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Archive for November, 2016

Caribbean Tourism Organization trains Emirates Holiday staff

LONDON, UK, 24 November, 2016 –   The largest airline tour operator in the Middle East has been given a detailed introduction to the Caribbean as Emirates Airlines prepares to service the region.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) recently conducted an in-house training programme in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 40 Emirates Holidays reservations, sales and operation staff to familiarize them with the Caribbean product.

The training included key selling points, along with information on attractions, events and accommodations options.

The invitation to the CTO to conduct the training is part of a growing relationship between the region’s tourism development agency and Emirates Holidays, the tour-operating arm of Emirates airline which has now chosen to operate flights from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with connections to the Caribbean on Jet Blue.

“We have been nurturing this relationship for a number of years, meeting with Emirates Holidays at the Arabian Travel Market to ensure that the Caribbean remained a viable option,” said Carol Hay, the CTO’s director of marketing for the UK and Europe.

“Once the flight to Fort Lauderdale was announced, we were really pleased to be given the opportunity to provide technical support, and train their frontline staff.  We will continue to work with Emirates Holidays and develop strategic programmes to increase awareness of the Caribbean and grow business to the Caribbean.  We have the product, so with airlift there is increased potential,” Ms. Hay added.

The CTO was joined in Dubai by the Bahamas Tourist Office, Jamaica Tourist Board and Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board. The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. also supplied brochures and information.

The product executive at Emirates Holidays Anish Mohan said the tour operator now had a better understanding of what the Caribbean has to offer.

“Destination knowledge is key in order to confidently sell the products in the destination. The Caribbean training was well structured and gave us a detailed insight as to what the Caribbean destinations can offer to each client segments – couples, families, group of friends.  We also understood why the Caribbean destination are unique, gained a perspective of the tourism seasonality and the must- do attractions and the choice of accommodation options available in each destination. The highlight was the explanation by the relevant destination experts about the culture and various Caribbean festivals,” Mr. Mohan said.

Discussions are currently underway between the CTO and Emirates Holidays to continue the training with the travel trade across the UAE in 2017, supported by a multi destination fam trip.

The CTO is currently coordinating the Caribbean’s participation at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2017, and welcomes enquires from CTO member countries and hotel partners.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Freelance writer Michele Peterson wins top prize at CTO Travel Media Awards in Canada

TORONTO, Canada, 22 November, 2016 –   An article that explores Grenada’s culinary landscape has copped the top award at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s Caribbean Travel Media Awards programme here.

The article, Extraordinary Grenada by freelance writer Michele Peterson, won the Best of the Best award announced today at the Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Luncheon at Rosewater.

The story, which appeared in Taste & Travel International, takes readers on a satisfying journey through some of the taste-defining places, including the Caribbean’s oldest water-powered run distillery, an educational herb and spice project with Arawak, African, Indian and British influences, a goat dairy farm and a fully-functioning 17th century chocolate plantation.

Readers also get to savour with Peterson, organic Grenadian goat cheese, cocoa pods and delightful callaloo.

“The writer takes us on an incredible journey into the unique foods and attractions available in Grenada. It is an extremely well researched story that provides fascinating insights on the island’s rich culinary history,” judge Jeff Lake, managing partner and senior vice president – Punch Canada said.

“It was an original story. Excellent interviews. I felt I was reading something new about Grenada.”

Peterson was one seven travel writers and photographers awarded today for their coverage of the Caribbean.

The winners of this year’s Caribbean Travel Media awards in Canada are as follows:

Been There, Wrote That – Best Feature Article In A Consumer Magazine
Michele Paterson – Extraordinary Grenada – Taste & Travel International

I Couldn’t Have Written Better Myself – Best Feature In A Consumer Newspaper
Shari Kulha – A One per cent Solution (Barbados) – The National Post

Inner Circle King/Queen– Best Feature Article In A Trade Publication
Britney Hope – By Way of Barbados – Pax Magazine

Virtual Visitor Award – Best Online Feature
Steven Threndyle – Exploring the Cayes of Belize on a Stand-Up Paddle Board  – Globe and Mail

Not Lost in Translation Award –  Best Feature by a Canadian Journalist that appeared in Foreign Media.
Erin MacLeod – Nice ‘n easy listening: why Jamaica loves Celine Dion and Air Supply – Guardian (UK)

From Infinity…And Abroad! (Best Feature by a foreign Journalist in US or Caribbean Media)
Chris Santella – A Belize Lodge Blends Agritourism With Caribbean Delights – National Post

Oh Snap!– Best Photograph accompanying a feature
Justin Harrington – Tropical Escape: Belize for Every Traveller – Elle Canada

Oh My Word, I Blogged! (Best Blog Post)
Michelle Peterson – 12 Reasons I’m Tempted to Drop Everything  & Move to Grenada – A Taste for Travel.
This winner of this award was determined by voters in an online poll.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Media Awards

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Canadian travel industry partners recognised by the Caribbean Tourism Organization

TORONTO, Canada, 22 November, 2016 – Two Canadian travel industry partners have been recognized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) for their contributions to the region’s development through tourism.

