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Archive for November, 2018

Windstar Cruises Return to Barbuda for 2018/2019 Season

ST.JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (November 26, 2018) – In another first for Barbuda, Antigua’s sister island, has welcomed luxury cruise line Windstar back to Barbuda; the first cruise line to return to the island following Hurricane Irma.

Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Officials celebrated the anchoring of Windstar’s Wind Surf, which comes less than one month after the re-opening of the luxurious Barbuda Belle boutique hotel.

Minister of Tourism & Investment, The Honourable Charles Fernandez said: This is an extremely important milestone for Barbuda tourism as the island returns to normalcy.

“Windstar’s return is the result of a lot of lobbying by the Ministry of Tourism, The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and our cruise partners who have been attending major cruise conferences since 2017, encouraging the smaller cruise lines to return to Barbuda. This is a vote of confidence in Barbuda, and the services and tours that will be available for guests of the ship to enjoy.”

The largest ship in the Windstar fleet, the Wind Surf is a five-masted motor-sail yacht that accommodates 310 guests. The Windstar website describes the ship “as being known for its casually elegant environment”.

Wind Surf will make nine calls to Barbuda this season, calling bi-weekly.

The Barbuda Council’s Chair of Tourism, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs for the Barbuda Council Asha Frank was present at the Barbuda dock on Sunday November 25 to greet cruise executives from the vessel.

Frank said, “Small cruise lines such as the Windstar that offer a more personal and authentic experience are ideal for the picturesque shores of Barbuda. We welcome the Windstar and thank them for the huge support of our local businesses.”

Barbuda is being marketed as an eco-friendly, high-value, low volume destination, making it perfect for inclusion on the cruise itineraries of smaller luxury cruise lines.

Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, CEO Colin C. James, noted that, “As a result of the work done reassuring cruise lines that Barbuda is open for business, Barbuda will also see additional calls from other scheduled cruise ships as the season goes into high gear. This will act as a significant economic stimulus for Barbuda as passengers not only enjoy Barbuda’s beautiful beaches but explore the destination on tours to Barbuda’s fascinating sites such as the caves, the largest Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the Western hemisphere and the historic and unique Martello Towers.”

For more information on Antigua and Barbuda, where the beach is just the beginning: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Caribbean Recovery, Destination News

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CTO to Publish Disaster Risk Management Guide for Caribbean Tourism

Bridgetown, Barbados (23 November 2018) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, is soon to publish a disaster risk management (DRM) guide for the region’s tourism sector as part of its objective to foster a culture of preparedness in destination management.

The publication, which targets tourism businesses and policymakers, will help guide the tourism sector’s preparedness, response and recovery from the multiplicity of hazards that impact and/or potentially threaten the region.

The manual will provide guidelines for climate change mitigation and adaptation, showcase regional and international best practices in comprehensive disaster management, and present strategies for effective response protocols before, during and after a disaster.

“The current and future impacts of climate variability and climate change which includes an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, flood and droughts, among others, make it imperative that countries, particularly the regional tourism sector, be equipped to adequately prepare for, respond to and recover from climate related hazards,” Amanda Charles, the CTO’s sustainable tourism development specialist.

The handbook, which is expected to be finalised next month and launched early 2019, is one component of the ongoing project, “Supporting a Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry (CSSCTI)”.

This project includes a series of training workshops in disaster risk management and climate resilience, aimed as sharing knowledge and best practices on strategies related to climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as identifying sound DRM approaches, to enhance tourism sector preparedness, response and resilience to climate-related hazards.

A team of consultants from the University of Technology of Jamaica (UTech) has been engaged by the CTO to produce the  ‘Disaster Risk Management Guide for the Caribbean Tourism Sector: A Practical Handbook for Tourism Business and Policymakers’, and to facilitate the workshops – two days of training on DRM followed by a one-day training programme for trainers to help build local capacity. The target audiences  are tourism practitioners and decision-makers from the public and private sectors, and representatives from key ancillary sectors such as air and sea port authorities and disaster management agencies who play a key role in tourism disaster management.

In this first phase, five countries: The Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Haiti and Jamaica are benefiting from this training, with workshops having already been held in the Bahamas, Belize Haiti and Jamaica, while the workshop for Dominica will be held in the coming weeks.

“Given the vulnerability of the tourism sector to climate-related disruptions, the CTO is pleased to deliver this training to our member countries as part of efforts to support climate sensitisation and capacity enhancement in disaster management. As we move towards realising the vision of an industry that is climate smart and resilient, we must make every effort to reduce the risks of climate change and related hazards by effecting the necessary policies and being trained to respond swiftly and efficiently to manage and mitigate risks” said Hugh Riley, CTO’s secretary general.

The CSSCTI project is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) through resources allocated under the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)- European Union (EU)- CDB Natural Disaster Risk Management (NDRM) in CARIFORUM countries programme.

