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Archive for April, 2015

Marriott Hotel Georgetown opens

Guyana, South America Undiscovered – The grand opening of the highly anticipated, internationally branded Marriott Hotel was today undertaken by President Donald Ramotar, in Georgetown Guyana.

The Head of State also unveiled the hotel’s plaque and he was joined by several officials of the hotel, government ministers and members of the local private sector.

While addressing the gathering, President Ramotar noted that the ceremony was indeed an ‘historic’ occasion, as the Marriott Brand is world renowned for its high class and service.

The Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister, Irfaan Ali noted that this investment this will be a catalyst for tourism development in Guyana and it will help to raise the profile of the destination.

He was presented with a symbolic key, along with other guests while a message from Bill Marriott, first host and General Manager was read, “world- class service comes from more than a building. It comes from people-our brilliant hosts,” he read.

This evening, a grand reception will be held to mark the hotel’s opening for business to local and overseas guests.

The luxury hotel brags of 197 guest rooms and suites that offer views of the ocean at every turn. Its Ballroom has the capacity to accommodate between 400 to 700 persons at any time depending on the set up. It can also be transformed into four sections to host smaller events.

The hotel also has five boardrooms and an open style kitchen to allow patrons to dine in the restaurant and watch their meals being prepared by expert chefs.

Its indoor gym will cater mainly for its guest but membership will eventually be offered to the public. In addition, daily passes will also become available once the hotel is open to the public.

The nine storey Hotel is Located at the mouth of the Demerara River in Kingston, Georgetown.

Guyana will also see additional major investments in tourism in the near future, these include the CJIA Airport Expansion, the Hospitality Institute, the Specialty Hospital, the Guyana/Suriname Bridge, the upgrading of the access road from Brazil to Georgetown and  the addition of the Ramada Hotel Brand among many others.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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1st Martinique Surf Pro puts Caribbean at center of the surfing world

NEW YORK, NY –April 14th, 2015 – The eyes of the surfing world will be trained on Martinique this spring as The Isle of Flowers hosts the first Martinique Surf Pro, April 21-26, 2015. The only World Surf League (WSL) Qualification Series event to be held in the Caribbean in 2015, Martinique Surf Pro will be contested along the shores of Basse-Pointe, a “secret” surf spot cherished among locals and visitors “in-the-know” for its consistent, powerful and especially long waves that break right over an exposed reef break.

Organized by Martinique Surfing (www.martinique-surfing.com) in partnership with the WSL, Martinique Surf Pro will attract 100 world-class surfers from the United States, Europe, Brazil, Japan and the Caribbean. These elite athletes will compete to gain valuable experience and earn WSL Qualifying Series points toward advancing to the WSL Championship Tour.

“Martinique has been among the best-kept secrets in Caribbean surfing for some time now, “ said Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas for the Martinique Promotion Bureau. “Such a high-profile event as this cements the island’s position as a prime surfing destination. As one the top watersports competitions being held in the Caribbean in 2015, Martinique Surf Pro also shines a spotlight on the wide range of additional watersports options that Martinique has to offer.”

The best surfing conditions in Martinique can be enjoyed between November and May along the island’s northern and northeastern Atlantic shores, where Basse-Pointe is located. The island counts 14 recommended surfing spot from North to South. Throughout the entire year, though, the waters around Martinique remain active with a wealth of watersports activities, among them:

  • Scuba Diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Stand-Up Paddleboarding
  • Kiteboarding
  • Flyboarding
  • Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • Power Boating
  • Jet Ski
  • Sportfishing
  • Fly Fishing
  • Water Skiing

“If a particular activity is fun and can be enjoyed out on the water, chances are you’ll find it in Martinique,” said Wiltord. “We’re looking forward to showcasing our waters to Martinique Surf Pro competitors and surfing fans, and welcoming an increasing number of surfing and watersports enthusiasts for years to come.”

For more information on the first Martinique Surf Pro, visit www.martinique-surfing.com.

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BTMI & BHTA partner to launch ‘Brilliant Barbados’

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS. MARCH 25, 2015 – Following on the heels of the strong start of the 2015 winter season, the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA) have launched ‘Brilliant Barbados’, a promotion aimed at increasing forward bookings for the softer summer and fall periods.

