CTO News

Barbados honours the international travel media

BARBADOS, Bridgetown. Sept. 23, 2016 – International media were recognized for their excellence in journalism at the recently concluded Barbados Tourism Media Awards.

The awards, which were themed “Recognizing Excellence in Global Coverage of Destination Barbados,” were conceptualized by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. in acknowledgement of the positive impact exceptional media coverage can have on would-be travelers. The ceremony, which also coincided with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC), was produced by the BTMI in recognition of the island’s 50th anniversary as an independent nation.

The Take a Bow award – Best of the Best by the Judges of all Submissions went to New Yorker Baz Dreisinger of Forbes in the US, whose article on the Crop Over Festival entitled “Carnival In Barbados: Rules For Doing It Like A Local and In Luxury,” also captured the award in the Golden Pen – Best Story in a Luxury Publication category.  Dreisinger was traveling on assignment but in sending her regards she described Barbados as a place that would always hold special memories for her.

Out of the 53 submitted entries from Canada, the USA, Europe and the UK, Canada copped the most top awards. Britney Hope who was present at the dinner won the category So You Know Your Stuff – Best Feature Article in a Trade Publication. Also present, Cara McLeay in Yup! You Told ‘Em! – Best Story by a Blogger copped this award with her piece “Barbados Diary.”

With a story entitled “5 Reasons To Have Your Wedding In Barbados”, Mara Sofferin took home the award in How Can This Knot Be Love?- Best Story on Romance; while Michael McCarthy hailing from The Province came out on top in #NoFilter – Best Photo in Conjunction With a Feature Article with his “Making Friends in Bridgetown Marketplace” article.

Editor and freelance journalist, Violaine Charest-Sigouin, from ELLE Quebec won the category Is That An Accent? – Best Feature by Foreign Journalist in Foreign Media with a well written piece dubbed “Elle Voyage Barbados” and Doug Wallace from La Carte was not present, however, after winning the Shaken Not Stirred – Epicurean Excellence Media Award category with his entry “Eating Your Way Around Barbados, One Food Stand At a Time” he mentioned in his acceptance video he remarked that “he can’t wait to eat his way around the island again.”

Jon Hawkins was the lone UK finalist and won his category Spoken Like a True Bajan! – Best Feature Article in a Consumer Publication with a piece entitled, “Rum’s The Word.” Meanwhile, Sangita Chandra of ABC Boston won favour with the judges with their broadcast piece titled, “Seaduced and Fish Fry, Barbados Pleasures, Barbados Roots, Barbados Art” in the category Golden Mic – Best Feature Broadcast.

CEO of BTMI, Billy Griffith paid special thanks to all the journalists who took the time to write on Barbados and enter the first ever awards. He also noted, “these awards are the start of many to come and we encourage each of you to keep up the excellent work in the promotion of the Barbados brand.”

Carter Cops Inaugural Heritage Award

This elegant evening, packed with cocktails, a delectable Bajan-inspired four-course dinner by chef Kirk Kirton, and sweet musical symphonies, climaxed with veteran Barbadian journalist, Gercine Carter being conferred with the inaugural Heritage Award – Exceptional National Coverage by a Local Journalist. In reading the citation, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, recognized Carter’s 49-year career in journalism, much of which has been spent raising awareness for the tourism sector.  Carter, who was also the first public relations manager at the Hilton Barbados and has been writing a social column since 1987 for The Nation covering broad areas including her old love “tourism”.

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO’s World Tourism Day Message – 27 September 2016

The Caribbean Tourism Organization is pleased to join the international community of nations in celebrating World Tourism Day 2016. This year’s theme: ‘Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility’, reminds us of the need to ensure that all persons, including those living with disabilities, have equal access to tourism experiences, tourism business opportunities and employment in the industry.

As a region, it is important to be aware that accessibility in tourism is a shared responsibility, which warrants consistent and conscientious effort by all parties involved in the tourism value chain. This requires that countries and destinations – and the industry as a whole – promote accessibility for all in the physical environment, in transport systems, in tourist and business facilities and in the availability of services and opportunities.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization encourages its members to invest in the necessary training, improvements to infrastructure and facilities and adoption of the new information communication technologies which are available and can contribute to enhancing both business and destination competitiveness.