“CDB recognises the enormous contribution of the tourism sector to the socio-economic development of the Caribbean and is pleased to support CTO’s initiatives to promote a climate smart and sustainable Caribbean tourism industry. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report-Global Warming of 1.5 0C underscores that climate change impacts on natural and human systems have already been observed as a result of approximately 1.0 0C of global warming from human activities, and climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5 0C and increase further with 2 0C.  Therefore, building local, national and regional capacities of key tourism stakeholders is crucial to enhance resilience to climate-related risks and to ensure the sustainability of the tourism sector”, said Dr. Yves Robert Personna, project manager ACP-EU-CDB NDRM programme.

Other activities of the CSSCTI project include updating the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework and producing a compendium of Best Practices in Sustainable Tourism; an ongoing regional tourism education and awareness campaign delivered through social media and a televised video series; and a feasibility study to inform the needs related to climate services in tourism. In addition, a regional workshop was held last month, which brought together hotel and tourism association executives and officials from ministries of tourism and tourism authorities from CTO member countries. The workshop facilitated the review and validation of the disaster risk management guide, the updated Caribbean sustainable tourism policy framework and other project related manuals, by the tourism sector decision-makers, which aimed to obtain their input, enhance awareness and foster utilisation of the updated manuals. The project is expected to be concluded by mid-2019.

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Aeromexico Begins Direct Flight from Mexico City to Belize

Belize City,  20th November 2018:  Aeromexico, Mexico’s global airline, is now the first international air carrier to offer a direct non-stop flight service from Mexico City to Belize. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and senior officials from the airline held a brief ceremony on Saturday, November 17th to mark the inaugural flight to Belize, which will be available on Saturday and Sundays until April 28th, 2019.

After more than 11 years serving the region, Aeromexico has now become the only airline in Mexico to have a presence in all Central American countries including Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, and Belize. This is also the first time that there has ever been an air connection between Belize and Mexico.

The new route is operated with Embraer 190 airplanes with 99 passenger seats, including 11 in Premier Class, Aeromexico’s Business Class cabin.

During the ceremony, Mr. Loren Aandahl, S.V.P. Corporate Strategy at Aeromexico, said: “At Aeromexico, we are pleased to offer a more complete product, as well as greater connectivity options for our customers. Belize has now become our ninth destination in the Central American region and the 46th destination in our international route network that will help increase tourism in this wonderful country by connecting customers via Mexico City to this amazing country.”

Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, who was the keynote speaker during the flights’ inaugural ceremony, said: “This new Aeromexico to Belize flight will afford Mexicans a great opportunity to conveniently access Belize, one of the fastest growing tropical vacation destinations in the world. It is no coincidence that Belize is quickly becoming a popular destination for Mexican travellers,” said Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation.  He Added: “Today’s inaugural flight is the result of warm and exceptionally strong relations between our two countries and will open greater opportunities for Mexicans and Belizeans alike.”

For Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, His Excellency Carlos Quesnel, the new flight represents a watershed in the relationship (Belize and Mexico) and fulfills an old desire to have a direct route between the main cities of both nations, which opens new possibilities to increase tourist flows and strengthens even more the friendship ties.

Belize is quickly becoming a popular destination for Mexican travellers.  Available statistics reveal that there were 9,060 visitors from Mexico in 2017 representing an increase of 51.5% over 5,982 in 2016 and these figures are expected to soar even higher with the new direct service.

Furthermore, the new flight will provide an alternative route for travellers from the UK, France, the Netherlands and many other parts of Europe wishing to access Belize, and the wider Central American region, strengthening Mexico D.F. as a key regional hub.

The BTB views the inaugural flight as a resounding reassertion that Belize continues to be a growing and viable Curious Place and popular vacation destination in Central America and the Caribbean. Likewise, it is emblematic of the effective and remarkably successful efforts of our local tourism and aviation industries that continue to build Belize’s airlift into the envy of our regional competitors.

For further details on the new route please visit www.aeromexico.com

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Two Saint Lucians Vie For Caribbean Wellness Ambassador Title

Castries, November 16, 2018 – There is only one week left for voting to propel Saint Lucia’s nominees for the Caribbean Wellness Ambassador into the final round of the contest. Abegail Sandy, Founder of She Naturals Saint Lucia & Grenada and Kestin Greco, a Yoga Teacher, are the two Saint Lucians represented among the twenty candidates vying for the title.

Abegail Sandy’s company, She Naturals, is a hair and skin care company in Saint Lucia and Grenada, which empowers, guides and provides natural products as an alternative to chemical beauty cosmetics and salon services. The company uses local herbs, flowers, vegetables and fruits to produce moisturisers, shampoos, conditioners, skin creams, soaps and other products. The focus of She Naturals is to promote hair and skin health through plant-based options, rather than through traditional chemical methods.

Kestin is a yoga teacher with extensive experience in the field. She gained her Teacher Training Certificate (TTC) from Sivananda Yoga Center and graduated from Yoga Skills school of Kemetic Yoga. Kestin teaches at the Body Holiday – one of the leading wellness resorts on island. She is also active in her community offering home sessions, visiting schools, and hosting conferences that seek to help others nurture their body, mind and soul.

The contest is part of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s (CTO) programme of activities for the Caribbean Year of Wellness & Rejuvenation, which has been featuring people who drive the wellness programmes in CTO member countries. These wellness ambassadors go above and beyond to promote wellness among residents and visitors.