The CTO presented its Special Recognition Award to WestJet and Flight Centre Ltd at the Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Luncheon in Toronto on 22 November held as part of Caribbean Media Day organised to underscore the importance of the Canadian market to the Caribbean.

WestJet’s award was “in appreciation of your unquestionable commitment to the development of the Caribbean through tourism by providing a decade of outstanding, uninterrupted service to the region” while Flight Centre Ltd was “in recognition of your significant impact on the development of the Caribbean through tourism and your outstanding contribution to the region”.

2016 marks a decade of WestJet service to the Caribbean, with the Bahamas being its first international destination.

Flight Centre Ltd is a leading retailer of travel products and services for the leisure and corporate markets. Its wholesale brand GOGO Worldwide Vacations supplies a variety of services, including packages, accommodation, tours and cruises, and is its largest global supplier of land product.

From left: Gavin Miller, Flight Centre’s VP of retail operations; Hugh Riley, CTO’s secretary general and Andrew Jones of Flight Centre’s product department. Below (from left) Lyell Farquharson, WestJet’s VP of sales and distribution; Hugh Riley and Dave Cecco, director of Westjet product

From left: Gavin Miller, Flight Centre’s VP of retail operations; Hugh Riley, CTO’s secretary general and Andrew Jones of Flight Centre’s product department. Below (from left) Lyell Farquharson, WestJet’s VP of sales and distribution; Hugh Riley and Dave Cecco, director of Westjet product

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Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Media Awards

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Saint Lucia’s “Love-A-Fare” winter sale features savings on air and hotels this January

SAINT LUCIA (November 18, 2016) – Recognized as one of the top islands in the world by the Conde Nast Travel Readers’ Choice Awards, Saint Lucia welcomes couples to escape January chills with airfare and accommodation savings. Ideal for a retreat or extended weekend getaway, Saint Lucia’s average temperature of 80 degrees, pristine beaches and lush rainforests provide an ideal backdrop for heating up winter romance.

The Love-A-Fare sale includes United Airlines and JetBlue non-stop airfare deals from three major cities. Expanded United Airlines weekend service from Newark Liberty International features round-trip fares starting at $296 for Saturday flights, with Sunday flights beginning December 18. United Airlines’ relaunch of direct flights from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Saint Lucia begin on December 17, with travel fares starting at $572.

JetBlue Airlines has non-stop daily flights from New York’s JFK International Airport starting at $295; fares from Boston’s Logan International Airport every Saturday starting at $524.

Hotel savings in January range from as much as 65 percent off regular rates and $1,000 airfare credit at Sandals Resort locations, to complimentary airfare for two with a seven-day booking at St. James Club Morgan Bay, and discounts of up to 45 percent plus one free night at Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa.

All hotel offers can be booked now through December 17 for travel in January. For more information on the January Love-A-Fare winter sale, visit: http://www.stlucia.org/united/

Saint Lucia Love-a-Fare hotel and resort deals include:

Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa

  • Save up to 45 percent off, plus one free night
  • Six one hour passes to the Splash Island Water Park
  • Unlimited non-motorized water sports
  • Three-night minimum; Book by 12/17/16 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Bay Gardens Hotel

  • Save up to 45 percent off, plus one free night
  • Six one hour passes to the Splash Island Water Park
  • Unlimited non-motorized water sports
  • Three-night minimum; Book by 12/17/16 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Bay Gardens Inn

  • Save up to 45 percent off, plus one free night
  • Six one hour passes to the Splash Island Water Park
  • Unlimited non-motorized water sports
  • Three-night minimum; Book by 12/17/16 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Blu St. Lucia

  • Rates starting at $130 per night- single occupancy in a standard Veranda or Courtyard accommodation
  • Rates starting at $150 per night- double occupancy in a standard Veranda or Courtyard accommodation
  • Two- 60 minute spa treatments per stay
  • Three-night minimum; Book by 12/17/16 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Calabash Cove Resort & Spa

  • Receive up to 45 percent off plus one private beachfront dinner for two
  • Rates start at $249 per night, includes daily breakfast
  • Three-night minimum; Book by 12/17/16 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Capella Marigot Bay

  • Save up to 25 percent off rooms and 35 percent off suites if booked before 11/30
  • Receive a $200 Resort credit with a six-night minimum stay if booked before 12/17
  • Valid for travel between 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Coco Palm Resort