We believe that making tourism more accessible is a moral and social responsibility which speaks to the need to treat everyone with due courtesy, care and consideration. We are also confident that the benefits to be gained by countries and businesses that embrace the accessibility for all philosophy, far outweigh the required investments and will result in added value and a competitive advantage in the global tourism market. And it is simply the right thing to do.

Making tourism more accessible means creating the opportunity for any individual, regardless of his or her physical limitation, circumstance or age, to function independently and with dignity and respect, by making available appropriately designed tourism facilities, attractions and environments. It also requires a zero tolerance policy on discrimination, prejudice or abuse both in relation to the delivery of services to guests and in the management and treatment of staff.

In our commitment to position ourselves to be the world’s most desirable year round, warm weather destination, our attention must be focused on the needs of every citizen and every traveler, as we work to make the Caribbean truly accessible for all.

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Keynote address – Ian Blanchard, 5th Statia Sustainable Conference

The Sustainability Challenge
Keynote address by Ian Blanchard, managing director/coach, CILC Action, Barbados
At the 5th Statia Sustainable Conference, St. Eustatius, 26 Sept 2016

Good morning and thank you for inviting me to be a part of your 5th Annual Statia Sustainable Conference. My presence here today I know is not coincidental as I don’t believe in chance meetings, but designed engagements that if used correctly will ultimately accrue to the benefit of the individuals and their circles of influence. My time with you over the next couple days is just a blip in your lives and therefore one that I value and endevour to play my part in ensuring that both our lives are forever changed.

Download full document by Ian Blanchard.

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The twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda appear on award-winning documentary Music Voyager

St. John’s ANTIGUA (September 9, 2016) – The beautiful twin-islands of Antigua and Barbuda will be viewed by millions ahead of the winter booking period, as the unique culture of the destination features on the seventh season of the award-winning documentary TV series, Music Voyager.

“Music Voyager: Antigua and Barbuda,” filmed on the islands last year, highlights the story of Antigua and Barbuda through music and culture allowing viewers to experience the country through the eyes of the locals, and their words.

The episode unveils the true magic, mystery and music of Antigua and Barbuda.

Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Asot Michael, said, “The friendliness of our people, their warmth and hospitality are key to our brand, and how we market Antigua and Barbuda.  We are proud to bring the passion of our country to homes across the world, placing Antiguans and Barbudans centre stage in our promotions, and using our music as the vehicle to showcase the quintessential Antigua and Barbuda.”

The thirty minute episode starts with journalist Mirissa Neff, alongside a local guide meeting with calypsonians for insight into the traditional art-form of calypso.  They first enjoy an impromptu rendition by a noted Road March King who strums on a guitar on Antigua’s Market Street, then end up on a beach for a quick game of cricket and a chat with soca artistes and a famous Antiguan cricketer about island life.  The episode climaxes at Shirley Heights with residents and visitors dancing to the pulsating beats of an internationally known Antiguan musician at the popular Sunday Sunset Party.

Through interviews and travel, the episode brings vibrancy and life to Antigua and sister island Barbuda by meeting other musicians, tasting the local food, visiting off-the-beaten path attractions and attending parties and hidden venues only the locals know.

“Voyager episodes are presently broadcasting to 94% of every US PBS Household and in 120 countries, in 50 languages, on International In-Flight programming, on Cruise Ships and in European and Asian hotel chains. This represents unparalleled positive exposure for the destination,” said Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority CEO, Colin C. James.

James said, “Positioning Antigua and Barbuda apart from other beach destinations was a main consideration during production and the message is conveyed strongly throughout this episode, which will allow potential visitors to truly experience the islands.”

Season 7 is now being aired across multiple PBS channels with numerous repeats expected. Arrangements are being made to air the episode on local television stations.  The Antigua and Barbuda episode can be viewed online here

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Message by Commissioner of Tourism Derrick Simmons Opening of 5th Statia Sustainable Conference

Seeing our island as a tourist destination and tourism being one of the economic pillars of our economy, we must take into consideration how important sustainability and accessibility are today. The Government of our Island takes pleasure in welcoming you to our island and to the 5th annual Statia Sustainable Conference (SSC).

