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Archive for January, 2019

Legendary Performance of The Jacksons to Headline St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is famous for world-class racing and attracting some of the world’s top musical acts for their legendary parties. This year is no different. Motown royalty, The Jacksons – Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon – will perform on Sunday March 3rd, 2019.

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Production Director, John Leone, comments, ‘Along with an action-packed race schedule this year, we are ecstatic to announce The Jacksons will headline our final party on Sunday March 3rd, 2019. They need no introduction. We are 100% certain their iconic through-the-decades beloved music will inspire all regatta competitors and party revellers. The Jacksons, will take us on an unforgettable journey through their historic lives and influential musical careers. Hearing this band on this beautiful Caribbean island will be Legendary!”

The Jacksons made history in 1970 as the first recording act whose first four singles reached number 1 in the Billboard Hot 100. In 2017, they celebrated 50 years as one of the most successful groups in music history. Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael, five brothers from Gary, Indiana, began as the Jackson 5 and later The Jacksons, and rose to fame for their combination of extraordinary musical talent and spectacular choreography.

First signed to Steeltown Records in 1967, The Jacksons found international success with the songs: “I Want You Back”, “ABC”, “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There”. Five albums later, the brothers went on The Victory Tour in 1984, and it became the highest-grossing concert series ever staged in the United States. The group, already inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, came to serve as inspiration for several generations of boy bands, including Backstreet Boys, New Edition, N*SYNC, News Kids on the Block, and today, the Jonas Brothers, One Direction, and many more.

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is now in its 39th year, and now sports a brand new 2-handed racing class. The sailing and parties take place over four days FEBRUARY 28 – MARCH 3, 2019. Four days of World-Class racing mixing perfectly with the awesome Heineken parties, electrifying the island well into the night. The entire event is located at the St. Maarten’s Heineken Regatta Village at the Port de Plaisance Resort, Casino and Yacht Club. Get ready for some Legendary “Serious Fun”!

Find out more about the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, and the island of St, Maarten here: www.heinekenregatta.com.

To keep up with the action, follow the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta social channels:

Facebook – www.facebook.com/StMaartenHeinekenRegatta

Twitter – www. twitter.com/sxmheineken

Instagram – www.instagram.com/stmaartenheinekenregatta

YouTube – www.youtube.com/heinekenregatta

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Antigua and Barbuda Announces New Appointments

January 30, 2019 (St. John’s, Antigua) – The Honorable Minister of Tourism and Investment Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez, has announced the appointment of Mrs. Lorraine Headley-Raeburn as Chairperson of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) Board of Directors, while Mr. Dean Fenton has been appointed as the new US Director of Tourism. Headley-Raeburn will also serve as a consultant to the Tourism Authority. As Non-Executive Chairperson of the ABTA, Mrs. Headley-Raeburn will be responsible for overseeing the development of policies and strategies designed to strengthen Antigua and Barbuda’s reputation as a world-class tourism and travel destination and achieve continued growth in tourism arrivals.

In announcing the recent appointments Minister Fernandez said, “I am very excited that Lorraine Headley-Raeburn has agreed to join our Tourism leadership team and that we have appointed Dean Fenton as the US Director of Tourism.  We have just celebrated another record-breaking year in Tourism arrivals, welcoming over one million visitors in 2018. With increased airlift, new properties set to open, and the opening of a 5th berth in St. John’s we are uniquely positioned for sustained growth. The appointments of these two talented and dedicated Antiguans are critical to our continued success. Mrs. Headley-Raeburn is the perfect person to have at the helm to maximise all opportunities to ensure our aggressive tourism goals are met; her advice and leadership will be invaluable.” The Minister continued, “The US is one of our most important markets, welcoming almost 100,000 overnight visitors per year. Our objective is to continue this momentum. We need the US Director of Tourism to have an extensive breadth of knowledge with the trade and consumer markets, and a deep contact list. Mr. Fenton will bring these important assets to the team with anticipated results of continued dynamic growth.”

Mrs. Headley-Raeburn thanked Minister Fernandez for his support and said that she is honored to become involved in helping Antigua and Barbuda achieve marked growth in tourism arrivals to the destination. Headley-Raeburn said, “I am pleased with the commitment and passion for success and growth from Minister Fernandez, the CEO, Colin C. James and the members of the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism Authority. I am excited to begin working on these aggressive tourism goals that will positively impact not only the country and its stakeholders in the tourism industry, but also the lives of residents.”

