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Archive for 2020 News

Cut Passenger Taxes on Air Travel to Compete, IATA tells Caribbean Governments

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (13 may, 2020) – Describing travel as being in a “free fall” and the airline industry as being “bare bones” due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), the trade association for the world’s airlines is advising Caribbean governments to cut passenger taxes if they wish to be competitive when service is restored.

Peter Cerda, the regional vice president for the Americas at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), says the state of the global airline sector, including carriers in the Caribbean, is “as bad as one could expect”, and they will need government support to resume any form of service.

Cerda, speaking on this week’s Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) podcast, COVID-19: The Unwanted Visitor, warns that the aviation sector will emerge from the crisis with fewer carriers offering leaner services to fewer routes and flying smaller aircraft. And “when it comes to the Caribbean, it won’t be the same market”.

Therefore, he says, regional governments must prepare for this eventuality by taking the necessary steps to reduce the cost of air travel.

“Governments can … help the international carriers continue to operate there [by] lowering passenger fees and taxation fees,” Cerda suggests. “One of the biggest problems that we’ve always faced in Caribbean is the Caribbean is a very highly taxed market. And it’s always taxed on the airline side, on the passenger, consumer side. And this will be a big challenge for the Caribbean once we are able to escape from this crisis.”

The IATA executive predicts that in the early stages of the resumption of air travel the people who fly would rather remain close to home. He says the Caribbean’s proximity to the United States and Canada gives it an advantage in this case, but it can quickly lose this advantage if the countries fail to be prudent.

“Because of the financial crisis that will follow the apprehensions that the consumer has, if the Caribbean does not position itself – that it is competitive, it has a good level of service in terms of medical services, it has the right procedures being implemented – these passengers may decide to go somewhere else, somewhere else in Central America, Mexico or even see in the US,” Cerda says.

IATA represents about 290 airlines or 82 per cent of total air traffic, and Certa says with virtually all aircraft grounded and airlines continuing to face financial ruin, the organisation has asked all governments, including those in the Caribbean, to, among other measures, provide low interest loans through their lending institutions.

He says many have already stepped forward to provide assistances and warns that those who do not will be at the end of the queue for service when flights resume.

“Those countries that are helping the industry will position themselves in a much better way when the crisis is over to reinstitute flights. In those countries where they are not helping their airlines, those airlines are going to be in a very difficult situation to be able to restart,” Cerda says.

While predicting that international travel will return to the Caribbean by next month, Cerda says Caribbean economies could lose US$740 million and face 23,000 job cuts if borders remain closed through to the end of June. When all of travel and tourism is considered, he says, the cost to the region could reach US$6.5 billion, with over 350,000 jobs at risk.

To listen to this episode – or previous episodes – of the CTO podcast, please visit www.anchor.fm/onecaribbean. It can also be found on Anchor, Spotify, www.onecaribbean.org and the CTO’s Facebook page, among other platforms.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Belize Tourism Board Announces “Dear Belize” Digital Postcard Campaign

BELIZE CITY, Belize (May 8, 2020) – Belize Tourism Board (BTB), the official tourism marketing organization for Belize, has announced a new virtual postcard campaign titled, “Dear Belize” to spark wanderlust and inspire future travel, following the pandemic. Within the next four weeks, eager travelers throughout the U.S., Canada and UK are encouraged to submit a video postcard via social media for the chance to win a complimentary trip to the Central American Caribbean paradise.

Participants are encouraged to be creative, uploading a 10-60 second “Dear Belize” video postcard to the official landing page (DearBelize.com) that explains the participant’s love for the destination, why they wish to visit, or any memories from past trips. A winner will be selected at random, and favorites of the Dear Belize team will be shared on the marketing organization’s platforms.

One winner in each of the key markets will receive an eight day/ seven-night trip for two to Belize, which includes roundtrip airfare, luxury accommodations at two resort properties, ground transportation, and an opportunity to experience lush rainforests, secret waterfalls, mystical Mayan ruins and dotted islets.

 

 

 

 

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Destination News

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Caribbean Has Achieved COVID-19 Containment, Says Researcher

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (5May, 2020) – The coronavirus (COVID-19) has been contained in the English-speaking Caribbean and Haiti, according to a leading researcher and academic.

However, Dr. Clive Landis, pro-vice-chancellor for undergraduate studies and research, and professor of cardiovascular research at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill campus in Barbados, and the chairman of the UWI COVID-19 task force, says this does not mean that the Caribbean is out of danger.

Landis, the guest on this week’s Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) podcast, COVID-19: The Unwelcome Visitor, led the research into the progress of the virus in the 15-member Caribbean Community, as well as the British overseas territories.

“The bottom line for the whole Caribbean is that the Caribbean has avoided the kind of outbreak, the kind of epidemic that we’ve seen in many European countries…and north America. We’ve avoided that,” he says in the podcast which is available at www.anchor.fm/onecaribbean, Spotify and the CTO’s Facebook page, among other platforms.

“When you look at the growth trajectories, they are basically flat [in virtually all the countries],” he reveals.

However, the UWI researcher insists containment does not mean the virus has been wiped out in the region, adding that the Caribbean will have to learn to live with its threat for another year.

“I want to stress that when you have achieved containment…you are looking to find cases in clusters and having a cluster, there’s nothing wrong with that. That actually shows you are doing your surveillance. We map how each Caribbean country has done from the first case and we can say quite confidently that these countries have achieved containment,” says Landis.

