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Archive for 2017 News

Caribbean Leaders Agree to Fast Track Measures to Ease Caribbean Travel

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (31 July, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) are encouraged by the support of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders for initiatives to facilitate travel and stimulate economic growth through tourism.

The CTO, with the support of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, presented a number of short, medium and long-term proposals to the regional leaders at their recent summit in Grenada, aimed at positioning the Caribbean as a thriving world-class tourism, and bolstering the region’s economic strength and stability.

In the presentation entitled Tourism in the Region: Building a Caribbean Tourism Development and Marketing Initiative, the region’s tourism leaders recommended advancing research to better assess tourism’s economic impact and the region’s competitiveness.  They also discussed removing travel barriers, stimulating travel to and within the Caribbean, supporting the development of Caribbean talent through a coordinated approach to tourism-related education and training, and strengthening the creative industries and economic linkages to tourism.

Marketing and public relations of the Caribbean brand and creating a public-private sector entity financed and managed collaboratively also received consideration at the meeting.

The heads of government have said the proposed initiatives were fully aligned with CARICOM’s own strategic plan and were also in furtherance of the strategic plan for tourism services.

The leaders have also said they recognised the opportunities presented by the recommended strategies, including a strong focus on marketing, aimed at stimulating sustainable growth in tourism.

In a communique issued after the summit, the leaders said they had agreed to support various public-private sector initiatives, broaden engagement with Caribbean countries, companies and multilateral organizations to support a regional tourism marketing and development initiative and adopt and implement travel facilitation measures to stimulate economic growth.

“Heads of Government agreed that the establishment of a single airspace should be pursued and mandated the Secretariat to work with Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System (CASSOS) and relevant agencies to define a roadmap and identify the necessary resources for its implementation,” the communique reads.

However, the heads of government  said they recognised the need for the administrative strengthening of the legal, operational and institutional framework as well as the appropriate resourcing of the CASSOS to enable it to discharge its mandate as an effective and efficient regional safety oversight organisation.

The CTO and CHTA have long lobbied for the removal of the hurdles that make it difficult to travel to, and through, the region, arguing the removal of many of the restrictions would encourage greater regional and international travel and stimulate economic growth.

Among its recommendations is a new multilateral air services agreement, which the leaders said “only required resolution of very few matters”.

Therefore, they mandated the CARICOM secretariat to work with member countries “to enable signature at the next inter-sessional meeting” in February 2018.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Caribbean Development Bank supports CTO’s Service and Business Excellence Programme

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (25 July, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s continued efforts at promoting service and business excellence in the region’s tourism and hospitality sector has received a financial boost from the regional financial institution that focuses on harmonious economic growth and development in the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), through its Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services (CTCS) Network is providing US$223,312 in support of the two key components of the Hospitality Assured (HA) Caribbean certification programme managed by the CTO as part of its product development and service quality thrust.

The funds will be used to engage business advisors and assessors to help strengthen the business performance and overall competitiveness of tourism-related micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in ten CDB borrowing member countries through the HA programme.

“Our region needs to boost its reputation for service and business excellence and pay attention to the overall visitor experience. The Hospitality Assured framework provides the tool to drive this effort,” said Bonita Morgan, the CTO’s director of resource mobilization and development, and the CTO official with overall responsibility for the HA programme.

“We are thankful to the CDB, through the CTCS Network, for supporting this effort to help Caribbean tourism businesses shore up their competitiveness.”

“For several Caribbean economies, tourism is an engine of growth, and MSMEs have the potential to make significant contributions to the sector. CDB is pleased to be supporting CTO in delivering the HA Caribbean certification programme, and deeply value the role it plays in helping regional MSMEs deliver an even higher quality product and experience in an increasingly competitive global tourism market,” said Darran Newman, acting division chief, technical cooperation division, CDB.

Over the next year 30 businesses in the ten countries – Anguilla, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and Turks & Caicos Islands will receive technical assistance as well as assessment services through the CDB funding.

The regional lending institution’s support for HA dates back to 2014 when, through the United Kingdom Department for International Development’s Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund, managed by the Bank,  it provided funding support for six businesses in Grenada to participate in the certification programme.

Last year, CDB, through the CTCS network, provided financial support to conduct a week-long business advisors training workshop organized by the CTO to equip 15 business advisors to provide technical assistance to tourism-related businesses participating  in the HA certification programme.

