Archive for July, 2020

Pure Grenada Takes First Step in Tourism “Comeback”

GEORGE’S, GRENADA, W.I. – July 20, 2020 – As part of the government of Grenada’s careful approach to reopening the destination to international travelers, Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport began welcoming visitors from neighboring CARICOM nations on July 15, 2020. Though identified as Low-Risk Countries due to inactive community transmission, travelers originating from these destinations will still need to observe and agree to mandatory protocols prior to booking and on arrival to the three-island destination.

“We are pleased to be able to welcome visitors from our closest neighbors in the region,” noted Patricia Maher, CEO of the GTA. “The Grenada Tourism Authority and all of its partners in the private and public sector recognize that it is necessary for us to take gradual steps with the relaunch of tourism, not only for the benefit of our travelers but to also ensure the health and safety of our residents as well as protect the sustainability and viability of the Grenadian tourism industry.”

Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean, provides visitors with limitless opportunities to explore, relax and unwind. With diverse offerings such as culinary, soft adventure, romance, leisure, and sailing experiences targeting a varied audience including solo travelers, couples and families, travelers can easily tailor their trip to suit their needs. “Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique has so much to offer our neighbors and with a quick flight over, they won’t need to go far to start their vacation,” commented Maher.

Regional partner SVG Air is slated to begin regular flight service to sister-island Carriacou’s Lauriston Airport on July 22. Regional carrier Caribbean Airlines have confirmed their schedule from Barbados to Grenada to start on July 22. Turks & Caicos-based interCaribbean Airways is also set to launch nonstop flight service to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport, beginning August 1.

For complete details on required travel protocols and general destination information, visit

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

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Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Statement on Border Closure to the US

NASSAU, Bahamas, July 19, 2020 – Due to the continued increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States, as well as an uptick in cases in The Bahamas, Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, has made the difficult decision to close borders to international commercial flights and commercial vessels carrying passengers from the United States. The order is effective as of Wednesday, July 22 at midnight. In addition, Bahamasair will cease outgoing flights to the United States, effective immediately.

Outgoing flights will be permitted to accommodate any current visitors scheduled to return to the United States after Wednesday, July 22.

Private flights and charters from the United States, as well as pleasure craft and yachts will be permitted, and travellers from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union are exempt from the emergency order. All visitors are required to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test from a referenced lab, taken no more than 10 days prior to the date of travel.

Since opening borders to international travel on July 1, The Bahamas has unfortunately experienced a deterioration in conditions relative to COVID-19. These restrictions have been put in place to protect the health and wellbeing of both residents and visitors, which remains of primary importance, and to prevent the spread of the virus throughout The Bahamas.

The Bahamas is reviewing and being guided by the most effective practices from around the world. Reopening of borders will continue to be monitored and guided by The Bahamas government and health officials, based on COVID-19 trends.

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

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BTB Releases New Health and Safety Protocols for Tour Operators

Belize City, Tuesday, 21 July, 2020: As Belize prepares to welcome back international visitors, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), in collaboration with its industry partners, has prepared the new health and safety protocols for Tour Operators under the Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program.  These protocols aim to prepare Tour Operators to safely resume operations, as well as to protect both employees and guests.

The guidelines represent best practices for the industry upon reopening, and it is anticipated that measures will evolve based on the progression of the virus and recommendations of public health authorities, in compliance with the Laws of Belize.

This initiative also represents a new level of commitment to the tourism industry for the continued establishment, implementation and enforcement of standards that will protect tourism workers, guests, and the wider Belizean populace as we mitigate the risk and spread of Covid-19.

Please click here to access the official protocols & guidelines.

The BTB will be holding a series of virtual training sessions for Tour Operators to assist  themin the implementation of these new protocols. The training schedule and Tourism Gold Standard application will be shared in the coming days.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at  [email protected]  or call us at  227-2420 EXT 274


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

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‘The Road Back to 500K Air Arrivals’: Tourism Reinvention in the Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, (22 July 2020) The Cayman Islands tourism industry has faced disruption in various forms throughout its history, from natural disasters, global economic recessions, to global crises; and has proven resiliency which has led recovery and future successes.  Now, with the official launch of the Ministry and Department of Tourism’s comprehensive strategic tourism reinvention plan named The Road Back to 500K (RB5), a blueprint has been laid for the phased return of tourism as the country moves to a new normal in a post-pandemic world of travel.

The Honourable Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism, Mr. Moses Kirkconnell, launched the RB5 today. The plan aims to be a strategic pivot from the main tenets of the National Tourism Plan (NTP) 2019 – 2023The NTP was adopted in February of this year, just prior to the onset of pandemic response in the Cayman Islands which effectively ceased tourism operations in March. However, both the RB5 and the NTP were designed with the same principal goal: to lead tourism effectively, safely, responsibly, and sustainably, now and into the future.

