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St. Kitts Scores with 2nd Annual Couples Golf Classic Event Includes a Special Celebrity Guest and Showcases the Destination to a Key Target Market

Basseterre, St. Kitts (November 20, 2017) – St. Kitts hit a “hole in one” with its 2nd Annual St. Kitts & Nevis Couples Golf Classic, which featured play on both islands of the Federation from November 7 – 11, 2017. In addition to drawing participating golfers from across the US, this year’s event featured special celebrity guest Bret Saberhagen, a former Major League Baseball pitcher, two-time Cy Young Award winner and avid golfer as well as special guest Risa Feldman, writer for Aspen Luxury Life magazine and a travel and food blogger.

“Our Couples Golf Classic has only increased in prestige and appeal from its inaugural year, attracting golfers from California to New Jersey and a first-time celebrity participant,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “I am extremely pleased with the success of this event, as it helps us grow awareness for the destination among the lucrative niche golf travel market.”

One of St. Kitts’ signature golf events, the Couples Golf Classic showcases the destination’s world-class golf courses, accommodations, attractions and scenic natural beauty. Golfers played rounds one and three of the 54-hole mixed team tournament the signature Robert Trent Jones II course at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis. Round two was played on the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club designed by Canadian course architect Thomas McBroom.

This year’s winning team was Penny and Gordon Jumonville from Fort Worth, Texas. The husband and wife duo were wire-to-wire winners, jumping out to an early lead after Round One’s Shamble Format with a NET Best Ball score of 55.  Their 54-hole total of 124 bested the closest runner up by just 4 shots.  In second place was the pair of Kay Bailey and John Heyer from Long Beach California.  They made a strong final round charge in Round Three’s NET Best Ball format, making up 7 shots on the field to capture second place. Patti and Jeff Kindl from New Orleans, Louisiana, took home the third place title. They played their last three holes of the tournament in four-under-par (NET) to capture third by a shot.

Bret Saberhagen said, “The courses were a lot of fun and presented a good challenge for golfers of all skill levels. Everyone enjoyed one another’s company. It was great to be part of the event.” Other participants gave the event similar glowing reviews, with Patti Kindl saying, “It was the best golf trip ever!” and Bruce Hogg, who competed alongside his wife Carla, stating unequivocally, “It was a well-run event. Everything was coordinated and done just right. We’ll be back.”

In addition to golf, the group enjoyed opening and closing cocktail receptions, having the local experience of an evening dining out on fresh lobster and other West Indian food at Sunshine’s, basking in the warm Caribbean sunshine and receiving warm welcomes throughout the five-day event. All participants stayed at the event’s official host hotel, the Four Seasons Resort Nevis. To promote event entries, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and the Four Seasons Resort Nevis partnered with ClubCorp’s Private Clubs magazine and the New Jersey State Golf Association. Attendees were able to choose from a 4 and 7 night bed and breakfast or all-inclusive packages for one or two persons, all specially priced just for the event.

The Royal St. Kitts Golf Club is an 18-hole course featuring holes on both the Caribbean and Atlantic which is managed by Marriott Golf. It has been voted as one of the Caribbean’s top golf courses in USA Today’s annual 10Best Reader’s Choice Best of the Caribbean awards. The Four Seasons Resort Nevis Golf Club is a par 71, 18-hole course that overlooks the Caribbean Sea and offers spectacular views of St. Kitts as well as a beach-side finishing hole. Both courses are considered to be two of the Caribbean’s most scenic and challenging championship courses.

The 3rd Annual St. Kitts & Nevis Couples Golf Place will take place in November 2018. To learn more about the event as well as golf in St. Kitts and Nevis, visit http://www.stkittstourism.kn/

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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DOTCT Celebrates Caribbean Tourism Month with Week of Activities

SCARBOROUGH Tobago, Monday 13th November 2017: The Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation (DOTCT) joins the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the region in celebrating Caribbean Tourism Month 2017 by hosting a series of activities from November 19th – 26th, 2017.

Recognized annually under the theme One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean, Caribbean Tourism Month serves as an avenue through which Caribbean destinations are able to come together and collectively remind the world that the region is open for business.

On behalf of Destination Tobago, the Division will take this opportunity to increase awareness of the benefits of Tobago’s tourism industry to the island’s economy; develop a sense of pride and ownership of Tobago’s tourism product among the island’s residents; encourage greater collaboration between the public and private sector; as well as build morale and foster a spirit of camaraderie amongst Division staff.

The following is the schedule of activities for Caribbean Tourism Month

SUNDAY 19TH NOVEMBER, 2017

Opening of Interactive Museum – Fort King George Heritage Park, 3pm & 5 pm

The theatrical re-enactments at Fort King George will commence from Sunday 19th November, with free tours taking place at 3 pm and 5 pm. There will also be a storytelling session at 2 pm. The Interactive Museum will be open to the public on days cruise ships call on the island, at 10:30 am and 2 pm, as well as on Sundays at 3 pm. Tours will cost $20 (adults) and $10 (children). 

