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Archive for August, 2018

New flights from Air Antilles add 2016 additional seats into the Nature Island

Roseau, Dominica – (August 29, 2018) The Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Air Access Committee of Discover Dominica Authority have successfully negotiated an additional 2016 seats into the destination from two new flights added by Air Antilles.  The flights will commence on November 1, 2018, departing Pointe-a-Pitre (PTP) at 9pm to arrive in Dominica at 9:30pm on Thursdays and Sundays.  The aircraft will overnight in Dominica and depart the next mornings (Fridays and Mondays) at 5:30am to reach Pointe-a Pitre at 6:00am.  The flights will terminate for the season on March 29, 2019.

During this period, a total of forty two (42) flights will operate on the ATR 42 with capacity of 48 passengers, allowing for movement of up to 2016 in and 2016 out of Dominica.  These flights allow travelers to connect from the following international flights:

  • Norwegian: from JFK, New York
  • Air France: from Paris Orly
  • Air Caraibes: from Paris Orly
  • Corsair: from Paris Orly
  • Level: from Paris Charles de Gaulle
  • XL Airways: from Paris Charles de Gaulle

With the introduction of this new service, travelers to Dominica will benefit by having same day connections and also from a cost standpoint.  Travelers will have same day access from JFK into Dominica via connections with the low cost carrier Norwegian Airlines and similarly same day connections from Europe and especially France at reasonable rates from airlines departing from Paris Orly.

Tour Operators, travel agents and consumers will have visibility of these flight in the Global Distribution System (GDS) and on popular online travel agent sites allowing for a myriad of ways to book your adventure to Dominica.  Furthermore Air France will offer a code share with Air Antilles on these flights allowing for greater visibility of the flights on the Air France website and network and offering travelers additional benefits of that code share arrangement.

According to Colin Piper, Director of Tourism, “while there are a number of ways to get to Dominica these flights were planned to offer connections to Norwegian to take advantage of their lower fares, and also to provide alternatives and convenience in same day access to travelers from Europe and the US to get to Dominica.”

Leisure visitors as well as Dominicans residing abroad are expected to take advantage of this new service when planning their travels to the Nature Isle.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, see Dominica’s updates on the tourism sector post Hurricane Maria: www.dominicaupdate.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Cayman Islands National Tourism Plan Seeks Public Consultation

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, 22 August 2018 – The Ministry and Department of Tourism want to hear from you on the draft National Tourism Plan (NTP) 2018-2023. As outlined during the community meetings held in February and March of this year on all three islands, the final NTP will provide a comprehensive and strategic way forward to maximize the benefits of tourism throughout the country.

“I would like to first thank all of those who came out during our first round of community meetings. It was wonderful to see a broad cross-section of persons both currently in the tourism industry and beyond, allowing us to hear first-hand the concerns and new ideas that were shared; these were key to getting us to this point now,” said Tourism Minister, the Hon Moses Kirkconnell.   “It is imperative that the community remains involved in the process because ultimately, this very important economic pillar of our society can only thrive with your support.”

Director of Tourism, Mrs. Rosa Harris further encourages the public to participate in this important stage of review.  “The National Tourism Plan is designed to be our road map for sustainable success in tourism while supporting the many businesses that are needed to make the industry thrive. Providing the government with your responses to the draft plan, will further shape the tourism management approach, priorities and action plan. The Ministry and Department of Tourism look forward to receiving your feedback.”

The plan focuses on several key areas such as enhancing business environment, workforce development, creating an outstanding visitor experience and improving the connectivity and infrastructure of the islands – each with strategies on how to effectively accomplish these goals. Comments and any additional inputs provided by tourism businesses and the public will be used to finalise the detailed Action Plans, the Evaluation Plan, and National Tourism Plan 2018-2023.  The public consultation process will be open from 22 August through 26 September 2018.

