The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) on Sunday kicked off its annual Caribbean Week New York, showcasing the diversity and vibrancy of the region by bringing together tourism officials, industry executives, media, travel agents and consumers for a week-long affair of business sessions and consumer-oriented events.
The week that runs until Saturday celebrates the sights, sounds, color and culture of the Caribbean with culinary delights, lively entertainment and networking opportunities, according to the Barbados-based CTO.
The public joined in on the celebration with the CTO Foundation’s sixth annual Rum & Rhythm Benefit, “The Ultimate Caribbean Epicurean Experience,” which took place on Wednesday at Capitale in the City.
As a major fundraiser for the CTO Foundation, a charitable organization which provides scholarships to Caribbean nationals pursuing studies in tourism, patrons will be able to bid online post-event on the many vacation packages, hotel stays and other travel related items from the event.
Rum & Rhythm also featured special appearances by top Caribbean personalities and celebrities, and Caribbean chefs and mixologists showcased their talents with traditional Caribbean dishes and top-rated cocktails. Rum & Rhythm is the quintessential Caribbean cultural experience, CTO said.
“We are delighted that President Trump identified Caribbean-American Heritage Month as an opportunity to recognize Caribbean-Americans for the value they bring to the Nation,” said CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley.
As the largest regional tourism activity in the New York area, CTO said Caribbean Week helps raise awareness about developments in the Caribbean and provides a platform for discussion between representatives of Caribbean nations and Americans.
During the Caribbean Diaspora Forum, one of the events during Caribbean Week, leaders and influencers of the Caribbean community and senior officials of CTO member countries, including ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, were expected to discuss the contributions of the Caribbean to the development of the United States.