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Archive for January, 2020

St. Kitts Welcomes Koi Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton

Basseterre, St. Kitts (January 30, 2020) – St. Kitts is pleased to announce the opening of KOI Resort St. Kitts, Curio Collection by Hilton, representing the brand’s debut on island as well as KOI Hospitality’s first entry into the hotel space. The 102-room oceanfront haven is the latest addition to St. Kitts’ growing hotel portfolio, having most recently welcomed the Park Hyatt St. Kitts at Christophe Harbour to the destination in November 2017.

“We are thrilled to be home to the Hilton brand’s first property in St. Kitts as well as the first KOI Hospitality hotel,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “As we continue to build and develop our stayover tourism, the addition of select upscale properties balances the strategic growth of our airlift service from key non-stop gateways and flow markets. The opening of Koi Resort St. Kitts not only adds room stock to our current hotel inventory, it provides further diversity in the accommodations options we can offer visitors.”

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, “The opening of KOI Resort St. Kitts as a Curio Collection by Hilton brand that appeals to the experiential destination travelers who comprise our primary target market is a benefit to our tourism sector. As more lifestyle travelers are choosing St. Kitts as their destination of choice, it will help us to remain ‘on the rise’ in what is one of the most competitive regions in the world for tourism.”

KOI Hospitality owns and operates the acclaimed KOI restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and additional international locations. Meaning ‘love’ in Japanese, the ‘KOI’ name was the inspiration behind the love and care that was put into the property, including the resort’s meticulously appointed guest rooms, delectable cuisine and poolside programming. Situated along Half Moon Bay adjacent to the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club, KOI Resort St. Kitts is launching a new lifestyle, vibe and frame of mind for those visiting the destination by offering Asian-inspired design, locally-inspired programming, globally celebrated cuisine by KOI Hospitality and immeasurable experiences for travelers.

Set on prime beachfront property just minutes from the Robert L Bradshaw International airport, KOI Resort St. Kitts features 102 guestrooms, a full-service pool terrace overlooking the ocean, a well-equipped gym, upscale spa treatments and a variety of elevated dining options, including the famed KOI Restaurant. Guestrooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows leading out to tranquil terraces with panoramic views of the ocean, golf course or nearby mountains and offer a variety of signature design elements and luxurious amenities including soothing rain showers, relaxing bathtubs, lavish beds and modern comforts.

The resort’s pool is situated just steps from the ocean and includes a terrace complete with plush lounge beds. Notable amenities include the Kaya Spa, offering with a wide variety of body treatments, massages and facials in a tranquil setting, and an on-site fitness facility at the well-appointed Kaya Wellness. Three culinary outlets offer style, haute cuisine and attentive service: the KOI Restaurant brand’s signature KOI Restaurant, a sophisticated blend of modern elegance and Asian tradition serving Japanese cuisine; Jaya Kitchen & Cocktails, the resort’s poolside bar and restaurant serving beach-inspired entrees and snacks; and Jaya Ultra Lounge, serving a menu of Caribbean-inspired libations and customized craft cocktails.

Every detail of the property was curated by the KOI Hospitality executive team to retain the vision of KOI restaurants with design that appeals to all senses. They have created experiences at the highest quality standard that are intended to provide a sanctuary for locals and visitors alike. With a striking yet minimalistic design, the lobby interiors were inspired by the majestic and zen vibe reminiscent of Southeast Asia adorned with handcrafted details, rich textures and unique pieces of art inspired by the local culture.

KOI Resort St. Kitts also features more than 6,000 square feet of function space and state-of-the-art meeting facilities for up to 300 guests for meetings, events and weddings. Further to on-property activities including water sports and health/wellness offerings, guests can explore the destination in style by chartering a day sail to Nevis, snorkeling, ziplining, hiking in the rainforest, visiting cultural sites and attractions and much more.

