The news comes following an intense recruitment exercise to find “the right fit” for the organization.
Speaking on the announcement, the Minister stated that “Ms. Franklin is a homegrown, well-educated, and experienced tourism and hospitality practitioner who has come through the ranks to reach the top tourism post in Barbados. I instructed the BTMI Board to search carefully for someone fit to represent this office and I am satisfied that they have fulfilled their mandate.”
Franklin started her career in tourism as an account executive for Air Jamaica in the 1990s. She later worked at the former Barbados Tourism Authority – now the BTMI – holding the posts of Manager, Product Integration, and later Senior Business Development Manager in the New York office as part of the Sales Team. During that time, she built critical networks with key business partners including airlines, travel agents and tour operators.
Her experience with the Barbados Tourism Authority prepared her for her most senior role to date, Chief Executive Officer of Caves of Barbados – now Country Manager at Chukka Caribbean Adventures – where she has worked for the past five years. While there, she has successfully overseen the operations, marketing and finance of the regional company.
Gooding-Edghill added that “Ms. Franklin is a homegrown, well-educated, and experienced tourism and hospitality practitioner who has come through the ranks to reach the top tourism post in Barbados. I instructed the BTMI Board to search carefully for someone fit to represent this office and I am satisfied that they have fulfilled their mandate.”
The Minister further announced the appointment of Ms. Cheryl Carter, Director, UK, BTMI as the new Chief Operating Officer.
In order to ensure proper succession planning and the streamlining of the BTMI’s operations, the Board of Directors also agreed that the new CEO will be supported by a Chief Operations Officer (COO), Ms. Cheryl Carter, who will manage the operational functions of the organization in order to facilitate the streamlining of skills and core functions so that the CEO could focus on the strategic direction of the new entity.
The COO will also be responsible for the leadership and performance of all external markets.
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Ms. Carter is a veteran professional in the tourism industry with over 26 years’ experience in the field. As Interim Head of Global Markets in the UK in 2019, Ms. Carter was able to achieve the highest arrivals for Barbados from its major source market. In addition, she has cultivated professional relationships with airlines, travel and tourism partners over the years who value her leadership and direction. Furthermore, she also led teams in Canada and North America during her tenure as a director.
These appointments of CEO and COO for the BTMI should be seen as The Ministry of Tourism and International Transport’s policy to be responsive to the dynamic needs of the tourism sector by taking strategic steps to refresh, reposition, redirect and renew how we do business.
The island of Barbados is a Caribbean gem rich in cultural, heritage, sporting, culinary and eco experiences. It is surrounded by idyllic white sand beaches and is the only coral island in the Caribbean. With over 400 restaurants and eateries, Barbados is the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.
The island is also known as the birthplace of rum, commercially producing and bottling the finest blends since the 1700s. In fact, many can experience the island’s historic rums at the annual Barbados Food and Rum Festival. The island also hosts events like the annual Crop Over Festival, where A-lists celebrities like our very own Rihanna are often spotted, and the annual Run Barbados Marathon, the largest marathon in the Caribbean. As the motorsport island, it is home to the leading circuit-racing facility in the English-speaking Caribbean. Known as a sustainable destination, Barbados was named one of the world’s Top Nature Destinations in 2022 by the Traveler’s Choice Awards.