The RB5, developed through extensive collaboration with private sector stakeholders, government partners and in-depth market research, identifies four priority areas that will guide the tourism sector to its return as a major pillar of the Cayman Islands economy.  This tourism recovery strategy addresses methods to stabilise businesses; create new opportunities for displaced tourism employees; and creates a plan for the next two to three years, focusing on four priorities:

  • Reinvent for Readiness: identify current stakeholder challenges and develop the best methodologies to reactivate the tourism sector in an effective and efficient return to be a top pillar of the economy.
  • Stimulate the Domestic Economy: identify strategies to positively impact the country through domestic tourism as the Cayman Islands transitions through the phases of the COVID-19 crisis to recovery.
  • Regain Global Market Confidence and Market Share:  extensive global marketing and promotions of the best practices and methodologies put in place to ensure the Cayman Islands tourism products and services are operating with the highest safety and sanitation standards for accommodations, events, dive, tours and attractions, transportation, and culinary experiences.
  • Bolster Future Tourism Sector Employment: this adaptation strategy will develop new definitions of roles within the industry, including the necessary retraining of tourism professionals to adapt to a new way of operating in the tourism market.

“The business of tourism is an undeniably strong sector, encompassing a plethora of industries that are directly tourism-based as well as those that feed into the industry through a variety of services,” said The Hon. Minister Kirkconnell. “I am confident that the RB5 plan provides the best way forward for a purposefully paced economic recovery that will see the country gradually return to the milestone years of record-breaking stayover and cruise visitation. This will be accomplished in a phased approach that includes creating more opportunities for Caymanians to be part of our tourism industry, embracing the opportunity to rebalance the workforce from majority work permit holders to having more well trained and highly qualified Caymanian faces delivering the Caymankind customer service we are known for as a Caribbean destination.  We have seen the hardship caused for the more than 1,500 Caymanians who have dedicated their lives and livelihoods to this industry, many of whom were faced with unbelievable economic hardships once the difficult decision was made to close our borders. It is our responsibility now to drive efforts such as the RB5 and the NTP to deliver the benefits of this exceptionally well managed and sustainable tourism development plan are a pathway for long term success.”

While led by the Ministry and Department of Tourism, all stages in the development of RB5 included consultation and collaboration throughout government and private sector to ensure the plan has the broadest and most comprehensive impact for the people of the Cayman Islands and the tourism community.  This included:

  • Sector surveys for domestic economy stakeholder feedback
  • Meetings with the accommodation, dive, and attractions sectors
  • Meetings with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and Chamber of Commerce
  • Collaborations with the Public Transportation Board and Hotel Licensing Board on recommendations to support the tourism industry
  • Developing sanitation guidelines for the tourism sector to safely welcome visitors back

Focusing on the way forward to methodically reopen the industry as the borders reopen, RB5 provides a controlled, phased approach, outlining best practices, new protocols and procedures, and critical policy considerations that will guide the Ministry and Department of Tourism, government entities, and all tourism stakeholders to success.  To view the RB5 plan, visit:


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Sharon Flax-Brutus Appointed Director Operations, Virgin Gorda VIlla Rentals

(Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands (BVI) – July 20th, 2020 – The owners of Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals and Leverick Bay Resort and Marina are happy to announce the appointment of seasoned tourism and travel industry professional, Mrs. Sharon Flax-Brutus as Director of Operations.

Sharon was recently Director of Tourism for the British Virgin Islands for more than seven years, and brings numerous years of experience in various sectors of the travel and tourism industry, including 12 years in senior management positions at the Rosewood Little Dix Bay Resort in Virgin Gorda, as a travel advisor in Las Vegas, Station Manager for American Eagle in the BVI and overseeing the operations of her family owned tourism business for several years.

Sharon was responsible for policy making as well as strategy formulation for the BVI Tourism industry and influential in reestablishing the BVI brand as a discerning travel destination.

As Director of Operations, Sharon will work to enhance the operations of the properties that make up Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals and Leverick Bay Resort and Marina to take them to the next level by providing a more luxury guest experience, paying very close attention to detail and offering a more personalized guest experience from reservation to rebooking.

Property Owner, Christina Yates who expressed her excitement in Sharon joining the company stated “We feel so honored that Sharon has agreed to be a part of our team. Her experience, industry and product knowledge, respect of her peers and passion for the BVI is a huge asset to us and as we launch plans to expand our properties, she is the best person to take our companies to the next level.”

For more information about Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals, visit


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