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Archive for September, 2016

Barbados honours the international travel media

BARBADOS, Bridgetown. Sept. 23, 2016 – International media were recognized for their excellence in journalism at the recently concluded Barbados Tourism Media Awards.

The awards, which were themed “Recognizing Excellence in Global Coverage of Destination Barbados,” were conceptualized by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. in acknowledgement of the positive impact exceptional media coverage can have on would-be travelers. The ceremony, which also coincided with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC), was produced by the BTMI in recognition of the island’s 50th anniversary as an independent nation.

The Take a Bow award – Best of the Best by the Judges of all Submissions went to New Yorker Baz Dreisinger of Forbes in the US, whose article on the Crop Over Festival entitled “Carnival In Barbados: Rules For Doing It Like A Local and In Luxury,” also captured the award in the Golden Pen – Best Story in a Luxury Publication category.  Dreisinger was traveling on assignment but in sending her regards she described Barbados as a place that would always hold special memories for her.

Out of the 53 submitted entries from Canada, the USA, Europe and the UK, Canada copped the most top awards. Britney Hope who was present at the dinner won the category So You Know Your Stuff – Best Feature Article in a Trade Publication. Also present, Cara McLeay in Yup! You Told ‘Em! – Best Story by a Blogger copped this award with her piece “Barbados Diary.”

With a story entitled “5 Reasons To Have Your Wedding In Barbados”, Mara Sofferin took home the award in How Can This Knot Be Love?- Best Story on Romance; while Michael McCarthy hailing from The Province came out on top in #NoFilter – Best Photo in Conjunction With a Feature Article with his “Making Friends in Bridgetown Marketplace” article.

Editor and freelance journalist, Violaine Charest-Sigouin, from ELLE Quebec won the category Is That An Accent? – Best Feature by Foreign Journalist in Foreign Media with a well written piece dubbed “Elle Voyage Barbados” and Doug Wallace from La Carte was not present, however, after winning the Shaken Not Stirred – Epicurean Excellence Media Award category with his entry “Eating Your Way Around Barbados, One Food Stand At a Time” he mentioned in his acceptance video he remarked that “he can’t wait to eat his way around the island again.”

Jon Hawkins was the lone UK finalist and won his category Spoken Like a True Bajan! – Best Feature Article in a Consumer Publication with a piece entitled, “Rum’s The Word.” Meanwhile, Sangita Chandra of ABC Boston won favour with the judges with their broadcast piece titled, “Seaduced and Fish Fry, Barbados Pleasures, Barbados Roots, Barbados Art” in the category Golden Mic – Best Feature Broadcast.

CEO of BTMI, Billy Griffith paid special thanks to all the journalists who took the time to write on Barbados and enter the first ever awards. He also noted, “these awards are the start of many to come and we encourage each of you to keep up the excellent work in the promotion of the Barbados brand.”

Carter Cops Inaugural Heritage Award

This elegant evening, packed with cocktails, a delectable Bajan-inspired four-course dinner by chef Kirk Kirton, and sweet musical symphonies, climaxed with veteran Barbadian journalist, Gercine Carter being conferred with the inaugural Heritage Award – Exceptional National Coverage by a Local Journalist. In reading the citation, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, recognized Carter’s 49-year career in journalism, much of which has been spent raising awareness for the tourism sector.  Carter, who was also the first public relations manager at the Hilton Barbados and has been writing a social column since 1987 for The Nation covering broad areas including her old love “tourism”.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO’s World Tourism Day Message – 27 September 2016

The Caribbean Tourism Organization is pleased to join the international community of nations in celebrating World Tourism Day 2016. This year’s theme: ‘Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility’, reminds us of the need to ensure that all persons, including those living with disabilities, have equal access to tourism experiences, tourism business opportunities and employment in the industry.

As a region, it is important to be aware that accessibility in tourism is a shared responsibility, which warrants consistent and conscientious effort by all parties involved in the tourism value chain. This requires that countries and destinations – and the industry as a whole – promote accessibility for all in the physical environment, in transport systems, in tourist and business facilities and in the availability of services and opportunities.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization encourages its members to invest in the necessary training, improvements to infrastructure and facilities and adoption of the new information communication technologies which are available and can contribute to enhancing both business and destination competitiveness.

We believe that making tourism more accessible is a moral and social responsibility which speaks to the need to treat everyone with due courtesy, care and consideration. We are also confident that the benefits to be gained by countries and businesses that embrace the accessibility for all philosophy, far outweigh the required investments and will result in added value and a competitive advantage in the global tourism market. And it is simply the right thing to do.

