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Archive for 2015

Trinidad & Tobago launches Travel Agent Specialist Program

Port of Spain, Trinidad – May 20, 2015 – Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company Limited (TDC) is pleased to announce the launch of the Trinidad & Tobago Travel Agent Specialist Program. The strategic endeavor includes a comprehensive educational platform that will not only promote awareness and visibility of Trinidad & Tobago’s product to travel trade professionals, but also enable travel trade professionals to become an extension of Trinidad & Tobago’s marketing team in selling the destination.

The program is designed to identify, engage and educate travel trade professionals by covering key components of Trinidad & Tobago’s destination profile – including accommodations, culture, festivals, cuisine and eco adventure – as well as important niche markets, such as multi-generational travel, spa and wellness, romance, diving, destination weddings and honeymoons, birding, soft adventure, and other specialized product offerings. Program participants are then encouraged to record their bookings on the website in order to become eligible for prizes.

All website activity will be monitored in real time, and the agents securing the most bookings to Trinidad & Tobago per month and per quarter throughout the year-long program will be eligible to receive a variety of rewards, from gift cards to FAM trips. Qualifying agents will also receive a personalized full color, printable certificate and accreditation for participating in the program, selecting to receive either four (4) continuing education credits from The Travel Institute or twelve (12) credits from the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA). Local stakeholders will also be sending promotional packages and special offers for inclusion in an e-newsletter sent to travel agents who have successfully completed the program.

“We are extremely pleased to implement this program and partner with travel agents to raise the profile of our destination, while at the same time driving direct sales. The Trinidad & Tobago Travel Agent Specialist Program is a key strategic initiative of the Tourism Development Company for positioning Trinidad & Tobago as a top-of-mind vacation destination in our primary source travel market” noted Warren Solomon, General Manager of Marketing at the Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company.

Tim Grace, principal of the Travel Marketing Network (TTMN), the marketing arm of Trinidad & Tobago’s US marketing and public relations agency of record, Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications (CAMC), echoed these sentiments:  “The travel trade is a critical link between Trinidad & Tobago and its visitors. This year-round online program and the complementary print initiative will help agents to sell the dual-island nation more efficiently and enable them to target the key niche markets which are so vital to tourism growth.”

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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Grenada looks to capture female travellers

(St George’s, Grenada) 20th May 2015 – The warm islands of Grenada will soon become the destination of choice for many female travellers as the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) launches its ‘Grenada Girls Getaway’ promotion. The seven-month promotional strategy that starts on 1st June 2015 offers value-added deals on hotels, tours, and car rentals to two or more women visiting Grenada.

“During some of our recent trade shows in the USA, our travel trade partners requested that we create group travel promotions. Our research also shows us an increasing trend in group travel,” says Ms. Nisha Mc Intyre, GTA’s Marketing Executive.

Millennial females are being specifically targeted for the campaign, given their frequent use of social media, and history of influencing the travel patterns of other generational groups.

The start of the GTA’s Grenada Girls Getaway promotion coincides with the new airlift from American cities.  On Saturday 6th June Delta Air Lines will begin a weekly service from Atlanta and on Thursday 11th June JetBlue Airways will begin a twice-weekly service from New York.

The Grenada Tourism Authority has begun an integrated marketing campaign that uses direct trade and consumer engagements as well as digital media marketing to support the Grenada Girls Getaway promotion.

Interested travellers will be able to signup for the value-added deals via Grenada’s official destination website, www.puregrenada.com.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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Grenada Wins GOLD MEDAL at RHS Chelsea Flower Show with New Design Team

19 May 2015: The Grenada-Cathy John exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 named ‘Pure Grenada’s Rainforest’ has won a Gold Medal. The all-new Show team, led by Grenadian-based designer Cathy John, brought Grenada to life with a fragrant scale representation of the mountainous rainforest and volcanic crater lake at the heart of the island.

Cathy’s design emphasises the rich rainforest ferns and flora typical of Grenada’s Grand Etang National Park – accented with scented spices – with a focus on the sometimes-overlooked star of the island’s interior, its verdant foliage.

Cathy said: “Pure Grenada’s Rainforest depicts Grenada’s mountainous terrain of vibrant green vegetation. Our exhibit promotes Grenada’s extraordinary biodiversity, and showcases the different spices that thrive at different levels of vegetation.”

She added: “Our rainforest, lakes, flowers and other exotic hinterland plants such as golden mature cocoa pods, opening nutmeg pods  – revealing the red mace clinging to the black shell that protects the spicy nutmeg within; cinnamon; cloves; and other spices reveal their intense fragrance to really stand out from the floral displays at the Show.”

