CTO News

Archive for November, 2019

MSC Meraviglia: World’s 7th Largest Ship Makes Golden Voyage to Belize

Belize City, Wednesday, November 13th, 2019:   MSC Meraviglia, the 7th largest cruise ship in the world, made its golden voyage to Belize today carrying nearly 4,500 guests (at double occupancy) on board.

MSC Meraviglia, is owned and operated by MSC Cruises and  entered service in June 2017. It is the world’s 7th largest ship.  It was built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France by STX France. MSC Meraviglia was MSC Cruises first ship in the innovative Meraviglia class of next-generation ships, designed to be able to call in most of the world’s international cruise ports.

The ship initially operated in the western Mediterranean and has also cruised in Northern Europe as of summer 2019. In October 2019, MSC Meraviglia repositioned to the United States for the first time. Designed to sail in all seasons and climates, the glamorous MSC Meraviglia began her North American journey with three sailings from New York City (NYC), including two itineraries to New England and Canada and one repositioning to her new homeport in Miami. From November 10, 2019 through April 5, 2020,  MSC Meraviglia will sail two different 7-night western Caribbean itineraries, including stops in Belize.

With a name meaning wonder, MSC Meraviglia’s design is inspired by the wonders of the world. The ship’s Mediterranean-style promenade includes a variety of shops and restaurants – including partnership with two Michelin-starred Spanish chef Ramón Freixa for HOLA! Tapas – and features the longest LED sky at sea, displaying unique vistas day and night. Activities on board include a winter-themed aqua park; a Himalayan bridge; a XD cinema; and several kids clubs. In an industry-first, MSC Meraviglia’s on board entertainment includes a partnership with world leader in live entertainment Cirque du Soleil, creating two unique Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows VIAGGIO and SONOR exclusive for MSC Meraviglia.

Since its early beginning in 2003 with 315 port calls and 575,196 visits, the Belize cruise ship industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade and is poised for further growth. 2018 was a record breaking year for tourism arrivals to Belize with the cruise industry alone registering 1,208,137 million visitors through 392 port calls.

The BTB’s latest Travel & Tourism Mid-Year Performance Statistics Report indicate that cave tubing, visits to Mayan temples, the Belize City tour and snorkeling are the most popular activities among cruise ship visitors.

    

Currently seven major cruise lines make port calls on Belize. The addition of MSC Meraviglia is not only expected to boost the number of cruise ship visits, but it is also a strong indication that Belize is now a popular tourism destination in the region.  It underscores the efficacious strategy by the BTB and its partners to market and promote Belize as one of the world’s leading immersive tourism vacation destinations. Belize, a Curious Place.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Cayman Islands Celebrates 7,000 Room Stock Milestone

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (13 November 2019) The Cayman Islands tourism industry recently achieved a major milestone in the accommodations sector through the significant growth of over 7,000 rooms licensed and available to visitors.  This includes over 1,000 new rooms added within the past three years alone, with the condominiums and villas categories accounting for 73% of this increase.

Now standing at 7,027 rooms available across the three-island nation–Grand Cayman has 6,646 rooms, followed by 220 in Cayman Brac and 161 in Little Cayman–the condos and villas category represents the majority share of accommodation types now available with 4,310 rooms versus 2,717 rooms in the hotel category.

“We have seen continued interest from the community to embrace entrepreneurship opportunities in tourism through homesharing, which accounts for 32.2% of the total rooms now available,” stated Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism, the Honourable Moses Kirkconnell. “Through the Ministry and Department of Tourism’s commitment to facilitating annual training and educational forums led by international partners such as Airbnb, as well as meeting regularly with potential developers to provide business solutions, we are extremely proud to now offer the largest and most diverse room stock numbers available to our visitors.”  In total, as of 31 October 2019, there are currently 799 licensed properties representing 9,958 beds.

Ongoing aviation strategies led by the Ministry and Department will continue to provide travellers even greater access to the destination through new key hubs in North America and beyond with their preferred airlines.  Maintaining and growing air access remains a top priority to ensure that the accommodations sector will continue to benefit from tourism, a key pillar of the economy.

