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Archive for 2016

Caribbean tourism officials gather in Antigua and Barbuda to address business and service excellence in the industry

(St. John’s, Antigua) March 21, 2016 – As Caribbean tourism rebounds, tourism practitioners within the region are making their next strategic move by focussing on enhancing the quality of their product, and developing a strong culture of service excellence.

The Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Hugh Riley and other well-known Caribbean tourism officials will meet in Antigua and Barbuda to address the theme ‘Making Excellence a Habit: Service Loyalty and Profitability in Caribbean Tourism’ at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s  8th annual Tourism Human Resources Conference, taking place from May 11 – 13, 2016.

Collaborators, the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment & Energy, and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, are voicing their support for the three day tourism gathering being held in Antigua for the first time.

Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Asot Michael, said, “We are committed to ensuring the well-rounded development of the tourism sector.”

“In today’s digital age of hi-speed internet, blogs and social media, ready access to information means travellers are more aware of their options when it comes to selecting and booking a flight, hotel, cruise, tour or otherwise.  They comparison shop, view reviews and rely heavily on shared feedback from past travellers before confirming bookings.

For our destinations to be successful, we must do more, to attract and meet the demands of the discerning traveller.  While glitz attracts, more often than not, it is the quality of service that guests receive, that remains of paramount importance to serious tourism industry stakeholders aiming to deliver exceptional tourism experiences, increase revenues, and secure repeat visitors.”

The Caribbean Tourism Organization, the industry’s leading body for Caribbean tourism development, has set out an intensive conference programme geared towards the pursuit of excellence in the region’s growing tourism & hospitality sector.

“Visitors to the Caribbean, in their own quest for value for money and great experiences, have growing expectations of our businesses, and those businesses which provide excellent customer service in a constant and consistent manner are more likely to succeed.  It is imperative, therefore, that we pursue a culture of excellence for our survival, growth, competitiveness and overall success; our customers demand it, our businesses require it and our success depends on it,” said Hugh Riley, CTO’s Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer.

International and regionally acclaimed speakers, industry leaders and experts will cover topics such as, ‘Driving Leadership and Organizational Excellence’, ‘Making Excellence a Habit’ and ‘Using Metrics effectively to Propel Business Performance’.

Tourism Master Classes led by John Burchell, Director of Hospitality Assured, and Andre Bello Commercial Manager, Virgin Atlantic, will show senior management and technical staff how they can improve their product, generate, and retain loyal customers.  Detailed discussions will allow participants to gain hours of valuable insight in the areas of: ‘Seeking Excellence through Continuous Improvement – A Formula for Business Success’ and, ‘Increasing Customer & Brand Loyalty’.

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Minister will present the feature address at the conference opening, while Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and Shirlene Nibbs, Tourism Consultant to the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism and Managing Director of consultancy firm Nibbs & Associates, will join in leading panel discussions at the event.

Tourism practitioners, from both the public and private sectors, human resource professionals, tourism educators/trainers and consultants as well as tourism & hospitality students of tertiary institutions are expected to register for the conference where they will develop skills to meet the changing environment, and learn strategies and best practices from real Caribbean tourism industry experts, on areas and issues affecting the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Registration for the conference and master classes can be done on: www.onecaribbean.org.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, HR Conference

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The Islands Of The Bahamas receive nine nominations from 23rd Annual World Travel Awards

NASSAU, THE BAHAMAS – March 10, 2016 – The Islands Of The Bahamas are delighted to have been nominated in nine Caribbean categories by the 23rd annual World Travel Awards, including Leading Beach Destination, Cruise Destination, Cruise Port, Destination, Dive Destination, Honeymoon Destination, Luxury Island Destination and Romantic Destination. Additionally, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has been selected as a candidate for the Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board.

World Travel Awards was founded in 1993 to recognize, acknowledge and reward excellence in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry worldwide. Now celebrating its 23rd anniversary, World Travel Awards is recognized globally as the hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark.

“We’re thrilled to receive these distinguished acknowledgments from the World Travel Awards, especially in such a competitive market,” said Joy Jibrilu, Director General, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.  “Being nominated in nine of the Caribbean’s Leading categories is a true testament to our team’s diligence and commitment in providing the highest quality travel experiences for visitors to The Bahamas.”

As a nominee, The Islands Of The Bahamas can be voted for online by fans across the world. Fans can submit their votes at www.WorldTravelAwards.com/Vote from March 7, 2016 until July 31, 2016.

Winners will be announced on September 17, 2016 and honored at the Caribbean & North America Gala Ceremony at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts & Nevis rank #10 of the 25 Best Caribbean Islands by Business Insider

Basseterre, St. Kitts (March 7, 2016) – Continuing to add accolades to its growing portfolio, The St. Kitts Tourism Authority is pleased to announce that the Federation is ranked at #10 of the 25 Best Caribbean Islands by Business Insider. The article appears on the publication’s website as of February 26, 2016.

