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Saint Lucia’s “Love-A-Fare” winter sale features savings on air and hotels this January

SAINT LUCIA (November 18, 2016) – Recognized as one of the top islands in the world by the Conde Nast Travel Readers’ Choice Awards, Saint Lucia welcomes couples to escape January chills with airfare and accommodation savings. Ideal for a retreat or extended weekend getaway, Saint Lucia’s average temperature of 80 degrees, pristine beaches and lush rainforests provide an ideal backdrop for heating up winter romance.

The Love-A-Fare sale includes United Airlines and JetBlue non-stop airfare deals from three major cities. Expanded United Airlines weekend service from Newark Liberty International features round-trip fares starting at $296 for Saturday flights, with Sunday flights beginning December 18. United Airlines’ relaunch of direct flights from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Saint Lucia begin on December 17, with travel fares starting at $572.

JetBlue Airlines has non-stop daily flights from New York’s JFK International Airport starting at $295; fares from Boston’s Logan International Airport every Saturday starting at $524.

Hotel savings in January range from as much as 65 percent off regular rates and $1,000 airfare credit at Sandals Resort locations, to complimentary airfare for two with a seven-day booking at St. James Club Morgan Bay, and discounts of up to 45 percent plus one free night at Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa.

All hotel offers can be booked now through December 17 for travel in January. For more information on the January Love-A-Fare winter sale, visit: http://www.stlucia.org/united/

Saint Lucia Love-a-Fare hotel and resort deals include:

Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa

  • Save up to 45 percent off, plus one free night
  • Six one hour passes to the Splash Island Water Park
  • Unlimited non-motorized water sports
  • Three-night minimum; Book by 12/17/16 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Bay Gardens Hotel

  • Save up to 45 percent off, plus one free night
  • Six one hour passes to the Splash Island Water Park
  • Unlimited non-motorized water sports
  • Three-night minimum; Book by 12/17/16 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Bay Gardens Inn

  • Save up to 45 percent off, plus one free night
  • Six one hour passes to the Splash Island Water Park
  • Unlimited non-motorized water sports
  • Three-night minimum; Book by 12/17/16 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Blu St. Lucia

  • Rates starting at $130 per night- single occupancy in a standard Veranda or Courtyard accommodation
  • Rates starting at $150 per night- double occupancy in a standard Veranda or Courtyard accommodation
  • Two- 60 minute spa treatments per stay
  • Three-night minimum; Book by 12/17/16 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Calabash Cove Resort & Spa

  • Receive up to 45 percent off plus one private beachfront dinner for two
  • Rates start at $249 per night, includes daily breakfast
  • Three-night minimum; Book by 12/17/16 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Capella Marigot Bay

  • Save up to 25 percent off rooms and 35 percent off suites if booked before 11/30
  • Receive a $200 Resort credit with a six-night minimum stay if booked before 12/17
  • Valid for travel between 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Coco Palm Resort

  • Receive a free night with six-night minimum stay
  • Room rates are based on single or double occupancy; subject to 10 percent service charge and 10 percent VAT
  • All-Inclusive includes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; all beverages available during bar hours. Bottled water not included. House Wines by the glass. Bottle wines and champagnes are not included. House brand bar drinks – surcharge on premium brands. Surcharge on some food items.
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Coconut Bay Beach Resort

  • Winter savings up to 60 percent off plus $500 resort credits
  • Rates from $199 per person, per night based on double occupancy
  • Book by 11/30 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Fond Doux Plantation & Resort

  • Receive 25 percent off with three-night minimum stay
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

La Dauphine Estate

  • Receive 10 percent off all room categories
  • Free meet & greet and airport transfers
  • Free massage for two at Villa Beach Cottages
  • Free use of ocean kayaks at Villa Beach Cottages
  • Free cocoa plantation tour at La Dauphine Estate
  • Receive 10 percent off on-property jeep rental
  • Minimum stay of six-nights
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

The Landings Resort & Spa

  • Receive 30 percent off all rooms and rates
  • Complimentary airport transfers with five-night minimum
  • Receive $100 resort credit on seven-night stays
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Royal St. Lucia Resort & Spa

  • Buy five-nights, stay for seven-nights plus additional 10 percent off
  • Book by 12/17

Sandals Grande St. Lucian (All-Inclusive)

  • Receive up to $1,000 Air Credit plus one free night
  • Save up to 65 percent
  • Free Catamaran Cruise
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Sandals Halcyon Beach (All-Inclusive)

  • Receive up to $1,000 Air Credit plus one free night
  • Save up to 65 percent
  • Free Catamaran Cruise
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Sandals Regency La Toc (All-Inclusive)

