CTO News

Fashion House in Antigua & Barbuda for Major Photoshoot

August 17, 2017 (St. John’s, Antigua) – Chen Burkett, a noted New York based fashion designer has teamed up with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and leading luxury resort, Carlisle Bay to capture the romantic elements of Antigua and Barbuda in an on-island photo shoot taking place in Antigua this week, ahead of the launch of her debut bridal collection at New York Fashion Week in September.

Coined as a non-traditional bridal collection with elements of traditional style, the Chen Burkett Bridal Collection caters to today’s modern bride, who is searching for unique pieces that match her unique tastes. These brides particularly prefer a non-traditional celebration such as a destination wedding on an exotic island like Antigua and Barbuda, and want what they wear to be an expression of who they are and how they feel as they make memories that will last a lifetime. The collection features silk and jacquard fabrics, cotton and linen with intricate beading and clean, beautiful lines.

The partnership with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and Carlisle Bay will see quintessential Antigua captured throughout Burkett’s collection. The destination’s historic and breathtaking locations along with the lush gardens and luxury rooms of the resort will serve as the backdrop for the shoot which utilizes model Mailka Miller of MMG Management, Bella Agency New York.

Minister of Tourism, The Hon. Asot A. Michael said, “Antigua and Barbuda, the Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination as voted by the World Travel Awards is the perfect backdrop for this alluring and beautiful collection. We are fast-becoming a hotspot for honeymooning couple or couples on romantic escapes, having this year alone played host to celebrities, footballer Lionel Messi and American Idol winner Chris Blue who honeymooned on island with their wives.”

Chen Burkett New York is quotidian glam at its best and has been seen on red carpets and worn by notable celebrities and influencers such as: Eva Duvernay, Erica Campbell, Niecy Nash, Toya Wright, Alex Elle and Ray Royce.

CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James said, “We are excited about this partnership out of our US Office with Chen Burkett. This public relations activity further strengthens Antigua and Barbuda’s position as a premiere romance destination which offers couples ‘no residency’ weddings and luxurious, intimate and quality experiences. As soon as the collection launches, the beauty of Antigua and Barbuda will be visible throughout the USA and the UK with images appearing in bridal magazines, boutiques and online at Chen Burkett.com.”

A dedicated hashtag for the photoshoot now in session makes the collaboration between Antigua and Barbuda official. As such, the following hashtags are now being used on all photos across social media: # ChenBurkettxAntiguaBarbuda; #ChenBurkettxCarlisleBay; #LoveAntiguaBarbudaCBNY 

The bridal collection is being shot by acclaimed commercial photographer Keith Major, one of New York’s most talented and productive commercial photographers, who has  more than 30 years of experience and a roster of A-list clients.

About Antigua & Barbuda:

Antigua (pronounced An-tee’ga) and Barbuda (Bar-byew’ da) is located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Voted the World Travel Awards 2015 and 2016 Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination, the twin-island paradise offers visitors two uniquely distinct experiences, ideal temperatures year-round, a rich history, vibrant culture, exhilarating excursions, award-winning resorts, mouth-watering cuisine and 365 stunning pink and white-sand beaches – one for every day of the year.

The largest of the British Leeward Islands, Antigua comprises 108-square miles with rich history and spectacular topography that provides a variety of popular sightseeing opportunities. Nelson’s Dockyard, the only remaining example of a Georgian fort and tentatively listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is perhaps the most renowned landmark. Antigua’s tourism events calendar includes the prestigious Antigua Sailing Week, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, Tinman Triathlon, Sports Fishing Tournament and the annual Antigua Carnival; known as the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival. Barbuda, Antigua’s smaller sister island, is the ultimate celebrity hideaway. The island lies 27 miles north-east of Antigua and is just a 15-minute plane ride away. Barbuda is known for its untouched 17 mile stretch of pink sand beach and as the home of the largest Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere.  Find information on Antigua & Barbuda at: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com


For media enquiries on Antigua and Barbuda Tourism contact: 

Maria Blackman

Marketing Communications|

Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority – HEAD OFFICE |
3rd Floor  | ACB Building | Corner of High and Temple Sts.| St. John’s Antigua
(: Office +1 268 562 7600   (Direct Line):  +1 268 464 7601 Website: visitantiguabarbuda

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog

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Antigua and Barbuda’s Carnival: The Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival Celebrates Major 60th Anniversary

August 10, 2017 (St. John’s, Antigua) – Antigua and Barbuda’s  milestone 60th Anniversary of carnival was celebrated with thousands of residents and visitors experiencing the excitement of Antigua’s Carnival, The Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival (www.antiguacarnival.com).