Mrs. Headley-Raeburn has over 25 years of experience in tourism across the region, from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to the Ministry of Tourism. Highlights from her illustrious career include managing a large tourism development programme that was a joint public/private sector initiative on behalf of the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association and the Ministry of Tourism. Headley-Raeburn held the position of Director General of Tourism for Antigua and Barbuda for two years. She played a pivotal role in re-branding the destination, enhancing a series of local tourism promotion activities including Tourism Week and the Trading Places initiative, and increasing the international tourism profile of the country through a concerted programmme of global public relations and advertising campaigns. She also managed the tourism component of the requirements for the hosting of the Cricket World Cup in 2007, and contributed to the establishment of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. She has been an independent consultant for the past ten years and a founding Director of a beachfront boutique hotel on the South West coast of Antigua. Mrs. Headley-Raeburn has also been a Director of the Antigua Commercial Bank since 2012, serving as Chairman since October 2016. She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators (ICSA) and having completed the Directors Education and Accreditation Programme (DEAP), she holds the designation of Acc. Dir. Mrs. Headley-Raeburn has a degree from Cambridge University and an MBA from the University of West Indies.

Mr. Dean Fenton expressed his excitement for his appointment saying, “I am honored to take on this new position for my home country, Antigua and Barbuda. We are on the precipice of seeing double-digit growth in tourism arrivals and cementing the country’s position as the greatest destination in the Caribbean. I am excited about the opportunities for the US team to play an integral role in the country’s success, and look forward to working together to ensure the US not only meets but exceeds expectations.” As the new US Director of Tourism, Fenton will be responsible for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority operations in the US. He brings with him over 15 years of marketing experience in the Caribbean tourism industry and has been working with Antigua and Barbuda since 2006. Prior to his new appointment, Mr. Fenton served as Senior Sales and Marketing Manager for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. During his tenure with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Mr. Fenton has secured over $750,000 in gratis advertising for Antigua and Barbuda in leading travel and consumer publications and increased group sales to Antigua and Barbuda by over 20%. He maintains solid relationships with travel promotional partners in the private sector, the travel industry, community and affinity groups and corporations for potential business opportunities to increase group sales, destination weddings and market share. Fenton’s specialties include marketing Antigua and Barbuda to the travel trade, media and consumers, as one of the Caribbean’s top wedding, honeymoon and romance destinations. Mr. Fenton is a graduate from Baruch College, CUNY and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Marketing.


Antigua (pronounced An-tee’ga) and Barbuda (Bar-byew’da) is located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Voted the World Travel Awards  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 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 a listed 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, 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 and follow us on Twitter. http://twitter.com/antiguabarbuda  Facebook www.facebook.com/antiguabarbuda; Instagram: www.instagram.com/AntiguaandBarbuda


For media enquiries, please contact:
Maria Blackman
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority

T: 1 (268) 562 7600/464-7601
E: [email protected]

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog

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Saint Lucia: Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination 2019

CASTRIES – Tuesday, January 29, 2019 – Saint Lucia has won the award for the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’ at the 26th annual World Travel Awards (WTA) in Jamaica at the Sandals Montego Bay on January, 28, 2019. Saint Lucia has won this award ten times, with the most recent honour in 2018.

The red-carpet award ceremony celebrates the most prestigious travel professionals and tourism brands in the Caribbean and North America. The World Travel Awards followed with the 37th edition of the Caribbean Travel Marketplace, which is hosted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) from January 29 – 31, 2019.

“To be continuously recognized as the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’ is truly an honor, it demonstrates Saint Lucia’s commitment to excellence and our unmatched romance product offering. Saint Lucia offers endless experiences and breathtaking pitons with the Caribbean Sea in open air settings; it doesn’t get more romantic than that!” Said Chief Executive Officer at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA), Mrs. Tiffany Howard.

In 2018, Saint Lucia was also bestowed the title of ‘World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’. During the said year, Saint Lucia recorded a 5% increase in honeymoon arrivals over 2017.

The island is also making a strong bid for the title of ‘World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’ in 2019.

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) is positioning the island as a premiere luxury destination, applying further concentration to our niches that continue to drive business internationally.

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

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Guyana Records Highest Visitor Arrival Numbers to Date

January 25, 2018 – Guyana continues to grow as a destination of choice for travellers. As of December 31st, 2018, Guyana recorded a total number of visitor arrivals of 286,732 passengers; a 15.93% increase from the 247,330 visitors Guyana welcomed in 2017.

