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Archive for 2017

The Cayman Islands designates island-wide hurricane guarantee

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, 1 June 2017 – Despite the unpredictable hurricane season, a luxurious and unforgettable Caribbean escape is still within reach in the Cayman Islands thanks to the destination’s “Worry Free Hurricane Guarantee.” This summer, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism is giving travellers peace of mind with a specialty promise that covers cancellations made prior to arrival and compensation if vacation time is cut short because of inclement weather. As soon as a hurricane is anticipated, guests are eligible to receive a full refund of accommodation fees at participating hotels, condos and villas island-wide, with a maximum one-night penalty at most for cancellations made up to 48 hours prior to check-in.

Additionally, many properties are offering a free replacement stay throughout the summer months, allowing guests to rebook for the same duration as the initially-booked stay, regardless of how many days were affected by a hurricane or storm.

“Our top priority at the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism is to provide a positive and memorable vacation experience for our guests, one that is unburdened by the stresses of everyday life,” said Mrs. Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism. “Understanding the seasonal considerations that come with the late summer and early fall months, we developed our island-wide Worry Free Hurricane Guarantee. This guarantee allows travellers to plan their stays in the Cayman Islands with complete peace of mind, ensuring they are covered even in the unlikely event that their trip is cut short due to inclement weather.”

A wide array of hotels, condominiums and villas across Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are participating in the Worry Free Hurricane Guarantee and some are also offering cancellation up to 24 hours or less before the guests’ reserved stay, with zero penalty.

For a list of participating properties, go to visitcaymanislands.com/hurricaneguarantee. For detailed property guarantees, please visit the individual property web sites or contact them directly.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO ANNOUNCES FINALISTS IN MEDIA AWARDS COMPETITION

NEW YORK, NY (June 1, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced the finalists in its annual Caribbean Media Awards competition and will recognize journalists at the Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Luncheon on Thursday, June 8, 2017, at the Wyndham New Yorker.

The awards luncheon, sponsored by Jamaica, honors industry leaders and top Caribbean stories when accolades are presented in the major media and Caribbean tourism market in show of appreciation for their contribution to the development of the tourism product. Local NBC news personality Dave Price will return as host of the Luncheon.

Following are the Caribbean Media Awards finalists for each category:

“ME TOO!…I REDISCOVERED HOME”

Best Feature by a Diaspora Journalist in US or Caribbean Media

Author Name:           Melissa Noel, NBC News

Article Title:               Guyana Jubilee: Celebrating 50 Years of Independence

Author Name:           Dave Rodney, The Gleaner

Article Title:               Around Jamaica

 

“I COULDN’T HAVE WRITTEN IT BETTER MYSELF”

Best Feature Article in a Consumer Newspaper – USA

Author Name:           Melanie Reffes, USA Today

Article Title:               Good Mood Island Food: What You Should Try in Antigua 

Author Name:           Moira McCarty, The Boston Herald

Article Title:               Martinique Getaway Made Easier By Direct Flights

 

“BEEN THERE, WROTE THAT”

Best Feature Article in a US-based Consumer Magazine

Author Name:           Anne Kazel-Wilcox, Simply the Best

Article Title:               Caribbean Unspoiled on St. Kitts

Author Name:           Delano Lavigne, Outpost Travel Guise

Article Title:               DOMINICA Oh, Waitukubuli 

Author Name:           Alexis Korman, Go Escape

Article Title:               Colorful Curacao

 

“NO ANANSI STORY!”

Best Feature by a Caribbean Journalist

Author Name:           Tosheena Robinson-Blair

Article Title:               The Life and Times of a Master Hotelier (About: SuperClubs Breezes Bahamas) 

Author Name:           Catherine Morris

Article Title:               South Shore Becomes a Tourist Destination (About: Bahamian non-profit organization)

Author Name:           Janet Silvera

Article Title:               The Spirit of Appleton (About: Jamaica Rum Tour)

 

“OH SNAP!”