Submissions can be provided online by visiting www.CaymanNTP.ky  Hard copies of the draft National Tourism Plan will be available at the Government Administration Building reception area from Friday 24th August.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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BAHAMAS REVEALS STRONG POSITIVE TRENDS IN INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS

NASSAU, Bahamas (Aug 16, 2018) – International arrivals in The Bahamas show a solid growth of +10.2 percent year-to-date, maintaining the tourism turnaround that began in October of 2017. The growth trend is driven by strong performance from the U.S. but a 29.6 percent increase through July in arrivals from Canada is also contributing to the overall growth story. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation restarted robust marketing and communications efforts in North America telling The Bahamas travel story to consumers by bringing travel journalists and digital influencers to the country, and using strategic content and digital amplification to reach travel decision makers. The Ministry is already underway with the marketing program for 2018-19 and anticipates continued business growth supported by this work.

“We have seen very good news and gratifying results across major Bahamian tourism sectors in recent months and are very encouraged. Using our new tracking tools, we have seen double-digit increases in international arrivals and strong business on the books for future months. Lynden Pindling International Airport has reported historic arrival numbers for the country’s premier airport facility. Browse Nassau hotels on Trip Advisor for this coming weekend and you may see that most of the hotels are projected to sell out soon and we are seeing very strong occupancy rates. These outcomes are validation of the marketing and communications work we have been doing,” said Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation.

A new communications program is underway for the 2018-19 fiscal year and writers and influencers from the U.S. will arrive within days to kick off a new cycle of Bahamas storytelling. Writers from major publications including Good Housekeeping, Essence and Red Tricycle will visit The Abacos next week to capture the island-hopping and family travel options there. Grand Bahama Island will host a select group of influencers for an itinerary specially curated to develop visual stories to showcase the water, beaches and local heritage of the island for important platforms like Instagram. Development of a late fall trip to Cat Island is underway, along with ongoing outreach to media to promote fall travel offers and events, and to support several new American Airlines flights into the destination.

The Ministry of Tourism is also deploying advertising across a variety of broadcast, digital and out-of-home channels in key markets, raising awareness of the destination. An ambitious content marketing program complements this traditional advertising with the goal of inspiring consumers to explore more islands across the country.

The Ministry of Tourism expects tourism growth to continue as bookings are up 6.7 percent over the August to October period and show a 10 percent increase for the final two months of 2018.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Grenada Wins Cruise Critic’s 2018 Destination Award

St. George’s, Grenada – August 20, 2018 – The numbers are in and the three-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique was named a Top-Rated Southern Caribbean Cruise Destination in Cruise Critic’s third annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards. The award is based entirely on consumer ratings submitted with reviews on CruiseCritic.com and as a destination awarded in this category, Grenada received high ratings among cruisers who visited the island in the past year.

“On behalf of Pure Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, we are truly humbled by this award and thrilled to be named a top destination for cruisers,” said Patricia Maher, CEO of Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA). “To be recognized by our visitors is a remarkable honor and one that we do not take for granted. So far in 2018, growth in our cruise sector is trending upward and we will continue to work on elevating the product and experiences, to exceed expectations and keep Grenada top-of-mind with visitors to our shores.”

“Our data regularly shows that whether you’re a first-time cruiser or you’ve sailed dozens of times, destination is a top consideration when shopping for a cruise,” explains Colleen McDaniel, Senior Executive Editor of Cruise Critic. “While tropical destinations will always be popular among cruisers, what’s really exciting to see is the rise in esteem of destinations more known for their immersive and experiential offerings.”

Cruise Critic®, the world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, boasts the largest online cruise community, with more than 350,000 cruise reviews, covering approximately 500 cruise ships and over 300 worldwide ports.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Puerto Rico Tourism Industry Calls For News Coverage Of The Island’s Positive Milestones As The One Year Anniversary Of Hurricane Maria Approaches