Making tourism more accessible means creating the opportunity for any individual, regardless of his or her physical limitation, circumstance or age, to function independently and with dignity and respect, by making available appropriately designed tourism facilities, attractions and environments. It also requires a zero tolerance policy on discrimination, prejudice or abuse both in relation to the delivery of services to guests and in the management and treatment of staff.

In our commitment to position ourselves to be the world’s most desirable year round, warm weather destination, our attention must be focused on the needs of every citizen and every traveler, as we work to make the Caribbean truly accessible for all.

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Keynote address – Ian Blanchard, 5th Statia Sustainable Conference

The Sustainability Challenge
Keynote address by Ian Blanchard, managing director/coach, CILC Action, Barbados
At the 5th Statia Sustainable Conference, St. Eustatius, 26 Sept 2016

Good morning and thank you for inviting me to be a part of your 5th Annual Statia Sustainable Conference. My presence here today I know is not coincidental as I don’t believe in chance meetings, but designed engagements that if used correctly will ultimately accrue to the benefit of the individuals and their circles of influence. My time with you over the next couple days is just a blip in your lives and therefore one that I value and endevour to play my part in ensuring that both our lives are forever changed.

Download full document by Ian Blanchard.

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The twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda appear on award-winning documentary Music Voyager

St. John’s ANTIGUA (September 9, 2016) – The beautiful twin-islands of Antigua and Barbuda will be viewed by millions ahead of the winter booking period, as the unique culture of the destination features on the seventh season of the award-winning documentary TV series, Music Voyager.

“Music Voyager: Antigua and Barbuda,” filmed on the islands last year, highlights the story of Antigua and Barbuda through music and culture allowing viewers to experience the country through the eyes of the locals, and their words.

The episode unveils the true magic, mystery and music of Antigua and Barbuda.

Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Asot Michael, said, “The friendliness of our people, their warmth and hospitality are key to our brand, and how we market Antigua and Barbuda.  We are proud to bring the passion of our country to homes across the world, placing Antiguans and Barbudans centre stage in our promotions, and using our music as the vehicle to showcase the quintessential Antigua and Barbuda.”

The thirty minute episode starts with journalist Mirissa Neff, alongside a local guide meeting with calypsonians for insight into the traditional art-form of calypso.  They first enjoy an impromptu rendition by a noted Road March King who strums on a guitar on Antigua’s Market Street, then end up on a beach for a quick game of cricket and a chat with soca artistes and a famous Antiguan cricketer about island life.  The episode climaxes at Shirley Heights with residents and visitors dancing to the pulsating beats of an internationally known Antiguan musician at the popular Sunday Sunset Party.

Through interviews and travel, the episode brings vibrancy and life to Antigua and sister island Barbuda by meeting other musicians, tasting the local food, visiting off-the-beaten path attractions and attending parties and hidden venues only the locals know.

“Voyager episodes are presently broadcasting to 94% of every US PBS Household and in 120 countries, in 50 languages, on International In-Flight programming, on Cruise Ships and in European and Asian hotel chains. This represents unparalleled positive exposure for the destination,” said Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority CEO, Colin C. James.

James said, “Positioning Antigua and Barbuda apart from other beach destinations was a main consideration during production and the message is conveyed strongly throughout this episode, which will allow potential visitors to truly experience the islands.”

Season 7 is now being aired across multiple PBS channels with numerous repeats expected. Arrangements are being made to air the episode on local television stations.  The Antigua and Barbuda episode can be viewed online here

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Message by Commissioner of Tourism Derrick Simmons Opening of 5th Statia Sustainable Conference

Seeing our island as a tourist destination and tourism being one of the economic pillars of our economy, we must take into consideration how important sustainability and accessibility are today. The Government of our Island takes pleasure in welcoming you to our island and to the 5th annual Statia Sustainable Conference (SSC).

When we put our minds together there is no obstacle that can’t be overcome. I anticipate, by using the previous conference as a benchmark, that this conference too will bear fruits and enhance entrepreneurship, resulting in the growth of small and medium businesses.

Let me give a special welcome to the keynote speaker, Mr. Ian Blanchard, Managing Director/Coach CILC Action of Barbados. Make use of his passion for helping businesses be successful. Often we only associate the term coach with sports, but sports coaches are not only there during the sporting event but are often involved in the day to day activities of the athletes. It makes sense to have a business coach also who guides businesses in its development.

On a final note, please actively participate in this conference, because you are encouraged to be a participant rather than a spectator.

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Message by Charles Lindo Director of Tourism, St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation – 5th Statia Sustainable Conference

First of all, I would like to welcome all speakers and participants to the 5th annual Statia Sustainable Conference (SSC-5), and at the same time would like to thank you for your attendance. The general purpose of SSC is to Inform, Educate and Motivate persons on the issues that can make a difference in our society whether economically, socially or other.  Understanding the core meaning of accessibility and how it can benefit us in the long run is of high importance. The intention of this year’s conference is to ensure that person or persons can easily comprehend the idiom ACCESIBILITY covers, and to be able to find purpose in their role towards this so call “new’ trend. However I will focus on disabled persons and the challenges they could face.