“It is gratifying to see our hard work pay off through the recognition of our tourism product by yet another prestigious publication this year,” said the Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “We will continue to develop the tourism sector in a strategic, careful manner to ensure ongoing growth as a desirable destination for visitors.”

The islands were ranked by factoring in each one’s average hotel-room costs using data from Hotels.com, the flight time from New York City, the number of attractions listed on TripAdvisor and the amount of coastline offered per square kilometer. St. Kitts & Nevis are noted for having an abundance of “palm-fringed beaches, soaring mountains and lush jungle terrain.” The article also provides a link to a list of 173 activities available to visitors on island, ranging from natural sites to historic attractions.

Click here to read the article in its entirety: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-25-best-caribbean-islands-ranked-2016-2.

About Business Insider

Business Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. Launched in 2007, the site is now the largest business news site on the web. According to data from Compete.com, Business Insider is read by over 29 million Unique Monthly Visitors (UMV).

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Norwegian resumes seasonal service to Martinique

NEW YORK, NY (February 25, 2016) Norwegian, the World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline and Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline, will resume its seasonal winter service to the French Caribbean following a successful first winter season. Nonstop service from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Logan International Airport (BOS) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Martinique will begin on November 10. Norwegian’s service between the United States and the French Caribbean began last December.

The flights for the 2016 winter season will operate three times per week to each island Martinique from New York, and twice per week to each island Martinique from Baltimore/Washington, D.C. and Boston, respectively.

[…] We are pleased to see the positive response from American travelers who are now enjoying easier access and affordable fares to the Caribbean, and if demand continues to grow, we hope to make this a year-round service.” said Thomas Ramdahl, Norwegian’s Chief Commercial Officer.

“This winter’s air service to Martinique with Norwegian is a great success, and U.S. visitors are enthusiastically discovering this gem in the heart of the Caribbean that is Martinique,” said Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas for the Martinique Promotion Bureau. “Having Norwegian announce its service to Fort-de-France for 2016/17 is truly exciting! Our U.S. visitors will be able to book early for the next winter season at an excellent rate, while benefiting from modern and comfortable air service. The word is spreading about easy access to Martinique Magnifique, its superb cuisine, magnificent scenery, rich culture and traditions, excellent road network, and generous people, to name a few. We are looking forward to welcoming more and more guests from the United States with open arms.”

Flights to Guadeloupe and Martinique are now available for purchase at norwegian.com/us with fares as low as $49 one-way, including taxes. The lowest available fares to the French Caribbean and any of Norwegian’s destinations can be found by reviewing the low fare calendar.

Recently, Martinique nabbed three 2016 Travvy Awards, earning top honors in the following three categories:

  • Best Cruise Destination, Caribbean
  • Best Culinary Destination, Caribbean
  • Best Tourism Board, The Americas

Presented by travAlliance Media, publishers of TravelPulse.com, Vacation Agent and [email protected], Travvy Awards recognize the highest standards of excellence in the travel and tourism industry. Winners are determined based on votes compiled by more than 30,000 travel agents.

Martinique has been also ranked in the Top 16 places to go in 2016 by Condé Nast Traveler and in Where to go in 2016 by Budget Travel.

“To be recognized in this way by our travel agent partners is truly a special honor,” Wiltord concluded.

Due to the success of Norwegian’s first seasonal service this past winter, flights from New York to Martinique have been extended through the end of April and an additional weekly flight has been added, bringing the total to four weekly flights. Last week, Norwegian also announced nonstop service to Paris from Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and New York.

For more information on travel to Martinique, please visit www.us.martinique.org .

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Targeting more business from affluent visitors

When affluent visitors choose the Caribbean for vacation purposes, what do most of them do during their stay? How do they go about choosing the Caribbean over competing destinations? How long do they stay on average and into what age group do they mostly fall?

The answers to these and other questions, presenting a definitive profile of the affluent visitor, are provided in a newly-released report by TCI Research, a Brussels-based, UNWTO-awarded global independent research agency specializing in international tourism competitive intelligence, destination and travel segment analysis.

“If you are looking to get more bang for your buck out of your marketing and promotion budget, it is this kind of market intelligence which makes a real difference,” says TCI Research’s Caribbean representative, Barbados-based regional tourism consultant May Hinds.

“Such information is critical for national tourism organizations, hotels and other tourism establishments looking to make the right marketing decisions to more effectively target these big spenders and boost their business revenue,” adds Miss Hinds, CEO of May Hinds Consulting Inc.

Under a strategic partnership between May Hinds Consulting Inc. and TCI Research, the two companies are collaborating on a marketing support intervention themed “How to increase tourism receipts” based on the said affluent visitors study. It is designed for national tourism organizations, hotels and other tourism establishments in the region.