There are two rounds of voting: the first round started on Thursday, November 1, 2018 and will run until 3:59am on Sunday, November 25, 2018.  The top five vote-getters in the first round, will move on to the second voting round which will begin at 12:01 a.m.

Eastern Caribbean Time on Monday, November 26, 2018 and end at 3:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 3, 2018.

The ambassador receiving the highest number of votes in the final round will be named the CTO’s Caribbean Wellness Ambassador of the Year and will receive a trip to Grenada.

Vote now at: https://wellnessambassadors.pgtb.me/kmZdp7

Abegail Sandy

Founder, She Naturals Saint Lucia & Grenada Read more about Abegail here: https://www.flipsnack.com/CTOcommunications/wellness-ambassadors-guide-2018.html?p=40

Kestin Greco

Yoga Teacher Saint Lucia Read more about Kestin here: https://www.flipsnack.com/CTOcommunications/wellness-ambassadors-guide-2018.html?p=38

 

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Antigua and Barbuda Continues to Record Progressive Growth in Visitor Arrivals for the Third Quarter of 2018

(St. John’s, Antigua; November 13, 2018)- Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism product continues to attract thousands to our shores and this is evident as there has been continual growth in visitor arrivals by air and sea throughout 2018.

According to the quarterly visitor arrivals report released by the statistics department within the Ministry of Tourism and Investment, particularly, the third quarter of 2018, encompassing the months of July to September, Antigua and Barbuda saw increases in both air and sea arrivals for the period when compared to 2017.

Fifty-two thousand, four hundred and ninety-one (52,491) visitors arrived by air to Antigua and Barbuda, an 8.56% increase from 2017. Between July and September, twenty-six thousand, six hundred and thirty one (26,631) visitors arrived by sea, an increase of 36.44% when compared to the total sea arrivals for the previous year 2017.

An 11.99% growth in arrivals from the US Market, the destination’s largest source market, has contributed to the rise in arrivals for the third quarter of 2018 while the UK market experienced a slight decrease of -2.25% from 2017 to 2018.

The Canadian market saw an impressive performance with a growth of 111.79% as the market continues to benefit from increased airlift, brought on by the addition of Sunwing Airlines since November last year, while the Caribbean market continues to hold its own with relatively unchanged figures.

Overall from January to September 2018. The total visitor arrivals recorded for Antigua and Barbuda stand at 744,390, an increase of 12.18% when compared to 2017.

Visitor arrivals will continue to increase for the remainder of 2018 with significant increased airlift from North America as well as a full cruise schedule.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority Launches Social Media Campaign in the Lead-Up to ICC Women’s T20 Semi-Finals & Finals in Antigua

JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (November 2, 2018) – As the excitement builds for the ICC Women’s World T20 semi-finals and finals in Antigua now less than a month away, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority will be giving persons in the region the opportunity to travel to Antigua for the history-making games.

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has launched a social media campaign in collaboration with LIAT- The Caribbean Airline, Starfish Jolly Beach and Tamarind Hills Villas. The campaign will allow regional cricket fans the chance to win round trip tickets and accommodation, to Antigua and Barbuda to experience boundary-breaking world-class women’s cricket. This will be the first time that the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 is being organised as a stand-alone event and the second time in its six-year history that the event is being held in the West Indies, with the previous occasion being in 2010.

The semi-finals and finals in Antigua take place on November 22 and November 24, 2018.

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s two-week campaign will run on the destination’s social media pages on Facebook and Instagram until November 14, 2018.  The campaign invites people to upload their most creative video to the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism pages expressing their passion for the game and why they should win the trip. Participants are also required to show their knowledge of the destination by including one fun fact about Antigua and Barbuda.

Regional Marketing Consultant for the Tourism Authority, Charmaine Spencer said, “Our partnership with our airline and accommodations partners presents us with the fantastic opportunity to bring the most passionate of cricket fans to Antigua, where we can share with them our love for the game and they can experience our party cricket atmosphere, as well as our beautiful destination.”

This regional campaign also allows us to work with our partners to drive business to the destination during the shoulder season.”

Participants must be followers of the Antigua and Barbuda pages, and should include all the official hashtags #WT20 #WatchThisAntigua and #LoveAntiguaBarbuda on their posts to quality.  For full terms and conditions visit: https://www.womens-world-t20-cricket-antigua.com/ Facebook.com/antiguabarbuda and @AntiguaandBarbuda on Instagram.

Other regional promotions for the ICC Women’s World T20 Tournament have included promotional television adverts on Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), and radio advertising in St. Kitts and Nevis, BVI, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Guyana. Travel Agencies within the region are also being incentivized to book Antigua during the November period.

A#Weplaytoo Campaign promoting the involvement of women in sport, is next to be launched by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.

For more information on Antigua and Barbuda, where the beach is just the beginning: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com

For more information on hotel packages and the matches: https://www.womens-world-t20-cricket-antigua.com/  and our official mobile app for the games: Pocket Antigua   https://pocketantigua.co/download

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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