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, August 20, 2018 – Discover Puerto Rico announced today a new initiative to underscore the progress Puerto Rico’s tourism industry has made since Hurricane Maria. As the one year mark approaches and old imagery resurfaces in the news and in social media, local tourism and community members are rallying audiences everywhere, including news media, to #CoverTheProgress and share real-time Island imagery and the many milestones that have led the Island in one of the greatest comeback stories in tourism.This initiative stemmed from the strong sentiment of the local community paired with reactions from recent travelers to Puerto Rico. Tourism benefits everyone on the Island, and sharing the positive milestones achieved within the tourism industry will help continue to attract travelers – helping to drive the recovery forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Six months after Hurricane Maria hit, more than fifty percent of travelers said media coverage negatively impacted their view of Puerto Rico as a destination and we’re hoping to change that as the one year anniversary approaches. Puerto Rico declared itself open for tourism in late December, and the local tourism industry has worked very hard for the past year to come back strong. There’s a lot to celebrate and we don’t want the one year anniversary to set us back,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico. “While there’s still progress to be made in some areas of the Island, we’re asking for the vibrancy of Puerto Rico as a tourism destination to also be shared and for the milestones the local industry and communities worked hard to achieve to be celebrated. We’re taking this moment to encourage all audiences to help us spotlight our tourism recovery and invite travelers to visit us as tourism is a vital contributor to the economy.”

As part of this initiative, local members of Humacao – one of the Island’s hardest hit communities that became well known for the S.O.S. image that went viral in the immediate aftermath of the storm – have a message to share. They came together with the local tourism industry to replace the aerial image in hopes that this image also goes viral. This time, the message reads: “Bienvenidos!”

“Being on the Island and completely disconnected, we didn’t realize how far our picture traveled. We’re thankful it did. But now, we’re ready to turn the page. We’ve been wanting to clean up that message for a while as we’re past it. We were asked what message we’d want to share with the world and hope our new positive message spreads just as fast,” said Janet Gonzalez, resident of Humacao.

The following are among the many tourism milestones achieved:

  • Arrivals by Air and by Sea. 
    • Flight capacity is on the rise with monthly seat capacity surpassing the 420,000 figure. There are currently on average 110 daily flights via 28 different airlines, and relationships with airlines continue to drive growth. By Q4, the destination is poised to make a full turnaround and be on par with 2017 levels.
    • Puerto Rico has more cruises on the Island than ever before with 14 vessels – which is four more vessels than last year. The Island also has 119 cruise shore excursions for travelers to enjoy.
    • In fact, cruise tourism in May turned out to be the best results for that month in the last 20 years, with 107,390 cruise passengers received. This was 12.9% higher than the 95,139 cruise passengers who visited in May last year.
    • All-in-all, for the next cruising season, a record breaking $1.7 million passengers are expected, which equates to approximately $250 million in revenue.
  • The Return of Luxury. 
    • Puerto Rico currently offers 132 diverse lodging options. Next month, travelers will have even more choices with iconic luxury hotels reopening after taking the time to renovate and new hotels opening their doors.
    • In October, 657 new rooms will be available from the Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton and The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort. In December, 480 new rooms will be available from Meliá Coco Beach. And, in January, an additional 652 new rooms will be available from Caribe Hilton. Additional revamping includes El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Resort and The Ritz-Carlton San Juan.
    • The investment in new hotel development equates to $1.9 billion, which adds another 2,900 jobs locally.
  • What’s Next in Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE). 
    • Puerto Rico is already a prime destination for hosting Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events. Coming next year is District LIVE!, a five acre hospitality and entertainment district built in partnership between Island Hospitality Partners and the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority. This complex is destined to be the most vibrant and popular setting for events, conventions and performances of all types in the Caribbean region.
  • Destination Attractions to Discover. 
    • Puerto Rico offers over 189 tourist attractions, including walking tours through Old San Juan, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristobal and the Bacardi Distillery. The Island also offers salsa tours that visit famous places to dance your heart out, caving systems like Cueva Ventana, Toro Verde Adventure Park and El Yunque rainforest – the largest rainforest in the U.S. While nature takes its course, many trails of El Yunque are already open – including the Angelito Trail, La Coca Falls and the Yakahu Tower.
    • The islands of Culebra and Vieques are ready to welcome visitors, too. Culebra is home to Flamenco Beach, recognized as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. There are day excursions to the islands if you are staying in mainland Puerto Rico.
    • The bioluminescent bays are an experience not to miss, and Puerto Rico has three of the world’s five. The reflection of microorganisms causes the water to glow when touched. Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays are located in Mosquito Bay in Vieques; Laguna Grande in Fajardo; and La Parguera in Lajas.
    • There are plenty of culinary options with more than 1,885 restaurants across the Island, including Culebra and Vieques. Puerto Rico is a foodie’s paradise.
    • For those looking for golf and added entertainment, the Island offers 13 professional golf courses, 16 casinos and plenty of nightlife options like bars and clubs.

