CaribWorldNews, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Tues. Aug. 18, 2009: After acting as secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization for the past several months, Barbadian Hugh Riley has been confirmed to the post.
In making the announcement, the CTO`s Chairman, John Maginley, who is also Minister of Tourism for Antigua & Barbuda, described Riley as an experienced Caribbean tourism professional with a clear vision of how to move the tourism sector forward.
His appointment, according to a statement Monday, `follows extensive search & thorough selection process.`
Riley`s appointment took effect from yesterday, August 17th. As the organization`s chief executive officer, he will oversee the CTO`s offices in Barbados, North America, the UK and Europe, succeeding the late Arley Sobers and Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace.
He will also lead the organization`s initiatives to strengthen relations with strategic partners, including the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA).
Riley was the marketing director of North America before being picked to serve as interim SG following the sudden death of Sobers.
`Mr. Riley has an intimate knowledge of the tourism industry and a sound strategic vision for what the region`s tourism sector needs in order to remain competitive and to thrive, particularly in these trying times. We are confident that he is up to the challenge,` Chairman Maginley said.
Riley`s confirmation to the post comes as the Caribbean tourism industry continues to suffer amidst the current global economic recession. A recent report shows that Caribbean hotels suffered a 16 percent drop in profits from last year and predicted a further deterioration this year.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization, with headquarters in Barbados and marketing operations in New York, London and Toronto, is the Caribbean `s tourism development agency and comprises membership of over 30 governments and a myriad of private sector entities.