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Archive for 2017 News

Barbados Wins Bid To Host 2018 Society of American Travel Writers Convention

November 1, 2017 (Portland, Ore.) – Today, the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) has selected the island of Barbados as the host destination for its 2018 annual convention. This is the first time that any Caribbean nation has been selected as the convention host destination. The announcement was made at the 2017 SATW Annual Convention held in Portland, Oregon, U.S.

SATW is a professional association comprised of 1,100 writers, photographers, editors, broadcast/video/film producers, bloggers, website owners, public relations experts and hospitality industry representatives from the United States and Canada. Founded in 1955, the society’s members represent some of the most influential content producers in the travel industry with work that can be seen throughout all print, digital and broadcast platforms.

“Barbados is a world class destination that is uniquely suited to host the conference in 2018. Despite the intense competition to host our organization, Barbados’ reputation as a bastion of story ideas for travel editors – both those in the U.S. and Canada – propelled its bid to the winning position. From its hotels to its unique attributes, we knew it was a place that would be interesting to our members,” said incoming SATW President, Barbara Orr.

“Hosting this convention in October 2018 will allow us to stimulate immediate social media coverage of Barbados prior to the kick-off of the winter travel season,” noted Petra Roach, Director, U.S., Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI). “These delegates influence thousands of our target consumers via their social media platforms every day, and we are designing our conference to maximize social media conversations.”

Furthermore, each journalist will be taken on thematic tours of the island, so that they can pursue story ideas for their print, broadcast and online media outlets, which will result in editorial coverage that tells the Barbados story to consumers for years to come.

Not only will BTMI leverage this platform to tell Barbados’ story, but BTMI is inviting Caribbean nations harmed during the 2017 hurricane season, who will be on the road to recovery by October 2018, to host pre/post trips as part of the official conference program.

“Barbados was fortunate to not endure the brunt of the recent hurricanes and has remained ‘open for business’,” noted Roach. “However we know that damage has been done to consumers’ perception of the Caribbean, and we see this as an opportunity to change the conversation to one about why consumers should consider travel to this region of the world,” she concluded.

Barbados has one of the strongest dollars in the Caribbean, a great education system, relatively low unemployment and is one of the safest Caribbean islands for visitors. These characteristics underscore a travel experience where visitors can enjoy rich authentic experiences. Barbados is replete with luxury hotels, unique attractions and beautiful beaches and hosts festivals throughout the year with everything from polo events in the winter and spring to its renowned Food & Rum Festival in the fall.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts Welcomes the Caribbean’s First Park Hyatt Hotel

Basseterre, St. Kitts (November 1, 2017) – St. Kitts is pleased to welcome the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour, the Caribbean’s first Park Hyatt featuring the first Miraval Life in Balance Spa in the Caribbean, which officially opens today on the island’s southeast peninsula and brings a new level of luxury to the expanding tourism product.

“The debut today of Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour is a historical occasion for the island,” said Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant. “This elegant and sophisticated property brings the unparalleled Park Hyatt experience to St. Kitts as the brand’s first hotel in the Caribbean, which is a welcome addition to our existing accommodations product and to our overall island community.”

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, “We are very pleased that the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour opens today, as it increases the island’s appeal among those discerning destination travelers seeking experiential getaways who represent a key segment of our visitor market.”

Spanning the secluded beach of Banana Bay at the foot of the island’s lush rolling hills, the 126-room resort will enable guests to discover St. Kitts through sophisticated design, art, culinary experiences and immersive excursions. Home to three signature restaurants, two pools, a destination resort spa and wellness sanctuary, and indoor and outdoor event spaces, the resort introduces the Park Hyatt experience to the Caribbean. From the living walls of the distinctive entryway and throughout, all features of the resort have been thoughtfully and sustainably designed by Range Developments with local materials and unique water features to create an oasis in harmony with the surrounding environment.