Best Photograph in Conjunction with a Feature Article – USA

Photographer Name:            Michaela Urban

Article Title:                           Island-Hopping in St. Vincent, Grenadines Offers Taste of Beauty, Adventure 

Author/Photographer:          Melanie Reffes, Delaware Online

Article Title:                           Beautiful Barbuda: Why You Should Book a Trip 

Author/Photographer:          Patricia Wuest/Reinhard Dirscherl/Alamy, Sport Diver

Article Title:                           Treasure Island: Scuba Diving in Dominica

 

“NOT LOST IN TRANSLATION”

Best Feature by a US Journalist that appeared in Foreign Media

Author Name:           Melissa Noel, Caribbean Beat

Article Title:               Ambassador of Spices (About: Grenada chef)

Author Name:           Julie Masis, Times of Israel

Article Title:               In Jamaica, a Once-In-A-Lifetime Reunion for Jews Who Weathered WWII in an Island Camp

 

“INNER CIRCLE KING/QUEEN”

Best Feature Article in a Trade Publication – USA

Author Name:           Gay Myers, Travel Weekly

Article Title:               Adaptation in Montserrat 

Author Name:           Arnie Weissmann, Travel Weekly

Article Title:               A Golden Eye: The Vision of Chris Blackwell (About: Expanding Jamaica)

Author Name:           Ed Wetschler, Recommend

Article Title:               Trending Now in the Caribbean

 

“OH SNAP!”

Best Feature Broadcast – USA

Author Name:           Tonya and Ian Fitzpatrick, World Footprints Media

Broadcast Name:       Exploring Dominica, the Nature Island 

Author Name:           Tonya Fitzpatrick, World Footprints Media

Broadcast Name:       Magical Martinique: The Island of Flowers

 

“FROM INFINITY…AND ABROAD!”

Best Feature by a foreign Journalist that appeared in US Media

Author Name:           Margo Pfeiff, San Francisco Chronicle

Article Title:               Compact, Diverse Belize an Easy Gateway into Central America

Author Name:           Eric Vohr, Dallas News

Article Title:               Discover the Magical Rainforests of this Caribbean Island 

Author Name:           Eric Vohr, Chicago Tribune

Article Title:               Island-Hopping in St. Vincent, Grenadines Offers Taste of Beauty, Adventure

 

“VIRTUAL VISITOR AWARD”

Best Online Feature – USA

Author Name:           Eric Felten, NationalGeographic.com

Article Title:               Hear the Song of Trinidad

Author Name:           Melissa Noel and Mikael Simmonds, NBCNews.com

Article Title:               Africa in the Americas: Tour Group Explores Cuba’s African Roots

Author Name:           Laura Siciliano-Rosen, BudgetTravel.com

Article Title:               Eat Like a Local in the Bahamas

 

CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley will present the awards to a packed audience of Tourism Ministers and other dignitaries from the Caribbean, industry executives and other well regarded journalists. The luncheon is included in the registration cost for the Caribbean Tourism Marketing Conference, but may also be attended independently ($150 per person). To reserve your seat at the luncheon, click HERE.

The Caribbean Week New York Media Awards are judged by a team of public relations and journalism experts.

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Caribbean Week (www.CaribbeanWeek.com) New York (#CWNY17) will come alive in the Big Apple when tourism officials, industry executives, media, Caribbean Diaspora, travel agents, consumers and students come together to participate in a calendar of activities that showcase the best of Caribbean tourism. Taking place June 4-10, 2017 as a celebration of the sights, sounds, color and culture of the Caribbean, the week combines business sessions and consumer-oriented events with Caribbean-inspired food, lively entertainment and networking opportunities.

Caribbean Week New York is supported by: Academy Engraving, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Anse Chastanet & Jade Mountain Saint Lucia, Arrivalist, The Atrebor Group, Islands of The Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean Airlines, Castles in Paradise Villa Resort – Saint Lucia, Cayman Islands, Cholula Food Company, Cititech Solutions, Delta Air Lines, Dominica, FlightCentre, Grenada, Grace Foods, Guyana, Jamaica, Laura Davidson Public Relations, Martinique, Montserrat, Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board, Nevis, Pleasant Holidays, Questex, Saint Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Spice Island Beach Resort, Sugar Beach-A Viceroy Resort, TripAdvisor, Island of Tobago, Tower Isle Patties, Travel Impressions, Travel + Leisure, Trinidad, and Turks & Caicos Islands.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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Tremendous boost of Norwegian air service to French Caribbean Island of Martinique

NEW YORK, NY – (May 31, 2017) – Following two successful winter seasons from the North East Coast  to Martinique, Norwegian is announcing today the launching of two new routes to the island from Providence’s T.F. Green Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, starting October 30th.