The major carnival celebrations ran from July 28th to August 8th 2017, under the theme, “CELEBRATE GREATNESS” and showcased the pageantry, mas, music and revelry, providing a unique spectacle to appeal to all carnival afficiandos visiting the destination.

Visitors to Antigua and Barbuda were invited to join in on the celebrations as the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority ‘Summer of 60’ promotion was launched regionally and internationally to engage visitors and encourage them participate in the 60th Anniversary Celebrations.

The ‘Summer of 60’ promotion highlighted all carnival events that visitors could take part in.  Hotels, restaurants, boutiques, tours and excursion providers in Antigua and Barbuda, also teamed up with the Tourism Authority for the promotion, raising awareness of the destination as a lively summer holiday spot and providing an opportunity for visitors to save up to 60% off on various experiences while on vacation.  In addition, regional audiences were targeted and given the opportunity to win a trip to Antigua for the carnival. The ‘Summer of 60’ promotion (www.visitantiguabarbuda.com/summer60) features some amazing offers and continues until October 12, 2017.

While Antigua and Barbuda’s Carnival festivities have just about culminated, the event will continue to receive mileage as the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority played host to numerous media in the destination for the summer festivities.

Amongst the multitude of media on island for the festivities, over 20 media professionals hosted by the Tourism Authority included: three television film crews from the Caribbean, one television film crew from Germany as well as seven journalists and one radio programme host from the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and Europe along with the regional ‘Win a trip to Antigua Carnival’ winners.

Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, The Hon. Asot A. Michael said, “Not only will residents and visitors have experienced our safe, festive and exciting celebrations, but we will now have persons tuning in to television and radio programmes and reading online and print articles on our carnival celebrations from the comforts of their homes in countries around the world.”

Media hosting for carnival was done in 2016, with huge success, and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority continues to generate coverage from last year’s press trip. The Authority anticipates even greater coverage following the 2017 Celebrations.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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British Virgin Islands Cleans Up after Flash Flood

Tortola, British Virgin Islands, August 9th, 2017 – The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is in full “clean up mode” following extensive flooding in certain areas of the Territory with the hardest impact occurring on the island of Tortola. Heavy and steady precipitation from the tropical wave caused flooding in low lying areas as well as damage to streets and sporadic landslides.

Through the resilience of the residents and collaboration between private citizens and Government agencies, cleanup and recovery has been ongoing.  The airport, which had been closed early on August 7th, was reopened yesterday before 10:00 a.m. Seaports were also open as ferry operators resumed normal business.

The accommodations sector reported mild flooding within a few properties, however the majority of hotels and villas remained open for business.

On the island of Virgin Gorda, park rangers were able to clear the footpaths leading to the Baths ensuring the famous park remained functional.

Commenting on recovery efforts, Director of Tourism, Mrs. Sharon Flax-Brutus said, “Cleanup continues to proceed. Several properties that reported damage were able to remedy their situations immediately after the weather subsided and the majority of our land-based accommodations and yacht charter businesses are up and running.  The resilience of the Virgin Islands community has been on full display as residents engage in the cleanup efforts in their neighbourhoods and properties while the Government disbursed teams and BVI Electricity restored power.”

Although the annual Emancipation August Festival activities have been canceled, the tourism industry is operational with guests being able to arrive and depart accordingly.

The BVI community is encouraged to stay tuned to local news for updates on weather reports. We advise our accommodations sector to stay vigilant in keeping their guests up-to-date with information pertaining to travel and weather advisories.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Pure Grenada Rated as a Top Southern Caribbean Cruise Destination by Leading Cruise Review Site

(St. George’s, Grenada) 1st August 2017—The leading cruise review site has recognized Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean as one of the top five Southern Caribbean destinations for cruise. CruiseCritic.com recently announced the winners of its second annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards based entirely on consumer ratings submitted to the website for trips within the last year. The awards name the top cruise destinations across 15 regions worldwide.

Cruise Critic boasts the world’s largest online cruise community, with more than 350,000 cruise reviews, covering approximately 500 cruise ships and over 300 worldwide ports. About Pure Grenada, one consumer wrote, “Very nice island. Enjoyed walking around the downtown area” while another commented, “Beautiful port, took the water taxi to the beach with a number of our family members.”

