Archive for March, 2021

Statia Preparing For 2020 Local Carnival

The Public Entity of St. Eustatius met recently with key stakeholders and has decided that Statia’s 2021 Carnival will be organized by the St. Eustatius Carnival Committee under strict local conditions and guidelines. One of the main conditions is that Carnival will be a local affair showcasing local artists. Parties further agreed that instead of the traditional 10 days Carnival 2021 will be reduced to 7 days. The planning and execution of the island’s largest annual cultural event is further contingent on the COVID-19 situation on the island. St. Eustatius is currently free of COVID-19.

Stakeholders will continue working on refining a Carnival strategy to ensure that all the safety procedures are in place at the Mike van Putten Youth Centre the venue for Carnival. In addition to the safety regulations focus will be placed on implementing strict hygiene measures and protocols. Hand sanitizing stations and additional toilet facilities will be put in place. There will further be an extra strict control on all quarantine locations.

Statians living abroad and friends of Statia in high-risk countries are advised that if they do plan to visit the island for the Summer holiday to ensure they make known to the Public Entity their interest to visit by sending their exact travel dates to [email protected]. Visiting Statia only for the carnival will not be possible. Vaccinated persons will have the 5 days’ period where they are not allowed to attend events. More details will follow later.

During the course of this weekend the Carnival Committee will release its preliminary programme. “The success of Carnival 2021 depends on how well we as a Statian community work together to maintain our island COVID free. It has been a long year and together let us share this responsibility in order to restore normal life. As a Carnival Committee, in close collaboration with our key partners, we are up to the task”, says Marlon Hook, President of St.  Eustatius Carnival Committee”

Stakeholders involved in preparing for the 2021 Carnival include the St. Eustatius Carnival Committee, St. Eustatius Lions Club, St. Euststius Musical Foundation, and the Task Force in which are represented, Public Health Department, Caribbean Netherlands Fire Brigade, Caribbean Netherlands Police Force, and the Deputy Government Commissioner with responsibility for the portfolio of Culture.

Statia’s 2021 Carnival is scheduled for Monday July 26th until August 1st, 2021.  The Task Force has advised that no permits for large super spreader events should be issued in the month leading up the start of Carnival.  “2020 has been a challenging year. We have had to cancel Carnival and several other mayor cultural events. One year later we know more about the COVID-19 virus. We must however, bear in mind the virus is still around with different variants popping up. As a small community we must therefore remain vigilant in order to protect the most vulnerable among us. As we attempt to gradually restore normal life, we must do this in a responsible manner”. Alida Francis, Deputy Government Commissioner.

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Jamaica Wins Best Practice Gold Adrian Award in New York

KINGSTON – March 26, 2021 – The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) was recognized by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) with a Best Practice Gold Adrian Award for public relations excellence in the Crisis Communications/Management. The JTB’s entry, titled “Communicating Through a Crisis: A Model for Tourism Leadership,” focused on the destination’s thorough and thoughtful response to the pandemic, with an emphasis on innovative marketing and international communications. The focus of the 2020 HSMAI Adrian Awards was on Best Practices, Innovation and Community, showcasing the industry’s most exceptional efforts that will drive hospitality and tourism recovery.

“It is an honor to have our marketing and communications efforts lauded by an international entity at a time when we have worked so hard to show true tourism leadership globally,” said Donovan White Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “A nimble and strategic approach to marketing will remain a top priority for the JTB as we continue working towards a strong recovery for the tourism industry.”

The award celebrates Jamaica’s comprehensive crisis response and ability to engage potential travelers at home due to border closures at the onset of the pandemic. At the heart of the JTB’s strategy was the debut of GEN-C, a generation born out of the shared experience of COVID-19 shutdowns. Attributed to Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett, this global positioning of a new group of travelers was the basis for an international thought leadership platform. The award also celebrated Jamaica’s exceptional efforts to foster emotional connections, virtually, with Jamaican culture for people at home. The digital Escape to Jamaica series highlighted cuisine, wellness, and music through cooking demos, fitness classes, and weekly DJ sessions. Overall, the campaign achieved remarkable success with media impressions in the billions.

