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Antigua and Barbuda Launches ‘Come Home in December’ Diaspora Sweepstakes

Following a dynamic year of award-winning marketing campaigns, new events, and hotel openings, The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is excited to be celebrating an even greater milestone.  By December 2019, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism stayover arrivals would have reached over 300,000. And, with the launch of a new ‘Come home’ sweepstakes, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is inviting the Antiguan and Barbudan diaspora to join in on the celebrations.

“The destination has received tremendous growth since 2018, and we are proud to know that by December 2019, we would have met and surpassed our target of 300,000 stay-over visitor arrivals,” said Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, The Honourable Charles Fernandez.  “We have to recognise each and every one employed in the tourism industry, who have welcomed visitors to our shores and whose deliverance of quality customer care ensures our visitors have an amazing experience while they are here.”

“Reaching 300,000 stay-over tourism arrivals is a significant milestone,” said CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C. James.  “We have incredible partnerships with stakeholders throughout the industry, who have been instrumental in bringing us to this milestone, and who are as committed as we are to driving tourism growth.”

As Antigua and Barbuda Tourism officials push to reach the 300,000 mark, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has launched a sweepstake specifically targeted to the global diaspora.

“The Antigua and Barbuda diaspora are travelers too.  And we are inviting them to ‘Come home in December’ to reconnect with family and friends, and ring in the new decade in Antigua and Barbuda,” said James.

The ‘Come Home in December’ promotion entices Antiguans and Barbudans living abroad to come home during the month of December for a chance to win a free 3-night, 4-day trip back to Antigua during summer of 2020. The promotion officially kicks-off today, November 20, 2019.

The sweepstake is open to citizens of Antigua and Barbuda living abroad and persons of Antiguan and Barbudan heritage. Persons must enter on the www.visitantiguabarbuda.com website and be able to prove booking and travel between December 1 and December 31, 2019. One winner will be selected from each of Antigua and Barbuda’s main source markets in the USA, Canada, U.K. & Europe and the Caribbean. Winners will be selected by random drawing and will be expected to show proof of citizenship and heritage or lineage. Visit www.visitantiguabarbuda.com to enter and for full details and terms and conditions.


Antigua (pronounced An-tee’ga) and Barbuda (Bar-byew’da) is located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Voted the World Travel Awards 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination, the twin-island paradise 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. The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua comprises 108-square miles with rich history and spectacular topography that provides a variety of popular sightseeing opportunities. Nelson’s Dockyard, the only remaining example of a Georgian fort a listed UNESCO World Heritage site, is perhaps the most renowned landmark. Antigua’s tourism events calendar includes the prestigious Antigua Sailing Week, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, and the annual Antigua Carnival; known as the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival. Barbuda, Antigua’s smaller sister island, is the ultimate celebrity hideaway. The island lies 27 miles north-east of Antigua and is just a 15-minute plane ride away. Barbuda is known for its untouched 17 mile stretch of pink sand beach and as the home of the largest Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere.  Find information on Antigua & Barbuda at: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com or  follow us on Twitter. http://twitter.com/antiguabarbuda  Facebookwww.facebook.com/antiguabarbuda; Instagram: www.instagram.com/AntiguaandBarbuda


For media enquiries, please contact:
Maria Blackman
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority

T: 1 (268) 562 7600/464-7601
E: [email protected]

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Tourism Trinidad to Provide Cruise Visitors with an Authentic Experience

On Thursday November 14, 2019, Tourism Trinidad Limited (TTL) held an official welcome ceremony to launch the 2019/2020 cruise season as the Caribbean Princess cruise liner docked at the port of Port of Spain with some 3,600 passengers.

For this November 2019 to April 2020 cruise season, Destination Trinidad will be receiving 70,000 passengers from twenty-seven (27) vessel calls. Two (2) new cruise lines and three (3) new cruise vessels will also be calling at the port of Port of Spain. In 2018, Destination Trinidad received 59,000 passengers.

Internationally, the cruise season has been on an upward trend; declaring a record high of 28.5 million passengers in 2018; with a significant number of those passengers coming from North America – 14.2 million passengers to be exact. In fact, North American travellers dominated the Caribbean, for cruise travel – recording a seven (7%) percent increase…up to 9.8 million passengers in 2018.