MONDAY 20TH NOVEMBER, 2017

Youth Tourism Symposium for Secondary Schools – Shaw Park Cultural Complex, 9am-2pm

The “Youth Tourism Symposium” is the first of its kind in Tobago and targets Forms 4-6 students enrolled in Secondary Schools throughout the island.  The theme of the symposium is Promoting Youth Leadership in Tourism. The objective is to engender within the island’s youth an appreciating for, and understanding of, the tourism industry; educate students on the significance of the sector; and stimulate interest in the industry as a viable career choice. Speakers include:

Mr. Travis Robinson, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Government of The Bahamas

Ms. Le-An Telesford, Junior Minister of Tourism, Trinidad and Tobago

Mr. Dwayne Lyons, Tobago Entrepreneur, Xclusive Ideologies

TUESDAY 21ST NOVEMBER, 2017

Thanksgiving Service – DOTCT Head Office, 12 Sangster’s Hill, 9am

The Thanksgiving Service is a non-denominational open air service, hosted to celebrate the hard work of all staff within the Division and nurture a spirit of togetherness among staff.

Primary School Community Awareness Quiz Finals and Prize Giving Ceremony – Lowlands Multipurpose Centre, 9am – 1pm

The Primary School Community Awareness quiz seeks to educate and sensitize Tobago’s Primary School students about the importance of tourism to the island’s economy, and impress upon them the significant role they can play in the development of the industry. With twelve (12) primary schools participating, the quiz runs from 15th – 20th November.

THURSDAY 23RD NOVEMBER, 2017

Stakeholders Cocktail Reception – Pigeon Point Heritage Pavilion, 7pm-10pm

The Stakeholder Reception seeks to bring together industry stakeholders involved in both the public and private sector. The event is designed to facilitate networking, as well as constructive dialogue with the aim of improving the synergies among all parties involved in Tobago’s tourism industry.

SATURDAY 26TH NOVEMBER, 2017

Tobago Great Tourism Adventure – Island wide, 9am

The Tobago Great Tourism Adventure puts a cultural twist on the traditional treasure hunt. Participants will embark upon an exciting trek across the island, on a quest to solve riddles and execute tasks that will educate them on the island’s rich culture and heritage. Historical landmarks, iconic attractions and age-old traditions will all be featured in this one-of-a-kind experience.

Tourism Week Social Media Campaign

Stay tuned to the Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation – Tobago House of Assembly Facebook page for the launch of the My Tourism Story video series, the Spot the Sites contest, and more.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Caribbean Tourism Month, Destination News

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Over 140 Of Europe’s Top Operators To Visit Trinidad In 2018

Port of Spain, Trinidad – November 13, 2017 – Trinidad and Tobago’s participation in World Travel Market (WTM) continues to bear fruit as the delegation completed its series of meetings with a number of international travel trade professionals, airline representatives and global tourism stakeholders. Traditionally, the European source market has been a mainstay for the island of Tobago but at this year’s WTM a leading company in the travel and tourism industry in the German-speaking countries has expressed keen interest in selling destination Trinidad. Every year, more than 6 million guests travel with the tour operators of this group.

Minister Shamfa Cudjoe and other Ministry officials met with executives of the international travel company to discuss plans for bringing over one hundred (100) of Europe’s top tour operators to Trinidad in 2018. International tour operators have described Trinidad as one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets and welcomed the opportunity to open up this market to their clientele.

Whilst over forty per cent (40%) of Trinidad’s visitors come from the United States of America, our new marketing thrust is to diversify the current source market pool so as to attract visitors from non-traditional source markets to experience the amazing product that is Trinidad.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago remains resolute in its commitment to building the tourism industry with a view to this industry being the vehicle for economic diversification and meetings, such as those that took place at World Travel Market 2017, are considered as a critical part of the foundation for sustainable tourism development.

Minister Cudjoe gave the international travel company her commitment to further the relationship and expressed excitement about the upcoming opportunity to showcase Trinidad; indicating that “this is exciting because we are expanding our offerings. Tobago gives you that quintessential Caribbean experience, but Trinidad has a big chunk of South America in it.”

Held annually at ExCel London Building, United Kingdom, World Travel Market is the most important platform in the world for the travel industry and is visited by over 51,000 members of the international tourism industry and hosts over 5,000 exhibitors from all five (5) continents. This three (3) day exhibition concluded on November 08, 2017.

For more information, contact:

Corporate Communications Unit
Phone: (868) 624-1403 Ext. 248
Ministry of Tourism  Fax:  (868) 625-3894
Levels 8 & 9
Tower C, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago, WEST INDIES

ABOUT THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM

The Ministry of Tourism is responsible for tourism policy development, awareness, catalysing and facilitating growth of the tourism sector, encouraging investment in the sector, building stakeholder partnerships and monitoring trends in the industry in Trinidad and Tobago.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Destination Trinidad & Tobago – Re-Born, Re-Focused and Ready to Do Business

Port of Spain, Trinidad – November 07, 2017 – The Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe, Minister of Tourism, is leading the Trinidad and Tobago delegation at the prestigious tourism trade show World Travel Market (WTM) that is presently taking place at ExCel, London from November 06-08. Generating more than £2.8 billion of business contracts between attendees, Trinidad and Tobago’s attendance at World Travel Market provides the opportunity for the delegation to effectively promote the destination in a global environment and attain competitive advantages in the industry.

