~ Theme of 15th to 18th October gathering is: Perfecting The Experience. Delivering Authenticity ~ NEW YORK, NY (7 June 2013) – The Caribbean’s premier gathering on tourism development issues, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC), will, this year, focus on visitor experience and authenticity. The conference, which will be held in Martinique from 15-18 October, will have as its theme, “Perfecting The Experience. Delivering Authenticity.” The theme was announced here at the Caribbean Week in New York closing news conference late today, by the CTO chairman, Hon. Beverly Nicholson-Doty and Martinique’s commissioner of tourism, Hon. Karine Roy-Camille. The CTO chairman explained that this theme allows delegates to explore a range of elements that are critical to the development and success of the sector in the region. These include training and education, service quality, standards, visitor satisfaction, and community involvement. “We also expect to deal with matters such as customs and immigration, airport and seaport facilities, taxis, attractions and more, in the understanding that the vacation experience doesn’t begin and end at accommodations,” Ms. Nicholson-Doty said. The Authenticity part of the theme, she explained, is a natural fit because of the unique experience that the Caribbean offers. “Visitors come to this region for a uniquely Caribbean experience; one which is desirable enough to lead to referrals and repeat visits and we have to deliver on this promise of the authentic Caribbean, ‘the real thing,’ which is a unique blend of vacation elements not obtainable elsewhere,” she added. SOTIC will be the first major CTO event being hosted by Martinique, and Commissioner Roy-Camille said the French-speaking island will be a proud host. “We consider hosting the State of the Industry Conference a great honour and we are extremely proud of it. We look forward to welcoming the press and delegates to the Isle of Flowers in October for a taste of our special brand of French-Creole warmth and hospitality.” Martinique Martinique is magical, a rich and vibrant tapestry of French chic and authentic Creole spice woven across an absolutely fascinating tropical setting nestled in the heart of the Lesser Antilles. An overseas region of France, Martinique stirs wanderlust and passions with the Caribbean's most delectable culinary delights, awe-inspiring natural beauty, a rich cultural history, warm smiles and so much more. Its various nicknames -- The Caribbean island with French flair, The Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World -- hint at the uniquely special experiences that await visitors here, as do such celebrated awards as “Top Caribbean Island for Delectable Dining” (Caribbean Travel + Life: 2009), “Best Caribbean Destination” (About.com: 2010), and induction of The bay of Fort-de-France in The Most Beautiful Bays of the World (2011). Napoleon’s bride, Empress Josephine, was born and raised here. Majestic Mt. Pelée and The Pompeii of the Caribbean, St. Pierre, is found here. The finest French products and the wonders of Caribbean authenticity are readily available here. A special place, to be sure, with so much to offer – Martinique c’est magnifique! For photographs visit: http://www.martinique.org/photos_gallery/index.php About the Caribbean Tourism Organization The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination by 2017, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism - One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean. Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, research and information technology. In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide. The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: CTObarbados@caribtourism.com. The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail: CTOny@caribtourism.com; The CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: CTOlondon@caribtourism.com; For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit www.OneCaribbean.org. Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism. Connect with CTO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization.