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Archive for 2020 News

Barbados welcomes back year-round service from London Heathrow

This weekend marked the inaugural flight of the relaunched year-round daily service from London Heathrow to Barbados on British Airways after a hiatus of more than 15 years. The airline’s four-class Boeing 777-200 safely landed in Bridgetown on Saturday 17 October to a warm Bajan reception, with the Royal Barbados Police Force Band playing the arrivals off the plane.

Cheryl Carter, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s (BTMI) Director for the U.K. was on board, leading a delegation of 19 British travel agents and media who are on island to experience the destination and share their experiences with travellers back home. On receipt of their second negative COVID-19 test, the group’s itinerary will immerse them in the heritage, culinary and soft adventure landscapes of Barbados, from catamaran cruises to tours of historic Bridgetown, and dining at a number of the island’s best restaurants.

Carter commented that “We were so excited to welcome the inaugural British Airways flight from Heathrow to Barbados on Saturday. The aircraft featured brand new livery throughout as well as the new BA Club Suite. It was over 80% full, with families, remote-workers and couples hugely excited to escape the coming winter and see a bit of sun!

This service will mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter, with its seamless connections across the United Kingdom and Ireland, and of course from major markets on the European and African continents, during what has been a tumultuous year. With our new entry procedures in place, balanced against the low case numbers seen on the island, Barbados promotes the wellbeing of all; and we are confident that it is a safe place for travellers globally to enjoy the sun, sea and sand and authentic experiences they may have been missing this year.” 

Making its comeback just in time for the busy October half-term period, the service will boost the already daily flights from London Gatwick, which run from October 2020 until April 2021. Celebratory touches, such as a complimentary glass of champagne for all travellers were enjoyed on the flight and the necessary protocols of hand sanitisers and mask wearing were enforced throughout the flight.

Journalist Renate Ruge, who was also aboard, remarked that “the excellent service expected from BA didn’t disappoint – cabin crew remembered small details like tea or coffee preferences despite a busy plane. The seating options including business class and first with two larger luxury cabins promised extra comfort, especially for the return night flights.”

Fellow writer, Albert Evans, agreed. “While in normal circumstances the flight would have felt crowded in light of the pandemic, the fact everyone on the plane had a negative test put my mind at ease. The arrival in Barbados was characteristically warm and the additional bureaucracy caused by COVID was dealt with quickly and efficiently. The UK could certainly learn a thing or two.”

Melanie May, a writer for the Irish Independent, joined the flight and noted, “With its afternoon departure, it makes it very easy to get a connecting flight from Ireland. From Dublin to London to landing in balmy Barbados, every step of the way was seamless and safe. The many safety protocols in place felt reassuring and the crew should be commended for ensuring a safe travel experience for all passengers.” 

Chelsea Cousins from Northern Ireland Travel News agreed and added, “Connecting from Belfast City to Heathrow and then on to Barbados was quick and straightforward with complete comfort and exceptional customer service from the cabin crew.”

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Barbados Welcome Stamp Gets 24-Hour Hotline

As interest in the Barbados Welcome Stamp increases worldwide, visitors can now get assistance applying for the programme 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is thanks to a new toll-free hotline, as well as an instant chat feature on the website www.barbadoswelcomestamp.bb, both just launched by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI).

The Barbados Welcome Stamp was announced this summer by the country’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, who extended a worldwide invitation for visitors to live and work in paradise for one year. Since its launch, there have been more than 1,600 individual and family group applications from around the world, totalling over 2,700 persons. The destination’s traditional top source markets of the U.S., U.K. and Canada account for the lion’s share of applications, with applicants ranging from lawyers to entrepreneurs to digital nomads.

Below are the contact numbers by country. Effective immediately, all questions on the Barbados Welcome Stamp should be directed to:

  • USA and Canada: 18334480734
  • UK: 08000163098
  • Barbados: 246-628-4150
  • Anguilla, Antigua, BVI, Dominica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Turks, Cayman, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts, Trinidad: 18334480734
  • Columbia: 18007507007
  • Mexico: 8000836751 (Dialing Format 01 800 083 6751)

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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2021 Ultimate Caribbean Honeymoon, Wedding and Romance Guide

New York, NY, October 19, 2020 –  The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the travel and tourism industry to a standstill and so, to stimulate romance travel, MarryCaribbean.com is producing a 2021 edition of the Ultimate Caribbean Honeymoon, Wedding & Romance GuideThis new and revised version is designed to capitalize on the pent-up demand of consumers wanting to rekindle passion, celebrate a milestone anniversary, renew marriage vows, experience a beach wedding or enjoy a honeymoon, and to do so in the Caribbean.  Melanie Reffes, MarryCaribbean.com Editorial Director, will add her talent, experience, and intimate knowledge of the Caribbean to this project.

