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Archive for 2016 News

Caribbean on course to break 20 million arrivals barrier in 2016

NEW YORK, NY, 3 June, 2016 –   Tourist arrivals to the Caribbean are expected to surpass the 30 million mark for the first time ever this year, following a record 28.7 million arrivals in 2015.

Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Richard Sealy announced here on Thursday evening that the industry got off to a fast start in 2016, registering a 7.3 per cent rise in the first quarter over the corresponding period last year.

During this period, the Caribbean region welcomed approximately 8.5 million international visitors, 580,000 higher than the first quarter of 2015.

“This performance was buttressed by lower oil prices and the strong US dollar, which increased the appeal of the region to potential visitors. The many air service agreements ensured that the region had adequate seats to facilitate the flow of travellers to and within the region,” the CTO chairman explained.

Nineteen destinations showed improvements upon their 2015 performance, with eight registering double digit growth of between 10.5 per cent and 26.8 per cent.

The growth was led by intra-regional trips which rose by 12-9 per cent, followed by the European market which registered growth of 11 per cent.

The CTO chairman told media at a news conference at Caribbean Week New York that regional tourism officials have recognized that more needed to be done to keep visitors occupied while in the Caribbean.

“The CTO continues to work feverishly with our members to see how they can improve their product offering and diversify their markets,” he said.

The CTO has projected growth of between 4.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent in 2016.

Caribbean Week New York continues this evening with Rum and Rhythm, a benefit for the CTO Foundation, the regional tourism development agency’s scholarship programme which assists Caribbean nationals pursuing further studies in tourism and hospitality.

The Empire State Building will also light up in Caribbean colours tonight in observance of Caribbean Week New York, which celebrates the sights, sounds, colours, culture and unique holiday experiences of the Caribbean.

Caribbean Week New York is supported by American Express, Academy Engraving, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, the Atrebor Group, the Islands of the Bahamas, Barbados, Bloomingdales, Caribbean Airlines, Cayman Islands, CitiTech Solutions, Dominica, El Dorado Rum, Empire State Building, Grace, Grenada, Golden Crust, Jade Mountain/Anse Chastanet Resort, Jamaica, Marry Caribbean, Martinique, Nassau Paradise Island, Nevis, Proximo, Resonance, The Real McCoy Rum, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sugar Beach, Travel + Leisure, Resonance Consultancy; Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, Sugar Bay Resort & Spa, Unique Vacations, Inc./Sandals and Williams-Sonoma.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Caribbean Week

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The Saint Lucia Tourist Board unveils new website with Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes #OnlyInSaintLucia

SAINT LUCIA (June 1, 2016) – The Saint Lucia Tourist Board launches the #OnlyInSaintLucia Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes on Wednesday, June 1 to unveil the new online presence for the destination at http://www.stlucia.org/.

The dynamic and responsive website features a map explorer component that highlights hotels, local restaurants, and a variety of activities throughout the island. The brand-new weddings and honeymoons landing pages cater to one of Saint Lucia’s largest travel markets and sets the stage for planning a romantic escape with the top five proposal locations, wedding packages, honeymoon activities and more.

The completely redesigned website also includes a downloadable media gallery, a live chat, and specialized sections for travel trade, diaspora, meetings and incentives.

“We are thrilled to launch this new tourism portal to the destination,” says Tracey Warner-Arnold, deputy director of tourism. “The #OnlyInSaintLucia scavenger hunt sweepstakes will allow visitors the opportunity to explore and learn about the island, and the redesigned website, in a fun and engaging way.”

The Saint Lucia Tourist Board encourages fans to experience the adventure of a lifetime by entering to win a six night Caribbean vacation on the beautiful island. To enter the #OnlyInSaintLucia scavenger hunt sweepstakes, consumers are given the chance to answer one question every day for fourteen days for a chance to win a trip to Saint Lucia. A new question will be posted to the dedicated contest landing page every morning at 9:00am EST, beginning June 1 through June 15.  The more questions answered correctly, the closer participants will be to relaxing in Saint Lucia.

One winner and a guest will win a three night stay in the southern part of the island at Ladera, a tropical gem nestled high up between the Pitons, and then a three night stay in the north of Saint Lucia at the intimate Cap Maison, set on a private cliff overlooking the sea and its own private beach. The prize includes accommodations, most meals and beverages, round-trip airfare, and on-island airport transfers for two adults. Participants must be U.S. residents and 21 years of age or older.

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

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Barbados reveals new destination website

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados. May 24, 2016 – Destination Barbados has a new online presence at VisitBarbados.org.

Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) CEO, William Griffith, described the site, which went live on Sunday May 22, as the most comprehensive online presence the destination has had in many years, with several new media features that can provide visitors with a peek into the destination.

After rigorous testing and helpful feedback from industry partners, the BMTI unveiled the new interactive site to assist travelers in planning their holiday in the sun on the island. More importantly, it will serve to sales referral tool for several local partners providing services and products to today’s traveler, including a wide array of attractions, services and events on the island.

“We are taking a comprehensive approach where the new website will be integrated with our social media and digital marketing strategies to deepen our relationships with potential and repeat visitors online”. Griffith said.

Through the use of rich media in the form of 360° videos that provide visitors with virtual views of the destination; trip planning tools and a robust content strategy, the BTMI team will work to ensure that the site drives visitors smoothly through the travel planning process.

BTMI Manager Digital Marketing & Social Media Manager, Gabriel Isaie, stated that the new site would be the centerpiece of the island’s digital marketing efforts moving forward.

“The technology on the website represents some of the industry’s leading technologies and traveler conversion tools. The content on the website utilizes large vibrant and engaging photography from some of Barbados’ leading photographers. Copy has also been developed into easy to digest excerpts, highlighting stories on Barbados’ culture, heritage and lifestyle blogs”.

Following a competitive selection process, the BTMI selected three vendors, including two local companies spearheading the content creation. The arrangement was structured to ensure technology transfer to the local entities, which will also manage the content development strategy over the long term.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Dominica to host 1st Caribbean Aviation Meetup Conference

(Roseau, Dominica – May 24, 2016) The government of the Commonwealth of Dominica through the Ministry of Tourism and Urban Renewal and Discover Dominica Authority will host the first CARIBBEAN AVIATION MEETUP Conference in Dominica from June 14 – 16, 2016. 

The CARIBBEAN AVIATION MEETUP is made up of well thought out program sessions and affords generous opportunities for dialogue among professionals. Most of the conference program will be discussions on changes for improved airlift in the Caribbean and its impact on tourism and the economy.  It will also provide impetus for new business developments and industry investments.   The three day program includes a wide range of topics such as regional airlines, route development, airport development, airlift impact on tourism and the economy, investment considerations, trends in regional travel and tourism, innovation of product, service and infrastructure.

From plenary session on the morning of the opening day, the program will have 2 simultaneous break-out sessions ensuring that there is always a session to attend for anyone’s particular area of interest.  The invited presenters have a wealth of knowledge on their areas of expertise and participants are encouraged to share perspectives, ideas, concerns, and successful strategies.  The detailed conference program and agenda can be found at www.caribavia.com/program.htm.

Registration is now open online at www.caribavia.com for regional and international participants. Interested participants residing in Dominica should contact Discover Dominica Authority at [email protected] for registration information.

About Caribbean Aviation Meetup: CARIBBEAN AVIATION MEETUP shall be the Annual Conference of the CARIBAVIA.  During the first CARIBBEAN AVIATION MEETUP (June 2016), a new Caribbean Aviation Industry Association will be inaugurated. It shall carry the name CARIBAVIA which stands for CARIBbean AViation Industry Association. It shall be an umbrella organization representing all aviation interest in the Caribbean region.  For more information visit www.CaribAVIA.com.

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.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Grenada wins gold at RHS Chelsea Flower Show with ‘Three Enchanting Islands – Pure Grenada’

(St. George’s, Grenada) 24th May, 2016 – The Grenada exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 named ‘Three Enchanting Islands – Pure Grenada’ has won Gold. The Show team was led by Grenadian-based designer Catherine John and brought Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique to life with a display of floral diversity.

“Our theme this year was inspired by the distinct floral character of the three islands, which although in close proximity of each other in the Southern Caribbean Sea, do not receive the same amount of rainfall. The vegetation and crops grown on Carriacou and Petite Martinique are markedly different from those that thrive in Grenada,” said Mrs. John.

The greenery and spices were all grown in Grenada and arranged to Catherine’s design, ahead of Monday 23rd May when the display enthralled Press Day visitors including Grenada’s High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr. Karl Hood and Dr Johnson Beharry VC – recipient of the highest military decoration for valour in the British and Commonwealth armed forces, who was born in Grenada.

“As small islands we are mindful of rising sea levels due to climate change, and our display features the coastline as a reminder of the balance of nature that we all depend upon,” added Mrs. John.