  • Receive a free night with six-night minimum stay
  • Room rates are based on single or double occupancy; subject to 10 percent service charge and 10 percent VAT
  • All-Inclusive includes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; all beverages available during bar hours. Bottled water not included. House Wines by the glass. Bottle wines and champagnes are not included. House brand bar drinks – surcharge on premium brands. Surcharge on some food items.
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Coconut Bay Beach Resort

  • Winter savings up to 60 percent off plus $500 resort credits
  • Rates from $199 per person, per night based on double occupancy
  • Book by 11/30 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Fond Doux Plantation & Resort

  • Receive 25 percent off with three-night minimum stay
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

La Dauphine Estate

  • Receive 10 percent off all room categories
  • Free meet & greet and airport transfers
  • Free massage for two at Villa Beach Cottages
  • Free use of ocean kayaks at Villa Beach Cottages
  • Free cocoa plantation tour at La Dauphine Estate
  • Receive 10 percent off on-property jeep rental
  • Minimum stay of six-nights
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

The Landings Resort & Spa

  • Receive 30 percent off all rooms and rates
  • Complimentary airport transfers with five-night minimum
  • Receive $100 resort credit on seven-night stays
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Royal St. Lucia Resort & Spa

  • Buy five-nights, stay for seven-nights plus additional 10 percent off
  • Book by 12/17

Sandals Grande St. Lucian (All-Inclusive)

  • Receive up to $1,000 Air Credit plus one free night
  • Save up to 65 percent
  • Free Catamaran Cruise
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Sandals Halcyon Beach (All-Inclusive)

  • Receive up to $1,000 Air Credit plus one free night
  • Save up to 65 percent
  • Free Catamaran Cruise
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Sandals Regency La Toc (All-Inclusive)

  • Receive up to $1,000 Air Credit plus one free night
  • Save up to 65 percent
  • Free Catamaran Cruise
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

St. James Club Morgan Bay (All-Inclusive)

  • Book a seven-night stay in an ocean view room or higher and receive complimentary airfare for two
  • Stays less than seven-days receive up to 50 percent off for travel during November and December
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Ti Kaye Resort & Spa

  • Receive 20 percent off all room categories plus $100 food and beverage credit for United Airlines
  • T&C: Adults Only 18+ resort; double occupancy only
  • Minimum five-night stay
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Villa Beach Cottages

  • Receive 10 percent off all room categories from deluxe bedroom villa suites to plantation houses
  • Complimentary meet & great and airport transfers
  • Complimentary massage for two
  • Complimentary use of ocean kayaks
  • Complimentary cocoa plantation tour at La Dauphine Estate
  • Receive 10 percent off on-property jeep rental
  • Minimum six-night stay
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888 4STLUCIA or visit http://stlucia.org/.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association supports Caribbean Tourism Month

(BRIDGETOWN, Barbados) 16 Nov, 2016 –  The Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA) has thrown its support behind Caribbean Tourism Month, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) initiative aimed at raising awareness among the people of the Caribbean of the importance of tourism to the region.

“The Barbados Hotel and Tourism association is happy to join the CTO and member states in raising awareness of the importance of tourism to our economy and to focus on the ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen and the invaluable contribution they make every day,” BHTA chairman Roseanne Myers said.

“Through the maintenance of viable businesses, our members, be they accommodation, car rental agencies , restaurants, attractions, destination service providers, suppliers etc, strive to provide   prosperity for stakeholders through investment and employment, and to do so in a sustainable way, so that our children can continue to enjoy this lovely place we are blessed to call home.  Most people strive to work to live and not live to work and tourism offers us the ability to get closer to that ideal by providing a myriad of interesting and lucrative positions to utilize the skills and talents of our people,” she added.

Myers, the general manager of Atlantis Submarines, has been a staunch supporter of Caribbean Tourism Month, having in the past offered specials for both locals and visitors in observance of the month. As it has done in the past, Atlantis Submarines is again a sponsor of Caribbean Tourism Month this year.

The CTO and its member countries and partners have organized events and activities in observance of the month, including a social media marathon highlighting various themes, including romance, nature, heritage and fashion, throughout the month.

Sponsors also include Jade Mountain in Saint Lucia and Mango Bay Barbados.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Caribbean Tourism Month

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British Virgin Islands Tourist Board announces exclusive Cyber Monday deals for warm winter getaways

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands (November, 15, 2016) — Today, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Tourist Board is unveiling this year’s Cyber Monday (November 28) deals, offering vacationers a luxurious, warm weather escape at affordable price points.