Marrycaribbean.com CEO, Jacqueline Johnson, stated that “after months of confinement, there is a wanderlust for travel and travelers are seeking an escape, especially to locations that are uncrowded and unhurried. For those who are in love, the need is even more urgent. With open spaces to roam and freedom to explore, the Caribbean provides such a respite and a welcome change for the many that are living in urban areas with restricted access to the outside world. We have re-designed the Ultimate Caribbean Honeymoon, Wedding & Romance Guide to speak directly to those persons”.

The Ultimate Caribbean Honeymoon, Wedding & Romance Guide features a newly constructive homepage with content on Caribbean destinations that cater to the romance market. The guide is recognized as the lead source in the romance market for information on Caribbean countries, cruises, resorts, hotels, and service providers.  This inclusive marrycaribbean.com promotion is open to all the regional tourism stakeholders.  With a 12 month shelf life, the Ultimate Caribbean Honeymoon, Wedding & Romance Guide is carried on E-Zine, reaching a targeted audience of over 2.2 million couples with a passion for travel and in need of the most up-to-date information on destinations, including laws and other requirements pertaining to getting married in the Caribbean, along with expert advice on where to go, when to go and how best to have a seamless and memorable experience.

Johnson continued, “To support our previous partners, the 2021 edition of the Ultimate Caribbean Honeymoon, Wedding & Romance Guide will feature advertorial coverage at no additional cost to ensure that the publication remains an extraordinarily productive investment.  We encourage maximum participation by all sectors of the Caribbean travel market in this one-stop shop where consumers and the travel trade obtain vital information on all things romance

Posted in: 2020 News, Allied News, Blog

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Anguilla Statistics Department Launches of ‘New Look’ Website

As part of the Anguilla Statistics Department’s Statistics Week 2020 activities, the Department launched its ‘New Look’ website. www.statistics.gov.ai on October 14, 2020 at the Teacher’s Resource Centre.

After many years of hard work and dedication from our past and current team at the Anguilla Statistics Department in conjunction with our partners at the Department of Information Technology and E-Services, we were pleased to announce the launch of our ‘new look’ statistics website!

Data has a better idea. Those ideas appear once data has been converted into insights. This was the key message from Lorenzo Bavasso of Three who gave an insightful presentation at the DataIQ Summit on how analytics can help to identify the real value in data. The concept of data having a better idea is rooted in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Essentially converting data into insights and the insights into automated processes, hence increasing efficiencies.

Lorenzo Bavasso went on to indicate that having data in the strategy of every business function, as well as government, is the ideal destination but he admitted that the journey towards it may not be a short or an easy one. To get there, a company would need to change its systems and structures, culture and way of working, and team operating model.

The Anguilla Statistics Department’s journey to the ‘new look’ website was not easy and spanned over a decade using solely ‘statisticians’ to conceptualise the design and content. Our primary goal during the conceptualization of the new look redesign process was to create a more valuable, user-friendly, ecstatically pleasing and responsive resource with the ability to be used across all platforms and devices that would provide users with data at their fingertips. More specifically, we wanted to focus on making it easier for our users to learn and locate valuable information about statistics in Anguilla and International and Regional standards and methodologies, for their particular use in research, programme and policy development and decision-making not only at their desk but on mobile devices.

The information has been reorganized using the International Classifications of Statistical Activities with reference also to the CARICOM Regional Statistical Work Programme (RSWP).

New features include:
 Rapid Response Functionality allowing the site to be compatible with all browsers and mobile devices.
 Easy to Navigate with the statistics arranged around the Statistics Domains and Thematic Areas.
 Metadata which provides information about the data available on each Thematic Area.
 Linked Table of Contents in each Thematic Areas allowing for easy access to the required table.