Looking forward, the Hon Minister of Tourism shared: “As the Cayman Islands gears up for what is anticipated to be another active winter season around the globe, we encourage our tourism partners—whether new to the industry or long-established—to continue providing our world-renowned warmth through our Caymankind hospitality and our rich cultural experiences. The efforts we make today will secure friends of Cayman for a lifetime and allow others to share in the essence of “Dreaming in Cayman”. We congratulate all tourism partners as we continue to work together to maximize our destination achievements.”

For more information and detailed arrival statistics, please visit www.visitcaymanislands.com/statistics.  For information about current air access, please visit: https://www.visitcaymanislands.com/en-us/plan-your-trip/getting-here/travel-by-air/

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

What’s New in the Islands of the Bahamas for November

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, November 12, 2019 – Grand Bahama Island has already rebounded from Hurricane Dorian with a handful of reopenings this month.  Many of its hotels and attractions have reopened or plan to do so shortly, while cruise ships have resumed calling to the island and the airport plans to resume international service this month. The Islands Of The Bahamas are truly Open For Business and are ready to welcome visitors as we head into the holiday season.

GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND REOPENS

Hotel Openings – Many of Grand Bahama Island’s resorts reopened towards the end of October, including Grand Lucayan Lighthouse Pointe, Castaways Resort & Suites, Taino Beach Resort & Clubs, Paradise Cove, The Village Bahamia, Royal Islander Resort and Sunrise Resort &Marina. Pelican Bay Hotel, Ocean Reef Yacht Club & Resort and Bell Channel Inn are open to relief workers. While its marina, Teasers Beach Side Bar & Grill, Banana Hammocks Harbour Side Bar and the beachside pool reopened in October, Old Bahama Bay Resort is expected to reopen to guests in November.

International Airport – Grand Bahama International Airport has a tentative opening of mid-November while Bahamasair and Western Air have resumed domestic services out of temporary facilities.

Cruise Port – Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration returned to regular scheduled  sailings on September 27. Passengers have the option to add a free volunteer excursion to help on the ground or assemble family boxes onboard the ship. Carnival Cruise Line has also resumed sailings to Grand Bahama Island. Between the relaunch date and the end of the year, Carnival expects to host 39 calls in Freeport, bringing more than 100,000 visitors to the island.

OTHER NEWS

The Bahamas Awarded in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards – The Islands Of The Bahamas placed tenth in Condé Nast Travelers’ 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards for the Top 10 Islands in The Caribbean & Atlantic. Despite the trying hurricane season, The Islands continue to be a leader in Caribbean travel.

United Airlines Adds Non-Stop Service between Denver and Nassau – United Airlines have added Saturday-only non-stop service from Denver to Nassau. The service begins March 7 and continues through August 15.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s New Nassau Offering – Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line introduced its popular cruise and stay program to Nassau. Departing from the port of West Palm Beach, passengers can choose from a two or six night stay at participating resorts in Nassau, including SLS Baha Mar, The Melia Nassau Beach All-Inclusive or Comfort Suites Paradise Island. Over 250,000 stayover guests are expected to arrive to The Islands Of The Bahamas in the next year.

PROMOTIONS AND OFFERS

For a complete, up-to-date listing of deals and packages for The Bahamas, visit www.bahamas.com/deals-packages.

Warwick Paradise Island’s Fourth Night FreeGuests traveling through December 15 can earn a fourth night free when spending three nights at Warwick Paradise Island.

Pineapple Fields’ Special Offer  – Stay in a one bedroom upstairs condo for three days or more from November 18 – December 15 and save 20% when booking by phone.

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

Stay up-to-date with the latest events and happenings in The Bahamas: www.bahamas.com/events

The P1 AquaX Bahamas World Championship (November 8 – November 10) – Atlantis, Paradise Island will play host to professional watercraft competitors, representing 12 countries for the P1 AquaX Bahamas World Championship. Additional festivities will include a nearby Race Village with live music, local bands, food and activities for all ages. Tickets can be purchased at www.atlantisbahamas.com/p1-aquax.

Bahamas Hoopfest (November 27 – November 30) – In partnership with International Youth Education & Sports Foundation, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation will be hosting the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Thanksgiving Classic in Nassau this year. This will be the first women’s basketball event of its kind to be hosted in The Bahamas. View fan packages here.

The Jonas Brothers at Atlantis (December 30) – GRAMMY-nominated band, the Jonas Brothers, will perform at Atlantis, Paradise Island on December 30, 2019. The performance is a part of the resort’s acclaimed entertainment series Atlantis LIVE. This will be the multiplatinum trio’s fifth time performing for Atlantis LIVE and 10 years since their last Atlantis performance. Tickets are available for purchase at jonasbrothersatlantis.com.

