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World Happiness Report names Trinidad & Tobago as the happiest in the Caribbean

Port of Spain, Trinidad – April 28, 2015 – The numbers are in and Trinidad & Tobago has been named the “happiest” Caribbean nation yet again.  With its vibrant lifestyle, dynamic culture, booming business center, strong government and, of course, largest Carnival celebration in the Caribbean, it is no surprise that the dual-island nation leads the way in happiness. According to the World Happiness Report from the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) released on April 23, 2015, the destination ranked highest in happiness in the Caribbean and 41st in the world.

Trinidad & Tobago’s flourishing culinary scene and year round festivals, combined with local steel pan and soca music and picturesque beaches, bring out the happiness in both locals and visitors alike.  Whether sampling world-renowned street food on “The Avenue” [Ariapita Avenue], “wining” to the music at cultural and food festivals, getting a taste of adventure in the mountains of Trinidad or unwinding on Pigeon Point beach in Tobago, Trinbagonians have plenty of reasons to smile.  Additionally, with 15 public holidays last year, Trinidad & Tobago is among the top ten countries in the world for the number of public holidays.

The World Happiness Report aims to help country leaders recognize the importance of happiness and well-being for the success of the world and sustainable development.  Researchers examine 11 areas essential to happiness and well-being, including health, education, local government, personal security, income and overall satisfaction with life. Trinidad & Tobago was also the top-ranked Caribbean nation in the previous Happiness Report, which was published in 2013.

For more information on Trinidad & Tobago visit www.goTrinidadandTobago.com  or www.visittobago.gov.tt.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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U.S. arrivals to Trinidad and Tobago up 20 Percent in 2015

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – April 14, 2015 – With a 20 percent increase in visitor arrivals from the U.S., the first quarter of 2015 illustrates strong growth for Trinidad & Tobago’s tourism sector. The U.S. market makes up nearly 40 percent of all travelers to the destination and has shown the largest growth over the same period in 2014. Spearheaded by Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company’s (TDC) U.S. public relations and marketing firm, Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications (CAMC), aggressive efforts have been set in place to position the dual-island nation as an attractive destination to U.S. travelers who are seeking an authentic cultural experience.

“This increase is very promising and we have embarked on a number of activities with a view to continuing this trend for the rest of the year and for years to come,” explains Warren Solomon, General Manager of Marketing at the Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company. “We are pleased with the continuous aggressive efforts and results our marketing and PR team has garnered and plan to ramp up our campaigns in this market as the year progresses.”

As part of the ongoing process to showcase the destination in the coming months, PR and marketing events include niche press trips, promotional roadshows and trade events. Sponsored by Trinidad & Tobago Convention Bureau, the TDC will target meeting planners in May with presentations taking place in Atlanta, Washington D.C. and New York City as part of the initiative to highlight the diversity of the destination to accommodate groups for meetings and conventions. Also in May, Trinidad & Tobago will host a culinary press trip to highlight the complete, rich gastronomic heritage of the destination. Marketing partnerships have been strengthened with Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), while a Trinidad & Tobago Travel Agent Specialist Program will be launched in May. The TDC is also partnering with its stakeholders and its Consulate General in New York to host “Trinidad & Tobago Day in Manhattan” in July.

For more information on Trinidad & Tobago, visit www.gotrinidadandtobago.com.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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Bahamians become North Pole explorers

Two Bahamians are literally sitting on top of the world and they took The Bahamas’ flag with them.

Earlier this week, Mark Roberts and Shaune Adderley made the journey to the North Pole – the first Bahamians to ever to take on the courageous challenge.

“I was invited by a friend who has lived in The Bahamas for a number of years and he with a group of New Zealanders were going to the North Pole. They had been to the South Pole and he called me up and asked me if I would be interested in going because two of the seats that he had filled were vacated,” Mr. Roberts said.

“For two months I said ‘no it’s probably not a good idea’ and then he said ‘I feel bad for inviting you because I knew a Bahamian would not be able to cut the mustard.’ And that started the ball rolling in that direction that we were going to go and take on the challenge and have some fun with it.”