  • Receive up to $1,000 Air Credit plus one free night
  • Save up to 65 percent
  • Free Catamaran Cruise
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

St. James Club Morgan Bay (All-Inclusive)

  • Book a seven-night stay in an ocean view room or higher and receive complimentary airfare for two
  • Stays less than seven-days receive up to 50 percent off for travel during November and December
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Ti Kaye Resort & Spa

  • Receive 20 percent off all room categories plus $100 food and beverage credit for United Airlines
  • T&C: Adults Only 18+ resort; double occupancy only
  • Minimum five-night stay
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

Villa Beach Cottages

  • Receive 10 percent off all room categories from deluxe bedroom villa suites to plantation houses
  • Complimentary meet & great and airport transfers
  • Complimentary massage for two
  • Complimentary use of ocean kayaks
  • Complimentary cocoa plantation tour at La Dauphine Estate
  • Receive 10 percent off on-property jeep rental
  • Minimum six-night stay
  • Book by 12/17 for travel 1/1/17- 1/31/17

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

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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British Virgin Islands Tourist Board announces exclusive Cyber Monday deals for warm winter getaways

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands (November, 15, 2016) — Today, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Tourist Board is unveiling this year’s Cyber Monday (November 28) deals, offering vacationers a luxurious, warm weather escape at affordable price points.

For a limited time, travelers can take advantage of these unbeatable savings and book a fun-filled trip to the BVI, which was recently ranked #18 on the list of Best Islands in the World by Conde Nast Traveler’s 29th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards 2016. From savings up to $2,000 at Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island to an additional night free at one of the villas offered by BVI Villa Rental, these Cyber Monday specials cater to groups of all sizes looking to spend the holidays in this tropical destination.

“With sunny skies and temperatures averaging 84 degrees all year-round, BVI is the perfect winter escape,” said Sharon Flax-Brutus, Director of the BVI Tourist Board. “Our Cyber Monday deals allow travelers to enjoy the pristine white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters of the BVI at an affordable price.”

For more information, visit http://www.bvitourism.com/cyberMonday or call 1-800-835-8530 to speak to an island host.

Private Islands & Resorts

  • Necker Island: Vacationers who book a stay at Sir Richard Branson’s private island can enjoy the 2016 rate, which amounts to savings up to $2,000 per night!
    • Booking window is November 28 to December 9. Offer is valid for travel from January 1 to March 31, 2017. To reserve, email [email protected] and use promotional code “Cyber Monday.”
  • Peter Island Resort & Spa:  Peter Island invites travelers to take advantage of their special Cyber Monday offer and experience this private island’s five white sand beaches, award-winning spa, and exceptional culinary offerings. Guests can enjoy up to 30 percent savings, up to $150 in resort credit, and a welcome bottle of champagne for 2017 bookings. To book, email [email protected] and use promotional code “BVI Cyber Monday Offer.”
    • Booking window is November 28 to December 19. Offer is valid for travel from January 4 to December 19, 2017.
  • Bitter End Yacht Club: Located in North Sound, Virgin Gorda, Bitter End Yacht Club is offering family-style deals to make the most of winter break. Travelers who take advantage of the two-room family package for families with children up to 25 years old will enjoy 50 percent savings on the second room. To book, call 1-800-872-2392 and use promotional code “BVI CyberMonday.”
  • Booking window is November 28 to December 31. Offer is valid for travel from January 2 to March 31, 2017. Blackout dates for this offer apply during the week of March 11 to March 26, 2017.
  • Scrub Island Resort & Spa: This year, Scrub Island is offering the Stay for Breakfast rate, which includes complimentary breakfast for up to two adults and children 12 years old and younger. Guests can dine al fresco at Caravela Restaurant overlooking the marina. For reservations, email [email protected] and use promotional code “S4B.”
    • Booking window is November 28 to December 31. Offer is valid for travel through December 16, 2017.

Villas

  • BVI Villa Rental: Families and large groups will love the comfort and space of a villa rental. With BVI Villa Rental’s Cyber Monday offer, guests can stay for seven nights, but only pay for six! To book, email [email protected] and use promotional code “Cyber Monday.”
    • Booking window is November 28 to December 12. Offer is valid for travel from January 7 to January 31, 2017. Some villas are excluded from this offer.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Antigua and Barbuda launches Beach Bar Trail

The beautiful twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda are famous for their 365 beaches – one for each day of the year.  Dotted across these beaches is a host of unique and authentic beach bars where holiday-makers can sample authentic Caribbean food and drink while enjoying the beach life and stunning views by day, and cocktails and music as the sun sets.

The Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority has launched the ‘Beach Bar Trail’ to help show visitors some of the best spots on the islands.  From foodie gems to romantic hotspots, party bars to hidden hangouts that only the locals know about, the map is designed to encourage visitors to Antigua and Barbuda to explore the island – hopping from bar to bar and soaking up the best of Antiguan hospitality along the way.  The map highlights the island’s main hotels so that visitors can seek out the most easily accessible beach bars for them.

These bars are some of the best places to sample authentic local cuisine – from West Indian specialities such as conch fritters at Turners and curry goat at Dennis’, to seasonal produce from local farmers at the stylish Jacqui O’s.

But it’s not just about food and drink.  These beach bars also give visitors the chance to soak up the local culture and see a different side of Antigua.   Ana’s on Dickenson Bay exhibits works from local artists; guests at Miller’s could be invited to join a game of beach volleyball with the locals; and on Fridays Castaways on South Beach comes alive with live bands and local DJs for its weekly BBQ Bonfire Beach Party.  For a more relaxed experience, over on the pink sands of Barbuda Uncle Roddy gives a warm welcome (and serves delicious lobster) at his eponymous beach bar which is wholly run by solar power.

Families are also well-catered for at Antigua’s beach bars, with everything from water sports at Sneaky Pete’s, crazy golf and jungle gym at Putter’s, to special kids’ menus at Bumpkin’s.

Visitors are invited to share their #beachbartrail pictures on Twitter or send to [email protected]

 

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Message by Belize Minister of Tourism & Culture for Caribbean Tourism Month 2016

Belize offers a unique destination to our visitors as it is located within the Caribbean and Central America regions, allowing convenient multi-destinations travel within one of the most popular tourist basins in the world. Belize features a rich and diverse mix of culture and cheerful citizens. The astounding Barrier Reef is the second largest in the world. We feature safe waters for diving, snorkeling, swimming, boating, fishing, numerous rivers for rafting and kayaking. An abundance of Mayan Temples, caves and islands, pristine rainforests for hiking and bird-watching, all contribute to the attractions which drive our thriving tourism industry.

Belize has progressed significantly in its tourism growth despite the challenges of diseases such as Zika, severe weather events such as Hurricane Earl and the recent “de-risking” banking movement that impacted the Caribbean. 2015 saw a tremendous growth of 6.2% with a significant increase in our overnight arrivals. This trend continues as the January through September 2016 statistics reflect a 16% growth in this key performance indicator. Cruise has also seen a 1.3% growth at September 2016 for the first nine months of the year. The launch of new direct flights to Belize from major travel hubs for both North American and South American markets, and increased connectivity from Europe and within the Central American region, have also contributed to this boost.

We have also seen growth in occupancy as our stakeholders improve and expand on their accommodations and amenities while ensuring that sustainable practices are being adhered to.  Infrastructural development of our roads, improvements at our domestic airports and at border facilities and tourism sites all around the country are also contributing to the enhancement of our tourism brand and equity.

Belize is enthusiastic about the future of tourism both at a national and regional level. Our efforts to penetrate new markets by strategic marketing investments include aggressively embracing digital marketing concepts. We believe that it is vital for stakeholders, statutory bodies and relevant government agencies both at the national and regional level to collaborate to ensure the vibrancy, sustainability and continuous evolvement of our collective Caribbean paradise destinations.

Caribbean Tourism Month provides another ideal opportunity for us as Belizeans to become tourists for a while in our own country and enjoy all of these wonderful attributes that we offer the rest of the world. It also is a good time to reaffirm our commitment to work towards excellence in the quality of our service, the quality of our product, and the tourism sector on a whole.

Happy Caribbean Tourism Month.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Caribbean Tourism Month, Destination News

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Bahamas Hurricane Relief Information

Hurricane Relief Donor Information: Family Island Administrator For Affected Islands-NEMA (Bahamas Red Cross) Representatives

The Islands Of The Bahamas are appreciative of all the inquiries and support received thus far in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. There have been numerous communications asking about how persons can help individuals who were affected by the storm. This page has been established as a resource to help aid those in need. We will continue to update this page with the most relevant information needed so we can continue to provide the necessary assistance to persons who are willing to lend a helping hand.

Please go to this site to find out how you can help:

http://www.bahamas.com/hurricane-relief

NEMA (Red Cross) – Grand Bahama Instructions

Information with regards to relief supplies into GBI:

The letter should be addressed to:

NEMA (Bahamas Red Cross)

Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas

Hurricane Matthew Relief Supplies

Attention: Stephanie Barr

Telephone: 242-557-6932

email: [email protected]

The letter must itemize supplies with value of each item.

