Colors: Blue Color

In the presence of Ministers of Travel and Tourism from the CTO member countries, alongside members of the invited press, speakers, and delegates, the #SOTIC2015 got underway last night on the beautiful island of Curacao. Look out for more information on our Twitter and Facebook during the event where we will be live tweeting out interesting points from the talks.

Expanded waistlines are often the biggest souvenir travellers bring home after their holiday – but help is at hand! The Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, long-renowned for its culinary variety, is increasingly putting healthy eating on the menu. A growing number of restaurants are specialising in healthy food to help visitors stay in their preferred shape.

It was in September when the Belouve Forest became the first of its kind on Reunion Island to be accessible to all members of the public, able bodied as well as those living with physical challenges. After outfitting the volcano walk last year with aids for even sight-impaired visitors, this recreational forest was next on the list of the regional government and the provision of access for people living with disabilities was completed last month.

Qatar Airways has been voted “Best Middle Eastern Airline” for the tenth consecutive year at the 26th Annual TTG Travel Awards. The latest win seals a decade of success for Qatar Airways at the TTG Travel Awards, organised by one of the most respected trade magazines in the Asia Pacific. Readers based their voting on the strength of the airline’s customer service, route network, services and also its innovation marketing and advertising programmes and initiatives.

All three properties of Tenerife's family-run group, Adrián Hoteles, have made it into the top 10 of Spain's most sustainable hotels, voted by users of popular rating site TripAdvisor. The 5* Hotel Jardines de Nivaria leads the ranking, voted the best hotel for sustainability, while 4* Hotel Colón Guanahani and 5* Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel hold the third and ninth positions respectively. The three Adrián Hoteles properties are the only hotels in the Canary Islands that have made it into TripAdvisor's eco ranking.

Award-winning safari specialist Real Africa raised over £8,500 for conservation charity Save The Elephants at its sell-out 15th Anniversary event, held at the Royal Geographical Society in London last Thursday. Special guest, wildlife filmmaker and conservationist, Saba Douglas-Hamilton, took to the stage of the Ondaatje Theatre for well over an hour captivating the packed theatre with tales of her childhood growing up in Africa, her career in film and television and about her role in the conservation of Africa's wildlife.

Winter is a time when Alaska sparkles and shines when much of the land is covered by a blanket of soft snow. The aurora in Alaska can be viewed both in early spring and autumn, but winter offers longer darker nights increasing the chances of viewing the colourful bands of light dancing in the dark night sky. In Alaska, Fairbanks is the undisputed capital for northern lights viewing with over 200 spectacles per year.

Tourism industry partners are teaming up with government officials in an effort to bring much-needed relief to Family Islands affected by Hurricane Joaquin. The islands most heavily impacted by the Category 4 hurricane include Acklins, Crooked Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Long Island.  American Organization USAID donated food, water, bedding and other necessities that were delivered to the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Island and San Salvador.

The 2015 World Tourism Award will be presented to the TreadRight Foundation, Tusk Trust, and Wildscreen on November 2, the opening day of World Travel Market, ExCel Centre, London. The annual award ceremony is sponsored by Corinthia Hotels, The New York Times, United Airlines, and Reed Travel Exhibitions.

Indonesia is currently on track of achieving the 10 million tourists mark for the year 2015. This comes despite a temporary setback that occurred when airports across Java and Bali were closed down due to volcanic ash. The latest data shows that at least 850,000 tourists entered the country in August. According to the Indonesian Central Statistics Agency, this is an improvement of 2.87 percent compared to last year's figure, and an increase of 4.46% compared to the month of July.

United States-based Caribbean communicator Bevan Springer believes Caribbean marketers ought to share more stories of the Caribbean people, their talents and accomplishments when promoting the region in the marketplace.Speaking at the first Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) in Puerto Rico on "Strategic Storytelling", Springer - president and chief executive of the Marketplace Excellence public relations practice - encouraged delegates to keep the creative talent that is abundant within the Caribbean at the forefront of promotional campaigns.