Speaking of the awards this year, Senior Executive Editor of Cruise Critic Colleen McDaniel explained, “Itineraries are incredibly important to today’s cruisers who are more focused than ever on where they’re going and what they can do while they’re there. Cruise lines have focused on expanding their offerings to quench that thirst for exploration – and this year’s list of winning destinations shows the wide array of adventures cruising offers.”

Ahead, of the upcoming cruise season, Pure Grenada is already buzzing with a number of new onshore excursions to cater to every taste. These attractions include culinary tours that introduce visitors to Grenada’s world famous spices, hiking tours to some of Grenada’s breath-taking ridges in the north and the Grenada High wire canopy obstacle course set in our mystic rain forest. ‘Bean To Bar’ chocolate tours, pristine white sandy beaches, gorgeous waterfalls, underwater adventures and much more are there to be enjoyed.

CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority Patricia Maher says the award is a testament to Pure Grenada’s popularity. She further stated, “ The GTA has been working closely with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), major cruise lines, the Ministry of Tourism and key local stakeholders to improve product offerings and keep Pure Grenada top of mind when planning itineraries.”

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Island Update: What’s New in Curaçao

WILLEMSTAD, CURAÇAO – July 2017 – Known for its unique heritage, European architecture and intimate cove-like beaches, the colorful island of Curaçao is heating up in more ways than one this summer. This quarter, the ABC island in the Southern Caribbean welcomed several hotel renovations and an island-wide dining promotion, and is gearing up for its fifth annual PRIDE celebration. Read below to find out what’s new in Curaçao.


  • Curaçao Named “Top Cruise Destination in the Southern Caribbean”

Curaçao, known for its distinctive Dutch colorful architecture and colonial charm, was recently named “Top Cruise Destination in the Southern Caribbean” by Cruise Critic, the largest online cruise resource. The Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards, now in its second year, ranks 15 destinations across regions worldwide. The ratings are influenced by consumer feedback, with awards based on port reviews from July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017. For more information, visit www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/destination-awards/.


  • Avila Beach Hotel Completes Renovation

Avila Beach Hotel, the oldest operational hotel in Curaçao, recently completed a $600,000 renovation to its Ocean Front Blues Wing. The rooms have been fully upgraded with contemporary decor, new beds, soundproof walls, and modern bathroom and balcony furniture. Additionally, the beachfront property, which is walking distance from Willemstad and was featured in this year’s iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, replaced the roof on its Sea Terrace Patio and Belle Terrace restaurant. For more information, visit www.avilabeachhotel.com.

  • Kontiki Beach Resort Acquires Cabana Beach

Kontiki Beach Resort recently acquired Cabana Beach, the trendy neighboring beach club featuring chic day beds, scenic water views, free WiFi and plush lounge chairs shaded by breezy palapas. Just steps away from the private beach is the club’s restaurant & bar, open from noon to 10 p.m. daily, for beachgoers to enjoy lunch, dinner and small bites. The new addition of Cabana Beach marks Kontiki Beach Resort’s second beach club on the island. The resort recently opened MOOD Beach, the adjoining bohemian-inspired beachfront sanctuary. For more information, visit www.cabanabeachcuracao.com.

  • Floris Suite Hotel – Spa and Beach Club Updates Guest Rooms

Floris Suite Hotel – Spa and Beach Club, an adults-only boutique hotel in Piscadera Bay, recently upgraded its suites with a new paint scheme and sleeker design to make them more suitable for business travelers. The property, which is a short drive from downtown and Hato International Airport, offers free WiFi, affordable rates for meeting spaces, and spacious apartment-style accommodations with living rooms and fully equipped kitchens that are ideal for extended business trips. To celebrate the upgrades, visitors can take advantage of special introductory rates starting at $79/night for travel now through August. For more information, visit www.florissuitehotel.com.

  • Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curaçao Unveils Renovated Guest Rooms

This month, Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curaçao unveiled the remainder of its renovated apartments and suites, including 24 Lions Apartments, four One-Bedroom Lions Suites and the Penthouse. To give the guest rooms a fresh island-inspired appearance, the dark colonial furniture and cabinetry have been replaced with lighter pieces, evoking a more modern look and feel to match the rooms’ ocean views. For more information, visit www.lionsdive.com/en.