CTCS is managed within CDB’s Technical Cooperation Division and operated in cooperation with regional and national institutions, laboratories, industrial enterprises, and consultants. It comprises a network of institutions and experts, and has as its primary aim, transferring knowledge, skills and technology to improve managerial and operational efficiency and competitiveness of MSMEs through the provision of technical assistance.

Hospitality Assured is a certification programme promoting service and business excellence in tourism and hospitality companies.  It is owned by the Institute of Hospitality in the United Kingdom, and managed by the Caribbean Tourism Organization in the region.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News, Hospitality Assured

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Saint Lucia Named On Top Caribbean Islands List

SAINT LUCIA (July 14, 2017): Travel + Leisure, a leading US travel publication, has named Saint Lucia as one of the best Caribbean islands to visit. The magazine has just released the results of its 2017 World’s Best Awards Survey and Saint Lucia emerged as one of its leading Caribbean vacation destinations. Every year, Travel + Leisure asks its readers to share and rate their holiday experiences from around the world. Readers are invited to give their opinions on categories such as hotels and resorts, spas, sights and attractions, food, friendliness and general value for money. Based on readers’ feedback and rating, Travel + Leisure then produces its annual top list of premier places to visit and experience.

For its Top Islands in the Caribbean list, the publication cited some key characteristics that these destinations shared such as secluded beaches, luxurious resorts and spas, and off-the-beaten-track experiences and sites. With a score of 82.6 out of 100, Saint Lucia emerged ahead of Barbados and other OECS countries except for Anguilla that got 86.8. Travel + Leisure highlighted the fact that travelers were attracted to destinations that offered more than the typical tourist experience of sun, sea and sand. Saint Lucia continues to be a favourite because it offers unique attractions such as the iconic twin peaks, the Pitons, the world’s only drive-in volcano and the Sulphur Springs mud baths. The magazine also named Jade Mountain in its top 100 hotels in the world with the hotel coming in at number 25, an outstanding achievement for the locally owned property.

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

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Antigua and Barbuda Welcome “The Voice” Winner Chris Blue & Wife For Their Honeymoon

St. John’s, Antigua (July 17, 2017) – Antigua and Barbuda welcomed ‘The Voice’ 2017 Winner Chris Blue and his new wife Stephanie to the popular destination in the Caribbean for their honeymoon with a VIP reception. The newlyweds landed in the Caribbean’s most romantic destination to the sounds of local musicians where they were personally greeted by the Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, the Honorable Asot A. Michael. As part of the VIP Welcome and reception, the newly-married couple, who arrived from London where their wedding took place, also received a special wedding blessing from the CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James.

The couple will be spending the next week in Antigua and Barbuda, enjoying their time as a new couple at the Award Winning Hermitage Bay Resort, before Chris returns to the US to continue his concert and recording schedule. Chris Blue is the latest winner of the popular program, The Voice, and is celebrating his newfound popularity with sold out concerts in Tennessee and performing at the Fourth of July Concert in Washington, DC on PBS. Chris Blue is the second celebrity to choose Antigua and Barbuda as a honeymoon destination in recent weeks, following upon Lionel Messi, arguable the world’s greatest soccer player, honeymooning earlier in the month with his new wife at luxury getaway, Jumby Bay.

“We are honored that Chris Blue and his new wife Stephanie chose Antigua and Barbuda as their destination of choice for their honeymoon. This further asserts our position as the most romantic destination in the Caribbean. We look forward to providing the new couple with an unforgettable honeymoon experience with everything we have to offer visitors including our beautiful white and pink beaches, award-winning properties, gastronomy, and the friendliness and warmth of our people. We look forward to seeing the destination through their eyes,” said Asot A Michael, Minister of Tourism of Economic Development, Investment and Energy at the welcome reception.

Known for being the most romantic destination in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island paradise that offers visitors two uniquely distinct experiences, ideal temperatures year-round, a rich history, vibrant culture, exhilarating excursions, award-winning resorts, mouth-watering cuisine and 365 stunning pink and white-sand beaches one for every day of the year.