All 78 rooms and 48 suites overlook the golden sandy beach and exceptional vistas greet guests at every turn. Each room showcases views of the Caribbean Sea and islands beyond with luxurious touches such as private balconies and terraces, local artwork, rain-showers and deep soaking tubs. Premium suites feature private rooftop swimming pools and sundecks. For the ultimate indulgence for discerning guests, the three-bedroom Presidential Villa is equipped with a private infinity pool, wellness area, personal butler and private chef.

The Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour has been developed as an integral part of the Christophe Harbour resort community. For more information about Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour or to make reservations, visit https://stkitts.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html, or visit www.ChristopheHarbour.com for more information about Christophe Harbour.

About St. Kitts:

Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. Located in the northern Leeward Islands, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history.  The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking or ziplining through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are water sports, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on the beach.

For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO to Host Destination Showcase on Ubersoca Cruise 2017

Hamilton, Bermuda (31 October, 2017) – Ubersoca Cruise (USC), the largest Soca festival at sea, has partnered with the region’s tourism development agency, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) for its 2017 cruise, which sails from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico, November 16 – 20. CTO will host a Destination Showcase onboard Ubersoca 2017, which will give passengers an insight into the diversity of the region and the attributes that make the Caribbean islands such a popular tourism destination.

The foundation for this partnership was laid when USC participated as a sponsor of CTO’s Caribbean Week New York in June of this year, and the onboard workshop is part of the collaboration arrangement.

The CTO workshop, which will be facilitated by Amanda Charles and Kennedy Pemberton of the CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Product Development Division, will feature highlights of ongoing CTO initiatives, information on Caribbean destinations as well as a Caribbean Trivia competition with exciting prizes to be won. The event will culminate with an open forum dealing with issues and opportunities in Caribbean Tourism, Music, Culture and Carnivals.

“The CTO is pleased to partner with Ubersoca Cruise as part of its continuing efforts to promote Caribbean Tourism, and initiatives such as the CTO Scholarship Foundation and Hurricane Relief fund. We salute the young entrepreneurs that have transformed a traditional tourism product into an authentic Caribbean cultural experience, and look forward to exploring this new frontier with the Ubersoca Team in adding value to the regional cruise tourism experience”. Amanda Charles, Sustainable Tourism Specialist, Caribbean Tourism Organization.

If you are interested in booking your cabin aboard Ubersoca Cruise 2017 please visit www.ubersocacruise.com.

About Ubersoca Cruise

Ubersoca Cruise is the first and only full cruise ship charter dedicated exclusively to soca music. The cruise sails from Miami Florida to Cozumel Mexico from November 16th – 20th 2017 and features over 60 of the best soca artists and DJs in the world. It all starts with the pre-cruise party in South Beach Miami Florida on November 15th 2017. In addition to multiple live concerts and themed events/parties, Ubersoca Cruise, offers a number of other activities and surprises which make it an ‘experience beyond the music’.

 

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Tourism Month Blasts into Action in St. Kitts

BASSETERRE (2nd November, 2017): Motorcade, student fieldtrips, heritage walk, karoke and photo competitions; These are just some of the exciting activities of the 2017 Tourism Awareness Month, in November.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Carlene Henry-Morton, launched the month of activities on Wednesday, and revealed the theme: “Enhancing Our Nation’s Prosperity by Nurturing Tourism Sustainability.”

“Throughout this month a variety of events and activities will highlight the fact that the tourism sector is vitally important to our country and that we all need to better understand, support, and protect tourism as one of the key drivers of our economy,” Morton said. “Indeed, it is important that we strive to protect all that is good about our island. That is why the team at the Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority is committed in providing a consistently outstanding visitor experience through the sustainable development of our human, natural and cultural resources in order to maximize opportunity, prosperity and quality of life for present and future generations.”

Morton said her team has a pro-people approach to tourism sector development, which is intended to translate into youth inclusion and capacity building; entrepreneurship and employment. Therefore, citizens are empowered and equipped to deliver a quality, authentic and uniquely Kittitian experience, that will add value and differentiate us from other destinations.

