British Airways CEO addresses the Caribbean on autumn visit to the region

LONDON, UK ( 31 August 2010] –Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways, will be visiting the Caribbean this October. The three-day visit to Barbados, between 8 and 11 October 2010, will coincide with a leadership strategy conference, organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation. The CTO, a Barbados-based development and sustainable tourism organisation representing 34 Caribbean countries and territories, will also be hosting the UK flag carrier’s CEO during his stay.

As well as attending meetings with various Caribbean ministers and commissioners of tourism, Walsh will deliver the keynote speech at the Sunday morning conference on the future of intercontinental travel and the importance of partnerships between airlines and the destinations they serve. One of the highlights of the visit will be a BA-hosted dinner on the evening of Sunday 10 October.

Walsh’s visit to the Caribbean will not only highlight BA’s commitment to Caribbean tourism through addresses at, and involvement in, CTO seminars, the airline’s chief executive will also be attending a fundraising lunch in aid of the CTO Foundation, where he will address university students and local business leaders.

Commenting on his forthcoming visit, Willie Walsh said, “We have a long and proud history of serving the Caribbean stretching back many decades. It is a favourite holiday destination for thousands of our customers who return time and again to enjoy the fantastic Caribbean hospitality.

“I am looking forward to visiting Barbados to see how British Airways can continue to contribute to one of the world’s premier tourist destinations and to discuss the challenges facing us.

“The global financial crisis and changes to UK taxation are expected to impact areas of the world that are important to British Airways including the Caribbean.”

Hugh Riley, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, said, “The CTO is delighted at Mr Walsh’s visit. We have always been grateful for the crucial support that British Airways has shown our region over the years and we feel very honoured that the company’s chief executive will be helping the Caribbean’s tourism experts to consider how our region can remain competitive, enhancing our brand and staying ahead of current marketing innovations.

“It’s also very exciting for our region to see the launch of such a prestigious, large-scale leadership strategy conference, attended by so many high profile individuals and we look forward to seeing the outcome and benefits to the Caribbean.”

The conference will include a business component during which a new CTO chairman will be elected.

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