He added that he is proud to take The Bahamas flag on top of the world.

“I can’t imagine anything that I would be prouder to do. I actually felt bad for saying no for two months. I should have said yes earlier so I could have trained more because the opportunity to take The Bahamas up to the top of the world is a once in a lifetime and I am over the moon about it,” Mr. Roberts said.

The average temperature on the North Pole is a blistering -20 F on a warm day to -80 F with wind chills.

Mr. Roberts said he and his partner prepared for the daunting task by going through a guide and checklist.

“You can’t really train for the cold. We were fortunate because Tropic Seafood let us come into their freezers for two days worth of training so that we could test our gear. The critical thing we could do is purchase the right equipment and the right gear. We would have seven layers on and we did a lot of physical training. Our longest gym workouts were four hours and we did the elliptical machine because we will be skiing 12 hours a day to make 120 hour journey to get to the North Pole,” he said.

Mr. Adderley said Mr. Roberts pushed him to take on the challenge.

“I like the experience. It’s something on my bucket list. Something I would like to do. I know there are not a lot of Bahamians that would not get to do it. So it was nice for me to get invited to go there,” he said.

“It makes me feel proud to do this for my country. When I put my mind to something I like to go through with it. My family is all ups in arms. The only thing that really concerns me is the cold because as a Bahamian I have never been in that type of cold. So I am glad we have the layers and we have been in the freezer. I think it’s a mind thing.”

The duo first flew to London to begin their journey. Then it was off to Ausland, Norway and then to Russia.

They arrived at North Pole on Friday morning and will be there for seven days. To follow their journey visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bahamas-North-Pole-Explorers.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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Bahamas even closer to Florida with new non-stop flights

Nassau, Bahamas – April 17, 2015 Paradise is even closer with two new non-stop flights for the summer between Florida and Eleuthera and Abaco, two popular destinations in The Islands Of The Bahamas. Wildcat Touring, the leading air charter provider for basketball and other college team sports travels, announced they are introducing two non-stop flights from Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport to North Eleuthera Airport and Marsh Harbor Airport in the Abaco Islands.

From endless pineapple fields to white and pink-sand beaches to secluded coves and miles of coastline, Eleuthera defines The Bahamas. Eleuthera is an island of casual sophistication, housing isolated communities, well-developed resorts, rocky bluffs, low-lying wetlands and massive coral reefs that create magnificent backdrops.

The Abacos are a group of Islands and Cays in The Bahamas that form a 120 mile-long chain stretching over 650 square miles. Calm waters, warms breezes and panoramic beauty make these islands a boating and sailing paradise. For those that prefer to explore the land, they will find championship golf courses on Treasure Cay, charming colonial towns on Green Turtle and Elbow Cays, and countless hotels, restaurants and bars to choose from throughout The Abacos. There is something for everyone in this paradise.

Flights, commencing in May, will operate twice a week to Eleuthera and 4 days a week to Abaco Islands.

Ft. Lauderdale to Eleuthera
Thursday: Departure: 11:00 am, Arrival: 12:10 pm
Sunday: Departure: 4:00 pm, Arrival: 5:10pm

Eleuthera to Ft. Lauderdale
Thursday: Departure: 1:00 pm, Arrival 2:10 pm
Sunday: Departure 6:00 pm, Arrival 7:10 pm

Ft, Lauderdale to Marsh Harbor
Departure: 11:00 am, Arrival: 12:00 pm

Marsh Harbor to Ft. Lauderdale
Departure: 1:00 pm, Arrival: 2:00 pm

The addition of these two non-stop flights to The Bahamas increases the number of non-stop destinations in The Islands Of The Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to 9. With flight times less than 2 hours to any destination from Florida, getting to any destination of choice in The Bahamas is even easier.