 

New Providence Instructions

Information with regards to relief supplies into New Providence

Letter should be addressed to:

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) (Bahamas Red Cross)

Nassau Bahamas

Hurricane Matthew Relief Supplies

Attention: Capt. Stephen Russell

Tel. 242-322-6081/5

Cell:242-376-6362

Email: [email protected]

Copied to: [email protected]    (Eleanor Davis)

[email protected]   (Lindsay Thompson)

[email protected]    (Chrystal Glinton)

Donors should email this information ahead of time so that NEMA (Bahamas Red Cross ) may have on hand  to process.

Bahamas Red Cross Wire Information

USD Funds –   Destination:

CHASUS33
(IBK) JP Morgan Chase Bank,
New York

ABA021000021

Pay to Bank:    /001 1 188448

(BBK) ROYCBSNS RBC Royal Bank Bahamas Limited

Beneficiary Name -The Bahamas Red Cross Society, Account Number & Branch/ Transit / Account number 05165/ 289 423 6 John F. Kennedy Drive Branch

 

 Hurricane Matthew Immediate relief Supplies

  1. Blankets
  1. Hygiene Kits
  1. Kitchen Set
  1. Plastic Sheeting Rolls/Tarpaulin (various sizes)
  1. Water Containers
  1. Chain Saw Kits
  1. Generator Kits
  1. Mattress (single & double/full)
  1. Pillows
  1. Sheet sets
  1. Household Cleaning Kits

 

For further information on relief supplies, please contact NEMA’s representative below:

NEMA Representative 

Ms. Gayle Outten–Moncur

Senior Assistant Secretary 

Ph.: (242) 376-2381

Email: GAYLE OUTTEN MONCUR/CABI/[email protected]

 

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Grand Bahama tourism industry begins rebuilding after Hurricane Matthew

NASSAU, Bahamas – October 12, 2016 — Although Grand Bahama was among those islands hardest hit during the passage of Hurricane Matthew last week, the tourism industry on the island is moving quickly to rebuild itself in an effort to offer something better than ever.

Tourism officials began this effort with a sound assessment of the island’s hotel properties, beaches and other tourist attractions. Bahamas Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe is in Grand Bahama where the assessment is still ongoing.

“We have to be honest about Grand Bahama because that’s the only way we can move forward. Tourism on the island has come to a grinding halt. Hotels, restaurants and tour operators have all been affected by Hurricane Matthew, but there is hope and Grand Bahamians are resilient. Everywhere you go on this island people are working. People are working on their homes; people are working at the hotels to fix those properties. Grand Bahama will rise again, better and stronger,” Wilchcombe said.

“We are still assessing the full extent of the damage and will know better later this week or early next week when Grand Bahama will be fully open for business. We have an incredible team here in Grand Bahama. The tourism team is already back to work and focusing on rebuilding the industry despite dealing with their own personal tragedies.

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (BMOT) Director for Grand Bahama Betty Bethel said there is a feeling of “optimism” on the island among tourism stakeholders who are hoping to open their resorts and businesses during the “winter season”.

“We are looking at the positives here. This is indeed an opportunity for Grand Bahama to freshen up its tourism product and to create some new product. The relaunch will reflect, I think, a different attitude, a different perspective in terms of tourism on Grand Bahama. We are now focusing on reinventing ourselves.”

“After speaking with several of our partners they are very optimistic that with the restoration of power and water we actually can have a product within two months,” Bethel said.

Many of the resorts on the island have communicated to tourism stakeholders that they expect to open either in November or December.

Based on initial damage assessments, Viva Wyndham Fortuna said it expects to open on November 14.

Castaways, which had roof damage resulting in 32 rooms being out of order, remains open. The hotel has water, wifi and limited electricity.

Pelican Bay had minor roof damage to its conference center, which is currently being repaired. The property is taking corporate business and restoration teams only and is not open to leisure guests. Its restaurant, Sabor, is also open.

Work on Memories Resort is expected to begin soon and the company said in a statement released on Tuesday it is expected to open on December 10. Until then the 500 staff members will undergo extensive customer service retraining ahead of its proposed opening date.

The Grand Lucayan, which includes the Lighthouse Pointe and Breakers Cay, had water damage and roof damage. Lighthouse Pointe is expected to open November 7.

Flamingo Bay Resort had minor damage and is awaiting the restoration of power before opening.