At the official cruise reception, the Chairman of Tourism Trinidad, Howard Chin Lee, pointed out that “today’s travellers are looking for new experiences; especially millennials (or as we like to call them…the disrupters) who are actively seeking out authentic experiences in exotic, far flung destinations and want something cool to share with their friends on social media”.

Cruise ships are responding to this competitive environment, offering lavish features such as underwater lounges with submarine type experiences to entice the new age traveller.  Recently Virgin – one of the most prominent players in the airline industry has taken a bold step to ‘reinvent the cruise experience.’ As explained by Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Cruise, “We have taken the time to think about every detail and craft an experience that brings the Virgin brand to life and disrupts the travel industry.”

It is against this background that Tourism Trinidad welcomed the Caribbean Princess guests with an immersive and authentic experience that celebrated the vibrant and diverse spirit of Trinidad through enticing cuisine, exhilarating entertainment, and authentic regional experiences, bringing the destination to life and disrupting traditional welcomes.

The sweet sounds of parang, steelpan, colourful Moko Jumbies and Maypole dancing greeted the passengers on the quayside as they disembarked. Inside the Cruise Ship Hall, sampling stations of Maracas Bake and Shark, Doubles, Coconut Water as well as an exhibition of Lopinot’s cocoa and coffee heritage (with chocolate and cocoa tea tasting) were set up.

Chairman Howard Chin Lee emphasised the need for Trinidad to find innovative ways to further enhance and use its tourism assets to disrupt Caribbean Cruising and capture significant market share beyond the 4% increase of last year.  “Our Port is one of a few to offer Cruise ship docking in the capital city, with immediate access to duty free shopping, gift shops and boutiques, and easy access to our financial district.  This undoubtedly presents a competitive advantage for Trinidad.  Now, add to this our leisure, eco, and year-round festivals and you have a one-of-a-kind tourism experience like no other Caribbean island”.

In the coming months Tourism Trinidad will be working hand-in-hand with regional corporations, tourism action groups and industry partners to address major issues impacting upon the visitor experience such as destination improvement and skills development.  The company will be undertaking hospitality and service quality training across communities, agencies and service departments, sharing best management practices; and focusing on all the individuals who come into direct contact with international visitors (immigration, customs, transport, shops, restaurants and hotels and even within the communities). These are the people who will feel the direct benefits of increased business opportunities and greater demand for their products and services.

The long-term aim of Tourism Trinidad is to build a sustainable service culture thorough continuous training, product development and enhanced service delivery – thereby creating the right customer experience to sustain and grow Trinidad’s tourism business.

Tourism Trinidad will be providing cultural entertainment throughout the 2019/2020 season from the moment our international guests arrive to their departure.


Sherma Mitchell, Public Relations Specialist

Phone: (868) 689-5198 / Email:   [email protected]


Established in June 2017 and a state enterprise under the Ministry of Tourism, the mandate of Tourism Trinidad Limited is as follows:

1) Development and marketing of Trinidad’s tourism offerings and the promotion of Destination Trinidad

2) Attracting tourism investment into Trinidad

3) Promoting education, awareness and co-operation in advancing expansion through tourism

Posted in: 2019 News, Destination News

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Barbados Records Strong January – September Performance

Chief Executive Officer of The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) William Griffith has revealed that based on the destination management organisation’s review, the island has enjoyed a 4.2% increase in stay-over arrivals in the first nine months of 2019 in comparison to the corresponding 2018 period.

Between January and September 2019, Barbados welcomed 522,583 visitors through the enhanced Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) thereby accounting for an increase of 21,200 visitors. The BTMI continues to aggressively pursue new cruise marketing and product development initiatives, which has projected cruise arrivals to reach around 840,000 by the end of December. It is anticipated that these initiatives will contribute to longer term growth.

Of Barbados’ major source markets, Central and South America recorded the highest growth for  2019 at 11% followed by the United States at 9.5%. Germany and the United Kingdom also performed favourably with increases of 5.7% and 8.7% respectively.

