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Archive for April, 2020

Discover Puerto Rico First to Offer Live Guided Tours Through Google Earth

As most of us enter another week of shelter-in-place mandates, Discover Puerto Rico is the first destination to entertain and educate would-be tourists by transporting them through Google Earth on live guided tours throughout the Island. Jorge Montalvo from Patria Tours will be hosting a series of three live guided tours utilizing Google Earth, during National Travel and Tourism Week (May 3-9). Participants will feel like they are actually in Puerto Rico, seeing the Island’s natural wonders, off the beaten path experiences, and cultural offerings, with the ability to interact and ask questions along the way.

Discover Puerto Rico is the first destination to offer live guided tours via Google Earth, transporting at-home wanderlusters to iconic locations on the Island such as Flamenco Beach in Culebra, Toro Verde in Orocovis and Domes Beach in Rincón (pictured left to right), during National Travel and Tourism Week (May 3-9). Credit: DiscoverPuertoRico.com

“With nearly 73 percent of Americans saying they miss travel1, we want to continue offering travelers ways to vacation virtually,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico. “Through these and other activations we’ve been offering, we’ve not only been able to keep Puerto Rico top of mind, reminding travelers of everything that will be waiting for them when the time is right to travel again, but it’s also given us the opportunity to highlight valued members of the local tourism industry,” he added.

To join the free live guided tours, lasting approximately 30 minutes each, at-home wanderlusters should tune in to Discover Puerto Rico’s Facebook page .

  • Tuesday, May 5, starting at 5:00PM EST: “Discover the natural wonders of Puerto Rico” like El Yunque (the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service), bioluminescent bays in Vieques (Puerto Rico has three of the world’s five), Playa Negra (famous “black sand beach,”) Cueva Ventana (a historical cave with an iconic window-like opening that looks out over the lush surroundings), and much more.
  • Friday, May 8, starting at 5:00PM EST: “Off the beaten path in Puerto Rico,” offering an overview of Ponce (the second largest city in Puerto Rico), Rincón (where major surfing competitions take place), Culebra and Flamenco Beach (rated as one of the best beaches in the world), Gilligan’s Island (a mysterious mangrove Island where travelers can find shallow crystal water that’s ideal for snorkeling), and much more.
  • Wednesday, May 13, starting at 5:00PM EST: “Road-tripping across Puerto Rico,” including cultural sites such as historic lighthouses and colonial buildings like Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal (which together form part of the San Juan National Historic Site), the Guajataca Tunnel (built in 1904, this tunnel crosses the mountain from Playa Guajataca to Playa Mirador), Cara del Indio (an impressive rock sculpture of the Cacique (chief) Mabodamaca), and much more.

Follow Discover Puerto Rico’s social channels on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date, and for more information about Puerto Rico, visit DiscoverPuertoRico.com.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Antigua and Barbuda Webinars Prepare Travel Agents for Destination Re-opening

JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (April 27, 2020) – As the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Industry prepares for the eventual re-opening of airports once it becomes safe to travel, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) has arranged a series of webinars within each of its  major source markets, to inform the trade of destination developments related to covid-19, and to support travel agents eager to use their downtime to sharpen their product knowledge.

Webinar sessions have occurred in the United States, Canadian, United Kingdom and European markets, and have focused on showcasing the destination’s key selling points, as well as capturing insight from the agents as to the consumer sentiment within their markets.

“This is the ideal time for travel agents to improve their destination knowledge. We want to ensure our agents are prepared so that when their clients begin inquiring about beach destinations once again, they will be ready to confidently sell the destination, and our diverse and exciting range of product”, said CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C. James.

The Tourism Authority’s online training sessions have attracted many attendees, with each session hosting over one hundred agents.

Over in the USA, Sales and Marketing Manager for the ABTA USA, Norrell Joseph said, “We hosted a webinar with over 800 registrants. This is a first in a series of webinars we will host to keep the destination ‘top of mind’ while being sensitive to the current circumstances.”

“As well as attracting the Antigua and Barbuda champions, our webinars have attracted a new cadre of agents, said ABTA’s UK based Business Development Manager Joel Henry. Henry shared feedback derived from one agent, who commented, “I have never had the pleasure of travelling to Antigua or Barbuda but after yesterday I think it will be the next place I have to tick off on my travel list. Plus it’s great to have as a go-to when selling travel to clients.

ABTA’s Canadian Team strategically created and executed an engaging webinar dubbed “Home-schooled, with Antigua and Barbuda’.