Taino Beach Resort received extensive damage and officials there gave no timeframe for opening.

Old Bahama Bay Resort sustained minimal damage and will open once power and water have been restored.

A team of workers are currently assessing the damage to the Ocean Reef Resort and no opening date has been given at this point.

Travelers are encouraged to reach out to hotels for regular updates on proposed opening dates.

Treasure Bay Casino reported minor damage to its interior, although it suffered major roof damage. The property is proposing to open on October 31.

Clean up of Port Lucaya Marketplace is underway. Businesses in the island’s tourism hub are hoping to reopen soon.

UNEXSO, the local scuba diving and dolphin tour company, sustained no damage and is open for business.

Garden of the Groves had extensive damage to the landscape but restoration efforts are underway. Grand Bahama Nature Tours reported that they were able to secure all of its equipment and will be able to run Jeep, bike, ATV and kayak tours as soon as all routes are assessed and cleared for safety. Tours are expected to recommence on October 31, the company said.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is still carrying passengers to Freeport, and the company is looking to aggressively promote 2-night Bahamas cruises in hopes of encouraging travel to the island.

Regarding the major cruise lines, Carnival Cruise Lines said they were reviewing upcoming itineraries to make adjustments. Norwegian Cruise Lines said, “Our destination services team is in close contact with officials and operators in Freeport. Assessments are ongoing and we will be communicating with our guests soon if there are any impacts or itinerary changes.”

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Latest accolades for Rhums of Martinique cement island’s status as ‘The Rum Capital of the Caribbean’

NEW YORK, NY (October 12, 2016) – The Rhums of Martinique are on a roll, earning accolades and innovating exclusive new products further cementing the island’s status as The Rum Capital of the Caribbean.

Rhum JM – World’s Finest Spirit

Rhum JM, among Martinique’s most celebrated heritage brands, received the top overall award at the recently concluded Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. The event widely lauded as the “World Championship for Wine and Spirits,” attracted more than 10,000 wine and spirit entries from around the world. Rhum JM topped them all, taking home the Spirit Selection Best Trophy awarded annually to the world’s best overall spirit. Rhum JM also took home two gold medals in the agricultural rum category for the JM Armagnac Cask Finish and the JM 1999 Vintage (15 years). Concours Mondial de Bruxelles awards were determined by 75 professional tasters representing 24 individual countries.

Rhum Clement – World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Rum

Raising the bar on exclusive connoisseurial spirits to new and heretofore unimagined levels of luxury, Martinique’s famed Rhum Clement recently formed an alliance with elite French jeweler Tournaire to launch the world’s most expensive bottle of rum. Espousing Tournaire’s signature style of exquisite architectural jewelry, the new Clement–Tournaire bottle is distinguished by a miniature replica of the historic Great House located on the grounds of the Rhum Clement Distillery carefully crafted to exacting detail in gold and diamonds. Treasures extend within the bottle as well, with vintage 1966 Clement equaling the jewels atop the bottle. Estimated price: 100,000 euros.

Rhum Neisson – World’s First Certified Bio Organic AOC Rum

Rhum Neisson, the smallest rum-producer in Martinique and the last 100% family-owned distillery on the island, announced recently that it has secured the world’s first bio-organic certification for rum. The designation was made by ECOCERT, a certification organization founded in France in 1991 by agronomists to develop agriculture that respects the environment and provide recognition to those who engage in this organic farming. ECOCERT-approved bio-organic rum produced by Rhum Neisson will be available for purchase in Martinique beginning in December 2016.

Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas for the Martinique Promotion Bureau, commented on the latest developments within the island’s rhum industry, saying: “Our island-wide ‘Route des Rhums’ tour connecting all 10 of Martinique’s distilleries has always been a great attraction for spirits lovers. Now, with these latest awards and innovations, a rum journey to Martinique is even more of a must.”

Just as wine lovers travel to France to tour La Route des Vins to discover the finest wines, spirits enthusiasts can revel in the best rums by traveling Martinique’s Route des Rhums.

The island has 10 distilleries producing more than 15 varieties of rums du terroir, as well as many local liquors made from rum. A visitor will soon realize that there is a rum for every palate, and the passionate connoisseur will appreciate Martinique’s vintage dark rum, often compared to a superb cognac.

Free samples are available at each distillery. Visitors can also purchase local rums throughout the island, including upon departure from Lamentin Airport at La Case à Rhum.

For more information on travel to Martinique, please visit www.us.martinique.org. For the latest, up-to-date Martinique Promotion Bureau press kit, visit www.martiniquepresskit.com.

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