Over the past years, the Guyana Tourism Authority has worked on raising the profile of Destination Guyana through increased product development, awareness raising activities and niche marketing. This includes attendance at trade shows such as American Birding Expo, ITB, and World Travel Market. The year 2018 saw big changes in GTA’s marketing efforts. A new destination website and social media strategy were launched; market representation was secured in the core source markets of the US, Canada, UK and Germany; and Guyana Tourism Authority hosted several trade, media and influencer FAM trips – all with the aim of increasing awareness of Guyana and driving demand among travellers seeking out authentic, nature, adventure and cultural experiences.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) a visitor is a traveller taking a trip to a main destination outside his/her usual environment, for an overnight stay up to less than a year, for any main purpose (business, leisure or other personal purpose) other than to be employed by a resident entity in the country or place visited. While the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation did report an internal passenger arrival number of 325,800 individuals, the figure captured by the Guyana Tourism Authority is that of visitor specific arrivals, in keeping with the UNWTO definition.

For the first time, Guyana has seen a significant increase in some of its core source markets such as the US (8.28% increase), Europe (11.82% increase) and other Caribbean nations (28% increase).

Travellers come to Guyana to enjoy its pristine rainforest and the golden savannahs of the Rupununi, its unique indigenous community-owned eco-lodges and its nature resorts  on the Essequibo and Demerara Rivers, Guyanese events such as Bartica Regatta and Guyana Carnival, and the most popular attraction of them all, majestic Kaieteur Falls. Kaieteur National Park recorded a total of 8,195 visitors to the tourist attraction in 2018, which is a 10% increase from the previous year.

Guyana also hosted the OAS CITUR Conference in March 2018 and the ICAO Air Transport Meeting in November 2018 which saw scores of international officials, all of whom experienced Guyana’s tourism product.

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin, who has responsibility for tourism, hailed the increased visitor arrivals as an opportunity for more communities, individuals and businesses to invest around the tourism product. The Minister noted that, “word of Guyana’s unique tourism offerings is reaching more people around the world and destination Guyana continues to gain significance”. The government, he added, “will continue to provide the necessary support and incentives as an impetus to the sector. The Department of Tourism and the Guyana Tourism Authority will continue to work with stakeholders in keeping with the Living Guyana Tourism Strategic Action Plan 2018-2025.”

Brian T. Mullis, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority noted that “this is a great achievement for Guyana. We are beginning to attract an increasing number of travellers seeking our authentic nature, culture and adventure experiences within our core markets. Increased visitation means increased income into Guyana that provides benefits across sectors. Tourism is the third largest export market in Guyana. Looking forward, we aim to increase the volume of visitors and the value they each represent to further amplify the positive impacts from tourism.”

With a more targeted marketing approach, ongoing development of the tourism product and increased airlift (LIAT Airlines added a new route in July 2018, and American Airlines recently started serving the destination in November 2018), Guyana is expected to see growth in its visitor arrivals and the improvement of the overall visitor experience in the coming years.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Three artistes announced for Jazz ‘n Creole 2019

Roseau, Dominica – (January 29, 2019) Three artistes have been announced for Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole carded for May 3 – 5, 2019, at Fort Shirley in the Cabrits National Park.  Marva Williams, Festival and Events Manager (Ag) at the Dominica Festivals Committee (DFC) made the announcement at a concert featuring British artiste Joss Stone.

On the line up for this year’s 10th edition of Jazz ‘n Creole are Johan Chuckeree of Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica’s own Mel and The Smith Brothers.

Johann Chuckaree is a celebrated pannist who mastered the steel pan under the tutelage of Len “Boogse” Sharpe.  Chuckaree is the section leader and senior member of the 7 time national panorama champs Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove Steel Orchestra.  He has performed alongside Andy Narrell, represented his country in Argentina as cultural ambassador and amazed audiences in Barbados, St. Lucia, London, Germany, France, New York, Boston and Los Angeles with his stirring steel pan music.

Mel, formerly known to us as Mel C, has thrilled us with her melodious vocals as lead singer of Ti Orkest Band and as a contestant in the Miss Dominica 2013 National Queen Pageant.  She has performed in Summer Heat Fest, Fete la Coudre, The Gaza Party and others.   Mel has gained considerable experience performing alongside Queen Ifrica, Tony Rebel, Munga Honourable, Popcaan, Christopher Martin and Wayne Wonder.  Her popularity has grown tremendously in the French West Indies through her collaboration with artistes such as Walla, Riddla, Jmax and Warped.  Mel participated in CARIFESTA XI in 2013, was awarded the most outstanding youth in music from the National Youth Council in 2015 and in 2015 was nominated as The Sun Newspaper’s best young female artiste.