One of the main concentrations when talking about accessibility is the possibility to cater to disabled persons. The main question here is “how ACCESSIBLE are you”? It is extremely important that destinations not only have the necessary plans in place to meet the very fast growing world of disabled travelers but to have the necessary air and sea lift to do so as well.

Social media and the internet in general have been said to have brought the world to disabled travelers. Travelers with disabilities can easily visit certain websites to determine when to travel, where to travel to and what laws and regulations a certain destination may have in place for disabled travelers. Persons with disabilities, on average as a group, are more likely to experience adverse socioeconomic outcomes than persons without disabilities, such as less education, worse health outcomes, less employment, and higher poverty rates. (World Bank), a country’s economic, legislative, physical, and social environment may create or maintain barriers such as inaccessible buildings, transport, information, and communication technology; inadequate standards, services, and funding for those services; and too little data and analysis for evidence-based, efficient, and effective policies.

According to World Bank April 4th 2016; one billion people, or 15 % of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. One-fifth of the estimated global total or between 110 million and 190 million people experience significant disabilities. Eight billion dollars per year is spent on Australian tourism by travelers with a disability-accessibility resource kit.

Over the years, we have held conferences on alternative energy, water and the economic value of tourism & the business, community tourism etc. I would like to personally congratulate the SSC committee on a job well done in organizing this prestigious conference, for the 5th year.

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Firefly Villas Bequia to celebrate groundbreaking with St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister

SVG Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves to officiate at next week’s groundbreaking of exclusive collection of new beachfront homes at Firefly Villas on the idyllic island of Bequia in the Grenadines.   www.Firefly-Villas.com

21 September 2016: 7th Heaven Properties today announced that an official ceremony to mark the groundbreaking of Firefly Villas, an exclusive collection of new beachfront residences on the island of Bequia in the Grenadines, will take place next Thursday 29th September 2016.

The ground breaking ceremony will be officiated by Dr Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Construction of residences will then begin in early October 2016.

Set in an approximately 15-acre private beachfront enclave of a tropical plantation on the island of Bequia, the residences will offer private island-style privacy and care-free ownership benefits delivered by Firefly Hotel Bequia and Firefly Hotel Mustique, a highly acclaimed pair of hotels.

The enclave, which stretches from the spectacular beachfront to the lush interior, has been sub-divided into nine private island-style clusters which are elevated 2 feet above ground to guarantee privacy and afford beautiful views across the beach, sea and plantation. Upon completion, each “island” will be home to just two or three villas or buyers can choose to have an “island” all to themselves.

Firefly Villas Bequia will be developed by Bequia Development Ltd in association with Firefly Hotel Bequia and Firefly Hotel Mustique. As a result, buyers will enjoy an unrivalled package of care-free villa ownership benefits unlike any other on offer on the island of Bequia. Benefits include an attractive Founders Package for the first few buyers, year-round villa maintenance and in-villa hotel services, a villa rental program offering owners the opportunity to generate income from their villas when not in personal use, as well as use of all amenities and discounted rates at both Firefly Hotel Bequia and Firefly Hotel Mustique for family and friends.

Designed by Swedish architect Olle Rex who has decades of international luxury residential and resort design experience, the villas are priced from $630,000 USD. Villas will feature from 1,600 sq ft of living space, including up to 6 bedrooms, contemporary open plan interiors, private terraces, private pools and outstanding views of the sea or lush green surroundings.

Johan Liljefors of Bequia Development Ltd commented: “I am delighted to welcome the Prime Minister to our piece of paradise to be part of the creation of a new collection of residences unlike anything else on Bequia.”

Walter Zephirin, Managing Director of London-based 7th Heaven Properties which is leading sales of the residences, added: “We are delighted to see Firefly Villas Bequia begin to take shape. With development set to commence imminently, buyers will be able to witness the progress of the construction of these new homes in one of the world’s most desirable locations.”

Located in the idyllic Grenadines island chain just south of St Vincent, the 7 square mile island of Bequia has a lower profile than many other Caribbean islands but is treasured for its pristine white sand beaches, lush green interior, crystal clear turquoise sea that offers unrivalled diving and snorkelling and unhurried, tranquil pace of life.

About 7th Heaven Properties 
7th Heaven Properties is one of the world’s leading independent Caribbean property specialists, representing the finest real estate for sale from across the entire Caribbean and Central America. Supported by a network of agents based in Europe, North America and the Caribbean, the firm lists residential and commercial property for sale in over 30 Caribbean territories.

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