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Archive for 2017 News

Statement by Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism on UNWTO Initiative to Assist in Caribbean Recovery

KINGSTON, Jamaica (4 October, 2017) – Jamaica continues to extend our thoughts and prayers to our Caribbean brothers and sisters, especially residents in those islands that took a direct hit from the recent hurricanes and to everyone who has been or will be affected as a result of these catastrophic storms.

We recognize that the entire Caribbean region will be adversely impacted by the lasting results of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and have set a course of action that is designed to minimize the long-term effect on the region.

We acknowledge, with thanks, receipt from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), in conjunction with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), the periodic status reports issued in cooperation with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and applaud the efforts at assisting the region and ensuring that timely and accurate information is disseminated.

We are aware that CTO and CDEMA technical teams have been on the ground in the various islands doing rapid needs assessments and coordinating with the national authorities in managing the various interventions, to mitigate the pain and hardships that are so pervasive at this time.

As a direct result of these unprecedented hurricanes, a meeting was convened by the World Tourism Organization – the United Nations specialised agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism (UNWTO) – at the General Assembly in Chengdu, China on 13 September, 2017. There were some 10 countries from the Caribbean and Latin America represented at the meeting – Bahamas, Barbados, Colombia, Costa, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela – in addition to representatives from the USA, France, Spain, the Netherlands, the UNWTO and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean member of the UNWTO, was absent from the general assembly.

The outcome of that meeting was a decision to assist in the Caribbean natural disaster risk management and response initiatives and to include in the programme for the UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 27-29 November, an opportunity for all interested parties to discuss and implement a plan of action.

As a proud host of this important global summit, Jamaica is honoured that the UNWTO has asked that I coordinate its involvement in this recovery effort for the region. The first step therefore was to reach out to the regional tourism organizations – CTO, CHTA and CDEMA – to brainstorm opportunities for collaboration.

Along with representatives of CTO and CHTA, we discussed how the CTO’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) taking place in Grenada on 10 -13 October could feed into the special session in Jamaica, and that a document will emerge from SOTIC which will help to inform that session at the Jamaica/UNWTO summit.

The portion of the SOTIC conference which will inform discussion at the Jamaica/UNWTO event is the Recover & Rebuild session, scheduled for 12 October.

The Recover & Rebuild session will be an in-depth four-hour segment where we will hear from leading experts in disaster preparedness and mitigation, recovery, funding, airport development and maintenance, airlines, cruise lines, telecommunications and media, as well as representatives of the hotel sector and member countries that have experienced – and recovered from – major catastrophes.

Recover & Rebuild will focus on the economic cost of the disasters, including the potential impact on gross domestic product, employment, the cost to rebuild and the recovery time. Key recommendations emerging from Recover & Rebuild will form part of the comprehensive document which we believe will have industry-wide international significance.

We urge everyone in the travel, hospitality and tourism industry including airlines, airport managers, cruise lines, cruise port managers, hoteliers, tour operators, travel agents and my fellow Ministers and Directors of Tourism across the region, as well as in our source markets, especially those in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, to attend both the SOTIC in Grenada from 10 to 13 October and the UNWTO meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica on 27-29 November. These two crucial events will help set the course for recovery and growth for all of us over the next year and shape the future of tourism for the Caribbean region.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Recovery

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St. Kitts: Every Hotel, Every Room, Every Day

Basseterre, St. Kitts (October 2, 2017) – In conjunction with the launch of its brand new official website on September 28, St. Kitts is pleased to declare that it’s “Time to Lime” with a limited time special offer providing up to 40% off hotel stays during peak travel season.

“While we continue to send thoughts, prayers and aid to our Caribbean neighbors who have been severely impacted by Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria, we are also grateful to be relatively unscathed as we approach our traditional peak season,”said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “Our new offer and website are both designed to inform potential guests that we are open and welcoming visitors while enticing them to book a trip to St. Kitts in the coming months.”

This special offer provides savings to visitors, whether they want to go scuba diving, play golf, experience adventure, enjoy a girls or guys getaway, or take a family vacation or a couples escape in St. Kitts. To receive the discounted rate, hotel reservations must be booked by October 29, 2017 for stays between December 15, 2017 and March 31, 2018. To learn more and to book, simply visit the Special Offers page on our new website www.stkittstourism.kn and click through on “Time to Lime” or go directly to http://www.stkittstourism.kn/promotions/island-wide-savings.

The offer is valid on new bookings only and may not be combinable with other promotional offers or programs. Blackout dates, additional restrictions and other terms and conditions may apply, so potential guests are advised to check with their hotel of choice prior to booking.

