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Archive for 2018

American Airlines Continues its St. Maarten Comeback

NEW YORK, NY (September 21, 2018) – American Airlines continues to announce new and resumed service between major cities across the United States and The Friendly Island’s famous Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM).

St. Maarten-bound travelers will be able to fly American Airlines from Newark International Airport (EWR) and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) as of December 19th of this year. American Airlines also announced, earlier in June, a highly-anticipated resumption of service from Charlotte, North Carolina’s Charlotte Douglas International Airport to St. Maarten on November 4th.

“The new airlift from American Airlines and other carriers from across the US is a true testament of our island’s resilience and strength,” said Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunications, Stuart Johnson. “These new and resumed flight routes provide even more ease of access to St. Maarten and other destinations within the region, truly showing the importance of our airport as a hub.”

“This shows the confidence American Airlines has in the comeback of St. Maarten/St. Martin,” added St. Maarten’s Director of Tourism, May-Ling Chun. “The public and private sector have been working continuously with American Airlines to ensure that the flights return in a balanced way complementing the re-opening of various accommodations.”

Both the Charlotte and Philadelphia flights will operate daily while service from Newark will be on a weekly basis, on Saturdays.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Message from Grenada’s Minister for Tourism & Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen on Occassion of World Tourism Day

It is my pleasure to address the nation on the occasion of World Tourism Day under the theme “Tourism and the Digital Transformation.” Over the past decade or so we have seen rapid increase in the use of technology in all areas of our lives.  Technological advances have led to improvement in areas such as science, medicine, commerce and agriculture.  Digital communications and social media have changed the availability and use of information and have served to connect the world in ways previously unseen – our world has become a “global village”. This use of technology and the digital transformation we are witnessing is also leaving its imprint on the tourism industry, a growing and dynamic industry on which, Grenada is highly dependent.

It is now not only possible but widely used, to book experiences without human contact through one’s computer or smartphone.  In fact, you can experience a destination or product via virtual or augmented reality without even physically setting foot at the location. Additionally, some organizations are already considering the integration of Artificial Intelligence into their business models.

A digitally transformed tourism sector can improve entrepreneurship, empower local communities, promote the efficient management of resources as well as increase the market share and visibility of any destination. As a nation, we need to better understand the growing economic, societal and environmental impacts of technology and innovation in tourism if the local industry is to enjoy sustained growth. In fact, not only must we understand, but we must engage the use of all available technologies to promote our tourism, to maintain and improve our sustainable practices and to ensure that the industry brings benefits to all our people for an extended time.

I believe there are innovative ideas right here in Pure Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique that are capable of revolutionizing the way our citizens and visitors experience all that this destination has to offer. I encourage citizens to give voice to these ideas. I also wish to encourage tourism enterprises to ensure that they keep abreast of the use of digital transformation to remain competitive. At the destination marketing level, my ministry along with the Grenada Tourism Authority will continue to lead the charge in further tapping into the opportunities provided by digital platforms and technology to ensure the world discovers, explores and shares Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean.

As citizens, we also have a number of digital social media platforms at our fingertips, including Facebook and Instagram which we know so well. I urge you to use them to share positive experiences about our country with the world, encouraging all to #FollowGrenada. We must pay attention to what we share, knowing that we are sending messages to the world and we need only our best to be seen and experienced.  In Grenada, the Tourism industry provides direct and indirect employment for approx. 11,000 people and visitor spend pumps millions into our local economy.

Let’s work together to ensure that these benefits continue for future generations.

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Carnival Breeze Makes Inaugural Call to Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean

St. George’s, Grenada – September 26, 2018 – Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean opened its 2018/2019 cruise ship season with an inaugural visit from the Carnival Breeze. The large cruise ship has a capacity of 4,428 passengers and 1,386 crew members. Visitors disembarking the ship yesterday morning were treated to steel pan music as they went off on island tours provided by George F. Huggins, the Grenada and National Taxi Association’s the Watertaxi Association and other stakeholders. Popular tours are Grenada’s award winning rum distilleries, waterfalls and chocolate factories.

On board the ship a short ceremony was held to commemorate its inaugural visit. A delegation led by Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste-Curwen and including the Grenada Tourism Authority, Grenada Ports Authority, Customs, Immigration, Royal Grenada Police Force and agents George F. Huggins welcomed the captain and crew to Grenada. The Minister handed over a commemorative plaque to the ship’s captain on behalf of the Government and people of Grenada. She also provided an update on the work being done to ensure that cruise visitors have memorable experiences including frontline customer service training and foreign language training.

