Muriel Wiltord, Director of the Americas of the Martinique Promotion Bureau, was recognized for her leadership achievements at the Caribbean Media Exchange Leadership Awards ceremony held on December 14, 2019 at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami.
Originally from Martinique, her parents moved to Senegal where she was born and raised. She earned a graduate degree in anthropology in Paris and taught tourism at University of La Sorbonne for five years. Ms. Wiltord then moved to New York in 1987, where she became Director of the Martinique Promotion Bureau in New York, establishing and nurturing cultural and tourism ties, first, between Martinique and the United States, including in the in the last decade Canada and Brazil.
Named one of the “100 most influential women of the tourism industry in the United States” by Travel Agent magazine, Wiltord was awarded the National Order of Merit by the French Government in 2000. She was recently honored by France’s new ambassador to United States, Philippe Etienne with the distinction of “Chevalier” of the French Legion of Honor,” the country’s highest military and civilian award for exceptional service to France.
“After learning of the dire circumstances of the establishment of our people in the new world,” Wiltord noted in her Legion of Honor acceptance speech, “it became crucial to my personal development to do everything in my power to contribute to our economic emancipation.” She went on to say “sustainable and equitable development of tourism was in my opinion, only part of the solution, but the part I knew I could seize and deploy. In closing, “ I cannot help but quote one of the co-members of the village that raised me, a man whose guidance transcended every step that has led me to this point, Martinique poet Aimé Césaire. He said, “It takes all kinds to make one world.”
Two other respected Caribbean tourism leaders were recognized with the Leadership award: Commissioner of Tourism of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Joseph Boschulte; and Frank Comito, Director General and CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA). They were among the list of honorees for CMEx’s year-end fundraiser, which raises resources for Caribbean education—an initiative of acclaimed journalist and CMEx president, Bevan Springer. For the full list of honorees, click here
About Martinique (click here)
The French Caribbean Island of Martinique is also known as the Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, the Birthplace of coffee in the New World, The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire) – Martinique ranks among the most alluring and enchanting destinations in the world. As an overseas region of France, Martinique boasts modern and reliable infrastructure – roads, water and power utilities, hospitals, and telecommunications, services all on par with any other part of the European Union. At the same time, Martinique’s beautifully unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, 80+ miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, streams, and other natural wonders are unparalleled in the Caribbean, so visitors here truly get the best of both worlds. The currency is the Euro, the flag and the official language are French, but Martinique’s character, cuisine, musical heritage, art, culture, common language, and identity are of a distinctly Afro-Caribbean inclination known as Creole. It is this special combination of modern world conveniences, pristine nature, and rich heritage that has earned for Martinique several notable distinctions in recent years. . Hot off the press: In December 2019 and for the second year in a row, Martinique was named “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean” by the Caribbean Journal. The island was also recognized in January 2019 by OprahMag.com and in first place in their list of “The 19 Best Winter Getaways.” Martinique was also featured in the Caribbean Journal’s Best Caribbean Islands to visit in 2019. Martinique has also been featured in Travel + Leisure and the New York Time’s “52 Places to go in 2018.”
About The Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) (click here) The Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) initiative was established in 2001.“CMEx’s mission is to support and develop the ability of the media, government, the travel and tourism industry and communities to consider the importance of tourism in sustainable development, while lending a hand to the communities involved by sharing relevant expertise, financial and in-kind assistance.” In 2019, CMEx partnered with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF) and the Errol and Nita Barrow Educational Trust to raise funds for educational causes.