 

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts Launches New Website

Basseterre, St. Kitts (September 28, 2017) – St. Kitts is pleased to announce the launch of its brand new official website, effective as of today. Created in keeping with the latest trends in technology, the new www.stkittstourism.kn website features a mobile-first design reflective of how people research and book their travel today as well as immersive photo and video content and an improved user experience overall.

“While we continue to send our thoughts, prayers and aid to our Caribbean brothers and sisters, who have been severely impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, we are also grateful to be open and welcoming travelers,” said Minister Grant. “Therefore, the launch of our new website today could not be better timed as it is one of the first places to which potential guests go to research what we have to offer including the variety of accommodations where they can stay, our distinct product offerings and unique attractions such as Brimstone Hill, a World Heritage Site, The Scenic Railway and Caribelle Batik/Romney Manor as well as how easy it is to get here.”

In addition to upgrading the site from a desktop-first design to a mobile one that automatically redraws to render the optimal experience according to user access device, the new website features enhanced search filters based on user-selected preference criteria that automatically refines searches to match them. For example, a user can choose to stay in a hotel that is beachfront and/or has pool and/or Wi-Fi capability. TripAdvisor integration provides an additional tool for travelers researching the destination and links to social media are more prominently promoted.

New pages also include curated itineraries similar to those found in travel guides, special offers, expanded hotel and events pages, highlighted links to tips from bloggers / publications and a dedicated page for travel professionals. The new website provides a full range of details including where to stay, activities, dining venues, a calendar of events, details about getting married on St. Kitts and more.

St. Kitts’ new website was created by Tambourine, the island’s digital marketing agency of record based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Tambourine also created St. Kitts’ previous website, which won awards from some of the travel industry’s most prestigious organizations including HSMAI and Travel Weekly upon its debut in 2011.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Martinique Statement on Hurricane Irma

September 14, 2017: Following the devastation brought by Hurricane Irma, Karine Mousseau, Martinique Tourism Commissioner expressed her thoughts and sympathies to the people of all the Caribbean Islands which have been affected.

“On behalf of the Martinique Tourism Authority and of the people of Martinique, I wish to express our thoughts and solidarity. Our heart goes out to our brothers and sisters of the islands stricken by this unprecedented storm.”

In addition to the overall relief efforts, Martinique is also providing logistical and humanitarian support. On September 11 two ships from the Martinique Customs Division brought much needed food and water to the island of Saint Martin. A unit of 39 Martinique firefighters has been dispatched this Wednesday to assist local efforts–ongoing search and rescue, home safety evaluations and road clearing. The island’s population is also participating in a solidarity initiative set up by the Prefecture of Martinique to gather all the individual offers of assistance, from room and board to those left homeless to financial help.

Ms. Mousseau went on to say: “Our thoughts also go out to all our colleagues in the tourism industry affected by Hurricane Irma.  We in Martinique realize how fortunate we were to have been totally spared”.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO Launches Relief Fund to Assist With Hurricane Aid Efforts

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (8 Sept, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has activated its “CTO Relief Fund” through GoFundMe to help families and countries rebuild after hurricanes, particularly in the wake of the massive category 5 Hurricane Irma, which has impacted a number of member countries.

All of the money raised through the CTO’s Relief Fund will be sent directly to CTO-member destinations affected by the catastrophic storm, which hit some countries with winds up to 185 mph.

“The damage caused by the force of Hurricane Irma is an important example of why we must do whatever is possible to provide financial relief to those who need it most. It’s through this fund that the CTO channels monetary assistance to our impacted member states,” CTO secretary general Hugh Riley said. “The CTO appreciates all donations to assist in the recovery efforts in these countries.”

For more information on CTO’s Relief Fund or to make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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STATEMENT FROM THE CTO ON HURRICANE IRMA

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (5 Sept, 2017) – As Hurricane Irma, a dangerous Category 5 storm, churns its way towards the northern Leeward Islands and the northern Caribbean, including the Bahamas, Cuba and Haiti,  the Caribbean Tourism Organization expresses concern for residents and visitors in the countries that are in the hurricane’s projected path, and pray that the impact will be reduced.

We have been in contact with our members and they assure us that they have been taking all the necessary steps to ensure that they are in a state of readiness.

We take this storm seriously. The safety of the Caribbean’s citizens and our visitors is the number one concern for the authorities and emergency response teams throughout the region.

The CTO is actively monitoring the hurricane and will share updates from our member countries on www.onecaribbean.org and our social media channels, as they become available.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog

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