The World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline is adding to its four weekly flights out of New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, a twice weekly service from Providence and a thrice air schedule from Fort Lauderdale, for the 2017/2018 winter season!

  • The schedule from PVD to FDF will operate as follow on Mondays & Fridays:

PVD – FDF*        Departing 4:00 p.m.        Arriving 9:20 p.m.

The schedule from FDF to PVD will operate as follow on Thursdays & Sundays:

FDF *– PVD        Departing 10:30 a.m.      Arriving 2:30 p.m.

  • The schedule from FLL to FDF will operate as follow on Mondays, Wednesdays & Sundays:

FLL– FDF*            Departing 2:15 p.m.        Arriving 6:45 p.m.

FDF *– FLL           Departing 10:00 a.m.      Arriving 12:25 p.m.

“The boost air service from the US is indeed as pledge of commitment from Norwegian Air, one of our closest industry partner and also a reflection of the growing  popularity of the island on the U.S market”, said Muriel Wiltord Director Americas of the Martinique Promotion Bureau.  “Martinique Magnifique is definitely more affordable and accessible than ever.”

“Norwegian is excited to once again return to the magnificent island of Martinique for the 2017/18 winter season. Due to demand, we are increasing flights from New York JFK, and we are adding connections with new nonstop routes from both Fort Lauderdale and Providence. This allows more and more American travelers to discover such a hidden gem in the Caribbean. It’s now easier and more affordable than ever to fly to the French Caribbean, and we’ve seen a significant increase in visitors to Martinique as a result of our flights and cooperation with the tourist board,” said Thomas Ramdahl, Chief Commercial Officer.

With these new routes along with increased service out of JFK, the Island of Flowers is thrilled to welcome even more U.S visitors. The new route operating out of Providence will serve not only Rhode Island but also other states such as Massachusetts, Connecticut etc.., covering a large part of New England. In addition, Martinique increases significantly its air service from Florida with this new route out Fort Lauderdale.

To book: www.norwegian.com/us

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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The GHTA launches Pure Grenada App

(St. George’s, Grenada) 30th May 2017— The Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) has made a bold step in enhancing visitor experience in Pure Grenada with the release of its exciting new app.  Launched on Thursday 25th May, during the Association’s Annual General Meeting, the Pure Grenada App is a one stop shop showcasing events and locations in Grenada along with digital images and information of restaurants, accommodation, culture, activities, festivals and points of interest in the tri-island state.

The App showcases a simple interface featuring places to explore, events, favourites saved by the user and close by locations. If you already know what you’re looking for then, the app features a search engine that allows you to go straight to the information you seek. It also allows for users to submit their reviews and ratings. An important feature to note is that the app can be accessed without a data connection.

GHTA Information Technology Officer, Clevon Noel, said, “As development in technology continues, tourism must keep up with new innovations. In fact, with the increase in the use of smart devices, it becomes important for our businesses to connect with prospective visitors/customers to ensure that our information is easily accessible. We are excited at the GHTA to provide this tool, the Pure Grenada App, to give our visitors a way to connect to us as we connect to them. ”

Grenada Tourism Authority CEO, Ms. Patricia Maher, who spoke at the launch, praised the GHTA for its efforts. She said, “We are happy that our partners in Tourism have developed this App for our visitors to use as a one stop shop for information on Grenada’s product offerings.  Everyone is using their mobile devices to access information and visitors can discover what Pure Grenada has to offer at their finger-tips. We are working with the GHTA to share content, images, videos and our ‘Free to Wonder’ lifestyle campaign on the mobile App. This is the type of positive collaboration that will drive the marketing of the destination for the benefit of all our stakeholders.

The GHTA has also launched a website supporting the app at pureapp.gd. You can also find more information via Twitter @puregrenadaapp.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Norwegian improves its JKF nonstop air service to Martinique

NEW YORK, NY – (May 30, 2017) – Following a successful 2016/2017 winter season, Norwegian—named Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline,  for the past four consecutive years—increases its seasonal air service to Martinique from 3 to 4 nonstop flights out of JFK to Fort-de-France starting October 29th, 2017.

