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Martinique Promotion Bureau Makes Strong Push for U.S. Visitors

NEW YORK, NY (October 26, 2015) – The Martinique Promotion Bureau is making a strong push to attract U.S. travelers this winter by hosting its annual Martinique Magnifique Travel Show in five key markets – New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Miami – October 22–29, 2015. The special events tout the latest developments in air service, hotel development, cruise options, and attractions.

“With an 800% increase in cruise passenger arrivals since 2010, a nearly 200% jump in available nonstop air seats from the U.S. mainland since last winter, and several new hotel projects, we certainly have a lot of great news to share,” said Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas for the Martinique Promotion Bureau. “Together with a strong delegation of industry partners, who made the trip from Martinique to help us spread all the good news, we look forward to making everyone aware of all that makes Martinique especially affordable, accessible, and magnifique for U.S. travelers this winter.”

Pictured above from left to right at the New York edition of the Martinique Magnifique Travel Show, held October 22, 2015, are Bertrand Lortholary, Consul General of France in New York; Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas of the Martinique Promotion Bureau; Markly Wilson, Director International Marketing, I love NY; Bernard Faro, Deputy Consul General; and Anne-Laure Tuncer, Director Atout France USA.

The remaining schedule of Martinique Magnifique Travel Show events is as follows:

Boston

New England Aquarium

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

6PM–8:30PM

Baltimore

French Kitchen – Lord Baltimore Hotel

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

11AM–1:30PM

Washington, DC

Embassy of France

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

6PM–8:30PM

Miami

Miami Beach Women’s Club

Thursday, October 29, 2015

6PM–8:30PM

 

Travel industry partners making presentations and participating in the tradeshow portion of the Martinique Magnifique Travel Show events represent such notable brands as American Airlines, Avis, Hotel Bakoua, Club Med, Le Parc Naturel Régional de la Martinique, Norwegian Air, and the all new Hotel Le Simon, opening in January 2016.

For Martinique Magnifique Travel Show invitations and more information, please contact the Martinique Promotion Bureau at [email protected].

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

For the latest, up-to-date Martinique Promotion Bureau press kit, visit www.martiniquepresskit.com.

About Martinique (www.us.martinique.org)

The Caribbean Island with French Flair, The Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire) – Martinique ranks among the most alluring and enchanting destinations in the world. As an overseas region of France, Martinique boasts modern and reliable infrastructure – roads, water and power utilities, hospitals, and telecommunications services all on par with any other part of the European Union.At the same time, Martinique’s beautifully unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, 80+ miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, streams, and other natural wonders are the equal of neighboring Dominica to the north and St. Lucia to the south, so visitors here truly get the best of both worlds.

The currency is the Euro, the flag is Le Tricolour, and the official language is French, but Martinique’s character, cuisine, musical heritage, art, culture, common language, and identity are of a distinctly Afro-Caribbean inclination known as Creole Martiniquais. It is this special combination of modern world conveniences, pristine nature, and rich heritage that has earned for Martinique several notable distinctions in recent years, including being named as a “Must-Visit” destination for 2015 by Caribbean Journal, “Best Caribbean Destination” by About.com, and “Top Caribbean Island for Delectable Dining” by Caribbean Travel + Life. The Bay of Fort-de-France, which fronts Martinique’s charming capital city, was also recently inducted into The Club of The Most Beautiful Bays in the World.

Martinique’s storied history further stirs travel passions. Napoleon’s bride, Empress Josephine, was born and raised in Martinique, while the majestic Mt. Pelée volcano and St. Pierre, The Pompeii of the Caribbean, are found here.

A special place, to be sure, with so much to offer – Martinique c’est magnifique!

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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Tourism Arrivals on the Rise in Belize

Belize City, Belize – October 19, 2015 – Overnight arrivals for the 3rd quarter (July-September) of 2015 have shown a significant increase of 6.9%, when compared to the same period in 2014. September saw an astounding increase of 19.3%; the highest increase ever recorded for the month of September, going as far back as 2006. There were 14,242 overnight visitors in September 2015, which is an increase of 2,299 compared to September 2014.

overnightarrivalsbelize

The Airport remains the leading entry point into the country. Air arrivals accounted for 74.7% of the total overnight arrivals. September 2015 saw an increase of approximately 20% through the international airport. We can conclude that visitors from the United States accounted for the bulk of this increase in airport arrivals for September, as arrivals for Americans increased by 28.55%. Overall, Americans continue to be our main market, making up close to 65% of arrivals.

Noteworthy is that there has been a major increase in South American arrivals, with a 45.1% increase for the first 9 months of 2015.  This was followed by the Asian market which had a 25.1% increase.

overnightarrivalsbelize

We anticipate continued growth in the South American and Asian markets with new marketing strategies that have been implemented in these areas, such as Trade Shows, Road Shows, service via Copa Airlines and other marketing partnerships.