Griffith applauded the tourism team in Barbados and across all markets and attributed Barbados’ favourable performance to their development of strategic initiatives. “Several of these efforts are bearing fruit and we must press forward in this light to conclude the rest of the year with a solid performance.”

Increased Airlift

“One of the pivotal elements of guaranteeing the viability of our tourism industry is ensuring that the island remains easily accessible by land and sea. The BTMI has worked closely with our airline partners to maintain, and even boost airlift and this has contributed in part to our favourable increases in arrivals,” stated Griffith.

Barbados has expanded its reach in the European market as Eurowings from the Lufthansa Group launched its non-stop service between Frankfurt, Germany and Bridgetown, Barbados in October 2019. With thrice-weekly flights being provided, this service adds an additional 990 seats for business and leisure travellers Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until April 2020.

Upcoming Opportunities 

Looking ahead there are several initiatives geared towards cementing the island’s record performance for 2019, and in preparation for 2020. The BTMI is gearing up marketing and communications activities to invite all friends and family of Barbados to the island next year under the theme We Gatherin’.

“We are pressing full steam ahead with our deployments and activations in the market as we seek to drive more business to the island. Amidst Barbados’ independence celebrations, the BTMI is looking forward to the Barbados Mindful Living Festival this November 22 to 24 as a nod to 2019 as the Year of Wellness and Soft Adventure.

This health and wellness festival will be the perfect segue into the 2019 Run Barbados Marathon Weekend from December 6 to 8, which has evolved into one of the premier sporting attractions on the island. The marathon will feature a fun mile, 5k walk, 10k walk and run as well as the half marathon and marathon. Destination Barbados will be wrapping up 2019 with a burst of energy as we encourage travellers to “Come for the run, but stay for the fun!”

About Barbados

The island of Barbados offers the most authentic Caribbean experience with its exceptionally rich culture and history rooted in remarkable landscapes. Rated as one of the world’s sexiest beaches in 2008 by Concierge.com; Barbados’ Crane Beach in St. Philip stands as a premier destination for travellers. Barbados is also the first Zagat-rated Caribbean island and is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean. Barbados has hosted several world class events including: The annual Barbados Food & Rum Festival; the 2006 PGA World Golf Championships-Barbados World Cup, the ICC Cricket World Cup Finals in 2007, the Sentebale Charity Polo match with Prince Harry of Wales in 2010, and the ICC Twenty20 Cricket Finals for 2010, and the Rihanna LOUD concert in 2012. Accommodations range from picturesque plantation houses and villas, to quaint bed and breakfasts and award-winning, five-star resorts. Grantley Adams International Airport offers even more non-stop and direct service from a growing number of U.S. cities, making Barbados the true gateway to the Eastern Caribbean. Barbados was voted eighth in the World by Trip Advisor’s “2008 Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards” in its Top 100 Destinations category. For more information on travel to Barbados, visit www.visitbarbados.org, follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VisitBarbados, via Twitter @Barbados.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Performance Indicates Sustained Tourism Growth in the Cayman Islands

Stayover visitation continued to rise for the Cayman Islands in October with arrivals of 23,798 persons, a 5.76% increase, or 1,297 more visitors than October 2018.

For the period January through October 2019, the destination welcomed 410,088 stayover visitors, which represents a 10.00% growth over the same period of 2018, or an increase of 37,276 stayover visitors.  This figure surpasses all January through October arrivals statistics of previous years recorded, an accomplishment that supports one of the objectives of government’s tourism mission to stimulate the economy of the Cayman Islands.   It is estimated that total visitor spend increased by 7.4% to US$747.4 million throughout this period.

“It is reaffirming to hear first-hand the positive impact our stayover strategy is having on stimulating tourism businesses’ profit margin during what we consider traditional shoulder season,” commented the Minister of Tourism, the Hon Moses Kirkconnell.  “The Ministry has been steadfast in its commitment to our sector and the community at large to create more opportunities for entrepreneurship, training and development for those interested in tourism related endeavours, endeavours that largely rely on air arrivals to maintain a successful business model.  My government strongly supports the dedicated work of the Department of Tourism to increase visitation to, and awareness of, the Cayman Islands around the globe to ensure that we maximize opportunities that create positive impacts to our sector and the businesses with in this market.”