The new Brilliant Barbados campaign is a value-packed travel deal featuring discounts on hotel stays, attractions, car rental agencies and restaurants across Barbados.  With the tagline, ‘More Excitement, More Value’, the promotion seeks to position Barbados’ as a fun destination for families, couples and individuals with a packed year-round calendar of events.

“We see public/ private sector programmes such as this as key to the way forward.  If we are to reduce seasonality, increase our foreign exchange receipts and maximize the return on marketing investment from our limited budgets, all tourism stakeholders must work together in new and creative ways.” Asserted BTMI CEO, William Griffith.

Griffith also confirmed that, in keeping with the BTMI’s new digital marketing focus, an aggressive online campaign has been mounted to drive awareness of the new offer among targeted groups of prospective travellers.  This online strategy incorporates search engine marketing, social media advertising, email marketing and a dedicated website at www.BrilliantBarbados.com.  This is in addition to partnerships with global tour operators, travel agents and airline partners, as well as the international media.

More than 30 participating hotels and a number of local attractions have signed on to the initiative to offer a range of discounts to visitors.

BHTA’s CEO, Sue Springer, in her endorsement of the collaborative initiative noted that over the years the BHTA has collaborated with the public sector to promote similar programmes.

“Our membership, and by extension the entire island, has definitely seen the benefits of such programmes, especially during our slow season.  We have to keep the momentum going and keep our sector striving all year.  This is the goal of our Association and our membership is fully behind the Brilliant Barbados programme or any other project with this aim.

“We recognize that the travel industry is constantly changing and, in order to continue to attract repeat and new visitors to the island to sustain our sector, we must keep abreast of these trends in our efforts to continue to position the island strategically by offering the right packages and programmes, like Brilliant Barbados, to maintain our competitive advantage.

All bookings must be made between the period March 23 – April 30 to be valid, while travel must be completed between May 9 and December 19, 2015.  The offer will guarantee the first night free on a four-night stay for visitors from the US, Canada and the Caribbean and the first two nights free on a seven-night stay for visitors from the UK and Europe.

Each visitor will receive a discount voucher, which they will be required to show at participating locations.  The package also includes discounts through the Re-Discover dining programme.

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Antigua & Barbuda celebrate new British Airways route

(St. John’s, Antigua) – V.C Bird International Airport will serve as an important hub for UK based carrier British Airways, as the airline, on Sunday, launched their inaugural flight service from Antigua to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The route is historic, as it will be the first, direct flight connection between the Eastern Caribbean and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Minister of Tourism, The Hon. Asot Michael, at a reception to launch the service, said to a gathering of Tourism officials from the Turks and Caicos Islands and Antigua and Barbuda:

“The rise in popularity of Antigua and Barbuda and Turks & Caicos is demonstrated by British Airways agreeing to add a direct link between our two destinations.”

He also said, “This added service means new opportunities, and choices available to us for increased business activities and closer collaboration. The end result will be greater economic growth while, simultaneously building the spirit of regional integration between our two countries.”

The weekly flight from Gatwick, to Antigua on a Boeing 777 then onwards to Providenciales, will operate every Sunday from March 29.

Minister Michael said, the new route allows for visa free travel  and will encourage more business and leisure travellers  to island hop, from Antigua to Turks and Caicos and vice versa.

Welcoming the airline, as they prepared to board the inaugural flight were:  The Hon. Porsha Stubbs-Smith, Minister of Tourism Turks & Caicos, Dr. Kingsley Been, Chairman of Turks & Caicos Tourism Board, Ralph Higgs, Director of Tourism, Turks & Caicos and Mrs. Lavern Skippings-Reynolds, Airport Manager, Providenciales International Airport.

An invitation was extended to the Government and The People of the Turks and Caicos to travel to Antigua for the country’s Summer Carnival: July 25 – August 4 2015.

With a new terminal to be opened in June, Antigua’s V.C. Bird International’s airport expansion, will increase capacity, allowing the destination to develop new routes.  The terminal, which will be the most modern in the Eastern Caribbean will feature the latest technology, first class duty free shopping and VIP lounges, creating a more efficient and enhanced passenger experience.

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