The greenery and spices were grown in Grenada by members of the Chelsea team and arranged to Cathy’s design experts ahead of Monday 18 May when the display enthralled Press Day visitors including Dr Johnson Beharry VC – recipient of the highest military decoration for valour in the British and Commonwealth armed forces, who was born in Grenada; and celebrities including designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and TV personalities Piers Morgan, Nicholas Parsons and Nicky Chapman.

Cathy said: “We’re delighted that the exhibit, with its bold scale representation and use of Grenada’s famous spices, has been awarded a Gold Medal here in London. My personal inspiration for the Pure Grenada’s Rainforest design comes from my love and respect for the cool, calm serenity of the rainforest and the vital role it plays in the life of my island home. In addition to a providing visitors with a treat for all the senses, the rainforest is the source of our precious water, upon which we all depend.”

She added: “Our forest uniquely features a centrally-located fresh water crater lake in Grand Etang, an area well known for its diverse population of plants, some representing the oldest of its kind in the world, such as the protected Grand Etang fern, only found in that part of the world.”

Sharon Bernstein, Director Grenada Tourism Authority UK & Ireland, said: “Grenada boasts an enthralling natural landscape and the design team has provided visitors to the world’s greatest flower show with an authentic taste of Pure Grenada. The Chelsea Flower Show is truly a world stage and Grenada continues to play a prominent and acclaimed role.”

All connected with the pavilion express their gratitude to the 2015 sponsors and those who offered their time and plant materials.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show remains open to the public until Saturday 23 May 2015. For more information on Grenada, visit www.PureGrenada.com

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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Southwest Airlines reveals date for Houston-Belize flight

Belize City, Belize – May 14, 2015 – On Wednesday, May 13th, Southwest Airlines held a press conference in Houston, at the Houston City Hall, where the CEO of the airlines, Garry Kelly, announced that the daily, direct flights to Belize, Mexico and Costa Rica will begin on October 15th, as well as Jamaica and Liberia beginning November 1st. He was joined by the Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, at a beach theme setting, where future Southwest destinations were present.

A Belize delegation was present for the announcement and “Beach Bash,” which was held after the press conference. In attendance were the Director of Tourism – Mrs. Karen Bevans, Chairman of the Board – Dr. Carla Barnett, Director of Marketing – Ms. Karen Pike, along with representatives of Tropic Air and the Belize Airport Concession.

Travel Trade Manager – Michelle Flowers, and Senior Officer – Deborah Gilharry were there to share information with the public about making Belize their next vacation destination.

The Belize diaspora was invited, along with travel agents in the area.

Tickets can now be purchased on Southwest’s website https://www.southwest.com/. There will be no ticket agent in Belize, therefore, this is the only mode for purchasing tickets for Southwest Airlines flights.

For more information on this flight, please visit the Southwest Airlines website at https://www.southwest.com/.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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Bahamas stunning from all angles, including 220 miles above

Nassau, Bahamas, May 12, 2015 – Forty-six years after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon, and Buzz Aldrin shared the first photograph from the Moon to Earth, Astronaut Scott Kelly is documenting his year in space with photos on Twitter. At the time, Buzz Aldrin’s photos was considered to be the most beautiful thing ever seen, and one of the things that stood out were The Bahamas gin clear waters. In response, UNICEF made a stamp of the photos and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism embraced this stunning image, with a poster and tagline, “The Waters of The Bahamas Are Out of This World.”

The latest images from space from Astronaut Scott Kelly documenting his year in space on the Space Station are just as, if not more so, compelling today. Kelly is posting a dearth of images and views of varying images of the earth from space, often not immediately recognizable, and always providing followers with a unique viewpoint to our planet. The Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism was very excited to see his tweet on the 26th of April with a stunning image looking at the Earth seemingly from below, showcasing the stunning clear waters and pristine white beaches with the accompanying text, “Had first video conference with my youngest daughter today. Showed her the most beautiful place from space. #Bahamas.” The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism was not the only fan of the tweet as it was retweeted over a thousand times and favorited by over two thousand people.

Even from 220 miles away in the Space Station it is obvious that it really is better in The Bahamas. The Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism encourages Astronaut Scott Kelly, and would like to invite him and his family to discover the magic of The Islands first-hand when he returns after his year in space as personal guests.

To find out more about everything The Bahamas have to offer and why it really is better there, visit Bahamas.com today.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts to welcome an Embassy Suites hotel

Basseterre, St. Kitts (May 7, 2015) – Currently under construction in Pelican Bay, St. Kitts will debut a 226-suite Embassy Suites by Hilton hotel in the first quarter of 2017.  This announcement was made by Hilton Hotels on Wednesday, May 6, following the signing of a franchise agreement with Caribbean-based developers Sterling Developments.