Every month since June 2015, has resulted in increased arrivals, when compared to the same months in 2014.

Cruise arrivals for the first 9 months of 2015 showed a small dip of 0.3% when compared to 2014, but a significant increase of 44.42% when compared to 2013.

cruisebelize

For more information about tourist arrivals statistics, please contact the Belize Tourism Board at 227-2420.

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Barbados’ Tourism Sector on Growth Path

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados. October 19, 2015 – Barbados’ tourism sector is back on a path of growth following six years of recessionary conditions. 

“This year we have seen growth in all of the major areas of importance, including airlift, accommodations, and programmes to enhance the quality of our tourism product.” BTMI CEO, William Griffith said.

“We are also enjoying favourable global economic conditions in several key source markets, the price of oil is down and travelers are gaining greater confidence and now booking further in advance.”

The CEO was speaking during an international media briefings at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s State of the Industry Conference in Curaçao.

For the upcoming winter season, the island is set to realize a seven percent increase in airlift having negotiated several inaugural flights, including a new service out of Bogota, Columbia on Dec. 2.  The new Avianca service will permit connections between Barbados and Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Panama City, Mexico, Lima, San Salvador, Guayaquil and Quito with connection times of 2.5 hours or less.

On Nov. 7, the island will welcome two new JetBlue flights: the new Mint service out of New York and the new Boston direct service.  Arrivals out of the USA are already at a healthy 27.9 percent.

There will also be a new Thomas Cook service from Glasgow, Scotland commencing the following day. Air Canada’s Rouge service is also set to return on January 7, 2016.

Griffith revealed that 2015 marked the start of over US $1 Billion dollars in proposed new hotel plant investment over the next five years that will produce some 2,300 rooms.

This started with the opening of the luxury all-inclusive Sandals Barbados, which is scheduled to add some 220 rooms in 2016.  This winter the Sugar Bay Hotel (formerly Amaryllis) and The Sands (formers Sandy Beach) will also open their doors as all-inclusive products, adding 300 new rooms.

The Wyndham Hotel project at the site of the iconic Sam Lord’s Castle and the Hyatt Hotel in the historic Bridgetown, will see the island welcoming two new established global hotel brands by 2018.  In addition, 24 hotels have undergone significant refurbishments in time for the 2016 winter season.

Barbados has also made significant strides in both its long-stay and cruise arrivals.  Some 432, 713 long-stay visitors were recorded at the end of September year-to-date, an increase of 14.5 percent. Meanwhile cruise arrivals are set to increase by 5-7 percent, largely driven by 16 augural visits.  Among those scheduled calls are the Mein Sheiff 3 and the Carnival Britannia, two mega ships, which are now able to dock following a major expansion project at the Bridgetown Port.

The BTMI chief also alluded to a number of initiatives geared toward increasing Barbados’ competitiveness.

“We’ve just completed a brand positioning exercise wherein all of our future marketing campaigns will capitalize on our reputation as a safe, engaging and culturally rich destination – all of the ingredients sought by the contemporary traveler.”

The BTMI’s sister agency, the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) is also implementing a number of initiatives to create new tourism experiences, assure high service and product quality and increase public awareness of the importance of tourism.

Of great importance for Barbados is moving toward being a year-round destination, a strategy being driven by their dense events calendar.

“In 2016 Barbados will be a hub for visitors as we will raise the standard of every event in line with our golden celebrations to mark our 50th year of independence.  During these year-long celebrations there will be chances to win free vacations and free destination weddings, as well as incentives for our top-performing travel agents.”

– Ends

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Bahamas Tourism Minister named Travel Personality of The Year

Director General Joy Jibrilu stands with Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe at the World Travel Awards. Minister Wilchcombe was awarded Travel Personality of the year. (Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Director General Joy Jibrilu stands with Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe at the World Travel Awards. Minister Wilchcombe was awarded Travel Personality of the year. (Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Nassau, The Bahamas, October 19, 2015 – Bahamas Minister of Tourism Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe is the Caribbean’s leading Travel Personality of 2015, a special honor bestowed by World Travel Awards (WTA) to acknowledge monumental contributions to the travel and tourism industry.

Minister Wilchcombe was presented with “the most prestigious award of the year” at the 22nd Annual World Travel Awards Caribbean and North America Ceremony 2015 at the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort on October 17.

According to WTA President and Founder Graham Cooke, the Travel Awards Academy met to review suitable candidates and unanimously one name came to the fore. He noted that Minister Wilchcombe has made a positive, defining impact to the industry, not only over the last 12 months, but over the course of a lifetime.

“It is quite an honor to receive this prestigious award on behalf of The Bahamas because this award is not just for me; it is for the Bahamian people. This award is also for the taxi drivers, the straw vendors, the hotel employees, and all of the hard working Bahamians in the tourism industry,” Minister Wilchcombe said.