The site will be continuously updated as there are currently pieces of outstanding data in specific thematic area that we encourage our National Statistical System stakeholders; private sector, government ministries, department and agencies and citizens to actively assist in providing as we continue to provide a reference point for all quality statistics and publications.

Visitors to the new look site can stay informed with the latest released data, press releases and publications. We hope you enjoy our new look! For any suggestions, questions, comments please contact us – [email protected]

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Antigua and Barbuda Travel Advisory – 14th October 2020

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has updated its travel advisory effective immediately to ensure the continued safety of travelers and residents. The V.C. Bird International Airport is open for international and regional air traffic. The Antigua Port Authority is open to Cargo Vessels, Pleasure Craft and Ferry Services which are required to follow all protocols issued by Port Health.

The State continues to carry out a combination of screening, testing, monitoring and other measures to mitigate the risk of importing any new cases of COVID-19 into the country. Additionally, measures have been implemented for the quick detection of any imported cases. This strategy is intended to protect and safeguard the health of both residents and visitors to Antigua and Barbuda.

Nationals and residents of Antigua and Barbuda are strongly advised to restrict their travel to countries with significant escalations in the number of persons recently testing positive for COVID-19 to that for essential purposes only.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has provided parameters for the establishment of a regional Travel Bubble among the OECS countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Montserrat, Anguilla and British Virgin Islands, together with Barbados. This is designed to facilitate intra-regional travel of nationals, movement of essential workers, and inter-regional travel of visitors to the region while ensuring that the necessary health protocols are followed.

The protocols implemented are as follows:

1. Arriving passengers by air must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) taken within seven (7) days of their flight. (This includes transiting passengers).
2. Children below the age of 12 years, entering Antigua, DO NOT REQUIRE a COVID -19 RT-PCR test.
3. Persons traveling to Antigua and Barbuda from countries within the established Travel Bubble must have resided there for no less than fourteen (14) consecutive days prior to travel. They are required to have a negative COVID 19 RT-PCR test result taken within seven (7) days of their flight. They will undergo mandatory health screening upon arrival but will not be subject to quarantine. All other arriving passengers are subject to quarantine as determined by the Quarantine Authority.
4. Passengers arriving for medical treatment/procedures must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR taken within seven (7) days of their flight. They also must comply with Ministry of Health Guidelines for the Transfer of Patients into Antigua and Barbuda, to include:

A letter of Request for Medical Transfer from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the originating country to the CMO of Antigua and Barbuda who is also the Quarantine Authority.
b) A medical report detailing patient’s condition, treatment required and the urgency of the situation.
c) A Letter of Acceptance from the receiving institution stating that the patient has been accepted for care, together with the name of the physician who will be managing the patient.
d) The intended address in Antigua and Barbuda, together with the name and telephone number of a contact person if available.
5. Passengers arriving by sea (private yachts/Ferry Services) are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health except those arriving from countries within the bubble.
6. All arriving passengers must wear a face mask on disembarkation and in all public areas. Additionally, the wearing of face mask in public spaces is mandatory throughout Antigua and Barbuda and social/physical distancing protocols must be adhered to.
7.All arriving passengers must complete a Health Declaration Form and will be subjected to screening and temperature checks by Port Health Authorities upon arrival in Antigua and Barbuda.
8. Persons travelling from countries within the Travel Bubble will be exempt from quarantine. However, all other arriving passengers will be monitored for COVID-19 for periods of up to fourteen (14) days in accordance with the directions of the Quarantine Authority and the Quarantine (COVID-19) Guidelines. Visitors may be required to undergo testing for COVID-19 on arrival or at the hotel or place of lodging as determined by the Health Authorities.
9. Arriving passengers with symptoms of COVID 19 may be isolated as determined by the Health Authorities.
10. Transiting passengers/Crew members who require an overnight stay will be required to proceed to a hotel or government designated facility to await departure.
11. All Marine Pleasure Craft and Ferry Services will enter ONLY at the Nevis Street Pier.

Military Vessels/Aircraft and other Watercraft transporting food, medical supplies, humanitarian and emergency supplies will be required to follow the Quarantine Guidelines established by the Quarantine Authority as well as issued by Port Health and must give prior notification before arrival.