For a limited time, travelers can take advantage of these unbeatable savings and book a fun-filled trip to the BVI, which was recently ranked #18 on the list of Best Islands in the World by Conde Nast Traveler’s 29th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards 2016. From savings up to $2,000 at Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island to an additional night free at one of the villas offered by BVI Villa Rental, these Cyber Monday specials cater to groups of all sizes looking to spend the holidays in this tropical destination.

“With sunny skies and temperatures averaging 84 degrees all year-round, BVI is the perfect winter escape,” said Sharon Flax-Brutus, Director of the BVI Tourist Board. “Our Cyber Monday deals allow travelers to enjoy the pristine white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters of the BVI at an affordable price.”

For more information, visit http://www.bvitourism.com/cyberMonday or call 1-800-835-8530 to speak to an island host.

Private Islands & Resorts

  • Necker Island: Vacationers who book a stay at Sir Richard Branson’s private island can enjoy the 2016 rate, which amounts to savings up to $2,000 per night!
    • Booking window is November 28 to December 9. Offer is valid for travel from January 1 to March 31, 2017. To reserve, email [email protected] and use promotional code “Cyber Monday.”
  • Peter Island Resort & Spa:  Peter Island invites travelers to take advantage of their special Cyber Monday offer and experience this private island’s five white sand beaches, award-winning spa, and exceptional culinary offerings. Guests can enjoy up to 30 percent savings, up to $150 in resort credit, and a welcome bottle of champagne for 2017 bookings. To book, email [email protected] and use promotional code “BVI Cyber Monday Offer.”
    • Booking window is November 28 to December 19. Offer is valid for travel from January 4 to December 19, 2017.
  • Bitter End Yacht Club: Located in North Sound, Virgin Gorda, Bitter End Yacht Club is offering family-style deals to make the most of winter break. Travelers who take advantage of the two-room family package for families with children up to 25 years old will enjoy 50 percent savings on the second room. To book, call 1-800-872-2392 and use promotional code “BVI CyberMonday.”
  • Booking window is November 28 to December 31. Offer is valid for travel from January 2 to March 31, 2017. Blackout dates for this offer apply during the week of March 11 to March 26, 2017.
  • Scrub Island Resort & Spa: This year, Scrub Island is offering the Stay for Breakfast rate, which includes complimentary breakfast for up to two adults and children 12 years old and younger. Guests can dine al fresco at Caravela Restaurant overlooking the marina. For reservations, email [email protected] and use promotional code “S4B.”
    • Booking window is November 28 to December 31. Offer is valid for travel through December 16, 2017.

Villas

  • BVI Villa Rental: Families and large groups will love the comfort and space of a villa rental. With BVI Villa Rental’s Cyber Monday offer, guests can stay for seven nights, but only pay for six! To book, email [email protected] and use promotional code “Cyber Monday.”
    • Booking window is November 28 to December 12. Offer is valid for travel from January 7 to January 31, 2017. Some villas are excluded from this offer.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Antigua and Barbuda launches Beach Bar Trail

The beautiful twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda are famous for their 365 beaches – one for each day of the year.  Dotted across these beaches is a host of unique and authentic beach bars where holiday-makers can sample authentic Caribbean food and drink while enjoying the beach life and stunning views by day, and cocktails and music as the sun sets.

The Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority has launched the ‘Beach Bar Trail’ to help show visitors some of the best spots on the islands.  From foodie gems to romantic hotspots, party bars to hidden hangouts that only the locals know about, the map is designed to encourage visitors to Antigua and Barbuda to explore the island – hopping from bar to bar and soaking up the best of Antiguan hospitality along the way.  The map highlights the island’s main hotels so that visitors can seek out the most easily accessible beach bars for them.

These bars are some of the best places to sample authentic local cuisine – from West Indian specialities such as conch fritters at Turners and curry goat at Dennis’, to seasonal produce from local farmers at the stylish Jacqui O’s.

But it’s not just about food and drink.  These beach bars also give visitors the chance to soak up the local culture and see a different side of Antigua.   Ana’s on Dickenson Bay exhibits works from local artists; guests at Miller’s could be invited to join a game of beach volleyball with the locals; and on Fridays Castaways on South Beach comes alive with live bands and local DJs for its weekly BBQ Bonfire Beach Party.  For a more relaxed experience, over on the pink sands of Barbuda Uncle Roddy gives a warm welcome (and serves delicious lobster) at his eponymous beach bar which is wholly run by solar power.

Families are also well-catered for at Antigua’s beach bars, with everything from water sports at Sneaky Pete’s, crazy golf and jungle gym at Putter’s, to special kids’ menus at Bumpkin’s.

Visitors are invited to share their #beachbartrail pictures on Twitter or send to [email protected]

 

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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