As of August 2018, the cruise industry in Grenada has grown by 26.75% year on year and Tourism officials are expecting this growth to continue.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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The Isle Of Flowers Gets 2 Big Nods From the Cruise Industry

A Seatrade Cruise Award and new visitor to the Port of Fort-de-France

New York, September 26, 2018—The Island of Martinique’ great port of Fort-de-France won second place in the Seatrade Cruise Awards’ Port of the Year category. The award was announced in Lisbon on September 19, 2018 featuring three finalists: the port of Dublin—the 2018 winner, the port of Martinique and the port of Quebec.

“We are thrilled that our efforts and the improvements we made to welcome the top cruise ships and their passengers have been recognized by the great organization Seatrade and the cruise industry leaders who judged the competition” said Jean-Rémy Villageois, CEO of the Martinique Port Authority.

The “Grand Port” of Fort-de-France—the island’s capital, features the passenger cruise terminals of Pointe-Simon Cruise Terminal and nearby Tourelles. These modern facilities are located the capital’s magnificent bay which was named among the “Most Beautiful Bays in the World.”

The Pointe Simon Cruise Terminal in Fort-de-France’s is now the island’s most frequented and state-of-the-art cruise facility. It is attached to a promenade, along the seaside that leads directly into the heart of the capital city. The early 2018 inaugurations of the first shops of the new shopping center of la Pointe Simon have also contributed to the site’s appeal. The Tourelles Cruise Terminal in Fort-de-France also received an upgrade, with expanded facilities, additional security lines and new VIP room for larger home ported vessels.

Martinique Salutes Carnival Glory

Recognizing the Isle of Flower’s know-how and beauty, the Carnival Glory, one of the cruise line’s “fun ships” will call on Martinique February 22nd, 2019. The cruise, which is part of the “Caribbean Carnival Journeys,” will depart Miami for its 12-night romp through Caribbean on February 16. Through February 28 Carnival Glory will visit the U.S. Virgin Islands’ St. Croix, The Islands of Guadeloupe, Barbados, Martinique—the Isle of Flowers,- Antigua – St.Marteen/Saint-Martin and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

On learning of the return of this great ship, Karine Mousseau, Martinique Tourism Commissioner said: “It is a true pleasure for us all to welcome back the Carnival Glory. We very much look forward to greeting its passengers.”

The Conquest-class ship—among the largest of the Carnival fleet—is an amazing floating resort, featuring the Camel Club Casino, an impressive array of clubs, shops and lounges, Very family friendly it includes family entertainment areas like a teen club, a video game roomand Camp Carnival. It also boasts Spa Carnival and large selection of international and specialty eateries. 60% of the staterooms have ocean views and private balconies.

Martinique is now well on the cruise world’s map. In 2017 it welcomed over 620,000 passengers during 278 port calls.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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World Tourism Day 2018 Message by Hugh Riley Secretary General CTO

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – 27 September, 2018 – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the tourism development agency for the region, joins the global community today in celebrating World Tourism Day 2018 under the theme, ‘Tourism and the Digital Transformation’.

Digital advances have had a profound and transformative impact on our lives. They have influenced the way we learn, changed how we work, and altered the way humanity’s social fabric is connected. This behavioural evolution will continue; and in the travel and tourism business those who adapt will reap the rewards of technological innovation.

As the Caribbean’s primary foreign exchange earner, tourism remains the region’s lifeblood, contributing up to two-thirds of gross domestic product (GDP) in some cases. In order for the sector to drive continuous and inclusive growth in line with sustainable development goals, we must fully explore the economic, societal and environmental impacts of technology and innovation on tourism’s contribution to GDP.

The CTO is positioning Caribbean tourism to capitalise on emerging technologies. We’ve consulted with some of the foremost thought-leaders and are encouraging public and private sector investment in digital innovations that have disrupted traditional business models. It is our duty to our members to explore and introduce new tools and capabilities which alter the way we approach tourism marketing and development; and we must do so at all levels.

One of the best examples is our digital learning series of e-workbooks containing creatively designed audio visual and multi-lingual materials, designed to encourage and facilitate the teaching of tourism in Caribbean schools. Among other objectives the e-workbooks are meant to build greater awareness among young students regarding the significance of tourism to the Caribbean; demonstrate the importance of preserving our environment for ourselves and for our visitors; enlist the creativity of students to enhance tourism’s success; and showcase the full range of career opportunities tourism presents to Caribbean people.