In her address during a press conference hosted at the T&T booth stand during World Travel Market (WTM) 2017, Minister Shamfa Cudjoe shared that destination Trinidad and Tobago is now re-born, re-focused and ready to do business as the Government is refocusing its efforts on the development of the tourism sector. The Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Tourism went on to add that “we are re-developing all of our tourism offerings and getting ready to welcome the Brix Hotel which is part of the Marriott Autograph Collection, and in Tobago we are getting ready for Sandals”.

Minister Cudjoe also highlighted the excitement and vibrancy of destination Trinidad and Tobago with its wide ranging cultural tourism products and biodiversity. “One country… two islands… two different sets of experiences. Rich biodiversity, butterflies, birds, nesting sites for turtles and much more.”

Also speaking at the press conference was the Secretary of Tourism, Culture and Transportation, Councillor Nadine Stewart-Phillips, who invited the international media representatives present to visit Trinidad and Tobago to experience Destination T&T’s theme at WTM 2017 —“LIVE THE CULTURE”.

Councillor Nadine Stewart-Phillips also explained the reasons for Tobago’s focus on cultural tourism, stating that “the Tobago House of Assembly recently merged the departments of culture with tourism and transportation. The visitor spend from cultural and heritage travel is also more.”

Moreover, Virgin Atlantic’s Content Creator, Lizzy Davis, announced at the press conference, the launch of the exciting new project “Let’s Map Tobago” which allows stakeholders as well as visitors to upload photos of events, places and people. The project is supported across all social channels and is powered by Google. Other activities announced at World Travel Market were the Lime 365 Calendar of Events, the development of new tourism entities in Trinidad and Tobago to manage the tourism sector and efforts to secure increased and new airlift.

Held annually, World Travel Market brings together almost 5,000 exhibiting destinations, technology and private sector companies to exhibit and network with over 51,000 travel professionals, key industry buyers, and international media, digital influencers, students and senior government officials.

Other members of the Trinidad and Tobago delegation include Louis Lewis, newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Tobago Tourism Agency, senior executives from the Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation of the Tobago House of Assembly, the Ministry of Tourism’s Senior Promotions Officer and Corporate Communications Officer as well as local hoteliers and tour service providers.

November 07, 2017 _______________________________________________________________________

For more information, contact:

Corporate Communications Unit
Ministry of Tourism
Phone: (868) 624-1403 Ext. 248; Fax:      (868) 625-3894 

ABOUT THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM

The Ministry of Tourism is responsible for tourism policy development, awareness, catalysing and facilitating growth of the tourism sector, encouraging investment in the sector, building stakeholder partnerships and monitoring trends in the industry in Trinidad and Tobago.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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WESTJET begins direct flight to Belize from Calgary, Canada

Belize City, Monday, November 6th, 2017:  A brief inaugural ceremony was held at the Departure Lounge of the Philip Goldson International Airport on Friday, November 3rd to commemorate WestJet’s new non-stop weekly service between Calgary, Canada and Belize. According to WestJet the service is part of the airline’s seasonal schedule for the winter of 2017-18.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Belize Hotel Association, senior staff of the Belize Airport Concession Company (BACC), the Canadian Consulate to Belize and the Belize Tourism Board among others. Short addresses were delivered by Mr. Lynn Young, Honorary Consul of Canada to Belize and the Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation.

In his address, Hon. Manuel Heredia said, “The importance of the Canadian market for Belize can certainly not be overstated in terms of the overall economic impact it has on Belize’s Tourism Industry.”

He pointed out that “Canadian arrivals to Belize accounted for 6% of total overnight arrivals in Belize in 2016. That percentage share is expected to rise this year with the increased traffic from the direct flights from Canada to Belize introduced in the latter part of last year and, of course, with the start of this new flight.”

Most Canadians prefer to travel to Belize to enjoy the tropical weather that Belize has to offer.  But they also enjoy the warm hospitality of all Belizeans and the country’s awesome culture and excellent cuisine and attractions.

According to BTB’s Director of Tourism, Karen Bevans, the new flight “will help with the different areas such as Vancouver and the others that were unable to get a direct connection into Toronto so this makes it much more convenient for a large market in Canada and to open up the opportunities for Belize even more.”

“ We expect that the size of the Canadian market will only continue to increase and hopefully we can expect at least 10% of our arrivals with the addition of this flight,” Ms. Bevans said. She added: “As we heard the Honorary Consul mention more and more students are now approaching him about the Canadian market or schools in Canada and that population has grown and we expect that to happen even more because this gives more accessibility, cheaper cost, so it does create more opportunity for our Belizean people.”

WestJet inaugurated its first flight from Toronto, Canada to Belize in 2016. The new WestJet service to Belize from Calgary, therefore, represents a resounding confirmation that Belize continues to be a growing, viable and a must-visit destination in Central America and the Caribbean.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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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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