Hailed as “The Oscars of the Travel Industry”, World Travel Awards is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade, and celebrates brands and destinations that are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence.

It was an exciting evening of glitz and glamour for The Islands of The Bahamas, snagging six awards in total in several prestigious categories before an audience of travel and tourism leaders from across the Caribbean and North American region.

Caribbean’s Travel Personality of the Year – Bahamas Tourism Minister, Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe

Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Destination 2015 – The Bahamas

Caribbean’s Leading Conference Hotel 2015 – Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort, Great Exuma, Bahamas

Caribbean’s Leading Private Island Destination 2015 – Fowl Cay Resort, Bahamas

Best Bahamas Spa Resort 2015 – Sandals Royal Bahamian, Nassau, Bahamas

Best Bahamian Villa 2015 – Grand Isle Resort, Exuma, Bahamas

All award winners will attend the World Travel Awards Grand Final in Morocco this December.

Tourism Director General Joy Jibrilu accepted the award for Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Destination 2015 on behalf of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

“When you looked around the room and saw all of the prestigious winners, and to know that The Bahamas is ranking among them, you know we are doing something right,” said Mrs. Jibrilu.

“We will not rest on our laurels however, and we have our eyes on several more categories. I hope that these awards encourage the Bahamian people, all of us, to perform even better, to make our country even greater so that next year we will claim even more prestigious World Travel Awards.”

The industry’s elite, including CEOs of leading travel companies, government ministers and tourist board officials from throughout the region, attended the red carpet event.

Guests were treated to performances by The Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band, the sultry sounds of Alia Cole, and the sights and sounds of Crusaders Junkanoo Group.
Media contact:            Anita Johnson-Patty               [email protected]

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Discover Dominica Authority partners with LIAT

Roseau, Dominica – (October 15, 2015)   Discover Dominica Authority has partnered with LIAT to launch discounted airfares to hoteliers and travel agents visiting Dominica between October 1 – December 31, 2015.

Travel agents and hoteliers originating from Antigua, Barbados, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia and St. Maarten are eligible for US$100 discount off a return fare flight to Dominica.   In addition, five Dominican hotels are offering reductions on hotel rooms ranging from 25 – 50 per cent off their regular rates.  Hotel specials are available from the Anchorage Hotel, Citrus Creek Plantation, Fort Young Hotel, Pagua Bay House and The Champs.

This initiative is just one of the many collaborative efforts between Discover Dominica Authority and regional carrier, LIAT, to facilitate travel for promotional purposes.   In July, LIAT carried Barbadian professional surfer Brian Talma’s to Dominica for Dive Fest activities from July 17 – 20, 2015.   The airline also assisted with the travel arrangements and transportation of costumes for Miss Dominica 2015 to  participate in the Miss Jaycees Queen Pageant held in Antigua on July 26, 2015 and the Miss Caribbean Culture Queen Show held in Nevis on August 6, 2015.

“LIAT works closely with its main Shareholder Governments to facilitate their travel to key events around the region, to assist them in travel arrangements for visiting artists and to attract people to visit the island,” said a LIAT representative. Meanwhile Director of Tourism, Mr. Colin Piper sees this partnership as one that is mutually beneficial. According to Piper, “Air access is critical to facilitating travel of residents and visitors in and out of Dominica and LIAT has been willing to work with Dominica in this regard”.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

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CTO Sen. Gen. calls for action to facilitate travel to and through the Caribbean

(BRIDGETOWN, Barbados) 29 Sept 2015 – Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Hugh Riley has urged regional authorities to institute an Open Skies policy and wherever possible to eliminate secondary screening at Caribbean airports.

Mr. Riley argues that while an Open Skies policy would allow regional carriers to take unlimited flights to all Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states and encourage the growth of competition among carriers, while elimination of secondary screening would encourage greater demand for intra-regional travel.

He has also called for improved interline arrangements for a “vastly enhanced” baggage transfer and improved passenger experience.

In an address at the recent airline route development forum, World Routes 2015 in Durban, South Africa, Mr. Riley also made a plea for collaboration in a number of areas, including intelligence sharing with the use of the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS), and security processing.

“Cooperation in these areas will encourage and facilitate greater investment by airlines into and across the Caribbean region. Better connectivity means greater economic benefits,” the secretary general said.

Citing the post-September 11 television campaign in the United States, Life Needs the Caribbean, and the 2007 Cricket Work Cup as examples, Mr. Riley said the Caribbean has shown its ability to put effective regional strategies in place and can do the same to grow travel into and throughout the region.

“This type of cooperation and collaboration needs to be the standard practice in serving the region’s various tourism needs,” he said.

