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Barbados’ Strong Presence at ITB Berlin 2015

GERMANY, BERLIN. March 5, 2015 – Barbados’ Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, is heading a delegation of local industry leaders at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show.

From March 4 – 9, 2015, the Messe Berlin has become a melting pot of global tourism excellence as key decision-makers negotiate important travel partnerships and unveil innovative holiday products.  In 2014 a total of 10,147 companies and organisations from 189 countries exhibited their products and services to 174,000 visitors, including 114,000 trade visitors.

The Barbados booth is staffed by a high-level delegation including Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), Alvin Jemmott, and BTMI CEO, William Griffith.  They are joined by Suresh Monickoraja of Accra Beach Hotel & Spa; Glynis Jeffrey from Elegant Hotels; and Andrea Quinn-Ward of St. James Travel & Tours.Olaf Päpke of Star Clippers.  Waves Hotel’s Gary Orr and Titti Kerr Axelsson of West Indian International Tours have also made the trip to this important travel trade fair.

Through advanced planning, the Barbadian team has secured back-to-back meetings with tour operators, wholesalers, online retailers, airlines, media partners and press.

Representatives at the BTMI also plan to use this opportunity to launch their latest promotion, “Brilliant Barbados”.  CEO Griffith recently stated that Brilliant Barbados has been designed “to drive incremental business in the traditionally softer period of the year”.  He added that “the battle for growth and sustainability for visitor arrivals will not be won solely by winter performances. It requires greater effort and more targeted marketing activity in the summer and fall months”.

The booking window for the Brilliant Barbados promotion will open from early March for five weeks and travel will be required between May 9 and December 19, 2015.  Thirty participating hotels and a number of local attractions have come on board to offer visitors discounts.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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18.88% Increase in Visitor Arrivals to Grenada in 2014

(St. George’s, Grenada) 5th March 2015 – 18.88% more cruise and stay-over visitors came to Grenada in 2014 than in 2013, revealing an increased interest for travel to the beautiful tri-island state.

Cruise is one of five main market niches for Grenada, with three ports of entry for cruise ships. One hundred and fifty six cruise calls brought 235,140 passengers to Grenada in 2014, contributing an excess of twenty six million Eastern Caribbean dollars to the economy. Last year, ports at Grenada and Carriacou welcomed a total of eleven (11) inaugural cruise calls, with two during the months of July and September after a long hiatus.

There were 133,521 stay-over visitors in 2014, an increase of 18.36% or 20,709 in real terms when compared to 2013. These stay-over arrivals added over $347M to the economy. On average, Maurice Bishop International Airport receives three hundred and forty (340) inbound flights from major cities in the USA, the UK, Canada, Germany, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Visitors came to Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique mostly for leisure, vacation, visiting family or friends, weddings, honeymoons, or business. The majority of persons that came last year for weddings and honeymoons were from the United States of America, while 90% of visitors who came for business and conventions were from the Caribbean.

Venezuela proved to be an emerging source market for visitors to Grenada. In 2014, 289.38% Venezuelans flew to Grenada on the airline, Conviasa which increased its airlift to two weekly flights last year. These South Americans tend to travel in groups and learn of Grenada via word of mouth.

The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) presented a statistical overview of 2014 at its press conference yesterday at its headquarters on the picturesque Carenage, St. George’s. “Destination Pure Grenada – the Spice of the Caribbean is being recognised more in the marketplace, due to the work of the Grenada Tourism Authority and all our stakeholders. My fellow directors, managers and officers of the GTA thank you all for your dedication to developing our tourism sector,” remarked Mr. Richard Strachan, Chairman of the Board of Directors, GTA.


Media Contact

Chrislyn Lashington

Corporate Communications Officer, Grenada Tourism Authority

[email protected] ; 473 440 2001/2279

For all our recent news releases go to www.puregrenada.com/news

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO Recognises Excellence in Journalism at Media Awards Event in Berlin

L-R: Jakob Strobel y Serra (winner newspapers), Wolf Alexander Hanisch (2nd newspapers), Christian Ermert (2nd magazines), Heidi Diehl (3rd newspapers),Harald Schmid (winner TV/broadcast), Anne-Bärbel Köhle (winner magazines), Edward Suares (Director Marketing Europe Curacao Tourism Board), Carol Hay (Director Marketing UK&Europa of CTO), Caroline Welsch (PR Manager Condor), Rolf Nieländer (CTO PR-Representation Germany), Ivonne Schmieder   (Barceló Hotels).