To find out more about Antigua and Barbuda visit www.visitantiguabarbuda.com.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Start Your Summer With Antigua And Barbuda’s ‘Summer of 60’

July 11, 2017 (St. John’s, Antigua) – With the Summer now officially on, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has launched an exciting ‘Summer of 60’ Promotion to ensure visitors to Antigua and Barbuda experience way more than the destination’s gorgeous 365 beaches, this summer.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Carnival Season is in full effect and visitors will be in the middle of the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival: Antigua’s Carnival (www.antiguacarnival.com) which officially runs from July 28 – August 8th.  The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s ‘Summer of 60’ promotion celebrates the 60th Anniversary of Carnival, highlighting the vibrant carnival events that visitors can take part in:

  • July 27: The Iron Band Jam
  • July 28: The Glow Opening Parade and Official Opening Ceremony of Carnival and Concert
  • July 29 :T-Shirt Mas
  • July 30: Jaycees Caribbean Queen Show
  • July 31: Scotia Bank Teen Splash
  • Aug 1: Emancipation Day;  Calypso Classic and Comedy
  • Aug 2:  LIAT Caribbean Melting Pot
  • Aug 3 : Flow Junior Carnival; State Insurance Junior Calypso Monarch; ECAB Junior Soca Monarch
  • Aug 4:  ACB Panorama
  • Aug 5:  Flow Party Monarch Competition
  • Aug 6: Wadadli Beer Calypso Monarch Competition
  • Aug 7: J’Ouvert; Carnival Monday’s Judging of the Bands
  • Aug 8:  Carnival Tuesday’s Parade of the Bands; Last Lap

The  hotels, restaurants, boutiques, tours and excursion providers in the country, have also teamed up with the Tourism Authority for the ‘Summer of 60’ Promotion, raising awareness of the destination as a lively summer holiday spot and providing an opportunity for visitors to save up to 60% off on various experiences while on vacation.

The ‘Summer of 60’ promotion (www.visitantiguabarbuda.com/summer60 ) features some amazing offers such as:

  • The Carib House’s up to 60% OFF our peak season prices over the summer season. thecaribhouse.com
  • South Coast Horizon’s ‘Stay and Play’ Summer of 60 room and half-day kayak tours from US$110 southcoasthorizons.com
  • Columbian Emeralds, up to 60% OFF on an exquisite selection of fine Jewelry
  • Ana’s on The Beach Restaurant US$60 Summer Day Pass which includes All day water sports, cabana beds day rental, lunch and drinks, shower and changing room anas.ag
  • Joy Sailing Tours US$60 OFF any tour booked using discount code SP60 joysailingtours.com
  • Thriller Tours 36% OFF on high-speed, luxury boat tours thrillertoursantigua.com
  • Dboat Antigua, 20% OFF with discount code “summer60” when booking on dboatantigua.com.
  • Elements Antigua 20% OFF on all treatments facebook.com/elementsantigua/
  • Wadadli Cats 20% OFF with booking made directly to Wadadli Cats wadadlicats.com 

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s Summer of 60 Promotion ends on October 12, 2017. The full list of discount offers and events are available on www.visitantiguabarbuda.com/summer60

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Anguilla Named Best Caribbean Island In Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2017

The Valley, Anguilla, July 11, 2017…….The Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB) is pleased to announce that Anguilla has won top honors as “Best Island in the Caribbean, Bermuda & Bahamas”, in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2017.

Travel + Leisure is the largest travel magazine brand in the United States, and the winners of the prestigious award are determined by their annual World’s Best Awards survey, now in its 22nd year.  Readers are invited to participate through Travel + Leisure magazine, T+L tablet editions, newsletters, social media, and travelandleisure.com, and this year’s edition once again attracted record participation from their enthusiastic audiences.

“We are thrilled that Anguilla was voted the #1 Island in the Caribbean by the readers of Travel + Leisure, a discerning group of experienced global travelers,” said ATB Chairperson, Mrs. Donna Banks. “This Award represents a tremendous vote of confidence in our destination, and inspires us to take pride in our island, invest in our product, and burnish our unique brand of Anguillian hospitality that has no doubt enabled us to secure this privileged position,” she continued.

Two iconic Anguillian properties feature in the “Top 25 Resort Hotels Caribbean, Bermuda, Bahamas” category – Zemi Beach House, at #10, and Malliouhana, An Auberge Resort, at #19.

For a complete list of all the winners, visit www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest ; the August 2017 “World’s Best Awards” issue goes on sale at newsstands today. A special cocktail reception to celebrate the winners will be held in New York City on July 26, 2017.

For more 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.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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