When we put our minds together there is no obstacle that can’t be overcome. I anticipate, by using the previous conference as a benchmark, that this conference too will bear fruits and enhance entrepreneurship, resulting in the growth of small and medium businesses.

Let me give a special welcome to the keynote speaker, Mr. Ian Blanchard, Managing Director/Coach CILC Action of Barbados. Make use of his passion for helping businesses be successful. Often we only associate the term coach with sports, but sports coaches are not only there during the sporting event but are often involved in the day to day activities of the athletes. It makes sense to have a business coach also who guides businesses in its development.

On a final note, please actively participate in this conference, because you are encouraged to be a participant rather than a spectator.

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Message by Charles Lindo Director of Tourism, St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation – 5th Statia Sustainable Conference

First of all, I would like to welcome all speakers and participants to the 5th annual Statia Sustainable Conference (SSC-5), and at the same time would like to thank you for your attendance. The general purpose of SSC is to Inform, Educate and Motivate persons on the issues that can make a difference in our society whether economically, socially or other.  Understanding the core meaning of accessibility and how it can benefit us in the long run is of high importance. The intention of this year’s conference is to ensure that person or persons can easily comprehend the idiom ACCESIBILITY covers, and to be able to find purpose in their role towards this so call “new’ trend. However I will focus on disabled persons and the challenges they could face.

One of the main concentrations when talking about accessibility is the possibility to cater to disabled persons. The main question here is “how ACCESSIBLE are you”? It is extremely important that destinations not only have the necessary plans in place to meet the very fast growing world of disabled travelers but to have the necessary air and sea lift to do so as well.

Social media and the internet in general have been said to have brought the world to disabled travelers. Travelers with disabilities can easily visit certain websites to determine when to travel, where to travel to and what laws and regulations a certain destination may have in place for disabled travelers. Persons with disabilities, on average as a group, are more likely to experience adverse socioeconomic outcomes than persons without disabilities, such as less education, worse health outcomes, less employment, and higher poverty rates. (World Bank), a country’s economic, legislative, physical, and social environment may create or maintain barriers such as inaccessible buildings, transport, information, and communication technology; inadequate standards, services, and funding for those services; and too little data and analysis for evidence-based, efficient, and effective policies.

According to World Bank April 4th 2016; one billion people, or 15 % of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. One-fifth of the estimated global total or between 110 million and 190 million people experience significant disabilities. Eight billion dollars per year is spent on Australian tourism by travelers with a disability-accessibility resource kit.

Over the years, we have held conferences on alternative energy, water and the economic value of tourism & the business, community tourism etc. I would like to personally congratulate the SSC committee on a job well done in organizing this prestigious conference, for the 5th year.

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Explore the adventurous side of St. Lucia with value added savings during Adventure & Wellness Month in November

Saint Lucia (September 12, 2016) From scuba diving off the coast of Castries to enjoying a relaxing spa treatment overlooking the Pitons, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board invites travelers to discover the island’s mix of adventure and relaxation.  This November, hotels and resorts offer value-added packages and discounted rates of up to 55 percent off standard prices in celebration of Adventure & Wellness Month.

Thrill seekers can zip line through the middle of the tropical rainforest at Treetop Adventure Park, or mountain bike through an old sugar plantation at Anse Mamin Beach in Soufriere with Bike St. Lucia. Underwater enthusiasts can take a dive below the crystal clear water of the Caribbean Sea to discover marine life with a SNUBA or SeaTrek excursion, or explore the depths of local shipwrecks with Dive Saint Lucia.

Visitors looking for revitalization can take advantage of Saint Lucia’s natural therapies including the bathing pools at Sulphur Springs or the hot mineral spring baths at the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens. For added relaxation one can indulge in a spa treatment at one of Ti Kaye’s open-air treatment rooms or beach yoga at Anse Chastanet.