L-R: Jakob Strobel y Serra (winner newspapers), Wolf Alexander Hanisch (2nd newspapers), Christian Ermert (2nd magazines), Heidi Diehl (3rd newspapers),Harald Schmid (winner TV/broadcast), Anne-Bärbel Köhle (winner magazines), Edward Suares (Director Marketing Europe Curacao Tourism Board), Carol Hay (Director Marketing UK&Europa of CTO), Caroline Welsch (PR Manager Condor), Rolf Nieländer (CTO PR-Representation Germany), Ivonne Schmieder
(Barceló Hotels).

BERLIN, Germany, 6 March 2015 – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) last night welcomed nearly 50 media professionals to it 12th pan-Caribbean media awards event for German media at the renowned Funkturm Restaurant, the Berlin radio tower inaugurated in 1926 and which provides spectacular views on the city.

The Caribbean Travel Journalism Awards 2015 were presented during a networking evening, supported by the Curaçao Tourism Board.  Over 100 guests, comprising visiting ministers, directors and their delegations, industry partners and an array of consumer and trade media, national and regional newspaper journalists and a number of freelancers attended the event.

Eight awards were presented in three categories: Newspapers (Print/Online), Magazines (Print/Online) and broadcast.

“It’s good to have the support from our friends in the media, which is very much appreciated amongst all our Caribbean representatives. We would like to reward and thank all travel writers for their continued support in maintaining the colourful and charismatic reputation of the Caribbean in Germany,” said Carol Hay, the CTO’s director of marketing for the UK and Europe.

“I’d also like to thank Curaçao for co-hosting this event in what is an excellent demonstration of co-operation between the CTO and its member countries,” Ms. Hay added.

Other sponsors included sponsors: Barceló Hotels, Condor, Dertour, Norwegian Cruise Lines and TUI

–           Winners and runners up please see attached document

CTO Travel Journalism Awards winners:

1.         Best broadcast, TV and radio feature
•           2nd Place: Ralf Benkö
•           Piece: ‘holiday dreams: Caribbean holiday for 2.000 €’, Martinique
•           Media: RTL

2.         Best broadcast, TV and radio feature

•           1st Place: Harald Schmid
•           Piece: ‘My most beautiful holiday experience’, Saint Lucia
•           Media: Saarländischer Rundfunk

3.         Best newspaper feature (online/print)

•           3rd Place: Heidi Diehl
•           Piece: ‘Singing with plants’, Curaçao
•           Media: neues deutschland

4.         Best newspaper feature (online/print)

•           2nd Place: Wolf Alexander Hanisch
•           Piece: ‘Bahamas on mail boats’, Bahamas
•           Media: Die Zeit

5.         Best newspaper feature (online/print)

•           1st Place: Jakob Strobel y Serra
•           Piece: ‘Paradise is a privat estate, Bahamas
•           Media: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

6.         Best magazine feature (print/online)

•           3rd Place: Martin Cyris
•           Piece: ‘Spinning dreams in paradise’, Jamaica
•           Media: Spiegel online

7.         Best magazine feature (print/online)

•           2nd Place: Christian Ermert
•           Piece: ‘Jungle-Run with pirate feeling’, Dominica
•           Media: aktiv Laufen

8.         Best magazine feature (print/online)

•           1st Place: Anne-Bärbel Köhle
•           Piece: ‘Vacations like cocktails’, Curaçao
•           Media: Brigitte

About Curaçao

Home to more than 35 captivating beaches, a diverse heritage spanning 55 different cultures, ‘live and let live’ attitude and unrivaled European architecture; Curaçao remains one of the most exceptional islands of the region. Its capital city, Willemstad – a UNESCO World Heritage site – with its iconic colorful Handelskade backdrop and roster of museums, monuments, flavorful restaurants and shopping, was selected in 2014 as one of USA Today’s 10 Best Caribbean Destinations.  Curaçao’s natural beauty, pristine diving and snorkeling sites are a favorite with divers and adventure seekers, and its beaches and idyllic weather, situated on the outer fringes of the Hurricane Belt, has won it further accolade and recognition. To learn more about Curaçao please visit www.curacao.com, call toll free 1.800.328.7222 or download our newest brochure at http://curacao.com/brochure.  Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Curacaotb, Twitter: @CuracaoTravel or Instagram: CuracaoTB

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.


Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, ITB & WTM, Media Awards

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Martinique cruise sector riding unprecedented wave of success

NEW YORK, NY – February 25, 2015 – Martinique’s cruise sector continued to net strong results in 2014. According to the latest statistics from The Martinique Tourism Authority, cruise passenger arrivals for calendar year 2014 (January–December) were up 71.3% when compared to the same period in 2013.

“We could not be more pleased and proud of the results we’re seeing from the cruise sector,” said Karine Roy-Camille, commissioner of the Martinique Tourism Authority. “Without a doubt, the cruise sector is blossoming here in The Isle of Flowers, and with all the room we still have to grow and improve our tourism product, the best is yet to come.”

One of the fastest growing cruise destinations in the Caribbean, Martinique has experienced a 524% increase in cruise passenger arrivals since 2010. For the 2014-2015 cruise season (November 2014–April 2015), The Martinique Tourism Authority is projecting 220,000 cruise passengers among the 176 scheduled port calls.

“All of the major North American and European cruise lines have stops planned in Martinique this year, including visits by Royal Caribbean’s celebrated Quantum of the Seas in her inaugural season, and the magnificent Carnival Splendor,” said Roy-Camille. “We are committed to further investment in the cruise sector and improving our overall tourist product to ensure that the strong results of the past few years will continue in 2015 and beyond.”

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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IGLTA awards Curaçao with ‘Destination Pioneer’ honor

Willemstad, Curaçao – February 2015 – The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) has awarded the Curaçao Tourist Board with its prestigious “Destination Pioneer” award for its exceptional efforts in developing the island into an all-welcoming destination for travelers.

Curaçao boasts an impressive number of hotels and attractions with IGLTA memberships, which reflects its “Live and Let Live” philosophy to embrace all travelers.  Since the 2004 launch of GayCuracao.com, an in-depth resource for gay travelers to the island, the Curaçao Tourist Board has made significant strides to put this Dutch Caribbean island on the map for LGBT travelers.

Throughout the years, the Curaçao Tourist Board has launched several campaigns in an effort to accept travelers from all types of races, orientations, and religions.  These efforts include supporting Curaçao Gay Pro to develop a variety of LGBT-focused island events throughout the year, such as last year’s inaugural South Caribbean Pride Festival, a weeklong celebration bringing together the neighboring LGBT communities.

The Floris Suite Hotel has also been an important advocate for welcoming the gay community. Not only is the hotel’s General Manager, Frank Holtslag, the President of Curaçao Gay Pro, but Floris is also the official host hotel during the Curaçao Pride Festival and hosts several pride and LGBT events throughout the year.

“It is a true honor for Curaçao to be recognized by the IGLTA as a destination pioneer,” said Andre Rojer, North American Marketing Manager for the Curaçao Tourist Board and Ambassador for IGLTA in the Caribbean.” The award is a testament to the work we’ve done on island and abroad, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with IGLTA and bringing more travelers to discover our beautiful island.”

In April, the Curaçao Tourist Board will be honored at IGLTA’s 32nd Annual Global Convention, along with other LGBT advocates in the travel industry.  For more information on LGBT travel in Curaçao, visit www.gaycuracao.com or www.curacao.com.

Posted in: 2015 News, Blog, Destination News

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Martinique’s Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek gets high ranking

NEW YORK, NY – February 24, 2015 – Martinique’s status as one of the Caribbean’s top luxury destinations was validated recently by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek, the island’s preeminent all-inclusive resort, on its “Best Hotels for 2015” list.