  • CHATA to Launch All-Inclusive Curaçao Dine Around Plan

On Aug. 5, the Curaçao Hospitality & Tourism Association will launch the Curaçao Dine Around Plan, an all-inclusive culinary experience that gives travelers the opportunity to taste signature Curaçaoan flavors and try multiple restaurants at a fixed price. Dining plans can be personalized with options for travelers to select breakfast, lunch, and dinner at more than 50 participating restaurants. Visitors can purchase their desired dining plan prior to or during their stay in Curaçao. After purchasing, travelers will receive digital tickets containing a unique QR code, which will be scanned before each meal. For more information, please visit www.dinearoundplan.com.

  • Baoase Culinary Beach Restaurant Presents Fruits de Mer Menu

This August, Baoase Luxury Resort will offer a new Fruits de Mer seafood menu along with its signature dinner menu. Guests can create their own shellfish platters with royal Ossetra caviar, Canadian lobster, mussels, oysters, escargot, grilled shrimp and more. For $75/person, guests can opt for the Chef’s Mix, a combination of fresh seafood served with aioli, curry, red wine vinegar and other sauces. The special Fruits de Mer Menu will debut on Aug. 3, and will only be available on Thursdays. For more information, visit www.baoase.com.

  • Hofi Cas Cora Introduces Five-Course, Farm-to-Table Event

On July 20, Hofi Casa Cora, the island’s first true farm-to-table restaurant, introduced its new fine-dining event, “Haute Cuisine den Hofi.” Diners were treated to a five-course dinner and expert wine pairings courtesy of The Wine Factory. The dinner included farm-raised duck, various sides made of locally sourced produce, and a brief explanation by the chef about the ingredients and flavors associated with each course. Hofi Cas Cora, acclaimed for its fresh seasonal ingredients and popular weekend brunch, has plans to repeat the event every month or so. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/hoficascora.

  • Koraal Rooftop Terrace Launches Sushi Saturday

Koraal Rooftop Terrace, a trendy rooftop bar in the Coral Estate, recently introduced Sushi Saturdays. The sushi chef will create delicious rolls, sashimi and nigiri, which can be enjoyed during lunch, dinner, or as light bites while hanging out by the infinity pool or basking in the restaurant’s 270° water views. As a part of the new initiative, the bartenders will create Japanese-inspired cocktails to pair with the sushi rolls. During Sushi Saturdays, guests can also order from the traditional lunch and dinner menus, which include guest favorites such as the Surf & Turf Salad, Dutch Bitternallen, the Tuna Tataki Sandwich and Hangersteak. For more information, visit www.koraalcuracao.com.


  • Scuba Lodge Adopts Dive Site

The Scuba Lodge Dive Center and Project AWARE, a foundation empowering thousands of divers in more than 182 countries, have adopted the Scuba Lodge house reef, which is located right outside of the boutique Pietermaai hotel.  Together, these organizations are making an effort to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the underwater diversity of Curaçao, which is home to more than 65 different dive sites. The new partnership will include a monthly ‘Dive Against Debris’ initiative to clean Curaçao’s reefs, with the first event scheduled for Aug. 6, 2017. To take part in the initiative, travelers can sign up by visiting www.facebook.com/ScubaLodgeDiveCenter.


  • Serena’s Art Factory Debuts Chichi® with Child

Curaçao’s signature Chichi® dolls, often spotted around Willemstad sporting brightly colored dresses with island-inspired patterns, are a tribute to Chichi, meaning ‘big sister’ in the local dialect of Papiamento. Serena Janet, the doll’s creator, recently introduced a new mother and child design to the collection, which are now available to paint during walk-in workshops held on Thursday evenings and Friday mornings. As a part of the new design, the red heart on Chichi’s hand symbolizes love, while the child on the mother’s back illustrates those that Chichi protects. For more information, visit www.chichi-curacao.com.

  • Does Travel Offers New Bus Tours

Well-known tour operator, Does Travel, now offers four new bus tours for visitors to experience Curaçao’s attractions, historical sites, 35 cove-like beaches and exciting nightlife. The new routes include an Island Tour from the east side of the island to Westpunt, a Beach Hopping Tour, a Hato Caves Tour and an Ostrich Farm Combination tour. Additionally, the company is known for its lively La Cucaracha Dinner Tour and Fun & Nightlife Tour. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/DoesTravelCuracao.


  • Renaissance Curaçao Presents: Caribbean Queens Concert, August 26, 2017

The Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino is hosting its annual concert, this year with a “Caribbean Queens” theme. The event, which takes place on Aug. 26 from 7:30 p.m. to midnight, features three performers, including Curaçao native, Mafalda Minguel, and Netherlands natives, Shirma Rouse and Izaline Calister. General admission starts at $31/per person and a VIP section, which includes two beverages and snacks, will be available starting at $79/per person. For more information, visit www.renaissancecuracao.com.