Presenting the statistical data each month is an integral role of the DOT, whose research mission is to support the overall strategic objectives of the destination by providing reliable data, useful information, and analysis for future planning, decision-making, and policy formulation.  This includes continuous elevation of the research related products available to the public.  Currently, the DOT provides online statistical data in an easy-to-use format for persons requiring tourism related figures. The latest addition to the research reports offered is a 2019 nine-month snapshot infographic also available online at the Official Cayman Islands website.

For more information and detailed arrival statistics, please visit www.visitcaymanislands.com/statistics.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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ABTA Trends Report Names Grenada “One to Watch” in 2020

Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean has been named ‘one to watch’ in the ABTA Travel Trends Report 2020, the only Caribbean destination to be included in the UK benchmark report since 2018. Independently selected by ABTA experts, inclusion is based on a range of factors such as accessibility, major events and celebrations, and areas that are experiencing a revival.

ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) has been a trusted travel brand for over 65 years and helps UK holidaymakers travel with confidence. The ABTA name stands for support, protection and expertise, giving consumers confidence in products they buy from ABTA members. ABTA has more than 4,300 travel brands in its Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined annual UK turnover of £39 billion.

The annual ABTA Travel Trends report aims to inspire consumers in their holiday choices and highlight destinations of note. Revealing the report to travel industry and media leaders, Victoria Bacon, ABTA Director of Brand and Business Development, confirmed Grenada was selected for the following reasons:

  • The beautiful Caribbean island is a feast for all the senses
  • Grenada is incredibly fertile, and its green hills are full of fruit, nut and spice bearing trees including damsel, almond and banana together with the fragrant nutmeg and some much more exotic local plants.
  • Chocolate also grows happily on the island and chocaholics can visit the Diamond Chocolate Factory watching the magical process of cocoa going from tree to bar.
  • Pack some sturdy boots to hike in Grand Etang National Park.
  • The capital, St. George’s, is a very attractive place with lively bars and restaurants; after lunch head off for the impressive views from its colonial-era forts.
  • Grenada has some very beautiful beaches which are less crowded than many other Caribbean islands, including Grand Anse and Levera beaches.
  • The Underwater Sculpture Park offers unforgettable memories of snorkelling over its collection of statues.
  • Finish the day watching the sun set with a drink or two at the Dodgy Dock bar.

Bacon said: “The 12 destinations in this year’s report are a great example of the wide range of experiences and destinations on offer around the world, all readily accessible from the UK. Historic cities, idyllic beaches, rugged landscapes, delicious cuisines and above all welcoming people characterise our choices and we hope they will provide inspiration for holidaymakers looking to travel somewhere a little different but also very special in 2020.”

The other destinations included are (in alphabetical order): Basilicata, Chicago and Lake Michigan, Georgia, Madrid and its neighbouring cities, Morocco, Namibia, Singapore, South Korea, The Netherlands, Uruguay and Vienna. View the full report here: abta.com/traveltrends2020

Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) CEO, Ms Patricia Maher, said: “The ABTA Travel Trends report pinpoints the natural beauty and uncrowded beaches of Grenada as some of the reasons why our islands of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique stand out, in addition to our remarkable attractions and the special warmth of our hospitality.”

Maher added: “Our inclusion in ABTA Travel Trends 2020 shows once again that the tri-island destination of Grenada is on the front foot in the highly competitive UK holiday market. Our strategy is to inspire travellers through our work with travel industry partners in addition to selected high calibre media and social media creators, and this touchstone report provides a springboard to an even higher profile globally.”

About Grenada

he tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique is located in the eastern Caribbean just south of Barbados. Grenada is best known as the “Spice Island of the Caribbean” for its cinnamon and nutmeg production, but the lush destination draws visitors for so much more. The Pure Grenada experience beckons visitors to its 40 white sandy beaches such as the world famous Grand Anse Beach, 15 breathtaking waterfalls, five chocolate producers, three rum distilleries and more than 50 unforgettable dive sites, including the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean ‘Bianca C’ and the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park. Grenada’s approach to hospitality is infused with a warm charm which is apparent from its luxury resorts to barefoot chic boutique hotels and villas. There are direct flights to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport from the US, Caribbean, Canada, UK and Germany making the island accessible to visitors from around the world that wish to experience Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean.

