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Archive for 2015

Bahamians become North Pole explorers

Two Bahamians are literally sitting on top of the world and they took The Bahamas’ flag with them.

Earlier this week, Mark Roberts and Shaune Adderley made the journey to the North Pole – the first Bahamians to ever to take on the courageous challenge.

“I was invited by a friend who has lived in The Bahamas for a number of years and he with a group of New Zealanders were going to the North Pole. They had been to the South Pole and he called me up and asked me if I would be interested in going because two of the seats that he had filled were vacated,” Mr. Roberts said.

“For two months I said ‘no it’s probably not a good idea’ and then he said ‘I feel bad for inviting you because I knew a Bahamian would not be able to cut the mustard.’ And that started the ball rolling in that direction that we were going to go and take on the challenge and have some fun with it.”

He added that he is proud to take The Bahamas flag on top of the world.

“I can’t imagine anything that I would be prouder to do. I actually felt bad for saying no for two months. I should have said yes earlier so I could have trained more because the opportunity to take The Bahamas up to the top of the world is a once in a lifetime and I am over the moon about it,” Mr. Roberts said.

The average temperature on the North Pole is a blistering -20 F on a warm day to -80 F with wind chills.

Mr. Roberts said he and his partner prepared for the daunting task by going through a guide and checklist.

“You can’t really train for the cold. We were fortunate because Tropic Seafood let us come into their freezers for two days worth of training so that we could test our gear. The critical thing we could do is purchase the right equipment and the right gear. We would have seven layers on and we did a lot of physical training. Our longest gym workouts were four hours and we did the elliptical machine because we will be skiing 12 hours a day to make 120 hour journey to get to the North Pole,” he said.

Mr. Adderley said Mr. Roberts pushed him to take on the challenge.

“I like the experience. It’s something on my bucket list. Something I would like to do. I know there are not a lot of Bahamians that would not get to do it. So it was nice for me to get invited to go there,” he said.

“It makes me feel proud to do this for my country. When I put my mind to something I like to go through with it. My family is all ups in arms. The only thing that really concerns me is the cold because as a Bahamian I have never been in that type of cold. So I am glad we have the layers and we have been in the freezer. I think it’s a mind thing.”

The duo first flew to London to begin their journey. Then it was off to Ausland, Norway and then to Russia.

They arrived at North Pole on Friday morning and will be there for seven days. To follow their journey visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bahamas-North-Pole-Explorers.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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Bahamas even closer to Florida with new non-stop flights

Nassau, Bahamas – April 17, 2015 Paradise is even closer with two new non-stop flights for the summer between Florida and Eleuthera and Abaco, two popular destinations in The Islands Of The Bahamas. Wildcat Touring, the leading air charter provider for basketball and other college team sports travels, announced they are introducing two non-stop flights from Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport to North Eleuthera Airport and Marsh Harbor Airport in the Abaco Islands.

From endless pineapple fields to white and pink-sand beaches to secluded coves and miles of coastline, Eleuthera defines The Bahamas. Eleuthera is an island of casual sophistication, housing isolated communities, well-developed resorts, rocky bluffs, low-lying wetlands and massive coral reefs that create magnificent backdrops.

The Abacos are a group of Islands and Cays in The Bahamas that form a 120 mile-long chain stretching over 650 square miles. Calm waters, warms breezes and panoramic beauty make these islands a boating and sailing paradise. For those that prefer to explore the land, they will find championship golf courses on Treasure Cay, charming colonial towns on Green Turtle and Elbow Cays, and countless hotels, restaurants and bars to choose from throughout The Abacos. There is something for everyone in this paradise.

Flights, commencing in May, will operate twice a week to Eleuthera and 4 days a week to Abaco Islands.

Ft. Lauderdale to Eleuthera
Thursday: Departure: 11:00 am, Arrival: 12:10 pm
Sunday: Departure: 4:00 pm, Arrival: 5:10pm

Eleuthera to Ft. Lauderdale
Thursday: Departure: 1:00 pm, Arrival 2:10 pm
Sunday: Departure 6:00 pm, Arrival 7:10 pm

Ft, Lauderdale to Marsh Harbor
Wednesday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday
Departure: 11:00 am, Arrival: 12:00 pm

Marsh Harbor to Ft. Lauderdale
Wednesday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday
Departure: 1:00 pm, Arrival: 2:00 pm

The addition of these two non-stop flights to The Bahamas increases the number of non-stop destinations in The Islands Of The Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to 9. With flight times less than 2 hours to any destination from Florida, getting to any destination of choice in The Bahamas is even easier.

To learn more information and book your tickets today visit: WildcatTouring.net.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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South Florida travel agents learn more about Trindad & Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – April 16, 2015 – A group of nearly 75 travel agents from The Travel Industry Association of Florida attended a presentation and dinner hosted by Tourism Development Company (TDC) on April 14 to learn more about the twin island nation and discuss selling points for their clients. The agents also had the chance to mingle with guest of honor, Trinidad & Tobago Consul General Dr. Anil Ramnanan. The event was coordinated by the TDC’s United States’ marketing and sales partner, The Travel Marketing Network (TTMN), with an energetic evening that included authentic Trini cuisine, pulsating soca music and prize giveaways.

The evening kicked off with a welcome reception that included a chance to meet partners from Caribbean Airlines and Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort in Tobago. Following the welcome reception, attendees were treated to an authentic Trini dinner, complete with curried shrimp and roti. The presentation entailed the history of the islands, key selling points and a brief speech by each of the on-island partners. The evening concluded with prize giveaways that included: Angostura Rum; a guaranteed spot on the culinary and culture FAM trip in the fall; and the grand prize: tickets for two people on Caribbean Airlines from South Florida to Tobago with a 3-night stay at Magdalena Grand.

The TDC’s U.S. Public Relations agency, Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications (CAMC) worked with local journalists from Recommend, Caribbean Today, Caribbean Journal and Uncommon Caribbean to cover the event. The journalists also had the opportunity to meet and interview Trinidad & Tobago Consul General Dr. Ramnanan during the event.

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Oceania Regatta’s inaugural call to Grenada

(St. George’s, Grenada) 16th April, 2015 – The Oceania Regatta berthed for the first time in St. George’s on Thursday, 16th April, making this the last of eleven inaugural cruise calls to Grenada during the 2014/2015 cruise season. Six hundred and sixty three (663) cruise passengers, mostly from North America were greeted by warm smiles from the Grenada Tourism Authority and musical entertainment.

A twelve-hour stay, beginning at 7:00am allowed cruise passengers to tour the tropical island, dive the clear waters, and experience the magical glow of the sunset.

Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique is well positioned as a cruise destination. The relatively short distance between the beaches and the rainforests give cruisers a balanced experience. The tri-island state is also ideal for historical tours, local cuisines, and shopping.

There are three remaining cruise calls for the 2014/2015 season that ends with the Silver Whisper on Saturday, 25th April, 2015.

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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.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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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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