KOI Resort St. Kitts is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 17 distinct hotel brands. For more information or reservations, visit KOI Resort St. Kitts, Curio Collection by Hilton.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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New CEO Appointed for Nevis Tourism Authority

Nevis, W.I (January 29, 2020)- The Nevis Tourism Authority, (NTA) has a new CEO. The NTA Board of Directors conducted an exhaustive review of more than 40 applicants. These 40+ applicants were shortlisted based on their knowledge of the destination, background in tourism, industry experience and qualifications. The board conducted extensive interviews with the finalists which focused on their vision to grow the destination, relevant and creative traditional and digital marketing strategies, proposals for engaging domestic and international stakeholders, human resource competencies and the ability to manage limited resources.

Ms. Jadine Yarde has been selected as the new head of the NTA. She is an American born, and has Barbadian and Grenadian citizenship. Ms. Yarde has lived in the major US cities of Boston and New York for the majority of her life, before moving to Barbados and working in tourism, marketing and entertainment and later as a consultant in both Barbados and Grenada. She has worked with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc and has been involved in the development of Limitless Concierge Service, which is a Barbadian and Grenadian based concierge service. This has allowed her to immerse in the Caribbean lifestyle while understanding the traditional tourist and their needs and wants. With over 10 years of experience in marketing, tourism and entertainment, Ms. Yarde, who holds a BSc in Marketing, brings to the table a creative vision for the future of Nevis’ tourism industry, an analytic tourism outlook, a strong digital marketing mindset and clear understanding of how important a business’ digital footprint is.

Ms Yarde assumes office effectively on February 1st , 2020.

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Grenada Reports Stellar Tourism Performance in 2019

St. George’s, Grenada W.I. – January 28, 2020 – 2018 was a record-breaking year for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique as the three- island destination welcomed more than half a million total visitors to its shores. Building on this solid foundation, supported by continued aggressive public relations and marketing efforts to attract target audiences, Grenada maintained its growth momentum in 2019 which resulted in a preliminary total visitor number of 525,453 as released by the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) today.

Stayover visitor arrivals, which are considered the most valuable visitor in terms of on-island spend, accounted for 162,902, a 1% increase over 2018’s bumper growth (10%) of 160,970 arrivals. With the addition of American Airlines’ new direct service from Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport and considering that one of the largest hotels on island, the Rex Grenadian, has been closed for refurbishment since May 2019, this is a good indication of the destination’s growth and high demand with intrepid travelers.

As the market share increases, so will Grenada’s accommodations portfolio with the addition of The Royalton Grenada hotel, scheduled to open on March 1, 2020 as the largest hotel on island with 269 rooms. Sandals Grenada with 257 rooms and Radisson Grenada Beach Hotel with 227 rooms will be the second and third largest hotels on island respectively. The destination will also be home to the Kimpton Kawana Bay hotel which will have 220 rooms with construction well underway on the world famous Grand Anse Beach and 100 rooms will be available by December 2020.

Cruise visitor arrivals accounted for 337,940 maintaining solid numbers after 2018’s record growth (15%) of 342,826. Plans are in place for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) to increase visits from 19 cruise calls in 2019 to 29 cruise calls in 2020 with Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International. Carnival Corporation’s Carnival Fascination cruise ship is planning 12 new calls to Grenada throughout the year 2021.

Grenada continues its stellar growth in yachting with preliminary visitor arrivals currently at 24,611. With the expansion of Camper and Nicholson’s marina of 160 berths, with an additional 90 completed, the world class facility at Port Louis is gearing up for major growth in the sector.

GTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Maher, stated that tourism prospects are excellent for the destination, not just for 2020 but beyond, with the announcement of a Six Senses Hotel to open in 2022. This upscale 100-room hotel project is part of a two hotel development plan at La Sagesse in the beautiful parish of St. David’s. It will be the first Six Senses brand hotel in the Caribbean. Recently, the destination was named “Top 12 to watch in 2020” in the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) Travel Trends Report 2020, the only Caribbean destination to be included in the UK global benchmark report since 2018.

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen, noted the destination’s tourism partners and the industry’s allied members are looking forward to significant future growth plans throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique taking into account all the new developments in the stayover, cruise and yachting sectors.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Montserrat Tourism Arrivals Cross 20,000 for the First Time in the Active Volcano Era

The Montserrat Tourism Division, Office of the Premier reports that visitor arrivals to the island in 2019 increased by 14% over 2018, signaling the first time since the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano in 1995 that the number has crossed 20,000. For the period January to December 2019, Montserrat recorded 20,956 total visitor arrivals compared to 18,338 for the same period in 2018.

