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Demand for Saint Lucia Grows: AA and JetBlue Announce New Nonstop Flights  

CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA (February 25, 2021) – Nearly one year after the Covid-19 pandemic began, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) celebrates the announcement of several new American Airlines and JetBlue nonstop flights to Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) from key U.S. travel hubs, starting this summer.

“The summer of 2021 will be an important moment for tourism, as consumers return to safe travel experiences and our island continues to coexist with Covid,” said Tourism Minister, Honorable Dominic Fedee. “The confidence that American Airlines and JetBlue have shown by adding new flights to Saint Lucia from Dallas, New York and New Jersey underscores that demand for travel is growing and we are eager to provide much-needed respite for families, couples and all travelers seeking a vacation break.”

“Visitors to Saint Lucia this summer will experience a warm welcome from our local Saint Lucians who are ready with a refreshed tourism product, Covid-safe stays at our hotels and villas, and the opportunity to immerse themselves in cultural activities and the exploration of our pristine natural environment,” Minister Fedee continued.

American Airlines Announces Inaugural Flight from Dallas to UVF

American Airlines has announced that it will introduce a new weekly non-stop flight from Dallas, Texas, starting June 5, 2021. The inaugural American Airlines A321 service will depart Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) at 8:40 am Central Standard Time (CST), arriving to UVF at 3:40 pm Eastern Caribbean Time (ECT). The return service will depart from UVF on Saturdays at 2:30 pm ECT and arrive at DFW at 7:22 pm CST. The flight will continue through August 14, 2021 and return for the winter 2021/2022 season.

Demand from vacationers in the Texas area has proven to be strong in the past few years, as Saint Lucia has been welcoming visitors from the Dallas market and its feeder cities via connecting flights. The investment American Airlines has made in this new nonstop DFW flight will provide a seamless travel experience for visitors from this region and beyond.

JetBlue and American Launch New Flights from New York / New Jersey Market

The New York tri-state area is a top tourism market for Saint Lucia, with visitors from the northeast ranking as number one for U.S. arrivals. Two airlines have added new flights from this important area:

  • American Airlines recently announced the launch of new nonstop service from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York. The AA flight will commence on June 5, 2021, departing at 8:05 am Eastern Standard Time (EST) and arriving to UVF at 12:20 pm ECT. The return flight will depart UVF at 1:20 pm ECT and arrive at JFK at 5:43 pm ECT.
  • Also in the New York Tri-State area, JetBlue has announced a new flight from Newark, New Jersey (EWR) beginning July 1, 2021, making it convenient for New Jersey residents to fly direct to Saint Lucia. The flight departs three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8:40 am EST and arrives to UVF at 1:27 pm ECT. The return flight will depart UVF at 2:55 pm ECT and arrive at EWR at 7:47 pm EST. Mint service offered on select Saturdays. This adds to JetBlue’s existing nonstop from New York JFK airport.

Consumers Enjoy Flights Options from Many U.S. Cities

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority is committed to ongoing efforts to provide increased airlift for Americans traveling to Saint Lucia. Presently from the U.S., American Airlines provides a daily nonstop from Miami (MIA), and weekly service from Charlotte (CLT), Chicago (ORD) and Philadelphia (PHL). Delta Airlines operates from Atlanta (ATL) with a daily direct service. JetBlue provides flights three times a week from New York (JFK) and resumes daily flights this April. JetBlue also has weekly flights from Boston (BOS).

Since the first international flights returned to Saint Lucia in July 2020, the country has implemented consistent responsible Covid-19 protocols, providing increased safety for both visitors and local citizens. Detailed information about on-island Covid-19 testing options as well as the latest protocols can be found at www.StLucia.org/covid-19. The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association, along with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Tourism, continue to work in concert to provide swift responses to global Covid-19 developments.

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888-4STLUCIA or visit www.stlucia.org.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Eustatius Is The Home Of The Caribbean’s First Planetarium

St. Eustatius, February 23, 2021 – There are just a few of its kind in the world, and according to Jaap Vreling, not more than five, and now St. Eustatius (Statia) is home to the first planetarium in the Caribbean.

This is an educational project spearheaded by Jaap Vreling and Mr. Ishmael Berkel. Jaap teaches at the University of Amsterdam and was part of the Dutch Research Group of Astronomy in 2010, where a dome project was started. With a team of 14 university astronomy students, he travelled with 3 domes to schools throughout the Netherlands, exhibiting, and at times having astronomy being integrated into school programs, as the presence of the planetarium on site served as a key visual aid for the teaching of that subject.

For a number of years, Jaap dreamt of being able to bring a planetarium to Statia. The island’s own Ishmael Berkel, was also harbouring that dream, and many discussions were held between the two to determine how to make it a reality. They both appreciate its educational value, recognizing that when students visit planetariums they leave with a heightened interest in learning.  In many countries of the world, light pollution makes it impossible to enjoy the night sky. Statia suffered no such limitation but before now, there was no easily relatable explanation about what was being observed. The milky way, stars, planets, the moon, how they all relate to each other, how ancestors used it to navigate from place to place and many other practical aspects of the universe can now be taught within the captivating planetarium environment on Statia. Planetarium visits has proven to be beneficial for students of all ages, from as early as Kindergarten. Students, however, are not the only beneficiaries. It is an experience everyone can appreciate.

The planetarium is an additional tourist attraction on the island. Located at the Lynch Plantation, the dome can accommodate 25 people at one time. Equipped with the latest software in this industry, guests will be enveloped by the features of its projection theatre, resulting in realistic experiences as they journey through the universe.

The official opening will take place on February 23, 2021 with a small group of invited guests in attendance.  The public is welcome to visit on February 24, 25, and 26 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Currently, there is no cost for entry as it is still in its pilot stage, however, the developers have indicated that an entry fee may eventually be charged.