“This is a great honor for Club Med and our hospitality sector in general,” said Karine Roy-Camille, commissioner of the Martinique Tourism Authority. “Together, as a unified tourism body, the local government and private sector partners like Club Med have worked tirelessly in recent years to elevate our product to meet the needs of today’s modern traveler. This designation confirms that we’re moving in the right direction.”

Annual U.S. News & World Report “Best Hotels” rankings are determined by the prominence of industry accolades a hotel receives, along with its reputation among professional travel experts, guest reviews and hotel class ratings. The aggregate opinion of travel experts – expressed through awards, recommendations and ratings – is combined with consumer evaluations measured through TripAdvisor. Hotels identified as “Best” are considered the top 30% of all luxury hotels within their respective destinations.

Nestled along the calm, clear Caribbean Sea in southern Martinique, Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek has a long and distinguished history of hospitality excellence. The 293-room property, extending over 48 lush, tropical acres that once served as a coconut plantation, was the first Club Med village resort of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1969. A comprehensive $60-million reconstruction and remodeling program completed in 2005 elevated the property to luxury status, with an exclusive new on-site spa, expansive infinity pool, gourmet dining options, flat-screen TVs, plush bedding, and other choice amenities establishing Buccaneer’s Creek as the new upscale flagship resort in the Club Med portfolio.

For more information on Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek, please visit www.clubmed.us.

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Bahamas now Official Home of the Swimming Pigs

Nassau, Bahamas, (February 13, 2015) The Bahamas is now the ‘Official Home of the Swimming Pigs’. Visitors to the islands are happily embracing the unique and special experience to swim with the pigs on the uninhabited Island of Big Major Cay, which is home to these special creatures. The swimming pigs join the vast opportunities of aquatic activities already popular with visitors from snorkeling with tropical fish and sea turtles to shark and eel sightings to scuba diving.

The family of pigs, dubbed ‘adorable’ by tourists, locals and media, reside on Big Major Cay, located in The Exumas, a family of 360 islands, or cays, in The Bahamas. They have become incredibly popular to Bahamians and visitors alike. The pigs, though feral, are exceptionally friendly, running from under the shade of almond trees to greet tourists that bring them treats. They’ve also learned that crews from passing yachts will dump excess food in the sea for them as well. The pigs live freely on the sandy beaches and after basking in the sun for hours, swim in the surf. They are truly a sight to behold and have become so popular that they’ve inspired a children’s book, “The Secret of Pig’s Island,” by author Jennifer R. Nolan and a children’s song by children’s author Sandra Boynton, as well as having the uninhabited island affectionately called, ‘Pig Beach.’

It is unknown how this pack of pigs originally came to live on Big Major Cay as they aren’t native and the island itself is uninhabited. Popular lore suggests that the pigs were dropped off by a group of sailors who wanted to come back and cook them, or that there was a nearby shipwreck and the pigs swam to safety. However it was that they came to be, there are approximately 20 pigs or piglets now who are able to easily survive in part as Big Major Cay is blessed with three freshwater springs for them to drink from as well as the generosity of Bahamians and tourists feeding them.

“As a world-renowned region known for providing visitors with the most beautiful beaches, lavish hotels and resorts, fine-dining, welcoming Bahamians and being a dream destination, The Islands Of The Bahamas are very proud to be the Official Home of the Swimming Pigs,” said the Director General of The Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism, Joy Jibrilu. “Providing visitors with this once-in-a-lifetime experience by interacting with these wonderful animals is just one more thing that distinguishes The Bahamas. We’ve already introduced thousands of visitors to ‘Pig Beach’ and we look forward to welcoming thousands more in the years to come. These animals are now as intrinsic to the Bahamian experience as any other gem visitors will discover when visiting,” she concluded.

Visitors can book their visit to Big Major Cay for their opportunity to swim with the pigs through a variety of excursion vendors on The Islands. Guests staying at Royal Plantation Island, at Fowl Cay can take a boat directly to the island. From mainland Exuma there are various boat excursions to satisfy every individuals cruising desires. The three main excursion companies are: Staniel Cay Area Boat Tours, Four C Adventures, and Exuma Cay Adventures. More information regarding the available excursions can be found by visiting Bahamas.com.

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