A 59% increase in cruise visits was largely responsible for the overall growth and this was complemented by a 2% increase in stayover arrivals. The Caribbean region led the way, generating 19% of total stayover visits, followed by the UK, which accounted for 13.4% and the US, which produced 12.6%. Commenting on the positive results, Director of Tourism, Warren Solomon, said “We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to surpass the threshold of 20,000 visitors. It tells us that we’re on the right track with our marketing initiatives and that if we are able to be consistent in our delivery, we could continue the growth trend.”

The Hon. Premier and Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Joseph Farrell and Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier, Mrs Daphne Cassell, are working with Ministry of Finance to secure additional funding for marketing to increase stay-over visitors.

The tourism data released by the Statistics Department also revealed a 1% growth in visitor spend, amounting to $27 million. This means that although more people are visiting the island, this is not being fully reflected in their level of expenditure. The Tourism Division is confident that its product development initiatives, some of which include enhancements to the trail network and beach facilities, service training in the tourism sector and the construction of a Volcano Interpretive Centre would stimulate increased activity and spending by visitors to the island.

“We recently launched a new survey tool that will capture both the sentiments of our visitors, as well as more accurate estimates of their expenditure,” noted Product Development Officer, Rosetta West-Gerald, “This will allow us to better understand both the positive or negative impacts of our product offerings and make adjustments where necessary.”

Some of the new planned marketing activities in which the Tourism Division will be engaging in 2020 include: The launch of a new website to enhance its digital marketing capabilities, a more aggressive approach to going after the group and excursion markets in Antigua, and a number of trade and consumer initiatives in the US, UK and Canada.

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Official Dates for Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival 2020 Released

Roseau, Dominica:  (January 28, 2020) – The Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), organizers of the World Creole Music Festival, the region’s greatest indigenous music festival, announces the official date for the 2020 edition of the festival, for October 23rd, 24th and 25th , 2020, at its usual venue at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium, Roseau, Dominica’s capital.

The 22nd edition of the Festival will be held one week earlier, to accommodate preparations for celebrating the country’s 42nd anniversary of Independence on November 3, 2020.  This year, Festival patrons will have the opportunity to kick off Creole Week on the weekend prior to Creole Day and enjoy the various Creole celebrations in the week after the Festival.

The WCMF which is part of the wider celebrations for Dominica’s annual independence anniversary, and is preceded by a variety of cultural events, competition and fringe musical events, has become well known for attracting some of the region’s major acts in the creole musical genres like Cadence-lypso and Bouyon from Dominica, Zouk from the French Antilles, Compas from Haiti, as well as other genres with Caribbean and African roots, like Reggae and Dancehall from Jamaica, Soca and Calypso from Trinidad and other Caribbean islands and Afro-beat from the African continent.

As a result of the growing popularity of the festival and the demand for flights, accommodation and tickets for the festival period, visitors are especially encouraged to make early reservation for flights into the destination and for hotel rooms.

For information on hotel rates and other festival information please visit the DDA festival website at www.dominicafestivals.com

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

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The Bahamas Celebrates Highest Visitor Arrival Numbers in History

NASSAU – January 23, 2019 –The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation has exceeded a record-breaking seven million visitors in 2019. The Ministry attributes this historic success to data-driven, agile marketing, authentic storytelling, and aggressive PR, sales and airlift strategies. While the impacts of Hurricane Dorian are still felt, the hard work and dedication of Ministry partners have ensured that The Bahamas is still rockin’.

“It is with great pride and pleasure that I report The Bahamas’ strongest tourism numbers in history,” said Minister of Tourism & Aviation, Dionisio D’Aguilar. “We look forward to building upon the success of our marketing efforts and continuing the momentum in 2020 as we show the world that The Bahamas continues to be Open For Business and has so much to offer visitors.”

“This tremendous achievement would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the team behind the scenes at the Ministry of Tourism as well as our industry and agency partners,” said Director General, Joy Jibrilu.