For more information about Adventure and Wellness Month and special hotel deals visit: http://www.stlucia.org/events/adventure-wellness-month/adventure-wellness-specials/

Adventure and Wellness Month promotions offered by island hotels and resorts include:

Anse Chastanet – Soufrière ~ “Amazing Adventure”

  • Book a five night stay and receive one night free in superior accommodations
  • Package rates start at $2,213 per person, per night for a savings of 20 percent off
  • Package includes a welcome cocktail, in-room drinks and culinary amenities upon arrival, round-trip airport transfers, all meals and beverages, complimentary daily sunrise and sunset yoga, access to tennis and water sports equipment
  • Off-site activities include: one guided rain forest hike
  • On-site activities include: guided walks and hikes on Anse Chastanet’s 600 acre estate, a guided boat snorkel trip, a resort scuba diving course for beginners or two dives for certified divers, a half-day of jungle biking
  • Minimum four night stay required
  • Book now through October 15, 2016 for travel through December 31, 2016
  • For more information and to book this package, call 1-800-223-1108, email [email protected] or visit http://www.ansechastanet.com/

Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa – Vieux Fort ~ “Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa Spacation”

  • All-inclusive rates start at $239 per person, per night, based on double occupancy, for a savings of 55 percent off standard rates
  • Package includes daily treatments at the oceanfront Kai Mer Spa, personal training, fitness classes, watersports, hikes, ocean view accommodations in the adults-only Harmony wing, and more
  • Valid for travel from October 1 through December 20, 2016
  • Minimum five night stay required; daily spa treatments exclude day of arrival and departure
  • To book call Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa toll-free from North America at 877-352-8898 or visit http://www.cbayresort.com/

Crystals – Soufrière

  • Book a seven night stay for $3,500 per couple, a savings of 25 percent off standard rates
  • Includes daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, a half day tour to the volcanic mud baths and botanical gardens, two half-body massages, and a full day sailing tour (snorkeling and lunch included)
  • Book by date flexible; valid for  travel now through December 1, 2016
  • Reservations restrict children
  • Visit http://www.stluciacrystals.com/ for resort information

Fond Doux Holiday Plantation – Soufrière ~ “Beginners Authentic Health & Wellness Retreat”

  • Book a five night stay for $2,199 per couple
  • Guests receive a fruit smoothie upon arrival, daily breakfast, a daily basket of organic fruits, healthy plantation cuisine on three evenings of guest’s choice during stay, and a back and foot massage for two
  • Activities include: a trek through the organic gardens, hiking the Tet Paul Nature Trail and the Gros Pitons, complimentary sulphur getaway massage, and on hour zip-lining
  • Book now through November 15, 2016 for travel from November 1 through December 14, 2016
  • Visit http://www.fonddouxestate.com for resort information or call 1-315-307-2348

Jade Mountain – Soufrière ~ “Tropical Tranquility”

  • Book a five night stay and receive the fifth night free
  • Package rates start at $3,412 per person in a Sky Jacuzzi Suite, for a savings of 20 percent off standard rates
  • Includes two one hour classic spa treatments per person, a bottle of champagne and appetizers at sunset, complimentary daily sunrise and sunset yoga, access to tennis and water sports equipment, and daily breakfast and dinner
  • Reservations are subject to availability
  • Book now through October 15, 2016 for travel through December 19, 2016
  • For more information or to book, call 1-800-223-1108 or visit http://www.jademountain.com, email: [email protected]

Mango Beach Inn – Marigot Bay ~ “Fun & Fitness”

  • Book a stay for $160 per night, for a savings of 20 percent off standard rates
  • Package includes one breakfast and one dinner at Rainforest Hideaway, and one choice of morning or afternoon filled with activities
  • Book now through December 2, 2016 for travel from October 30 through December 2, 2016
  • Minimum three night stay required; reservations are subject to availability
  • Visit http://www.mangobeachmarigot.com/ for resort information

Sandals Halycon Beach – Castries

  • All-inclusive packages start at $197 per person, per night, for a savings of 65 percent off standard rates
  • Package includes unlimited complimentary fitness classes such as zumba, yoga, tabata, aqua fitness, and more
  • Minimum three night stay required
  • Book now through October 31, 2016 for travel through December 26, 2016
  • Visit http://www.sandals.com/ for resort information