Traveling to Martinique, “The Caribbean Island with French Flair,” is more affordable and accessible from additional East Coast gateways for U.S. visitors, since Norwegian Air started to operate its nonstop air service in December 2015.

This October 29th 2017, the award-winning airline will increase its air service out of New York to 4 times weekly, with highly competitive airfares starting at $79 one-way, including taxes. Tickets are now available for purchase, for travel October 29th 2017 through March 23rd 2018. The website’s low fare calendar displays available fares on all flights to Martinique from the U.S.

“Norwegian is excited to return to Martinique for the winter season 2017/18 as our service from New York’s JFK will resume in late October. We are very pleased that more and more American continue to discover such a hidden gem in the Caribbean that offers quite a vastly different experience to most other Caribbean islands – it’s like being in France, but without any jetlag and even better beaches,” said Anders Lindström, Norwegian’s US Director of Communications.

The schedule will operate as follow on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays:

JFK – FDF*          Departing 2:10 p.m.        Arriving 6:35 p.m.

FDF *– JFK          Departing 8:05 a.m.         Arriving noon

“With this improved air service, Norwegian reaffirms its commitment to the ‘Island of Flowers’, said Muriel Wiltord Director Americas of the Martinique Tourism Authority. “We all know that accessibility is key in terms of travel. Norwegian Air, providing both warm and expert service with attractive airfares, offers families, budget travelers, Francophiles, nature & beach lovers, culture aficionados and deal seekers, the opportunity of flying nonstop to Martinique in 4 hours and a half.”

From weekend getaways to longer total immersion visits and hotel stay comfort or vacation rental independence to budget travel or a luxury experience, Martinique has it all and much more!

To book: www.norwegian.com/us

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Industry Leaders to be Honored During Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Luncheon

NEW YORK, NY (May 30, 2017) – During Caribbean Week 2017, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will bestow special honors on four individuals, in addition to the presentation of media awards, during its annual Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Luncheon. The Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Luncheon will take place Thursday, June 8, from noon – 2:00 p.m. at the Wyndham New Yorker (481 Eighth Avenue).

Hon. Ralph Higgs, Minister of Tourism for Turks & Caicos Islands, will be presented with the Allied Award; Cyndi Miller Aird from Miller Aird Destination Marketing will receive this year’s Special Recognition Award; and for the first time, two people will be presented with the Jerry Award: Adam Stewart, Deputy Chairman and CEO of Sandals Resorts International, and Alex Zozaya, CEO of Apple Leisure Group.

“It is both an honor and a privilege to recognize these four industry icons for their stellar contributions to the Caribbean tourism product and sustainability practices,” said Sylma Brown, Director, CTO-USA.

In addition to the Allied Award, Jerry Award and Special Recognition Award, CTO will recognize journalists and photographers who have published stories about the region with the Caribbean Media Awards. The luncheon is included in the registration cost for the Caribbean Tourism Marketing Conference, but may also be attended independently ($150 per person). To reserve your seat at the luncheon, click HERE.

 

About the Awards

  • Established in 2005, the Allied Award is presented to an individual among the CTO family – Government Member, Carrier Member/Airlines and Cruise Lines, Allied Member (which includes hotels, tour operator, marketing company, newspaper, magazine or television), Affiliate Members and CTO staff – who has done an extraordinary job of contributing, in a tangible way, to the sustainable development of the region.
  • The Special Recognition Award honors a high-performance professional whose contribution, particularly in the last year, has truly made a difference among the Region or Caribbean community and/or industry. It is not limited to service directly in the travel arena, but for service in any ancillary industry that supports tourism and brings continuous positive recognition to the Region.
  • Conceived in 1997 in memory of the late Jerry Magit who represented the Allied members on the CTO Board of Directors, the Jerry Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a passion for the development of the region and has dedicated time, energy, financial, and other personal and professional resources to its development. 

“While it is always important to show appreciation to industry professionals for their contribution to the development of our tourism product, Caribbean Week takes on special meaning when the awards are presented in New York, a major media and Caribbean tourism market, in the presence of peers and top Caribbean tourism officials and executives,” noted Brown. 