Then there is the Tourism Information Management System (TIMS), an online application launched by the CTO in 2015 to capture, analyze and display tourism related data for the benefit of our members. This tool captures arrival and departure data from embarkation and disembarkation records via a business analytics system which illustrates the data in a more visual and comprehendible way, facilitating additional reporting and actionable insights.

With the launch of our Visitor Intelligence Database for Analytics (VIDA) in 2016, some CTO member states began to maximize returns on their marketing investment with the VIDA segmentation tool, utilizing postal codes to reveal rich data on the region’s visitor demographics.

Additionally, the CTO is actively collaborating with innovative and disruptive companies such as Airbnb, an online community marketplace that connects travellers with hosts in over 190 countries. Together with Airbnb, the CTO is assisting Caribbean tourism officials and stakeholders to maximize the benefits of the sharing economy, and home-sharing in particular. This work includes informing stakeholders of the value of peer-to-peer review mechanisms; providing economic analyses of Airbnb’s impact; developing policy guidelines and recommendations for the consideration of Caribbean lawmakers; exploring ways to make the sharing economy beneficial to our destinations while working in concert with all segments of the accommodation sector; and identifying ways to more effectively market the Caribbean as a region.

We are also working with Bitt, a financial technology company to develop ways of using blockchain technology and mobile money systems to the advantage of the tourism industry in the Caribbean. This work includes promoting the inclusion of micro, small and medium tourism enterprises; providing fast, simple and secure methods for visitors and locals to complete a wide range transactions; and assisting vendors and policymakers to improve data-processing and decision-making.

The CTO’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) at Paradise Island, the Bahamas from 1-5 October, 2018, will feature a key session on ‘Modernizing the Experience: Using Technology to Enhance the Visitor Experience’. The discussion will cover a broad range of applications from customer-centric hospitality models leveraging technology, to the way industry leaders are using mobile and virtual reality innovations to differentiate brand identity.

In the coming months the CTO will continue to develop an agenda which encourages and assists member states’ efforts to create digitally-enhanced tourism services via entrepreneurship and innovation. It is our firm belief that more efficient resource management will empower our local communities and help build a truly inclusive tourism sector.

Tourism must bring benefits to all members of our society. Emerging digital technologies provide a range of new tools that can tackle challenges faced throughout our member states, increase profitability and bring about positive change for stakeholders that will improve the quality of life for all Caribbean people.

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Pure Grenada Bans the Importation of Polystyrene ‘Styrofoam’

St. George’s, Grenada – September 18, 2018 – Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean, has made a major shift to ensure that its natural environment is protected and preserved for future generations. The Government of Grenada has implemented a far-reaching Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act, which began with the complete ban on the importation of polystyrene commonly referred to as ‘Styrofoam’ effective September 1, 2018.

The importation ban will be followed by sale sanctions on ‘Styrofoam’ effective March 1, 2019 and a complete embargo on its use a month later. The Act will also bar all single use plastics such as shopping bags, cutlery, plates, straws and cups by February 1, 2019.

Grenada’s Minister for the Environment, Simon Stiell, described the Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act as a “progressive legislation which seeks to regulate the use of non-biodegradable products, with a view to reducing the negative environmental impacts and improving the health of Grenadians.”

Environment America’s Wildlife Over Waste campaign is one of the many environmental campaigns that believe banning Styrofoam needs to occur. According to their campaign, scientists have found plastic fragments including Styrofoam in 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species. When animals ingest Styrofoam it can harm the animal’s health and people as well if the animal makes its way up the food chain.

The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) fully supports this move by the Government. CEO of the GTA, Patricia Maher said, “Our brand is Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean. This legislation will greatly assist us in keeping our tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique clean and beautiful for citizens as well as visitors.”

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen has always championed the ban on ‘Styrofoam’ and plastics. She said, “Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean is renowned for its naturally beautiful landscape. I am elated that my Government has taken action to contribute to the preservation of our environment for future generations.”

The legislation comes on the heels of robust advocacy by the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) and the Grenada Green Group (G3) for a ban on Styrofoam and plastic. Already in Grenada, many hotels, restaurants and stores have transitioned to the use of alternative biodegradable products.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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