The Smith Brothers have risen to local stardom with the energetic and lyrically sound deliveries of their youngest member Micah Smith.  The band comprises Marxian on guitar and piano, Michaj on drums, Mighan on bass guitar and Micah the lead vocalist.   The brothers have put together four productions and released their first single on December 30, 2018. They have performed at Marigot’s May Fest, Sisserou Singers Harmony Production in 2018, Kweyol Wandevou in 2018 and Colton T’s Bomb in the City concert among others.

Marva Williams of the DFC encouraged patrons to get ready for another exciting Jazz ‘n Creole lineup with two additional performers to be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information on Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045 or Dominica Festival Committee at 767 448 4833. Or visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, or follow Dominica Fests on Twitter and Facebook, and YouTube.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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2018: Record-Breaking Arrivals Continue for the Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (25 Jan 2019) Following a rebound year for Caribbean travel with increased competition throughout the region, the Cayman Islands has maintained its market share with another year of record-breaking statistical arrivals. At the close of 2018, total visitation surpassed all previous years of recorded visitation including 2006, which previously held the record for the highest number of total visitors in a calendar year.

Total arrivals for 2018 in both air and cruise visitation was 2,384,058, which is an 11.05 percent increase over the same period in 2017 (237,211 additional persons).  463,001 stayover visitors, an increase of 10.66 percent –an additional 44,598 visitors—over 2018, is a year of exciting ‘firsts’ for the destination:

  • The Cayman Islands welcomed over 450,000 stayover visitors for the first time.
  • Arrivals in 2018 represent the highest number of stayover visits for a calendar year in recorded history (surpassing Jan-Dec 2017).
  • As a double accomplishment in ‘firsts’ over 50,000 stayover visitors travelled to the destination within a single month, happening twice in 2018: March and December.

This significant increase in visitation positively impacted the local economy with an uptick in visitor spend, increasing by US$98.1m over 2017.  The estimated total visitor spend in 2018 was US$880.1m, an increase of 12.5 percent.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Moses Kirkconnell shared, “The mandate of the Ministry and Department of Tourism is to facilitate annual growth in visitation and economic contribution; my Ministry pursues this strategically each year.  Through creative promotions, partnerships, and continued collaboration with our industry stakeholders, we have maintained the significant accomplishment of continuous record-breaking years. Our government has committed to investment in our points of entry at the Cruise Port and Airports. These much-needed upgrades will benefit of tourism operators, businesses, visitors and residents. My focus is to ensure that all subjects in my ministry portfolio operate efficiently and effectively to support the tourism sector. These results are an excellent indicator of the work accomplished in 2018.”

In 2018, the USA, Canada, and LATAM had the most impact on arrival numbers.  Specifically, the countries with the largest impact on the overall performance in 2018 were:

  • United States:  13.01%
  • Canada:  7.46%
  • Jamaica:  7.63%
  • Argentina: 17.54%
  • Bermuda: 21.10%

The month of December is noted as the best on record, with a 6.15 percent increase of stayover arrivals with the destination receiving over 50,000 fuelled primarily by the North American markets.  As with the overall statistical increase, the USA had the largest impact in the month of December having grown by over 2,600 additional visitors.  This marks the 21st consecutive month of growth for this market which included an increase in capacity by national flag carrier Cayman Airways from JFK with daily flights in December 2018 compared to December 2017.  Canada saw a 3.30 percent growth making it the best December in statistical history for Canadian stayover visitation. Adding to the success of December’s record-breaking numbers, Latin America also increased by 3.32 percent and is now the best month in arrivals history for that region.

“The Department of Tourism goal of source market diversification coupled with the ongoing development of new routes to the destination and innovative marketing plans has continued to drive the record-breaking successes for the Cayman Islands and will continue in 2019,” said Director of Tourism, Mrs Rosa Harris.  “Noting that aviation is vital to driving visitation our global team remains committed to increasing capacity and are particularly excited to be officially opening the Denver Colorado route in March with Cayman Airways.  As a gateway for the West Coast, we look forward to welcoming many new visitors from Colorado and new cities from the United States in 2019 to add to another year of success for the Cayman Islands. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all tourism partners for participating in our destination marketing campaigns, hosting of our visitors, journalists and travel agents in order to entertain, educate and transport the Cayman Islands brand worldwide.”

For more information and detailed arrival statistics, please visit the website: www.caymanislands.ky/statistics.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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