According to the TCI Research study, most affluent visitors to the Caribbean are couples and families in the 35 – 50+ age group. They choose the region mostly on the recommendation of friends and relatives, stay on average 7.7 nights, and the purpose of their visit is to relax, mostly by engaging in beach activities. Nightlife, bars and clubs are also popular with affluent visitors.

A summary of the report is available to national tourism organizations, hotels and tourism establishments. To request a copy or to enquire about marketing support from TCI Research in the design of a strategy to boost business from high-spending visitors, simply contact May Hinds Consulting Inc. via email at [email protected]

Posted in: 2016 News, Allied News, Blog

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Barbados voted best destination by Expedia

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados. Feb. 19, 2016 – Barbados is on a winning streak having been voted Caribbean Best Destination 2016 in recognition of outstanding performance and partnership by Expedia, the largest retailer of travel products in the entire Caribbean.
The award, which was presented before an audience of regional and international industry executives during the recently concluded Caribbean Travel Marketplace in The Bahamas, marked the seventh international award Barbados has received in the past 12 months.

The island was also dubbed Best Destination by Caribbean Journal and third among the islands of the Caribbean by Trip Advisor in 2015.  Telegraph readers also voted Barbados the best destination in the Caribbean for family holidays, best Caribbean beach holiday destination, best destination for activity and adventure holidays, and best destination for wedding and honeymoons.  In addition, the island has been shortlisted in the destination category for the Routes Americas 2016 Marketing Awards.

On receiving the latest award from Expedia, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) CEO, William Griffith, said it was testament to the collaborative efforts local industry partners have been making on behalf of the island. He also stated that it was a clear manifestation of the significant work being done by the entire BTMI leadership team in the major markets of the UK, USA and Canada.

“Each award we have received over the past 12 months has been confirmation for us that we are moving in the right direction with our destination marketing and product development, which continues to be a team effort across the public and private sector.  It is also great momentum as we draw closer to our 50th anniversary of Independence and we have already begun to share the excitement with all of our partners.”

Tourism decision-makers on the island continue to work assiduously toward ensuring the sectors continued recovery, with 2015 being dubbed a record year for air arrivals.  Several hotels underwent renovations in 2015 with new properties such as Sandals and Sugar Bay providing contemporary all-inclusive accommodation.  Efforts are also underway to enhance to variety and quality of product offerings available to cruise and long-stay visitors through the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA).  With the winter season in full swing and select hotels partnering with the BTMI to offer 50 percent off through the annual Brilliant Barbados 50 travel sale there certainly is no time like the present to visit the island.

Expedia Inc., which featuress some of he world’s leading online travel brands, including travelocity, Hotels.com, trivago and orbitz, registered $55 billion in bookings and 188.2 million room nights in the first three quarters of 2015.  Demetrius Canton, Director for the Caribbean at Expedia, commended the island’s tourism partners on their well-deserved win. “It’s an honour to confer this award on Barbados.  The island continues to be a leader in providing unforgettable, value-for-money travel experiences and we’ve seen the demand for holidays to Barbados continue to grow.  It is truly well-deserved.”

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Governor highlights island’s benefits to attract tourism investment

Governor Alejandro García Padilla announced the conclusion of Routes Americas in Puerto Rico. Routes Americas unites industry professionals in the aviation, cruise line and tourism sectors, focused on developing new air routes to the Island. This event allows Puerto Rico to showcase new airline opportunities, such as the newly opened MRO Lufthansa Technik, to continue to position the country as the Caribbean’s air hub with the largest airport.

“In Puerto Rico we fully identify with one of the main objectives of this organization, to join efforts for the common good. This great opportunity unites various sectors of the industry to increase air and maritime traffic throughout the Caribbean region,” said García Padilla.

As efforts have continued to increase on-and-off the Island, the tourism sector has achieved a number of accomplishments. “In the last fiscal year we added approximately 500 hotels rooms to our offerings, which resulted in a 73% hotel occupancy rate, a 2% increase throughout the year. In the past three years, 829 rooms were added, representing a 54% increase compared to 2012. With the arrival of new airlines, including Air Europa, Condor and Norwegian Air, we now offer direct flights to major European cities such as Madrid, Frankfurt and Oslo,” explained the governor.

Puerto Rico has established itself as one of the most competitive markets in the region, with significant investment on the island in specialized industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, electronics and information technology, among others. “Countless companies have realized that Puerto Rico is much more than tax incentives and good conditions for business development. All of them know that those who invest capital and create jobs on the Island, will gain a government partner willing to work with them hand-in-hand for the success of the company and for the betterment of Puerto Rico. It’s a question of uniting efforts,” concluded García Padilla.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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