  • Curaçao PRIDE, September 28 – October 1, 2017

As one of the most LGBT-friendly destinations in the Caribbean, PRIDE Week returns to Curaçao Sept. 28 – Oct. 1 for its fifth year in a row. With Curaçao’s widespread ‘live and let live’ attitude, Curaçao PRIDE has gained international acclaim among LGBT travelers. The four-day event includes a PRIDE walk from Punda to Otrobanda, a Rainbow Lounge cocktail party, a “Navigaytion Sea Parade,” a white party, and a final oceanfront bash on Moomba Beach. The adults-only Floris Suite Hotel – Spa and Beach Club in Piscadera Bay will serve as the host hotel for the entire event. For more information, visit www.curacaopride.com.

To learn more about Curaçao, please visit www.curacao.com, call toll free 1.800.328.7222 or download our brochure at http://curacao.com/brochure. Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Curacaotb, Twitter: @CuracaoTravel or Instagram: CuracaoTB

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO Announces Winners of Caribbean Primary Schools Tourism Writing Competition

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (2 August, 2017) – Four Caribbean primary school students ranging in age from 8-12, will be honoured for excellence in tourism writing at next month’s Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum in St. Kitts.

The four –  Kassie Haley-Shai of St. Augustine Roman Catholic School in Montserrat, Ariah Khobie Diamante Darroux of  Convent Preparatory School  in Dominica (both in the 8-10 category), Jhe’auti Belyca Craigg of Belmont Government School in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Gabriella Lewis of Atwell’s Educational Institute in Trinidad and Tobago (10-12 category) – emerged winners among 44 participants  from 26 schools who participated in the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s Caribbean Primary Schools Tourism Writing Competition.

The contest, held as part of activities for International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and the CTO’s Year of Adventure, was organised to enhance primary school students’ awareness of tourism and its value and contribution to the region’s social and economic development. It was also meant to challenge the students to think of creative ways to make tourism more sustainable.

The winners can be viewed here: http://www.onecaribbean.org/primary-school-tourism-writing-competition/

“I am very pleased with the level of interest exhibited in this initiative, as evidenced by the diversity of participating schools,” said Amanda Charles, the CTO’s sustainable tourism development specialist, whose department spearheads the Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum.

“The submissions were all of a high calibre, with the students displaying depth and creativity in their compositions. It is clear that even at the primary school level students are aware of the importance of tourism to the region, can speak eloquently about tourism in their countries and have some insight into the opportunities and challenges associated with tourism development.”

The students in the 8-10 category were asked to write about what sustainable tourism meant to them or how visitors and locals should act towards each other to promote peace, while those in the 10-12 category were challenged to conceptualise and describe a new adventure tour or to suggest ways that the CTO can help make tourism in the Caribbean more sustainable. The students in both categories were also given the option of writing on whether they felt tourism does indeed contribute to making the Caribbean region a better place, or to identify an adventure tourism activity in their countries and deliver a sales pitch to encourage tourists to experience that activity.

Themed, Good for Us, Better for All, the 6-8 September Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum is being held in observance of International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and will bring together local, regional, and international representatives from public and private sector tourism entities, as well as development agencies that offer programming in sustainable tourism, for three days of interactive engagements.

Major elements will include best practice sharing and strategic consultations for a CTO climate adaptation project funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, in order to strengthen holistic destination management approaches in the Caribbean. The programme will also include experiential field visits, a meeting of CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Technical Committee, and winning presentations from CTO’s Primary School Tourism Writing Competition. The event culminates with the presentation ceremony for CTO’s 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards which recognise regional sustainability champions.

Organising partners include the CTO, the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism, the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, and Sustainable Travel International.

The winner of the 2014 CTO/Travel Mole Sustainable Tourism Award in Destination Stewardship, St Kitts is one of the first destinations in the world to be accepted as an early adopter of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s criteria for destinations. It also is a founding member of the Sustainable Destination Alliance of the Americas, an initiative by the CTO, the Organization of American States, Sustainable Travel International and Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited to promote sustainable destination management in the Caribbean and Central America.

Its many initiatives include the establishment of the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation and Sustainability Charter, which helps businesses understand how their operations contribute to destination-wide sustainability, and to support community projects that make St. Kitts a more sustainable place to live and experience.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Climate Smart Forum, Corporate News

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