“It is our conclusion that, at the end of this current crisis, the travel advisor will have an even greater relevance to the consumer. Therefore, we continue working to ensure we maintain a strong travel agent community which is keen on selling Antigua and Barbuda to our Canadian market and further afield” said Sales and Marketing Manager in Canada, Tameka Wharton.

Members of the travel trade based in Antigua and Barbuda, are not being left out of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s outreach efforts and learning sessions.

A free Social Media Marketing webinar will take place on Wednesday 29 April 2020 at 10:00 a.m. for those within the industry keen to gain insight into tips for marketing their business on social media, during the time of Covid-19. Michael Ball, co-founder of Traverse, a London based influencer marketing and events company, will be the guest speaker. Registration can be done at:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYtcuGqpjIpG9EkSjWVnulD2SlwYIAsBCN1

 

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority will also offer a webinar for travel agents located within the Caribbean region.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Destination News

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Tourism Hosts National Salute by Sound in Grenada to Show Gratitude to Essential Workers

St. George’s, Grenada W.I. – April 27, 2020 – In a nationwide show of appreciation to the hard working frontline personnel throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, the Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation along with the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), hosted ‘Salute with Sound’ on Friday, April 24, 2020 at 7.00pm.

Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen was grateful for the tremendous show of support and gratitude throughout the nation with citizens clapping, blowing horns, banging pots and playing musical instruments amongst other sounds for the five minute duration of the exercise. She informed that though the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) remains closed, “the Ministry and the GTA are working with our valued airline and cruise line partners towards the day when the country will reopen for travel”. A public announcement will be made in that case but in the meantime she reiterated the need to have a safer and cleaner Grenada for Tourism to recover in the tri-island destination and all stakeholders are working strategically together to make that happen.

The country has confirmed a total of 18 COVID-19 cases to date with most of the cases being import or import related and 7 cases have fully recovered. Grenada is still under a limited state of emergency with restrictions being lifted cautiously on a weekly basis. Currently, Grenadians have Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays where they can leave their homes with masks to carry out essential tasks during the daytime. Otherwise, everyone is required to stay at home and stay safe as Government ensures that the health and wellbeing of the citizens and visitors on our shores is safeguarded.

Please click on the link Saluting our heroes in Pure Grenada to see the Thank you video prepared by the Grenada Tourism Authority for the essential and frontline workers.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Caribbean Airlines Cargo Launches Charter Service

Trinidad and Tobago, April 27, 2020,  Caribbean Airlines introduces cargo charter services to support supply chains within the  Caribbean region.

The airline launched this new option to meet the growing demand for cargo uplift to a number of Caribbean islands, which are now experiencing significantly reduced cargo capacity with the closure of borders to passenger aircraft, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Caribbean Airlines Cargo will utilize the airline’s fleet of Boeing 737-800 and ATR-72 aircraft, offering up to 18,000 pounds for the movement of essential goods to and from destinations, including but not limited to, Antigua, Barbados, Curacao, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Nassau, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Charter flights will be subject to the regulatory approvals of each jurisdiction and airport.

The airline continues to operate its scheduled 767 freighter flights, offering up to 120,000 pounds of cargo capacity to and from its hub in Miami.

Marklan Moseley, General Manager Cargo, Caribbean Airlines states “In these unprecedented times, our cargo operations are crucial to securing the urgent supply of essential goods within the Caribbean. We will continue to adapt our business in order to meet the evolving needs of our valued customers”.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Guyana Tourism Authority Designates New Director

Georgetown, Guyana (April 22, 2020): The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Deputy Director, Carla James, as director of the tourism body beginning May 1, 2020. Ms. James will succeed the current director, Brian T. Mullis, following the conclusion of his two-year contract on April 30, 2020 and becomes the first ever indigenous woman to assume the position.

Ms. James, a proud Akawaio and native of Kamarang Village in the Upper Mazaruni Region (Region 7), was unanimously identified as the superior and most suitable candidate at the end of a rigorous four-stage selection process conducted by the agency’s board of directors. Her appointment also marks a pivotal moment in the GTA’s 18-year history as she becomes the first indigenous woman to assume the role – a fact to be noted by social historians and celebrated by indigenous peoples and women of all ethnicities throughout Guyana.

“Ms. James is uniquely qualified to lead Destination Guyana as our new director of tourism,” said Donald Sinclair, the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Guyana Tourism Authority. “In her we have found a leader who is not only professionally well-versed in our destination and industry sector, but someone with tremendous national pride and heritage, both of which are essential components for strengthening our tourism strategy going forward. Her ascension to the role of director will also be a tremendous source of inspiration to many young women who now have proof that women of all ethnicities can shatter glass ceilings and go where previously they feared to tread”.