RECORD ARRIVALS
The impact of Hurricane Dorian has not slowed The Bahamas’ tourism growth. Since 2009, the islands have continuously seen a steady increase in air and sea arrivals with an impressive 52% increase in just 10 years.

According to the Department of Immigration, Port Authority and Customs, 2019 was a record-breaking year for The Bahamas, with the highest number of arrivals by air and sea recorded in the country’s history. By the end of 2019, foreign air and sea arrivals had totaled more than 7.2 million, a 9.0% increase from 2018. Stopover visitors alone were the highest in recorded history at 1.78 million with American visitors accounting for 1.45 million.

AIRLIFT INCREASE
The Islands Of The Bahamas expect to see this trend of increasing arrivals by air continue as major airlines, including United Airlines, British Airways and Delta Airlines have increased their airlift to Nassau in 2020.

United Airlines has added Saturday-only non-stop service from Denver to Nassau. The service begins March 7, 2020 in time for the peak spring travel season and continues through August 15, 2020. Beginning March 29, 2020, British Airways will operate non-stop service between London Heathrow and Nassau every Tuesday. British Airways will now offer non-stop service between London and Nassau Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Delta Airlines has also expanded its airlift to Nassau this winter. Beginning December 21, 2019, the airline introduced daily nonstop flights from Boston Logan Airport to Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport. Flights will run through April 30, 2020.

AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
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.

Bahamian Islands Recognized in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards The Exumas, Harbour Island and The Abacos were named some of the top islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda and The Bahamas in Travel + Leisure’s 2019 World’s Best Awards. The World’s Best Awards are among the most prestigious in the travel industry and are selected by the publication’s readers.

Caribbean Journal’s Travelers’ Choice Awards – Nassau / Paradise Island were recognized in two categories of Caribbean Journal’s Travelers’ Choice Awards. The Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant was named the Best Restaurant in the Caribbean while Nassau / Paradise Island was voted the Best Golf Destination. The Travelers’ Choice Awards celebrate the best in Caribbean travel as chosen by thousands of Caribbean Journal subscribers.

CHTA’s Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum Awards – The Islands Of The Bahamas took top honors at Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s annual CHIEF Awards. Small Hope Bay Lodge in Andros placed first in the Environmental Sustainability category for its solar power initiatives. Valentines Resort & Marina on Harbour Island placed first in the Sales and Marketing award category through its social media and email marketing efforts. Nassau Airport Development Company placed second in the Business Operations category for its new operation procedures to improve passenger experience.

Media Accolades – Following Hurricane Dorian, travel and lifestyle media rallied behind The Islands Of The Bahamas to encourage their readers to plan their travels now. The following awards round out a growing list of media accolades and consumer travel trend reports positioning The Bahamas as a must-visit destination in 2020:

CONTINUING THE MOMENTUM WITH FLY AWAY

THE BAHAMAS IS STILL ROCKIN’

Following Hurricane Dorian, the Ministry also revealed a multi-channel campaign which reveals the resilience of the Bahamian people. Through authentic storytelling, the campaign shows travelers why The Bahamas is still rockin’ and urges them to add the destination to their 2020 travel plans.

Earlier this year, the Ministry debuted a new, multi-channel creative campaign featuring Bahamian-American rock legend Lenny Kravitz which reveals the authentic spirit of The Bahamas as a destination of adventure and discovery. Set to the lyrics of Kravitz’s hit song Fly Away, the television commercial and supporting marketing campaign capture his deep personal connection to The Bahamas, as well as the pure adrenaline rush of exploring the archipelago’s 100,000 square miles by boat and plane. Behind-the-scenes video follows Kravitz around his home base of Eleuthera, where he records music and embraces island time.

Supporting digital content at www.bahamas.com/flyaway allows the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation to raise awareness of the destination’s many islands, which include The Exumas, Andros, Bimini, The Berry Islands, Cat Island, Harbour Island and Eleuthera, Long Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Mayaguana, Inagua, Acklins, Nassau-Paradise Island and Crooked Island. The new hub draws visitors into island-specific microsites delivering inspiring vertical market video content on a variety of cultural and travel topics. The campaign underscores The Bahamas’ powerful appeal as a destination and its proximity as a quick Fly Away destination.

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