“We welcome Hilton Hotels to the island,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F. P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “Their upscale Embassy Suites brand will serve as an excellent complement to the diverse mix of our current hotel product and it is well-aligned with the direction of our strategic plan for the continued development of our tourism industry.”

The US $90 million development is an approved Citizenship by Investment project.  The condo hotel complex will include six towers, 3,847 square feet of meeting space, an infinity pool, a fitness center, spa, and kids’ club. It will also provide guests the Embassy Suites by Hilton’s signature spacious suites equipped with a separate living area, private bedroom and wet bar fitted with a microwave, mini-fridge and coffee maker. All rooms will have direct views of the Caribbean.

“We look forward to introducing the Embassy brand to beautiful St. Kitts & Nevis,” said John Rogers, global head, Embassy Suites Hotels. “The prime location of this resort, coupled with Embassy’s full service offerings, ample space and guest-desired inclusive amenities will drive this hotel’s leisure travel appeal and strengthen the area’s accommodation options.”

The new hotel will offer the Embassy Suites brand’s signature features, such as an inviting atrium environment, where guests will have access to complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast and Evening Reception with complimentary appetizers and beverage. Restaurant facilities on the resort will include a three-meal restaurant, a specialty restaurant, and a pool and beach bar.

Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Kitts will be located in Pelican Bay, which is an exclusive private cove nestled on seven acres of gently sloping land, cascading down to a private beach on the Caribbean side of the island. Once complete, the hotel will offer easy access to the area’s main roads and downtown attractions, and is only 10 minutes away from Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport. The Embassy Suites will be Hilton’s first property in St. Kitts & Nevis.  Hilton Worldwide currently has 20 hotels open or in the pipeline throughout the Caribbean.

About Embassy Suites Hotels:

Embassy Suites Hotels, one of Hilton Worldwide’s twelve market-leading brands, is dedicated to delivering what matters most to travelers. The full service, upscale brand offers every guest a two-room suite, free cooked-to-order breakfast and a nightly two-hour reception with complimentary drinks and snacks. Both leisure and business travelers looking for a relaxed, yet sophisticated, experience will feel right at home with brand-standard amenities like inviting atriums and complimentary 24-hour business and fitness centers. Embassy Suites Hotels has more than 220 hotels with more than 35 in the pipeline. For more information, visit www.embassysuites.com, and connect with Embassy Suites at www.embassysuitesmediacenter.com, www.facebook.com/embassysuiteshotels  and www.twitter.com/EmbassySuites.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO hosts first MICE Networking event for UK buyers

LONDON, UK (12 May 2015) – Over 50 buyers attended The Caribbean Tourism Organization’s dedicated MICE networking evening for UK buyers held recently.

By partnering with MICE specialist, Global Connect, the event which took place at Gordon Ramsay’s Heddon Street Kitchen, was the first of its kind for the CTO to showcase what the region has to offer UK buyers.

It proved to be a great success with many partners reporting new enquiries and business leads coming directly as a result of their attendance.

To build on this success, the CTO is aiming to arrange a series of informal networking events throughout the year to directly drive business for members and help develop a strong MICE database of UK & European MICE Buyers.

Carol Hay, director of marketing UK and Europe, Caribbean Tourism Organization, says, “We were really impressed with the quality of the buyers who attended the event and many of the partners have already started to receive leads for potential new business. We wanted to make sure that the event delivered a return on investment for our partners, as well as providing a setting for introductions to some of the MICE market’s key decision makers. We know that the region has a lot to offer groups and we will continue to execute our strategy to attract more group business to the Caribbean.’’

The event was a follow up to the CTO’s recent MICE masterclass held in March to inform some of the CTO’s members on best practice within the market. The CTO plans to host its first MICE fam trip by the end of the year for UK buyers.

Partners who attended the event were:

Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority
Bahamas Tourist Office
Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, Saint Lucia
Harlequin Hotel & Resorts
Jamaica Tourist Board
Pineapple, Luxury Hotel Specialists (representing  Cobblers Cove, Barbados & Carlisle Bay, Antigua) Resort Marketing International (Representing Occidental Hotels & Resorts, Elite Island Resorts & Sun Group Hotels)
St. Kitts Tourism Authority
Saint Lucia Tourist Board
Sandals Resorts
Trinidad & Tobago Tourist Office
Viceroy Anguilla
Virgin Atlantic
Windjammer Landing, Saint Lucia

UK Buyers interested in learning more about the Caribbean’s MICE product should contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization on 020 8948 0057 or email Lorraine Grant at [email protected] to register their interest.

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