The Adrian Awards, presented by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), represent the largest and most prestigious global travel marketing competition. Hosted annually, the competition has always been a showcase and benchmark of best practices in hotel and travel-related marketing and media.

For more information on Jamaica, please go to www.visitjamaica.com. For more information on the Adrian Awards, visit www.AdrianAwards.com

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Anguilla Tourist Board Announces the Promotion of Shellya Rogers-Webster to Deputy Director of Tourism

The Valley, Anguilla, March 29, 2021……The Board of Directors of the Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB) is pleased to announce the promotion of Mrs. Shellya Rogers-Webster to the position of Deputy Director of Tourism.  In her new capacity, Mrs. Rogers-Webster will be predominantly responsible for leading and managing the Anguilla Tourist Board’s internal and external relationships and communications, including financial management, human resources, public relations, government relations, ATB policy, and corporate restructuring.

“I am very pleased to see Mrs. Shellya Rogers-Webster elevated to the post of Deputy Director of Tourism,” stated the Hon. Minister of Tourism, Mr. Haydn Hughes.  “She brings a wealth of knowledge and a level of professionalism that is a hallmark of the Ministry.  I look forward to continuing to work with Mrs. Rogers-Webster over the next four and a half years and beyond.”

Prior to assuming the position of Deputy Director of Tourism Mrs. Rogers-Webster served as the Manager, Corporate Affairs for the Anguilla Tourist Board, a position she held since her appointment to the agency in July 2017.

“Shellya Rogers-Webster has proven herself to be an invaluable asset to the Anguilla Tourist Board,” declared ATB Chairman Mr. Kenroy Herbert. “Her impressive administrative skills have served us well in guiding the organization through some challenging times.  With this well-deserved promotion, the Board recognizes her contribution to the agency, and we have every confidence that she will continue to exceed expectations in her new position.”

Before joining the Anguilla Tourist Board, Mrs. Roger-Webster worked as a Senior Programme Officer, Culture in the Department of Youth & Culture.  She was charged with designing, developing and managing the department’s cultural development programmes, and successfully mobilized public, private and community resources to facilitate the growth and sustainability of arts and cultural development in Anguilla. Her love of the arts and desire to work with young people was forged at a series of internships with the British Museum in London, the Edna Carlsten Arts Gallery and the Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

“I look forward to the challenges and responsibility that will come with my new position, and to working closely with Director Liburd to fulfill the ATB’s mission” said Rogers-Webster.  “I appreciate the Board’s vote of confidence, and I am grateful for the support of my colleagues.  Tourism is a collaborative enterprise, and this is a collective effort; we are fortunate to have a team of dedicated professionals at the ATB who are committed to growing our tourism industry, Anguilla’s economic lifeline.”

Mrs. Rogers-Webster is a graduate of the University of Birmingham, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Public Management (Distinction).   She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management (Summa Cum Laude), with Minors in Business Administration & Political Science.  She also holds a Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Destination Management from George Washington University, and is a Chartered Director with the Caribbean Governance Training Institute.

For information on Anguilla please visit the official website of the Anguilla Tourist Board: www.IvisitAnguilla.com; follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/AnguillaOfficial; Instagram: @Anguilla_Tourism; Twitter: @Anguilla_Trsm, Hashtag: #MyAnguilla.

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CTO, George Washington University Produce COVID-19 Recovery Toolkit and Dashboard

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (29 March, 2021) – As the region’s tourism industry looks to recover from the devastating impact of COVID-19, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has teamed up with one of its allied members to make available practical tools and resources to support tourism industry leaders as they navigate the recovery process.

The CTO has partnered with the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies (GW IITS) to develop a recovery toolkit to provide a useful guide for small and medium-sized tourism enterprises as they plan for their reopening, and a dashboard for ministries and destination management organisations to capture and report on key recovery metrics.

“The global pandemic has accelerated the importance of sound digital strategies for destinations and tourism enterprises. Consumers are increasingly turning to digital channels, as they have been more isolated and less mobile over the past several months,” said Seleni Matus, executive director of the GW IITS. “With time spent online increasing, consumers have more time to look for travel inspiration. Tourism businesses that have established a strong digital presence are better positioned to remain top of mind as tourism begins to rebound.”