To learn more information and book your tickets today visit: WildcatTouring.net.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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South Florida travel agents learn more about Trindad & Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – April 16, 2015 – A group of nearly 75 travel agents from The Travel Industry Association of Florida attended a presentation and dinner hosted by Tourism Development Company (TDC) on April 14 to learn more about the twin island nation and discuss selling points for their clients. The agents also had the chance to mingle with guest of honor, Trinidad & Tobago Consul General Dr. Anil Ramnanan. The event was coordinated by the TDC’s United States’ marketing and sales partner, The Travel Marketing Network (TTMN), with an energetic evening that included authentic Trini cuisine, pulsating soca music and prize giveaways.

The evening kicked off with a welcome reception that included a chance to meet partners from Caribbean Airlines and Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort in Tobago. Following the welcome reception, attendees were treated to an authentic Trini dinner, complete with curried shrimp and roti. The presentation entailed the history of the islands, key selling points and a brief speech by each of the on-island partners. The evening concluded with prize giveaways that included: Angostura Rum; a guaranteed spot on the culinary and culture FAM trip in the fall; and the grand prize: tickets for two people on Caribbean Airlines from South Florida to Tobago with a 3-night stay at Magdalena Grand.

The TDC’s U.S. Public Relations agency, Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications (CAMC) worked with local journalists from Recommend, Caribbean Today, Caribbean Journal and Uncommon Caribbean to cover the event. The journalists also had the opportunity to meet and interview Trinidad & Tobago Consul General Dr. Ramnanan during the event.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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Oceania Regatta’s inaugural call to Grenada

(St. George’s, Grenada) 16th April, 2015 – The Oceania Regatta berthed for the first time in St. George’s on Thursday, 16th April, making this the last of eleven inaugural cruise calls to Grenada during the 2014/2015 cruise season. Six hundred and sixty three (663) cruise passengers, mostly from North America were greeted by warm smiles from the Grenada Tourism Authority and musical entertainment.

A twelve-hour stay, beginning at 7:00am allowed cruise passengers to tour the tropical island, dive the clear waters, and experience the magical glow of the sunset.

Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique is well positioned as a cruise destination. The relatively short distance between the beaches and the rainforests give cruisers a balanced experience. The tri-island state is also ideal for historical tours, local cuisines, and shopping.

There are three remaining cruise calls for the 2014/2015 season that ends with the Silver Whisper on Saturday, 25th April, 2015.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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Marriott Hotel Georgetown opens

Guyana, South America Undiscovered – The grand opening of the highly anticipated, internationally branded Marriott Hotel was today undertaken by President Donald Ramotar, in Georgetown Guyana.

The Head of State also unveiled the hotel’s plaque and he was joined by several officials of the hotel, government ministers and members of the local private sector.

While addressing the gathering, President Ramotar noted that the ceremony was indeed an ‘historic’ occasion, as the Marriott Brand is world renowned for its high class and service.

The Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister, Irfaan Ali noted that this investment this will be a catalyst for tourism development in Guyana and it will help to raise the profile of the destination.

He was presented with a symbolic key, along with other guests while a message from Bill Marriott, first host and General Manager was read, “world- class service comes from more than a building. It comes from people-our brilliant hosts,” he read.

This evening, a grand reception will be held to mark the hotel’s opening for business to local and overseas guests.

The luxury hotel brags of 197 guest rooms and suites that offer views of the ocean at every turn. Its Ballroom has the capacity to accommodate between 400 to 700 persons at any time depending on the set up. It can also be transformed into four sections to host smaller events.

The hotel also has five boardrooms and an open style kitchen to allow patrons to dine in the restaurant and watch their meals being prepared by expert chefs.

Its indoor gym will cater mainly for its guest but membership will eventually be offered to the public. In addition, daily passes will also become available once the hotel is open to the public.

The nine storey Hotel is Located at the mouth of the Demerara River in Kingston, Georgetown.

Guyana will also see additional major investments in tourism in the near future, these include the CJIA Airport Expansion, the Hospitality Institute, the Specialty Hospital, the Guyana/Suriname Bridge, the upgrading of the access road from Brazil to Georgetown and  the addition of the Ramada Hotel Brand among many others.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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