholarships that cover at least half the tuition fees, with the resort covering the balance. Over the next four years, Bay Gardens Resorts will invest more than US$37,000 to help 20 employees earn degrees.

“Since 2007, Monroe College has been helping the people of St. Lucia achieve their academic dreams and improve their social mobility through education, and we are delighted to partner with Bay Gardens to

do the same for their exceptional employees,” said Monroe College President Marc Jerome. “We look forward to welcoming the first scholarship recipients from Bay Gardens to campus soon.” The American institution has a local campus on the island in Castries.

“With this partnership being the first of its kind, we are excited to embark on this journey with Monroe College, marking a new era of educational opportunities within the hospitality sector,” said Sanovnik Destang, Executive Director of Bay Gardens Resorts. “Many of our employees are Monroe College graduates, most of whom are now in managerial positions,” he commented.

Julian Rogers: A trailblazer in Caribbean media

Caribbean media pioneer Julian Rogers. To view video click HERE

Julian Rogers is an inspirational figure in Caribbean media. Over approximately six decades he has evolved from a scriptwriter in Barbados to a media star whose influence has touched every corner of the Caribbean.

Rogers’ journey began in 1964 at Barbados Rediffusion Service Limited, now Starcom Network. His flair for storytelling and passion for broadcasting propelled him into various roles – radio announcer, producer, and media manager. His career was not only a job but also a calling that took him across the Caribbean, leaving indelible marks in each destination he lived.

In Montserrat, Rogers became the Head of the English Service of Radio Antilles, making waves with his innovative approaches to broadcasting. In Antigua and Barbuda, he was instrumental in launching commercial radio stations, becoming a household name as a presenter and program-maker.

Returning to Barbados, he joined the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation as a television news anchor and producer. He went on to transform independent radio stations like Voice of Barbados into market leaders in the 1980s and 1990s.

Rogers played pivotal roles in launching or revamping media formats in Trinidad and Tobago and St. Kitts and Nevis. He capped a distinguished career in media management, retiring as Managing Director of the Jamaica Observer.

Beyond his management roles, Julian has been a guiding force as a media consultant and educator. Working with public agencies, firms, and NGOs and advising the University of the West Indies, he has shaped the next generation of Caribbean media professionals.

In 2014, Rogers’ contributions were formally recognized when he was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), a fitting tribute to his exceptional contributions to Caribbean media and communication.

December brought a new accolade for Julian – the Caribbean Media Exchange Leadership Award. Though unable to attend the ceremony in Miami, his presence was felt through a heartfelt acceptance speech delivered from his home in Kingston, Jamaica.

Quotable Caribbean

“The Caribbean has the world’s highest extinction rates. For example, of all the birds that have gone extinct (in the world), 10 percent of them went extinct in the Caribbean. Forty percent of the mammals were in the Caribbean. Over two thirds of the reptiles were in the Caribbean. This region has lost so much of its wildlife, but still has a lot left. And a lot of species at the moment are down on the brink of extinction … but we can change that if we work together with our local communities, the governments, the private sector, we can save wildlife … we need to look after our biodiversity, because it helps look after us.” – Dr. Jenny Daltry, Caribbean Alliance Director, Re:wild

PR and Community

In an era defined by connectivity, the role of Public Relations (PR) and Community Relations has become more crucial than ever. It is imperative that brands not only acknowledge their communities’ needs but also advocate for them.

Consumers are more conscientious and socially aware than ever. Brands championing social causes and demonstrating a commitment to making a positive impact are more likely to garner support. Through PR, a brand can showcase its social responsibility initiatives, building consumer trust and loyalty. Communicating a brand’s values, goals and how it contributes positively to society will foster a sense of accountability and strengthen credibility.

PR can be a powerful tool for broadcasting a brand’s commitment to principles such as respecting diverse perspectives, supporting underrepresented communities, and participating in initiatives promoting inclusivity.

Digital Digest

Tracking Your Competitors

In a competitive business environment, keeping track of how the competition operates and strategizes is essential. 

Data is critical because it can be culled and can serve as the impetus for your next marketing or sales strategy or inspiration for a big idea. Either way, data collection and monitoring are fundamental. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Identify your true competitors. Only some entities that share the same audience pool are your competition.
  • Track the social, digital and PR performance of your competition. Most data is public, so you can set up monitoring and flagging to stay updated.
  • Get a leg up on your competition by employing creativity instead of price wars or “copy-paste” executions.
  • Be agile with your tactics and be mindful of your long-term strategies. Don’t give your competition the power to rush you into hasty decisions or mediocre executions. 

Setting up competition monitoring is simple, but it must be done right.

If you need help navigating the industry to remain relevant, contact us at [email protected]. We’d be happy to provide insight.

Medical Moment

Dr. Niranjan Nagaraja of Health City Cayman Islands

Dr. Niranjan Nagaraja, a Senior Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at Health City Cayman Islands, recently offered key insights on foot pain, focusing on prevention and treatment of the condition, which impacts a large percentage of adults.

Dr. Nagaraja attributes this high incidence to a combination of factors, including the prevalence of overweight individuals, which, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, stands at approximately 75 percent in the United States.  

He explains that foot pain arises from an interplay of the load on the foot and regional anatomical and physiological factors. Dr. Nagaraja said conditions such as plantar fasciitis, Haglund syndrome, and navicular and metatarsal strain are prevalent (after eliminating diabetic or neuropathic foot issues).

The orthopedic specialist identifies the primary causes of foot pain in his patients as lack of stretching, being overweight, wearing inappropriate shoes, biomechanical disadvantages such as flat feet, and repetitive stress injuries

He suggests that when purchasing shoes buyers choose footwear based on the shape of their foot and intended use. Key features include supportive arches for flat feet and a heel cup for pain.

The brainchild of internationally-renowned heart surgeon and humanitarian Dr. Devi Shetty, Health City Cayman Islands features a unique healthcare model built with a focus on the patient and rooted in innovative business models that allow the delivery of high-quality, affordable care.


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