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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.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Innagural Sea to Sea Marathon coming to Tobago in May

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – October 12, 2016 – Get your running shoes ready! The first-ever Sea to Sea Marathon is coming to Tobago May 20 – 21, 2017. The scenic race, ideal for novice and seasoned runners alike, includes a 5K and 10K on May 20 followed by the full and half marathons on May 21. The Sea to Sea Marathon is the ultimate destination race for runners seeking a picturesque tropical paradise during their trek to the finish line.

The action-packed weekend includes a variety of activities and entertainment for those participating and spectating. During the opening ceremony on Saturday, May 20, entertainment will be provided at the Marathon Village; a breakfast and special “carb loading” dinner will also be served for marathon participants. All of the Sea to Sea Marathon race courses will start in the Main Ridge Forest Reserve near Bloody Bay on the Caribbean Sea and proceed through scenic villages along the Atlantic coast to the capital of Scarborough and on to finish line in Lambeau Beach, Little Rocky Bay.

A destination marathon in Tobago is not only about the marathon itself, but experiencing the island totally, thoroughly and truly from the ground up. During the Sea to Sea Marathon weekend, participants are given time to explore everything the quaint island has to offer from its beaches and culture to forest tours and bird or turtle watching. Those who wish to rest up before the big race can take solace at one of the marathon’s many accommodation partners while taking in magnificent views of the island and Caribbean Sea.

Runners can register individually or as teams of five to 40 people. From now through December 31, adult runners can save US$25 on registration; regular registration ends on May 6. Registration for youth under 20 years is only US$15. The top three male and female finishers will receive trophies and those who finish in the top categories of their race will receive cash prices, while all finishers will receive medals. Overall, the race will distribute more than US$53,000 in cash prizes. For more information, visit www.seatoseamarathon.com.

About Tobago

Tobago, sister island to Trinidad, is the quintessential Caribbean island with secluded beaches, quaint villages, private villas and award-winning eco attractions that include the Main Ridge Rainforest, the oldest protected reserve in the western hemisphere and the world’s largest brain coral. For more information about Tobago, visit www.visittobago.gov.tt.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew: Haiti continues to receive visitors for business & leisure

Update # 01: October 11th 2016: The Ministry of Tourism of Haiti, the Haiti Tourism Association (ATH) and the National Network of Solidarity Tourism Operators (RENAPROTS) would like to express their sympathies to all the victims of Hurricane Matthew that severely affected the southern peninsula of Haiti on the 3rd and 4th of October 2016.

As a nation we are already working relentlessly to bring support to our fellow citizens in this difficult time. We would also like to inform all international partners, and persons interested in visiting our beautiful and unique destination of the following:

– Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien international airports are open and fully operational since Oct 5th.

– 90% of our Tourism infrastructure has not been affected and is ready to welcome guests.

– Traveling to Haiti for leisure, business or to visit friends and families is a positive and constructive way to support the economy as it promotes employment and sustainability.

To all Haiti lovers, we urge you to continue to visit us and experience our culture, cuisine, art & crafts, and historical attractions, helping us drive resources to the most needed areas in a sustainable manner.

BIENVENUE EN HAITI

Media Contact:

Association Touristique d’Haïti (ATH) | Contact: Valerie Louis, Executive Director | [email protected] | +509-2812-8484

Ministère du Tourisme | Contact : Régine Godefroy, International Liaison Officer | Tel. : +509- 3818-8888 |  [email protected] | [email protected]

National Network of Solidarity Tourism Operators (RENAPROTS)| Contact : Abner Septembre | Tel :509-3420-2091 | Email : [email protected]

Notes to Editor:

– Haiti is the 3rd largest Caribbean country, sharing the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.

– Haiti is sold as a beach and as a touring destination for its unique historic, cultural and natural patrimony.

 

 

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