It’s easy to plan a trip to Puerto Rico – no passport is required for U.S. citizens or green card holders, and U.S. currency is used. Visit DiscoverPuertoRico.com for current offers and information on the Island’s wide array of offerings in adventure, culture and cuisine.

About the Destination Marketing Organization  

Discover Puerto Rico is a newly established private, not for-profit enterprise whose mission is to make Puerto Rico visible to the world as a premier travel destination. The DMO will bring prosperity to the people of Puerto Rico by collaboratively positioning the Island’s diversity and uniqueness for leisure, business and events. It is responsible for all global marketing, sales and promotion of the destination and must work collaboratively with key local governmental and non-governmental stakeholders throughout Puerto Rico’s visitor economy and community at large, while powering economic growth.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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CARPHA Concludes Risk of Getting Zika in the Caribbean Low at this Time

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, August 13, 2018:  The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has concluded that Zika virus transmission in the Caribbean Region has been interrupted, and that the risk to residents and visitors to the Region of acquiring Zika is low. This follows a review by CARPHA of the data of the last 30 months pertinent to the situation.

Zika Virus (ZIKV) was first detected in the Caribbean Region in late 2015. The number of cases increased in the first half of 2016 and reached its peak circulation in August 2016, and then declined rapidly by December 2016.

Before, during and after the introduction of the virus, CARPHA has been conducting surveillance and laboratory testing activity for ZIKV and has worked assiduously with its 26 CARPHA Member States (CMS) and partners to strengthen the ability to detect and diagnose cases; to enhance the capacity to reduce transmission of this and other vector-borne diseases; and to improve coordination and use of information for prevention.

At this time, ongoing surveillance and laboratory testing in CMS indicate that the epidemic circulation of ZIKV has been interrupted in Caribbean territories. This is based on congruency of data available from several sources and on experience of previous outbreaks of mosquito-borne viral diseases in the Region:

  • Local surveillance in Member States has demonstrated both a decrease in general fever-related illness as well as a specific absence of ZIKV reports over the past year.
  • CARPHA Regional Laboratory continues to test samples for mosquito-borne disease, including ZIKV, Dengue virus (DENV) and Chikungunya virus (CHIKV). These tests have shown the drastic decrease from the peak of ZIKV circulation in 2016 to a situation where no cases of ZIKV have been confirmed among samples received from any CMS over the past 12 months
  • CARPHA has reached out to international public health agencies, including the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the European Centres for Disease Control (eCDC), for information on cases of ZIKV in travelers returning from the Caribbean to Canada and Europe respectively. The data shared indicate a similar pattern to that seen in our regional data – a drastic decrease from a high-point in 2016, to sporadic cases in the immediate aftermath and no cases this year.

CARPHA advises that there is still a need to be vigilant given the ongoing risk for dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases.  The Agency maintains continuous vigilance of health and disease trends and risks for residents and visitors in the Region.

We continue to work closely with other public health partners including US CDC, PAHO/WHO, tourism organizations public health agencies in Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union to find innovative ways of mosquito control including behavior change communication and research.

Working alongside CMS we will support vector control activities and educate the public to protect the health of all within their borders. There is a need to strengthen surveillance in member states, set up registries for babies affected in the 2016 epidemic, enhance laboratory testing capacity, document the findings of countries to ensure evidence-based policy and practice and to look at ways to deal with climate-sensitive, mosquito-borne diseases

As we work towards the elimination of the vector and their breeding sites CARPHA encourages visitors and residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellents, wearing protective clothing and staying in screened or air conditioning accommodations.

For further information on Zika, you may visit the CARPHA website at http://carpha.org/

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, ZIKA

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