The display won a gold medal, making this the twelfth gold medal Grenada has received at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

“We’re delighted that the exhibit has been awarded Gold here in London. My personal inspiration this year comes from just wanting to differentiate and display the diversity of plant materials on our Sister Isles,” said Catherine after receiving the news.

“Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique are three distinctive islands that each boasts a remarkable natural landscape. The design team has captured the essence of all three islands to provide visitors to the world’s greatest flower show with an authentic taste of Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean,” said Ms. Sharon Bernstein, Grenada Tourism Authority Director of Sales for the UK & Ireland.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Caribbean Tourism Organization appoints experienced tourism professional as Sustainable Tourism Product Specialist

Amanda

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (17 May, 2016) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has appointed Dominican native Amanda Charles as Sustainable Tourism Specialist effective today.

Ms. Charles will coordinate and implement the CTO’s sustainable tourism programme aimed at enhancing the development, growth, quality, competitiveness and sustainability of Caribbean tourism.

Ms Charles is a tourism professional with several years of experience, having worked most recently as the adviser to the directorate of sustainable tourism at the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, a position she held for five years.

While there Ms. Charles coordinated the directorate’s sustainable tourism programme and managed the financial, technical and logistical aspects of the directorate’s projects and activities.

She also worked as a tourism specialist consultant at the Organization of American States (OAS) department of economic development, trade and tourism in Washington, DC and as a project consultant at the OAS department of sustainable development.

A CTO Foundation scholarship winner in 2006 and 2007, Ms. Charles is a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, DC from which she holds a master’s degree in tourism administration, with emphasis on sustainable destination management. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality and tourism management, with minors in business administration and French, from the State University of New York (SUNY) Plattsburgh.

As the CTO’s sustainable tourism specialist, Ms. Charles will lead the organization’s agenda which includes helping to develop quality standards for Caribbean destinations and their tourism products and services; designing, delivering and/or coordinating training and development programmes dealing with sustainable tourism and product development; and providing and/or facilitating technical advice/assistance on management issues related to product development and sustainable tourism matters to Ministries of Tourism, Boards of Tourism and other public and private sector tourism entities in the CTO member states.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Four receive excellence awards in first-ever Hospitality Assured Caribbean Awards Programme

HRAwardpic

JOHN’S, Antigua (11 May, 2016) – Three Caribbean hospitality businesses and one business advisor received excellence awards today in the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s first-ever Hospitality Assured (HA) Caribbean Awards Programme.

Awards were presented to Atlantis Submarines of Barbados, Round Hill Hotel & Villas and Tryall Club, both of Jamaica for outstanding service and business excellence in tourism and hospitality. HA business advisor Hugh Wint of Jamaica was recognized for his active commitment to the HA Caribbean programme.

In introducing the inaugural awards on the first day of the CTO’s 8th Caribbean Tourism Human Resources Conference, director of resource mobilization and development Bonita Morgan explained that the programme was conceptualized to recognize Caribbean tourism and hospitality businesses which use the HA model for achieving continuous improvement, and have achieved HA certification.

One member of the Caribbean team of trained advisors and assessors who provide technical assistance to participating businesses, and who determine whether the businesses have met the certification criteria, was also recognized.

The following are the awards:

Award of Excellence for the Best Performer – Customers – Tryall Club of Jamaica. This award acknowledges the business with the highest average score in the segment that focuses on customer research, the customer service promise and customer satisfaction improvement.

Award of Excellence for the Best Performer – Employee – – Round Hill Hotel & Villas of Jamaica. This award recognizes the business with the highest average score in the segment which focuses on the employee, including resources, training and development and service delivery.

Award of Excellence for the Best Performer – The Organization – – Atlantis Submarines of Barbados. This award is in recognition of the company with the highest score for its focus on the customer in the areas of business leadership and planning and operational planning and standards of performance.

Award of Excellence for the Best Overall Performer – Tryall Club of Jamaica. This award is for the HA certified business with the highest overall total score among all the certified business.

Tryall Club received an overall score of 77.9, just over the score of 75 requited to plce it in the category of businesses which have achieved world class standards.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization Recognition Award – Hugh Went of Jamaica. This award goes to the team member who demonstrated a number of exceptional qualities and dedication tow towards improving the programme.

The conference theme is, Making Excellence a Habit: Service, Loyalty and Profitability in Caribbean Tourism. It is being organized by the CTO in collaboration with Antigua & Barbuda’s Ministry of Tourism and the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority and will be held at the Jolly Beach Resort and Spa.

For more information, including how to register, visit www.onecaribbean.org or email Marvelle Sealy at the CTO at [email protected]

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, HR Conference

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