Caribbean Week (www.CaribbeanWeek.com) New York (#CWNY17) will come alive in the Big Apple when tourism officials, industry executives, media, Caribbean Diaspora, travel agents, consumers and students come together to participate in a calendar of activities that showcase the best of Caribbean tourism. Taking place June 4-10, 2017 as a celebration of the sights, sounds, color and culture of the Caribbean, the week combines business sessions and consumer-oriented events with Caribbean-inspired food, lively entertainment and networking opportunities.

Caribbean Week New York is supported by: Academy Engraving, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Anse Chastanet & Jade Mountain Saint Lucia, Arrivalist, The Atrebor Group, Islands of The Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean Airlines, Castles in Paradise Villa Resort – Saint Lucia, Cayman Islands, Cholula Food Company, Cititech Solutions, Delta Air Lines, Dominica, FlightCentre, Grenada, Grace Foods, Guyana, Jamaica, Laura Davidson Public Relations, Martinique, Montserrat, Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board, Nevis, Pleasant Holidays, Questex, Saint Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Spice Island Beach Resort, Sugar Beach-A Viceroy Resort, TripAdvisor, Island of Tobago, Tower Isle Patties, Travel Impressions, Travel + Leisure, Trinidad, and Turks & Caicos Islands.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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CTO’S Rum Rumble Names Finalists in Caribbean Week Mixologist of the Year Competition

NEW YORK, NY (May 16, 2017) – Last night, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) welcomed six of the Caribbean’s finest mixologists to Roof at Park South in New York for one of the final two Rum Rumbles leading up to the sixth annual Rum & Rhythm Benefit taking place June 9, 2017, as part of the week-long Caribbean Week New York (#CWNY17).

Pictured (left): Sylma Brown Bramble, Director, CTO-USA; Hon. Barbara Atherly, Guyana’s Consul General to New York; Nalini Tiwari, Adya Communications; and Eusi Skeete, Barbados Tourism Authority. Pictured (right): Mixologists take a break from shaking their rum cocktails to smile for a photo opportunity.

Rum Rumbles are a series of promotional competitions held at popular rum bars in Manhattan. Last night’s Rum Rumble cocktail reception welcomed CTO officials and bar patrons as Syl Johnson and Dani DeLuna tied for first place to become finalists for their impressive mixologist skills and rum cocktail creations. Johnson and DeLuna triumphed over fellow contenders Andrew Porteous, Sarah Akramos, Juan Arboleda and Chelsea Kaiser.

Johnson and DeLuna (pictured above) will compete for the title of Caribbean Week Mixologist of the Year on Thursday, June 8, at the final Rum Rumble of Caribbean Week NY during the invite-only Caribbean Media Marketplace.  The other participants were Andrew Porteous, Sarah Akramos, Juan Arboleda and Chelsea Kaiser.

The Caribbean Week Mixologist of the Year will be announced at the Rum & Rhythm Benefit where the Rum Rumble finalists will debut their winning cocktails.

Rum & Rhythm Benefit – “The Ultimate Caribbean Epicurean Experience” – is an elegant Caribbean cultural and culinary experience, but, equally important, it is a major fundraiser for the CTO Foundation, a charitable organization which provides scholarships to Caribbean nationals pursuing studies in tourism, hospitality and languages.

The event is returning to the historic Capitale, where colorful lights and live entertainment will transform the venue into an island haven where guests will be given a virtual journey through the Caribbean with food samplings and rum demonstrations. Consumers, travel industry professionals, officials from the region and Ministers and Directors of Tourism will mix and mingle while savoring eclectic cuisines and flavorful cocktails or immersing themselves into  pulsating rhythms and cultural experiences that only the Dutch, English, French and Spanish Caribbean can showcase.

The evening will include a raffle featuring a Caribbean holiday package including airfare. The Auction will be online, but patrons will be able to bid on the many vacation packages, hotels stays and other travel related items from the event. Rum & Rhythm also features special appearances from top Caribbean personalities and celebrities, and Caribbean chefs and mixologists will showcase their talents with traditional Caribbean dishes and top-rated cocktails.  Rum and Rhythm is the quintessential Caribbean cultural experience.

Tickets are $125 each and can be purchased here. For more information about Rum and Rhythm and Caribbean Week New York, visit www.caribbeanweek.com.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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