ABOUT THE BAHAMAS

With over 700 islands and cays, and 16 unique island destinations, The Bahamas lies just 55 miles off the coast of Florida, offering an easy fly away escape that transports travelers away from their everyday. It’s also easy to get to The Bahamas from Canada by traveling on Air Canada or Westjet. The Islands Of The Bahamas have world-class fishing, diving, boating and thousands of miles of the earth’s most spectacular water and beaches waiting for families, couples and adventurers. Explore all the islands have to offer at www.bahamas.com or on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram to see why It’s Better in The Bahamas.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

CTO Sustainable Tourism Roundup – October 1st, 2019

In this edition we are pleased to announce the launch of the Community-Based Tourism (CBT) Toolkit by the CTO in partnership with Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) and the call for proposals for agro-tourism and community-based tourism initiatives. We also highlight two upcoming conferences and provide a three month drought bulletin and sargassum outlook newsletter developed by our partners.

View Roundup.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Corporate News

Leave a Comment (0) →

St. Kitts is Poised for Growth with Extended Summer Season Air Service

Basseterre, St. Kitts (November 8, 2019) – St. Kitts is pleased to announce that both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines will be extending their existing non-stop Saturday flights to St. Kitts from JFK to include the month of May 2020, providing continuous service from peak season through summer. With both airlines increasing service at a time when they traditionally hiatus, the additional flights help to position St. Kitts for summer season and full year air passenger arrivals growth.

“I could not be more pleased to receive this additional airlift from our two North American airline partners with the most capacity into St. Kitts,” said Minister Grant. “Having just met with American Airlines on Thursday, November  7, 2019 at their new headquarters in Dallas Fort Worth and received the update about our JFK gateway for May, the additional service is a clear testament to their trust in our development as a tourism destination. These extra operations by American and Delta from JFK, our top US source market for visitors, effectively eliminate their normally-scheduled May hiatus, making it easier for potential visitors and Kittitian nationals to reach the island this summer. Having continuous non-stop flights from peak season through the summer increases our appeal as a premier leisure destination and demonstrates the success of our strategy to continue our momentum of growth.”

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, “This bold move by American and Delta is a direct result of our specific marketing strategy to build out St. Kitts’ summer season in support of overall tourism growth.  Last year, we set a new record for air passenger arrivals and we are on track to exceed those numbers again this year. This extended air service for 2020 positions us for even further growth next year and is a clear indication of the strength of our relationsships with the airline network planners handling the Caribbean region.”

From May 2 through June 3, 2020, American Airlines will add a total of 4 rotations for the flight utilizing a 160-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 16 First Class, 30 Main Cabin Extra and 114 Main Cabin class seats as follows-

From May 2 through June 6, 2020, Delta Air Lines will add a total of 3 rotations for the flight utilizing a 160-seat Boeing 737-800 with 16 First Class, 30 Main Cabin Extra and 114 Main Cabin class seats as follows-

 

Further to the JFK flights, American also flies non-stop year-round to St. Kitts on Saturdays from Charlotte and daily plus twice daily Wednesday through Sunday from Miami.  As of 2019, the carrier also offers summer season non-stop flights to St. Kitts on Saturdays from Dallas.  Delta operates non-stop year-round to St. Kitts on Saturdays from Atlanta as well as from JFK.

St. Kitts’ airlift strategy consists of continuing to nurture relationships with the airlines to systematically build out air bridges to/from identified target gateways to grow service in a sustainable manner that will support new and existing hotel developments as well as all local tourism stakeholders while making the island increasingly easy and affordable for air travelers to reach.  The participation of local tourism stakeholders from hotels and retaurants to retail shops and activity providers in destination-wide seasonal offers such as “Summer Sunsation,” which is specifically designed to promote travel during the summer, helps ensure that St. Kitts remains competitive in the marketplace to drive both air and hotel reservations. Targeted advertising for the offers results in increased brand awareness and provides added incentive with a clear call-to-action for consumers to book travel to St. Kitts.

About St. Kitts:

Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean.  Located in the northern Leeward Islands, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history.  The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are water sports including catamaran sailing, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on the beach. For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

 

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 4 1234