Archive for March, 2021

Guyana Wins Best “Stay Safe” Video at ITB Awards

Georgetown, Guyana (March 19, 2021): Destination Guyana has once again secured first place at the International “Golden City Gate” Award for a video contributed in the category “Stay Safe”. This multimedia contest took place for the 21st time during this year’s Internationale Tourismus -Börse (ITB) in Berlin, Germany, the world’s largest travel trade show, which was held virtually from March 9 to 12, 2021 due to the pandemic.

A total of 122 film entries were submitted from 23 countries. The 32 members of the international jury honoured the “Welcome back to Guyana” (http://bit.ly/3eMOLsE) video produced by the Guyana Tourism Authority and REEL Guyana, highlighting the beauty of the country’s diverse natural and cultural heritage, and promoting to visit the country when the corona pandemic subsides. It is important to note that much of the footage seen here was filmed before the COVID-19 pandemic. Anything filmed since the pandemic began was done adhering to strict safety protocols. Tours and lodges have also implemented government-recommended hygiene and sanitation protocols to safely host guests.

This is the second time that Guyana has been awarded first place in the “Golden City Gate” competition. In 2019, Guyana also secured first place after submitting a video in the ‘Destination” category.

Director of the GTA, Ms. Carla James expressed her satisfaction at Guyana once again being recognised for its efforts, “The GTA team is so proud of this achievement. No one could have prepared the world and Guyana for the negative impact of COVID-19. However, as a destination management and development agency, the GTA very early on during the pandemic modified and refined its marketing strategy based on how its core and investment markets were responding to the crisis. She further explained that “this included improving the tonality of all our messaging and maintaining a green content to give hope and inspire our audience by bringing the Destination Guyana brand to our audience’s homes through storytelling. Guyana’s video was honoured first place out of 122 submissions from 23 countries and we are filled with so much pride because this video was produced 100% by our very own Guyanese company REEL Guyana. She concluded, “Over the past few months, the GTA and its partners have done their part to operate tourism in a safe way so we are eager to welcome back travellers to Guyana.”

For more information, kindly contact Sade Cameron at sade@guyanatourism.com, or call (+592) 219-0093-6 or (+592) 611-2998.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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Dominica Rolls Out Work in Nature Extended Stay Visa

Roseau, Dominica – (March 19, 2021) Dominica has officially launched its extended-stay visa programme dubbed Work in Nature (WIN), which provides the opportunity to work remotely for up to 18 months on the island. Dominica is well positioned to welcome professionals and entrepreneurs as part of the WIN programme, which allows remote workers, digital nomads, academics, families, and persons on sabbaticals, seeking a healthier work-life balance, while being embraced by pristine nature.

If you are seeking to rejuvenate and refuel your passions, all while still working, look no further than Dominica. The island offers high-speed internet and technology services, modern health care facilities, educational options for families, and opportunities for impact volunteer programs with NGOs and private sector entities.  These make Dominica the perfect choice for remote working while embracing the natural wonders on your doorstep. Visit waterfalls or hot springs, take nature walks or exhilarating dives, experience the local cuisine, embrace a new culture, and make new friends. Additionally, Dominica’s COVID-19 protocols have kept the infection rates very low, and their handling of the pandemic has been exemplary

The programme offers attractive incentives, such as duty-free on selected items and discounts from various service providers.  As the programme gains popularity, the island envisions a WIN Village – a remote worker community with various types of accommodation from luxury to moderate, an array of support services, shared social and entertainment spaces, and co-working spaces. Applications can be accessed online via www.windominica.gov.dm and cost US$100.  Responses will be provided within 7 days and confirmed applicants will have a 3-month grace period to relocate to Dominica. Fees for the Visa are US$ 800 for individuals and US $1200 for families.

In addition, the island has been awarded the Safe Travels Stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council which reassures that the destination’s health and safety protocols meet globally accepted standards.