Activities for tourism month include the following:

Friday 3rd November, 2017
Prize Giving for Winners of the CTO Youth Congress

Sunday 5th November, 2017
Church Service at the Zion Moravian Church (9:30am)

Tuesday 7th November, 2017
Caribbean Tourism Day Observance

Junior Minister of Tourism Radio Broadcast

Friday 10th November, 2017
Karaoke Competition
Port Zante Food Court 7pm

Saturday 11th November, 2017
Rails to Trails Project (6am)
Staff Appreciation Dinner

13th to 17th November, 2017
Talks In School Series

Saturday 18th November, 2017
Tourism/Carnival Island-Wide Motorcade

Sunday 19th November, 2017
Poinciana Theater Production
“When Men Talk About Sex”
ECCB 6pm

20th to 23rd November, 2017
Tourism Education Product Tour (Primary Schools)

Thursday 23rd November, 2017
Launch of Yachting Strategic Implementation Plan

Friday 24th November, 2017
Judging of the Best Destination Photo Contest

Saturday 25th November, 2017
Heritage Health & Fitness Walk
De Poincy Chateau

Wedneday 29th November, 2017
Prize Giving For Best Destination Photo Contest

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival Supports Region’s Tourism Recovery Efforts

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (31 October, 2017) – The 2017 Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival is throwing its support behind the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s efforts to help Caribbean families and countries recover and rebuild after the monstrous hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated some member destinations.

The festival, an authentic Caribbean event, will be raising monies for the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund, which was activated through GoFundMe.

“We were horrified by the devastation inflicted on the region by the Category 5 hurricanes in September 2017 and, as an authentic Caribbean event, we felt obligated to assist those affected,” Cheryl Collymore, the festival director said.

“As the region’s tourism development agency, the CTO is a reputable organization with a history of coming to the support of Caribbean countries hit by natural disasters and we are happy to support its efforts.”

The festival will take place on 9 December, 2017 at the Rockley Golf & Country Club in Barbados, and by that time the initial attention on hurricane-hit territories will have started to dwindle, but the struggles suffering of those affected will not have ended.

To support the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund the 2017 Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival has committed to contributing five per cent of ticket and exhibitor space rental to the fund and to encourage regional producers who may not be attending the event to donate bottles of product to the festival to be sold, with 100 per cent of the sale monies going to the fund.

In addition, on-site activities at the festival venue will be organized to raise funds for the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund, while a page has been established on the festival’s website encouraging the population to donate.

“Hurricanes Irma and Maria have had a significant impact on families and countries in the affected countries and we welcome any contribution to the CTO Hurricane Fund,” the CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley said.

“We are grateful to the organisers of the Caribbean Rum & Beer festival for their generous contribution.”

Those unable to attend the 2017 Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival can still donate to the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund thru their GoFundMe page.

Among activities at the 9 December event are a selection of rum and beer products to sample and purchase, intriguing master classes on a variety of rum and beer related subjects presented by industry experts, a highly competitive highly competitive ‘Rum Cocktail Wars’ bartender competition, creative culinary demonstrations of cooking with rum and beer and chocolate pairing with rum and beer.

The Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival, which has previously been hosted in Barbados, Grenada and St Maarten,  has been awarded a ‘Best Event’ accolade by RAD Season, an international adventure specialist travel company, and was rated as one of the Top 10 Best Drinking Festivals in the World.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Recovery

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BTB extends “A Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund” for another month

Belize City, Thursday Nov. 2nd, 2017:  The Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund campaign launched last month by the Belize Tourism Board, in collaboration with the tourism industry stakeholders, to assist victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria has been extended for the entire month of November.  The funds will be collected from October 1- November 30st. Any donations post end date are still welcomed and will be disbursed accordingly.

Both Hurricanes severely devastated many of our Caribbean sister countries earlier in September.