In her capacity as director, Ms. James will lend a breadth of managerial and industry experience, with a proven track record for institutional strengthening, financial management, and destination planning, marketing and management, spanning 19 years in her professional career.  As graduate of President’s College, Ms. James began her career in 2001 as a research assistant at what was then the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce. In 2003, she made the move to the Guyana Tourism Authority and joined the team as a statistics and research officer. In the following years, she has held the positions of Senior Statistics and Research Officer, Marketing Manager, Logistics Manager and Personal Assistant to the Director of the Authority, and most recently, the Deputy Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority.

“I am filled with a great sense of pride and accomplishment. It has been an amazing journey of learning, apprenticeship, training and experiences; and I am extremely honoured to take on the role of the Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority and serve the place I am so proud to call home,” added Ms. James, current Deputy Director for the Guyana Tourism Authority. “Our work plays a significant role in helping to protect our precious natural landscapes and wildlife and it is a responsibility I do not take lightly. During a time when community is needed most, I look forward to supporting my own by continuing to push Destination Guyana forward alongside our valued industry partners.”

The new director will assume leadership during what is easily the most severe and dynamic time for the global tourism industry – COVID-19 crisis. Her task will be to lead her team through the implementation of an industry recovery strategy, building on what has been established over the last years and pivoting based on the travel industry’s new normal. The Board of the Guyana Tourism Authority, entire GTA body and outgoing Director, Brian T. Mullis, remain confident that Ms. James’ leadership capabilities and strong support will allow the GTA and Guyana tourism sector to overcome the current challenges and build upon the tremendous successes achieved during the past two years.

Those successes include multiple awards and designations that have helped propel Guyana to great heights in the tourism industry and in the sustainability sector specifically. In 2019 alone, Guyana was named the World’s #1 ‘Best of Ecotourism’ at ITB Berlin, #1 ‘Best in Sustainable Tourism’ at the LATA Achievement Awards, #1 ‘Best in Destination Stewardship’ at the CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Awards Programme, and the ‘Leading Sustainable Adventure Destination’ at World Travel Market. These designations spurred interest in the small South American nation like never before and resulted in multiple features in annual travel lists and other high-profile media coverage positioning Guyana as a top destination to visit in 2020. The destination has also secured its first award for 2020, being named the 2nd place winner of the ‘Best of Americas’ category by the Green Destinations Foundation.

Despite the challenges ahead to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, the Guyana Tourism Authority remains optimistic that this foundation of interest in Guyana will prevail as travellers seek out more sustainable and enriching ways to explore the world later into 2020 and well beyond.

Profile shots of Ms. Carla James are available to download here.

About the Guyana Tourism Authority: The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) is a semi-autonomous governmental organisation responsible for developing and promoting sustainable tourism in Guyana through collaboration with sister agencies and the tourism private sector in order to maximise local socio-economic and conservation outcomes and improve the travellers’ experience. The GTA is focused on Guyana becoming recognised locally and internationally as a premier destination for protecting its natural and cultural heritage, providing authentic experiences, and maximising local socio-economic benefits.

For more information on Destination Guyana and/the Guyana Tourism Authority kindly contact Nicola Balram ([email protected]) or Sade Cameron ([email protected]), call (592) 219-0093 or follow DiscoverGuyana on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Trinidad and Tobago to Benefit from CAF Loan

Tourism infrastructure -including beaches, island connectivity, popular sites and attractions and airports at Piarco and Crown Point are expected to be significantly enhanced following receipt of three loans amounting to US$350 million from the CAF Development Bank of Latin America.

Tourism Minister, the Honourable Randall Mitchell, welcomes this development and says it was obtained at a most appropriate time.

He said the tourism sector in Trinidad and Tobago was among the hardest hit by the global COVID-19 pandemic and the financial assistance will provide much needed resources to upgrade various aspects of the tourism product we offer.

The Honourable Minister said he was confident all tourism stakeholders will welcome this development.

About US$200 million of the funds will be used to assist with “the management, planning and investment of tourism infrastructure through improvements in the institutional and regulatory framework.” It is also expected to assist with the current review of the National Tourism Policy, the Strategic Plan for the Airports Authority and development of a National Maritime Policy and Strategy. In addition it will strengthen the analysis needed to develop a port and logistics hub, specifically in Port-of-Spain and development and integration of the Port Community System in the logistics chains linked to ports.

Three loans amounting to US$350 million have been approved by the Andean Development Bank (CAF) to assist with the general improvements to air and sea transportation and infrastructure, to assist with initiatives to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Destination News

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