He also advises that before opening their borders to international travel, every Caribbean destination should have public health nurses who are trained in detecting acute respiratory illnesses in every hotel and all areas of potential risk.

In this podcast, Landis addresses a range of subjects including what countries must look for in order to determine whether or not they’ve reached their peak, the projections for the region and the future of travel, which he says will likely include immunity passports and health certificates.  

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which is headquartered in Barbados, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish-speaking, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members the organisation provides specialised support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected];

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization, please visit www.OneCaribbean.org and follow CTO on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to be part of the conversation.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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TTAL’s Campaign Has Online Travel Community “Dreaming of Tobago”

SCARBOROUGH Tobago, Wednesday May 06, 2020: As the global travel and tourism industry continues to grapple with the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) launched a digital campaign to bring some much needed positivity and hope to their global travel community, and encourage past and future visitors to keep “Dreaming of Tobago”.

This marketing campaign by the TTAL not only seeks to keep Tobago front of mind for travellers until the island can safely open for business once again, but is also a message of solidarity with the global travel community. Tobago joins destinations and partner organisations across the globe – including the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, World Travel and Tourism Council and the World Tourism Organisation –   in spreading a united message of resilience, positivity, and a commitment to charting the way forward in the industry for a brighter tomorrow.

#DreamingOfTobago is a 100% user-generated campaign that seeks to tell the story of Tobago through the eyes of its past visitors and current residents. Through this campaign, TTAL will showcase the island through stunning photography, captivating videos and nostalgic testimonials, so that the destination remains top of mind for regional and international visitors amid the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

After a “soft-launch” at the beginning of April, in May 2020 the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited officially launched the #DreamingOfTobago initiative with a short teaser video introducing the campaign on their online platforms. Featuring stunning aerial and underwater footage of unspoilt Tobago, the video invites the online travel community to join the conversation and share their memories using the official hashtag #DreamingOfTobago, while spreading a message of hope and keeping the passion for travel alive.

Louis Lewis, CEO of TTAL  stated: “Our intention with this campaign is to keep our global travel community connected and inspired with memories of experiences in destination Tobago. “Dreaming of Tobago” provides a platform for sharing, connecting, and collectively anticipating the future when visitors are able to travel to unspoilt, untouched, undiscovered Tobago once again.”

For more information on the #DreamingOfTobago campaign, visit the official website at www.TobaoBeyond.com/dreamingoftobago or check out destination Tobago’s official Facebook page www.facebook.com/visitTobago

 

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Nevis Launches Video Series Competition Taste of Nevis

New York, NY, May 5th, 2020… It was William Shakespeare who wrote, “As full of spirit was the month of May…” The Nevis Tourism Authority (NTA) is embracing his words as they launch a video series competition, #TasteofNevis, a celebration of Nevisian culture. The contest focuses on transporting the viewer electronically to Nevis, bringing the island into the homes of those yearning to travel as they quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The #TasteofNevis competition reaches a global audience each week. After watching step-by-step tutorials given by expert Nevisians, viewers are encouraged to participate and create videos that showcase the culture of Nevis. For example, in the culinary arena, weekly prizes will be awarded to the best ‘re-creations’ of local fare and a grand prize will be awarded to the viewer who submits the recipe that is judged to be most creative.

The celebrated Nevis cocktail, the ‘Spicy Island Turtle’, a white rum and mango infused drink, will be the first re-creation. Weekly video tutorials will be available on all social media platforms: Instagram (@nevisnaturally), Facebook (@nevisnaturally), YouTube (nevisnaturally) and Twitter (@Nevisnaturally) accounts. For a full list of ingredients please visit  www.nevisisland.com website.

To submit an entry, participants must post a photo or video of the re-creation via Instagram (@nevisnaturally), Facebook (@nevisnaturally) or Twitter (@Nevisnaturally), making sure to tag @nevisnaturally and using the hashtag #TasteofNevis.

The Nevis Tourism Authority has been working diligently to ensure that the destination remains top of mind during this difficult time. As travel restrictions currently prohibit visitors from entering the country, the NTA has also launched the #SeeYouSoonNevis campaign, a video montage showcasing an array of breath-taking images across all social media platforms

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Caribbean Airlines Aircraft Sanitization

Trinidad and Tobago, May 05, 2020. Caribbean Airlines has released a new video highlighting the sanitization processes used on its aircraft.  Please click link https://f.io/5mhsBJHw

The airline advises that its aircraft cabins are cleaned above international standards and the chemicals used meet the requirements of the World Health Organization, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Centre for Disease Control as effective for use against viruses including COVID-19.

Caribbean Airlines CEO, Garvin Medera stated: “The COVID-19 Pandemic has meant that we’ve had to make changes to our operations and in-flight service because nothing is more important than the security, safety and comfort of our employees and customers. 

We assure you that Caribbean Airlines’ aircraft are sanitized above International standards. We monitor the air quality in the cabins and our Boeing 737 jet fleet is equipped with state-of-the-art high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that capture 99.97 percent of particles. High contact surfaces such as tray tables, seatbelts and armrests are cleaned before every flight and at every station using internationally approved cleaners.”

The airline confirms that social distancing is in place on its domestic operations and once international service resumes, social distancing will be practiced at check-in, on board and other areas.

Caribbean Airlines has also indicated that passenger loads will be limited and its crews will operate in full compliance with the instructions of the Public Health and other authorities in the jurisdictions in which the airline operates.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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