The Belize Tourism Board will donate a $1 for every tourist arrival for the months of October and November and the initiative is that each stakeholder donates a $1 for every guest; therefore, creating a multiplier effect. The BTB initiative is being supported by participating agencies and tourism stakeholders such as the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Hotel Association (BHA), Tour Operators, water taxis, hoteliers and local airlines amongst many others.

During the first week of September, category 5 Hurricane Irma pummeled a number of Caribbean countries in the northern Leeward Islands and the northern Caribbean leaving a long trail of devastation. Many residents of these countries were left homeless, without food, power, water and basic essentials.  Two weeks later, Hurricane Maria followed the same path further exacerbating the level of destruction throwing many of these countries in a severe state of desperation and despair. Many of these countries depend on tourism as their chief means of survival and the devastation by both hurricanes has stalled their economies, which may take several months or perhaps years to recover.

The BTB, therefore, hereby appeals to all stakeholders to donate $1 for every passenger/ guest engaged for the month of October towards the Caribbean Relief Fund in order to ease the road to recovery for our Caribbean sister countries.

The funds will be donated to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, in addition to their existing Go fund me Hurricane Relief fund for the Caribbean. Hugh Riley, Secretary General & CEO of CTO, stated “It’s through this Fund that the CTO channels monetary assistance to our impacted member states. Assessments are being conducted of needs through the Ministries of Tourism and the monies collected will be disbursed directly to the people in need in form of food, medication, water, or material for rebuilding. The CTO appreciates all donations to assist in the recovery efforts of these countries.” 

Further information on the A Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund campaign and transparency for disbursements of funds can be found http://belizetourismboard.org/caribbean-hurricane-relief/

To confirm your participation please email us at [email protected]

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Recovery, Destination News

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Anegada Lobster Fest to Kick Off BVI Tourism High Season

Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, November 1, 2017…The BVI Tourist Board and the Anegada Community will kick off the tourism high season early with the staging of the Category 5 Edition of the annual Anegada Lobster Festival on November 25th and 26th.

This follows the recent announcement by Premier and Minister for Tourism Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE that BVI is open for business

“We felt it was important to hold the Anegada Lobster Fest, one of the BVI Food Fete’s signature events, to announce to repeat guests and prospective guests throughout the region and internationally, that the BVI is open for tourism business even as we recover from Hurricane Irma, one of the most destructive hurricanes in recorded history” said Director of Tourism Mrs. Sharon Flax-Brutus.  “Additionally, since Anegada was not as impacted as the other main islands, we felt it would be a good idea for Anegada to ring in the tourism high season as we begin to welcome visitors on November 1st.”

Currently there are 7 restaurants participating in the Anegada Lobster Festival that will be putting their unique spins on our most popular crustacean for all guests to sample.  There will be live entertainment and several opportunities for visitors to explore what some have described as the BVI’s best kept secret.

While available accommodations on Anegada are limited, local charter yacht companies like Marine Max, Sunsail and others, can provide unique accommodation experiences and options for the event. Additionally, daily ferry transportation will be available, to and from Tortola, via Romney Associates Travel Plan Tours and Road Town Fast Ferry.   Interisland Ferry Service will be available to transport guests originating out of the USVI.

As in previous years, visitors to Anegada Lobster Fest will be able win special prizes (while supplies last) from the Tourist Board once they have visited all of the participating restaurants, as well as Anegada’s main historic attractions (Fisherman’s Wharf, Faulkner House Museum, etc.).

The BVI Tourist Board has been working with the Anegada Community, private sector organizations and the relevant Government agencies to ensure that the island is ready to stage Anegada’s major event.    New signage, is being installed and the BVI Tourist Board has been organizing clean-ups and rebuilding/repairing sites and attractions, while coordinating transportation and other logistics for the event. For more information and regular updates on the Anegada Lobster Festival, visit www.anegadalobsterfestival.com or contact Mr. Carnel Clyne at 1-284-340-2210 or [email protected].

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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