The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the premier tourism development agency for 25 Caribbean countries and territories, has appointed Dona Regis-Prosper the new Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer. Beginning her assignment on September 1, 2023, Regis-Prosper, who hails from St. Lucia, is set to make history as the first woman to assume leadership of the intergovernmental body.
With an impressive career that spans more than 22 years, Regis-Prosper brings an unparalleled depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in the tourism industry to the CTO. She has lived and worked in multiple Caribbean destinations, and served as Director of Marketing and Product Development of the St. Lucia Air and Seaports Authority; Director of Business Development for Margaritaville Caribbean Group in Jamaica; CEO of the Tortola Pier Park in the British Virgin Islands; and General Manager of the Antigua Cruise Port where she is currently employed.
Chairman of the CTO, Kenneth Bryan, who is the Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands, welcomed Regis-Prosper to the regional body. “We are extremely pleased to have Dona Regis-Prosper come on board to lead the CTO. Her vast experience, strategic insight, and impressive track record in the tourism sector make her an exceptional choice to propel our organization into a new era,” he stated, adding that having more women in positions of influence enhances the efficiency of the region’s major economic earner and sends positive messages of encouragement and inspiration for women and girls across the Caribbean.
A dynamic and transformative leader who has built and sustained a strong network of professionals in both the public and private sector (working closely with regional government officials, tourism stakeholders, and industry professionals), Regis-Prosper emerged as the top choice from a pool of more than 60 highly qualified applicants. The rigorous selection process included multiple rounds of interviews and a comprehensive assessment related to addressing some of the most pressing issues faced by the regional tourism industry.
Chairman Bryan disclosed that throughout the selection process, ministers, commissioners and directors lauded Regis-Prosper’s transformational leadership style. “They found her to be innovative, forward-thinking, results-driven, and solution-oriented,” he said, noting that her perspective on managing the climate crisis was particularly well-received, illustrating her deep-seated passion for sustainability and her ability to develop practical solutions to critical industry issues.
Regis-Prosper takes over the organization’s leadership reins from Acting Secretary General and CEO Neil Walters, CTO’s Director of Finance and Resource Management, who has been filling the position following the retirement of Barbadian Hugh Riley in 2019. The other two Caribbean tourism professionals to serve in the region’s top tourism post include the late tourism stalwart Jean Holder and Vincent Vanderpool Wallace, former Bahamas Director General and Bahamas Minister of Tourism.
Of her new role, Regis-Prosper stated, “I am deeply honored to have been selected to serve as Secretary General of the CTO and am grateful for the trust and confidence the CTO Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism and the Board of Directors have placed in me. I eagerly look forward to working with our dedicated team and diverse stakeholders to promote the Caribbean tourism sector, champion sustainability, and continue to foster impactful relationships and deliver ROI for our members.”
With a Master of Business Administration degree, Certified Professional Marketer qualification, and significant experience in business development, strategy, marketing and sustainability, Regis-Prosper is well able to lead the Caribbean tourism sector into a bright and prosperous future, Chairman Bryan asserted.