These restrictions for maritime traffic, and the consequential Antigua Port Authority guidelines, issued during the State of Emergency, shall not restrict vessels engaged in innocent passage and/or transit passage, within the territorial seas and/or archipelagic waters of Antigua and Barbuda, under the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
This Travel Advisory replaces ALL previous Travel Advisories issued by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Update from St Martin – Oct. 5, 2020

In order to get to Saint-Martin / Sint-Maarten, by air or by sea, the Tourist Office provides you with the latest information and regulations known to date concerning the entry into the territory.

We all want the health situation to improve as quickly as possible, therefore, together, we must follow the protocols put in place by our governments and local health agencies.

Yesterday’s certainties are confronted with today’s reality and impose more and more constraints and vigilance on us. The difficult trade-off between economic asphyxiation and the safeguarding of public health oblige us to the greatest reserve.

The people of Saint-Martin are resilient. We are used to difficult times and we know how to join forces to overcome them, always with a smile!

For you, tourism professionals are doing everything they can to offer optimal hospitality, while respecting current sanitary regulations.

Despite this new situation, The Friendly Island is eager to welcome and offer you and your loved ones the most beautiful experience.

AIRPORTS

Princess Juliana International Airport :

Most of international flights have resumed, as are some regional flights.

However, a negative rt-PCR test performed within 120 hours prior to departure to Sint Maarten (last leg in case of connecting flights) is required for all travelers originating from a country that is categorized as high or moderate risk.

An online health authorization application must be filled and approved before your travel : https://stmaartenehas.com/

The rt-PCR test is not mandatory for children under the age of 10.

For more information and up to date travel regulations, please visit Sint Maarten Government’s official website: https://stmaartenehas.com/

Grand Case Espérance Airport:

Between Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint-Martin, with the exception of Saint Barthélemy:

Travel is prohibited unless if based on an overriding personal or family reason, an emergency health reason or a professional reason that cannot be postponed.

These conditions do not apply to passengers in transit to and from Paris.

Travelers must present to the airline, before boarding, one or more supporting documents as well as a sworn statement stating the reason for travel available via the link: https://tinyurl.com/yxk6cnet

For more information and up to date travel regulations, please visit the Prefecture de Saint Martin et de Saint Barthélemy’s website : https://tinyurl.com/yxk6cnet

 

NIGHTLIFE AND RESTAURANTS

On the French side, bars, restaurants and shops must close at midnight at the latest.

(Wearing a mask is mandatory from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. in areas frequented by a large public, such as bars, schools and shops’s surroundings, for one month starting Friday September 18th.)

On the Dutch side, nightclubs, bars and restaurants must close at midnight at the latest.

On both sides, social distancing must be respected and wearing a mask is mandatory in closed establishments.

INTER-ISLAND FERRIES

Connections between St. Martin and the nearby island of Anguilla are suspended until November 1st. Connections to St. Barthelemy are maintained.

Travel between Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin (and vice versa) is not subject to any compelling reason.

Marina Fort Louis

The Captaincy welcomes the public from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Weekends and holidays.

However, contacts by phone, email and online procedures are preferred – Tel : 590 590 773126 – [email protected].

Access to the Marina is possible to those complying with health safety guidelines.

Cruise port

The reception of cruise ships is prohibited on both sides of the island. The refueling of cruise ships is authorized.

HOSPITAL

At the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital, the precautionary measures were lifted. Consultations are open again. Emergencies remain focused to monitor cases of covid-19.

ORGANIZING EVENTS

For those who wish to organize events and gatherings of more than 10 people, please visit the Prefecture’s website : https://tinyurl.com/y4c2usee

A reminder of good hygiene practices :

– Wash your hands regularly

– Cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow when coughing and sneezing

– Use disposable tissues

– Maintain a safety distance of 2 meters between individuals

– Greet without shaking hands and avoid kissing

– Call EMERGENCY +15 if symptoms appear (cough, fever…) and stay home.

– Use of masks for staff and customers is mandatory in public areas

– Sick employees MUST NOT go to work

– The use of gloves for staff in contact with the general public is enforced

– Detailed and frequent cleaning of premises and contact surfaces is implemented-

– Public access to businesses must be controlled and regulated.

The Tourist Office is available to answer your questions by e-mail at :

[email protected]

or by phone at: +590 590 875721

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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