The Honourable Denise Charles, Minister for Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives indicated that, “This is one of the initiatives which will help boost our tourism industry in our phased tourism recovery approach, while providing a safe environment for persons to work remotely in a tropical environment. Stakeholders and island partners have all collaborated to provide an attractive program which will assist with economic recovery.  This is your opportunity to discover the many wonders of Nature’s Isle!”

For additional information on the Work in Nature extended visa program (WIN) visit www.windominica.gov.dm

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at +1 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Instagram and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

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Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism & Aviation’s Statement on the Return Of Royal Caribbean

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is thrilled to welcome back longtime partner Royal Caribbean International, as the cruise line announced today that Nassau will be the homeport for Adventure of the Seas, beginning this June. The Bahamas Government and Ministry of Tourism have worked closely with Royal Caribbean throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is with great pleasure that The Bahamas embraces its critical role in the return of cruising.

Adventure of the Seas will be homeporting in Nassau and visiting additional islands in The Bahamas including Grand Bahama Island and Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private Bahamas destination that directly employs a fair number of Bahamians. This means even more of our citizens across islands can get back to work, and our vital tourism sector can continue towards recovery. We’ve long awaited reuniting with cruise guests, and the Ministry is thrilled to welcome Royal Caribbean passengers back to our shores to experience why it’s still Better in The Bahamas.

We are proud to have worked and prepared diligently to safely welcome travelers back and are confident that our protocols, combined with the measures Royal Caribbean is implementing – including a requirement for all crew and guests to be fully vaccinated – will deliver an unforgettable vacation experience. In anticipation of Royal Caribbean’s return to the islands, Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation, the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar said, “Our destination is ready and waiting to resume its role as the region’s go to place where travelers head to for escape and rejuvenation.”

Full details related to Royal Caribbean’s health and safety measures are available online, while testing and entry requirements for The Bahamas, including Bahamas Health Visa application and more, can be found on Bahamas.com/travelupdates.

With traveler confidence and vaccine distribution on the rise, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism looks forward to the successful return of cruise travel to The Bahamas this summer.

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Tobago Celebrates 100-Mark Milestone With Safe Travels Stamp

SCARBOROUGH Tobago, Wednesday March 17, 2021: The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited marked a significant milestone in its efforts to promote health and safety in Tobago’s tourism industry, as the destination saw more than 100 tourism businesses being awarded the World Travel & Tourism Council “Safe Travels” stamp.

The Safe Travels stamp is the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp for travel and tourism designed specifically to address COVID-19 and similar outbreaks. The recipients of the stamp are required to adopt and adhere to the practices outlined in the Agency’s Tourism Industry Health & Safety Manual, which have been vetted and endorsed by the WTTC.

Among the 100-plus Safe Travels tourism businesses in Tobago are tour guides, restaurants, tourism ancillary services and tourism accommodation, including the largest properties on the island with the majority of room stock such as Coco Reef Resort and Spa, Mt. Irvine Bay Resort, Magdalena Grand Beach Resort, Le Grand Courland, Kariwak Holistic Haven and many others.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) applauded Tobago and the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited for this significant milestone of surpassing its 100th Safe Travels recipient.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and CEO, shared the following congratulatory statement: “Tobago is an incredibly important holiday destination, and is becoming more popular each year. We are pleased to see Tobago implementing enhanced health and safety measures that are in line with our global protocols, to ensure safe travel, and we are delighted to recognise its efforts through the WTTC Safe Travels stamp.

“We are delighted to have worked with the Tobago Tourism Agency in promoting and advancing the internationally recognised stamp, and we hope their adoption will urge other destinations to join them in restoring consumer confidence and reopening safe travels.”

As noted by the WTTC head, Tobago joins over 250 other major popular holiday hot spots around the world such as Egypt, Turkey, Portugal, Argentina, Tunisia, and Indonesia, whose usage of the Safe Travel’s Stamp helps to reassure travellers and restore confidence to travel.

Destination Tobago was one of the early adopters of the stringent health and safety protocols developed by WTTC and endorsed by the UNWTO, becoming the third destination in the entire Caribbean to successfully earn the “Safe Travels” designation in July 2020 – right after fellow regional tourism leaders, Jamaica and Aruba.