Sandals Grande St. Lucian – Rodney Bay, Gros Islet

  • All-inclusive packages start at $239 per person, per night, for a savings of 65 percent off standard rates
  • Package includes unlimited complimentary fitness classes such as zumba, yoga, tabata, aqua fitness, and more
  • Minimum three night stay required
  • Book now through October 31, 2016 for travel through December 26, 2016
  • Visit http://www.sandals.com/ for resort information

Sandals Regency La Toc – Castries

  • All-inclusive packages start at $190 per person, per night, for a savings of 65 percent off standard rates
  • Package includes unlimited complimentary fitness classes such as zumba, yoga, tabata, aqua fitness, and more
  • Minimum three night stay required
  • Book now through October 31, 2016 for travel through December 26, 2016
  • Visit http://www.sandals.com/ for resort information

St. James’s Club Morgan Bay – Choc Bay, Gros Islet

  • Book a five night stay for $1,265 per person, for a savings of 50 percent off standard rates
  • Includes a welcome fresh fruit platter, daily spa treatment for two, a choice of fitness classes, and a one hour private gym training per day
  • Five night minimum stay is required
  • Book now through November 6 for travel through December 20, 2016
  • Visit http://www.morganbayresort.com/choc for more information and package details

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort – Soufriere ~ “Linger Longer 5 Cycle”

  • Receive a fifth night free with complimentary daily breakfast for two, and one thirty minute Schiller water bike ride per booking
  • Average nighty rates start at $340, excluding tax and service fees
  • Use code LLCYCLE to book now through September 30 for travel through December 18, 2016
  • For more information and bookings, email [email protected] or visit http://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/sugarbeach

Ti Kaye Resort & Spa – Anse Cochon ~ “Peak Performance”

  • Book a five night stay for $1,740 per person, per night, based on double occupancy for a savings of 37 percent off standard rates
  • Package includes daily meals, afternoon tea and healthy local smoothies, airport transfers, daily yoga classes and unlimited access to kayaks, water hammocks paddleboards, and snorkel equipment
  • In order to book, must have a minimum group of six people per reservation
  • Reservations restrict children
  • Book and travel by December 15, 2016
  • Visit http://www.tikaye.com/ for more information and package details

The Villa Beach Cottages – Castries ~ “A Beach & Plantation Package”

  • Book five nights for $2,295 per couple, inclusive of taxes and service charges
  • Book seven nights for $2,595 per couple, inclusive of taxes and service charges
  • For additional nights, add $195 per couple, per night
  • Includes airport transfers, use of kayaks, beachside full body massage for two people, plantation tour at La Dauphine Estate, zip lining for two people, and a Gros Piton hike for two people
  • Minimum five night stay required; applies to new bookings only and subject to availability
  • Book now through November 23, 2016 for travel from November 1 through November 30, 2016
  • Visit http://villabeachcottages.com/ for resort information

Villa Capri – Cap Estate ~ “Rest, Relax & Rejuvenate”

  • Stay at Villa Capri in a four to nine bedroom villa for five nights and receive a fifty minute massage per guest
  • Book four bedrooms with up to eight guests for $750 per night
  • Book five bedrooms with up to ten guests for $850 per night
  • Book six bedrooms with up to twelve guests for $1,000 per night
  • Book seven bedrooms with up to fourteen guests for $1,200 per night
  • Book eight bedrooms with up to sixteen guests for $1,400 per night
  • Book nine bedrooms with up to 20 guests $1,550 per night
  • Book now through November 15, 2016 for travel from October 1 through November 30, 2016
  • Visit http://www.capristlucia.com/ for resort information

Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort – Trouya ~ “Windjammer Wellness Retreat”

  • All-inclusive rates in a Premium Island Villa start at $437.50 per room, per night, based on double occupancy
  • Includes all meals, beverages, a selection of wellness classes and complimentary access to both motorized and non-motorized sports
  • Rates are subject to 10 percent service charge and 10 percent VAT
  • Book now through October 30, 2016 for travel from November 1 through November 30, 2016
  • Visit http://www.windjammer-landing.com/ for more information and package details

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

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