“The future is bright,” expressed Mr. Berkel, “and we are here to ensure that all Statians, big and small, have a chance to enjoy it. We also envision that tourists visiting our island will be able to have this attraction added to their vacation experience.”

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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COVID-19 Protocol for diving from Yachts and Vessels Updated 25 February 2021

This protocol describes the procedure to be followed by the dive schools on Statia and divers from yachts and other vessels to allow diving with instructors from Statia while minimalizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. It applies for yachts and vessels who have been in a high risk country during the last 14 days.

Yachts and Vessels from low risk countries are upon request permitted to dock in the harbour.

Download: COVID-19 Protocol for diving from Yachts and Vessels Updated 25 February 2021

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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Tobago Tourism Agency Welcomes Airport Expansion for Industry recovery

SCARBOROUGH Tobago, Friday February 19, 2021: The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) welcomes the development of a world class, state-of-the-art international airport terminal for Tobago in 2022, which will increase the destination’s attractiveness and strengthen the Agency’s COVID-19 recovery and resilience strategy for the tourism industry.

The ANR Robinson International Airport Expansion Project will include the construction of a new terminal and several other upgrades, including an expansion of the tarmac and a new car park. According to the Tobago House of Assembly, two of the major areas of focus for the project are ensuring sustainability and minimising environmental impact, which is in keeping with the TTAL’s emphasis on industry development that aligns with Tobago’s brand of unspoilt, untouched and undiscovered.

Mr. Louis Lewis, CEO of the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited stated:

“The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited fully endorses the airport redevelopment and expansion project. We are looking forward to it with great anxiety, to change the narrative around the quality of the product in Tobago as we seek to transform it to become more economically viable.

An airport facility is no longer considered as simply a transit point, it is part of the visitor experience. It is where visitors will gain their first impression of what to expect beyond the entry point, and it is also the facility that gives a departing visitor the last impression of a destination. 

Those two elements in the visitor stay contribute significantly to our international competitiveness, which is why this project is absolutely critical for the transformation process that we are looking for with regard to the recovery and resilience of tourism in Tobago.”

The Agency has already begun utilizing this milestone expansion project as a selling point for the destination, keeping international travel partners and potential visitors in Tobago’s source markets abreast of key industry developments that can further add to the destination’s international appeal and level of competitiveness.

In Germany, the Agency partnered with influential media publication Reservoir 9, to share what makes Tobago a perfect holiday destination and why travellers should visit the island, and the airport expansion was used as an example of Tobago’s key tourism developments to entice visitors.

Dr. Sherma Roberts, Chair of the Tobago Tourism Agency’s Board of Directors, emphasised the significance of the airport expansion project for destination Tobago.

“Coming after the Argyle International Airport in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the new ANR International Airport would have the distinction of being the newest in the region! It is a wonderful  opportunity to create an architecturally ingenious facility that integrates modern technologies,  reflects current and future passenger and air transportation needs, enhances entrepreneurial opportunities for local residents, stimulates foreign exchange and that serves as a premier regional attraction in and of itself.

 I am hopeful that this new airport would be iconic in every sense, reflective of the person in whose honour it is named. As a Board, we are excited to welcome this game changer that would significantly bolster the Agency’s efforts to reposition destination Tobago…..Beyond Ordinary.”

For more information about the ANR Robinson International Airport Expansion Project, visit the National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO) online at https://www.nidco.co.tt/construction-of-a-new-terminal-building-and-associated-works-at-the-anr-robinson-international-airport-tobago/

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts Launches #RetieTheKnot Photo Contest

Basseterre, St. Kitts (February 17, 2021) – St. Kitts is launching the #RetieTheKnot photo contest inviting couples in the United States, to submit their favorite wedding picture for a chance to win a trip for 2 to the island of St. Kitts and a stay at the Park Hyatt.

Through March 14, 2021, anyone who would like to enter the contest should select their favorite wedding photo and submit it through the dedicated entry page found on the St. Kitts Tourism Authority website at www.stkittstourism.kn/retie-the-knot along with a 75-word description that tells the story behind the image. At the conclusion of the entry period a panel of judges will select 5 finalists. The 5 finalist photos will be shared to the website and voted upon by the general public. The voting period will run from March 17th through March 31st and the winner will be announced by April 30, 2021.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Dreamy Weddings Group to host the first ever Group Vow Renewal in St. Kitts,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St.  Kitts Tourism Authority. “Most couples, never think of renewing their Vows, why not? Whether you have been married a year, 5 years, 25 years or more, participating in our first Group Vow Renewal, November 6th, 2021, is for you. We combined the opportunity to win a trip to St. Kitts and participate in our first Group Vow Renewal, November 6th, 2021, with a contest inviting you to submit your best wedding photo and 75 words on the story behind it. This opportunity allows us to increase brand awareness amongst couples throughout the U.S. and reach the discerning traveler who seeks new experiences.”

The winner of the contest will receive a trip for 2 to St. Kitts in November 2021 with a 4-night stay at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts. As part of the trip, the couple will be invited to participate in St. Kitts’ first ever Group Vow Renewal designed by the world-renowned wedding planners at Dreamy Weddings.

Those who cast their vote will be asked to submit their email and will automatically be entered into a sweepstakes to win 1 of 10 prize packs. Themed prize packs will include authentic products from St. Kitts.

The contest is open to legal residents of the U.S., including D.C. who are 18 years of age or older and are currently married. The trip must be taken to attend the Group Vow Renewal on Saturday, November 6, 2021. The voting sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the U.S., including D.C. who are 18 years of age or older.

Travelers should regularly check the St. Kitts Tourism Authority (www.stkittstourism.kn) website for updates and information on current travel requirements.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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