TTAL Board of Directors Chair, Dr Sherma Roberts reiterated the significance of the “Safe Travels Stamp” for destination Tobago’s tourism sector recovery:

“It has been almost one year since Covid-19 brought the tourism industry to a sudden halt globally.  The Tobago Tourism Agency responded by joining the global effort to position Tobago as a safe destination in the global marketplace, and by equipping our industry stakeholders to safely and confidently serve the domestic market in the first instance, and eventually the rest of the world when our borders reopen.

While it is essential that each destination or sub-region within the international travel and tourism sector develops clear and practical protocols to enable recovery, such a united and internationally endorsed approach as presented by the WTTC’s Safe Travels stamp is even more important for Tobago, given our dependence on – and relationship with – tourism entities from all corners of the globe.”

Louis Lewis, TTAL’s Chief Executive Officer, once again encouraged Tobago’s tourism stakeholders to get on board the Safe Travels initiative, stating:

“In keeping with the global trends and a call for international safety, the Tobago Tourism Agency continues to place safety as a priority for the island, and we encourage tourism providers who have not signed up yet to contact us and attain this globally recognized stamp of travel. Together, we can reassure travellers and rebuild confidence in the industry by doing our diligence through compliance with our Tourism Industry Health and Safety Manual for Post Covid-19.”

For more information about acquiring the Safe Travels stamp in Tobago, visit the Tobago Tourism Agency’s website at www.tobagobeyond.com/safetravels

Interested applicants can also contact the Agency’s Product Development and Destination Management team via email directly at destination@tobagotourism.org

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As of April 11, 2021 No More Quarantaine for Statians After Vaccination

The Public Entity St. Eustatius will ease the measures as of April 11, 2021. Statia residents that are fully vaccinated do not need to go into quarantine when entering Statia after traveling abroad. This easing measure is not applicable for tourists.

The decision to easy the measures was taken after careful deliberation and after extensively consulting with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports in the Netherlands (VWS), the National Institute for Health and Environment (RIVM), the epidemiologist in Saba, Mr. Koen, the Public Health Department and the Crisis Management Team in Statia.

PRC test required

Statia residents returning from abroad still need to have a negative PCR test at hand, but this only applies if a high risk country was visited. A quick test (antigen) is also required 5 days after returning to Statia. In addition, social distancing and wearing a face mask are mandatory for the first 5 days after entry. Also, it is not allowed to attend events with more than 25 persons present during the first 5 days and the returning Statians must adhere to hygiene rules during these days such as washing hands regularly.

The easing measures are not applicable for tourists, even if they are vaccinated.

Children

Children that were abroad and return from high risk countries are not allowed to go to school or childcare for 5 days. Children in the age group of 4 years and older will be tested after 5 days. However, for children of 12 years and older, different measures apply. They need to go into quarantine upon arrival for 10 days. This can be done in the same house as their parents, but in a separate room. The distinction between these age groups is made due to the fact that children above 12 years are more often spreading the COVID-19 virus than children between 4 and 12 years.

Day visits to St. Maarten

Persons that are fully vaccinated with the two doses of the Moderna vaccine can visit St. Maarten for 1 day, without testing, and without the need to go into quarantine upon return to Statia. This easing measure is only applicable when the number of active COVID-19 cases on in St Maarten is below the 100 per week.

Incoming workers

Incoming workers that are vaccinated will be evaluated on a case by case basis. However, quarantine is required unless the type of work allows an easier regime.

Next steps

At this moment the Public Entity St. Eustatius is working on a roadmap which will include specific steps to further open Statia. This road map will first be discussed with the Central Committee next week.

The Public Health Department will begin administering the second dose of the vaccine on February 22nd, 2021. Up till now 765 persons were vaccinated with the first doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is a bit more than 30% of the adult population.  The Public Health Department will begin administering the second dose of the vaccine on Monday, March 22nd, 2021. Up to 765 persons have received the first dose, a bit more than 30% of the adult population.

 

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