The secretary general added that it was important to finalize and implement the amended Multilateral Air Services Agreement; facilitate unlimited third, fourth, and fifth freedom of traffic rights for scheduled passenger services from and between international airports and sub-regions within CARICOM and establish a CARICOM Single Domestic Air Space to help generate additional international traveller demand which, in turn, will encourage airlines to establish routes to the region.

“Unnecessarily lengthy policy development and slow implementation processes hinder progress,” he stressed.

The World Route Development Forum attracts senior representatives from airlines, airports and tourism authorities who meet to plan and discuss new and existing global air services. It is organized by the aviation route development company, Routes.

CTO member countries Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the Turks and Caicos Islands attended this year’s event, with CTO supporting its members that were  there as well as those that were not.

Mr. Riley’s attendance at the event was aimed at elevating the Caribbean brand; exploring opportunities for the Caribbean; presenting the prospects for expansion and improvement of connectivity within the Caribbean; and discussing challenges facing regional and global aviation and offering solutions. He also highlighted the work of the CTO Aviation Task Force as a facilitator within the Caribbean and beyond.

“I was pleased with the extremely high quality of the interactions we made in Durban and the level of interest there is in the Caribbean: interest in exploring the tourism potential between the Caribbean and Africa, as well as expanding into other non-traditional markets. I fully expect that contacts we made here will redound to the benefit of Caribbean tourism in general and CTO’s member-countries in particular,” the secretary general said.

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Celebrity cricket tour promotes Antigua & Barbuda

From L - R Chris Cowdrey former English Cricketer, Sir Vivian Richards Antigua and Barbuda National Hero, Cherrie Osborne Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s UK and Europe Director of Tourism, with UK Politician Rob Wilson and former English Cricketer Graeme Swan

From L – R Chris Cowdrey former English Cricketer, Sir Vivian Richards Antigua and Barbuda National Hero, Cherrie Osborne Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s UK and Europe Director of Tourism, with UK Politician Rob Wilson and former English Cricketer Graeme Swan

(St. John’s, Antigua) September 27, 2015 – Cricketing Greats from the United Kingdom will touch down in Antigua and Barbuda next month, when Lord’s Taverners, the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, travels to the destination for their 65th Anniversary Tour from 12 -16 October 2015.

Mike Gatting OBE and Andy Caddick, ex England cricketer and former leading English wicket-taker, will be joined by other past cricketing stars including Luke Wright and Ryan Ten Doeschate, and  celebrities  Harry Judd of  McBusted, and Television Personalities Jonnie Irwin,  Nick Hancock and Mark Chapman.

The all-star group of over twenty, hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and West Indies cricket legend and National Hero, Sir Vivian Richards, OBE, will be in Antigua for five days of pro-celebrity cricket.

Colin James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority commented that, “Sports Tourism, particularly with the promoting of the destination within the United Kingdom, continues to be a major part of our marketing strategy.  Antigua and Barbuda having produced some of the greatest cricketers of all time, and having hosted some of the most exciting and historical cricket test matches, has always succeeded in attracting large numbers of cricketing fans and international press to our shores.”

“This event, offers us tremendous international exposure and we are extremely delighted that Lord’s Taverners and their supporters have selected Antigua and Barbuda for their tour.  This will include twenty/20 night cricket at The Sir Vivian Richard’s Stadium as well as on our gorgeous beaches.”

Lords Taverners was founded at Lord’s Cricket ground in 1950 by a group of actors and Patron and Twelfth Man HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and is a thriving members club of 5,000 high net worth individuals.

The Lord’s Taverner’s have had close links to Antigua and Barbuda having raised £30,000 towards the restoration of the island’s St John’s Anglican Cathedral, just last year, when they honoured Sir Vivian Richards at a Tribute to Sir Vivian Richards dinner in London.  This gala event was attended by Minister of Tourism The Hon. Asot Michael, Minister of Sport The Hon. E.P Chet Green and former West Indies Cricketer Sir Andy Roberts, who all used their collective efforts to promote the destination.

Paul Robin, Chief Executive, Lord’s Taverners commented: “this special tour to Sir Viv’s homeland is the perfect way to commemorate our 65th anniversary and see how the Lord’s Taverners has helped support the local community. Funds raised by this tour will help provide more young people with a sporting chance.”

The visit will see the group contributing to youth sporting and disability charities in the destination.
Sir Vivian Richards, UK celebrities, cricketers, dignitaries and supporters will sit down to a black tie fundraising dinner and auction, on October 13, at the Sugar Ridge Hotel.

Tickets to the fund raising dinner, are available by contacting the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s office located in the ACB Financial center on telephone 562 – 7600, Sugar Ridge, or the Antigua Sailing Week Office, upstairs the Antigua Yacht Club Marina in English Harbour.

All proceeds raised from the fund raising dinner and auction will be going exclusively to the local charities.

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