 Media Contact

Ria Murray, Communications Officer, Grenada Tourism Authority: [email protected]

473 440 2001/2279 / 473 420 2557 (mobile)

For all our recent news releases go to www.puregrenada.com/news


Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation Hosts Top-Tier Media and Influencers Post-Hurricane Dorian

Nassau, Bahamas, November 25, 2019 – In the months following Hurricane Dorian, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA) has mobilized and set up a steady stream of group and individual familiarization trips to continue telling the world that The Bahamas is “Open For Business.” From November 2019 into the New Year, top-tier media and social influencers are coming to The Islands Of The Bahamas to discover the country’s culture, cuisine and communities and help spread the message that most of the islands are welcoming visitors.

The trips will drive positive and educational coverage of the destination, in print, online and social media, during the critical travel-booking season.

“With more than 700 islands and cays, there is so much to discover in The Bahamas,” said Mrs. Joy Jibrilu, Director General at The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation. “Hosting influential media and storytellers to deliver our ’Open For Business’ message in a way that resonates with their readers and followers is a key part of our multi-phased post-hurricane campaign. The coverage we receive from these visits will be crucial in inspiring travel to our country, speaking to all the important reasons why now is the time to visit.”

In November, the BMOTA hosted its first group press trip following Hurricane Dorian. Top-tier travel and lifestyle journalists, contributing to Delta Sky, the Daily Beast, TravelPulse, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler and others, visited Nassau Paradise Island, Eleuthera and Harbour Island to discover the ease of island hopping in The Bahamas and get a first-hand account of the Bahamian people’s resilience despite the devastating hurricane season. Stories will not only highlight BMOTA’s “Open For Business” messaging, but will position the islands as must-visit travel destinations this season and beyond.

The BMOTA also hosted South Florida travel and lifestyle influencer, The Style Bungalow, in Harbour Island, in November. She experienced the quiet island lifestyle while also visiting some of the world’s most Instagram-worthy spots, including The Pink Sands Beach, the pastel-hued homes, Bahama House and much more. The Style Bungalow shared that The Bahamas is “Open For Business” with her 211K+ Instagram followers and highlighted the quick flight from Florida as another reason why everyone, including Floridians, should visit.

The Ministry is working diligently to keep this momentum of top-tier media and influencers visiting The Bahamas alive. Aligning with the Hero World Challenge in December, the BMTOA will be hosting five quality sports, travel and lifestyle media to promote Nassau and Exuma as premier golf destinations. Journalists from Forbes, GOLF.com, BroBible and GOLF Monthly will experience top golf courses in Nassau, including Royal Blue Golf Course at Baha Mar, Ocean Club Golf Course at Atlantis and Exuma’s Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course.

The Ministry’s visiting journalist program continues to be an unqualified success. Through the People-To-People Experience, visiting journalists are able to connect with the Bahamian people and get an experience like no other while sharing meals and conversations. An additional slate of individual trips took place on a rolling basis. Reporters with The Washington Post and Jamaque Paradis Magazine visited in the past two months while travel influencer, Get Lost With Jackie, a journalist from The Zoe Report and two of The Boston Globe writers are scheduled to come early in 2020 to cover an array of topics from Junkanoo to fly-fishing. 


With over 700 islands and cays, and 15 of the 16 unique island destinations currently open for business, The Bahamas lies just 55 miles off the coast of Florida, offering an easy fly away escape that transports travelers away from their everyday. The Islands Of The Bahamas have world-class fishing, diving, boating and thousands of miles of the earth’s most spectacular water and beaches waiting for families, couples and adventurers. Explore all the islands have to offer at www.bahamas.com or on FacebookYouTube or Instagram to see why It’s Better in The Bahamas. 


Anita Johnson-Patty

General Manager, Global Communications

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation

[email protected]

Weber Shandwick

Public Relations

[email protected]

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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