CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. June 14, 2010: The curtains came down on another Caribbean Week in New York on Friday, June 11th at the renown Plaza Hotel in New York City, where the annual government of the states ball, held by the Caribbean Tourism Organization, culminated amidst glitz and glam coupled with awards and great food and music.
This year`s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Antigua and Barbuda`s Dame Yvonne Maginley, the aunt of the CTO`s current chair, Antigua`s minister of tourism, John Maginley. Dame Yvonne was the island`s first director of tourism and is past chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Tourist Association.
She was lauded for the many years of service she has given to promoting the region`s tourism sector.
Also honored Friday night was Dominica`s Janice Armour, who was presented with the 2010 Award of Excellence while the first Caribbean Diaspora Award was presented to founder of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Grenada-born Roy Hastick.
Guests packed in to the Plaza Ballroom feasted on Duck Confit as well as Grilled Filet of Beef, Seared Red Snapper and Sweet Potato Corn Pudding. Jenna Wolfe of NBC News` weekday `Today,` program, served as master of ceremonies for the event while the Pan Ambassadors and the Tingum Dem band provided the entertainment.
Ministers of government mingled with tourism directors, members of the media and other executives as they all hit the dance floor and partied hearty until the clock struck 12. Friday`s event culminated four days of packed events in New York City, including the commencement of the week on June 6th with the annual Church service in Brooklyn, NY and the Diaspora Forum on June 9th at the New York Hemsley Hotel.
Dozens from the Caribbean Diaspora in New York packed in to a room at the Hemsley for the second CTO forum targeted to their community. Passions ran high as issues such as the retention of non-minority companies to market the region and the refusal by many nations to market to the Caribbean Diaspora and ethnic markets, again dominated the agenda.
Ministers of tourism from Grenada, Glynis Roberts; St. Vincent and the Grenadines` Glen Beache and Barbados` Richard Sealey, did their best to explain their marketing positions to the tough audience, but ministers ended up peppered and chastised over the perception by many that the Diaspora market and its talent continue to be dismissed and paid only lip service by the regional ministries of tourism and their governments.
The Week also included a media luncheon, where five media houses, including CaribWorldNews, were honored for excellence in writings on the region and a marketplace that allowed member nations to present their latest offerings and news to the media.