The toolkit covers areas such as the effective use of social media, use of online promotion platforms, how the optimise existing online presence and how to use online travel agencies effectively. It was designed to allow the small and medium tourism enterprises (SMTEs) to combine various solutions to ensure their businesses are ready when tourism returns to their destinations.

On the other hand, the dashboard comes with an associated guide that includes a number of data sources that CTO member governments can refer to, several of which are free to access. It is designed to support anyone who works within the travel and tourism industry, including businesses and tourism planners, in making strategic decisions more effectively.

“In the Caribbean, where we are heavily reliant on tourism revenues, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a deep and sustained impact on our economies, lives and well-being. As the region continues through this extended recovery process, it is important for our member countries and tourism stakeholders to equip themselves with the tools they need to meet the challenge ahead,” said Faye Gill, the CTO’s director of membership services, who has worked closely with GW IITS in the production of these resources.

The collaboration between the CTO and GW IITS is an extension of an engagement with CTO member countries Belize and Grenada, which saw GWU Master of Tourism Administration and MBA students working with the government and private sector in both countries to produce customised solutions to support COVID recovery.

Two informational webinars have been organised to sensitise governments, as well as the SMTEs, on how the optimise the implementation and use of each resource. One of these workshops, entitled, Digital Toolkit for Tourism Enterprise Recovery, will be held on Tuesday 12 April at 11:00 a.m. and is open to SMTEs and other stakeholders in CTO member countries.  Registration is required for this free event.

About the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies 

For more than 30 years, the International Institute of Tourism Studies has been a global leader in tourism education, research, and consulting. We are helping to build a sustainable industry that balances visitor interests with destination well-being by providing guidance and support to community development and governance projects around the world. We also offer professional certificate programs in cultural heritage tourism, destination management and event management to prepare the next generation of doers, leaders and thinkers in these growth fields.

For more information on the GW International Institute of Tourism Studies, please visit https://business.gwu.edu/research/IITS and follow GW IITS on Facebook and LinkedIn. 

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which is headquartered in Barbados, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish-speaking, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members the organisation provides specialised support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected]

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization, please visit www.OneCaribbean.org and follow CTO on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to be part of the conversation.

 

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Saint Lucia Prepares to Welcome Cruise Tourism this Summer

Castries- March 22, 2021- Saint Lucia is gearing up to welcome its first international cruise ship since closure to the sector amid the global Covid-19 pandemic. Following considerable dialogue with local authorities, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has signaled the return of the cruise industry to Saint Lucia after more than a year, naming Her as a port-of-call on a mid-July itinerary, that will see Celebrity Millennium make its first voyage of the season to the destination, as well as to sister islands and homeports of St. Marten and Barbados on its Southern Caribbean route.

Preliminary discussions with Royal Caribbean include a commitment that both passengers and crew over the age of 18 years would all have been vaccinated, full compliance to pre-arrival Covid-19 testing, and that tour operations would be conducted within a Green Corridor. Additionally, all persons disembarking would be subject to the standard protocols of wearing a facemask, physical distancing, and sanitizing. The overall aim is to ensure that while the cruise sector can continue to benefit the local economy, as a collective, we can also ensure that our local populace is kept safe.

A special committee has been established to provide oversight to the resumption of cruise tourism which include the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health, Port Health, Saint Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authority, Invest Saint Lucia, Customs, Immigration, Port Security, Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and Cruise Agencies – Cox and Company Limited and Foster and Ince.

“We are enthusiastic that with the advent of science and technology amid this pandemic, we can prepare for a silver lining. The impact of the cruise sector has been noted the world over and its absence has left an impression on our island’s people. We are therefore looking forward to working within strict protocol to see the successful resumption of the sector”, said Tourism Minister-Honorable Dominic Fedee.

Dialogue with all key sector agencies have delved into the health and safety facet which remains of paramount interest. Over the next few weeks, the dialogue will be heightened with suppliers and other operators.  The committee will meet regularly to closely review and approve protocols for the resumption of the cruise industry, port health procedures, review of the terminal and its operations and logistics for the execution of excursions within protocol.

Discussions are ongoing with several cruise partners that aim to see more vessels schedule their call into Port Castries in the near future.

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