Archive for 2020 News

Anguilla Expands Vacation Bubble Concept for Phase Two Reopening

The Valley, Anguilla, November 4, 2020 …… Anguilla’s Phase Two reopening to international travelers began on Sunday, November 1st, with the introduction of the vacation bubble concept, designed to allow properties to safely offer their short stay guests access to a variety of approved amenities, services and activities while they stay in place.  These guided movements allow visitors to interact with Anguilla’s exceptional tourism product while limiting their interaction with Anguilla’s population.

“We are pleased to announce that Anguilla’s hospitality product can now reopen in a safe though unprecedented way, subject to inspections and safety protocols designed to protect the health of our visitors and our nation,” said the Hon. Minister of Tourism and Infrastructure, Mr. Haydn Hughes.  “We want everyone to enjoy the Anguilla experience – we invite you to lose the crowd and find yourself,” he continued.

All visitors are welcome in Phase Two, provided that they meet the pre-entry approval requirements.  These include a negative PCR test, taken within 3 – 5 days of arrival; medical insurance that covers the cost of COVID-19 related treatment for 30 days; and payment of fees which vary depending on the proposed length of stay. For information on the pre-entry approval visit Anguilla Tourist Board’s website; a dedicated concierge will guide each applicant through the process.

“We recognize that health and safety concerns are paramount for both our visitors and our guests,” stated the Hon. Parliamentary Secretary Tourism, Mrs. Quincia Gumbs Marie. “In preparation for our Phase Two reopening we have offered free training courses to over 500 tourism employers – from housekeepers to ground transportation and charter boat operators —  and over 100 business establishments have been Safe Environment Certified.   Our Safe Environment Approval has been awarded to a variety of services and activity providers, as we expand the scope of activities and experiences on offer to our visitors.”

Visitors to Anguilla may now indulge in their favorite pastimes – dining out at certified “bubble” restaurants; a round of golf; scuba diving snorkeling kayaking, glass-bottomed boat rides; outdoor yoga, select outdoor and indoor fitness activities; and the ever-popular offshore cay excursions to Sandy Island, Scilly Cay and Prickly Pear,  including private lunches.   Advance reservations are required for all activities, with transportation provided by a certified ground operator.

Travelers’ options for getting to Anguilla will also expand as the island enters Phase Two of its reopening to international travelers.  On November 15th , 2020, the sea shuttle services from the St. Maarten-Anguilla Ferry Terminal, located across from the Princess Juliana Airport (SXM), will once again operate into the Blowing Point Ferry Terminal on Anguilla.  Calypso Chatters, Funtime Charters and GB Express are among the certified and approved companies authorized to resume the 25-minute private and semi-private shuttle services between Sint Maarten and Anguilla.

Many of Anguilla’s marvelous collection of spectacular villas opened in Phase One, and more have come on stream in Phase Two.  Anguilla’s iconic resorts reopen in Phase Two, starting with Belmond Cap Juluca, Frangipani Beach Resort and Tranquility Beach Anguilla on November 1st , They are followed by the CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa on November 14th; the Four Seasons Resort & Residences and the Quintessence Hotel on November 19th; Zemi Beach House, LXR Hotels & Resorts on December 14th; and Malliouhana, Auberge Resorts Collection on December 17th.

Select properties in the Charming Escapes Collection, including Carimar Beach Club, Shoal Bay Villas, Meads Bay Villas and La Vue are also open and accepting guests. The full list of certified and approved properties, which is constantly updated, can be found at the Anguilla Tourist Board website.  A complete list of bars, restaurants, and lively hangouts is also posted on the site, and updated weekly as additional establishments become certified.

To date, there are still no active or suspected cases on the island, and to ensure that this remains the case, the three-testing protocol remains in place.  A negative test result obtained three to five days prior to arrival along with travel health insurance that covers COVID-related treatment is required, and all visitors will be given a PCR test on arrival.  The island has significantly increased its national testing capacity, and test results are available within two hours.  A second test will be administered on day 10 of their visit, for visitors originating from low-risk countries (i.e. where the virus prevalence is less than 0.2%,), and on day 14 for guests arriving from higher-risk countries. Once a negative result is returned after the second test, guests are then free to explore the island.

 

The following fees apply, payable on receipt of pre-entry approval:

5 DAYS OR LESS

Individual Traveler: US$300

Couple: US$500

Each additional family/group member: US$250 

6 DAYS TO 3 MONTHS (90 DAYS)

Individual Traveler: US$400

Couple: US$600

Each additional family/group member: US$250

The fee covers two (2) tests per person and costs associated with the additional public health surveillance and monitoring. 

3 MONTHS TO 12 MONTHS

Individual Traveler: US$ 2,000

Family (4 persons): US$ 3,000

Each additional family/group member: US$ 250

 

The fee covers two (2) tests per person, costs associated with the additional public health surveillance and monitoring, the cost of extended immigration time/entry and a digital work permit.

Anguilla had only 3 confirmed cases of COVID -19, with no hospitalizations and no fatalities.  The island’s last confirmed case was 7 months ago; in June 2020, Anguilla was categorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having “no cases” of COVID-19.   Anguilla currently has the classification of “No Travel Health Notice: Very Low Risk for COVID-19” from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html

For 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: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Grenada Implementing Strategic Cruise Business Actions

St. George’s, Grenada W.I. – 9th November, 2020 – The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is continuing to implement key strategic cruise business actions in preparation for the safe and gradual resumption of the industry. One of these actions is the completion of an Aquila Centre for Cruise Excellence destination readiness workshop for public and private sector cruise teams including the Grenada Ports Authority, Ministry of Health, Customs, Grenreal, Immigration, Local Agents and Tour Operators.

 As part of the workshop (September to October) dubbed ‘How To’, stakeholders completed the five-part series focused on health and safety as well as maintaining the quality of Pure Grenada experiences based on the new way of doing business in the Tourism industry. Some of the major topics included preparing your community to welcome cruise, building an operational plan that adapts with change, reimagining product development and guest experiences, creating a culture of service and delivering wow experiences for cruise lines and guests.

 Nautical Development Manager at the GTA Nikoyan Roberts expressed her appreciation of the stakeholders’ commitment to the program. She further stated, “As a destination we want to deliver “WOW” experiences to cruise guests, while observing the strictest protocols. I believe our team has already visualized what these experiences will look like. We have a small cruise ship SeaDream arriving on November 13 where we can practice and refine our learnings over the coming weeks.” 

CEO of the GTA Patricia Maher was also keen to see that one of the modules delved into having an adaptable cruise operational plan. She further stated, “We’re living in a different time and we have to adapt to the new way of doing business in Tourism. We can offer smaller, more personalized group tours to our many unique experiences on land and at sea. Now is the time to train and prepare to welcome cruise ships back in a safe, efficient, and mutually beneficial way in the year ahead.” 

Team Grenada also participated in recent Seatrade Cruise Global virtual meetings. It was an opportunity for the team to learn about current cruise trends as well as network with cruise decision makers while promoting the global digital health and safety campaign, Pure Grenada Just For You. Grenada’s Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Climate Resilience and the Environment Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen M.P. featured prominently during the event when she delivered a cruise update interview for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. 

Coming out of the high level discussions with cruise lines there are opportunities for Grenada to be included in more Southern Caribbean cruise itineraries with home porting in Barbados. Prior to the crisis, our main cruise markets were UK and European guests and now we have the opportunity to target North Americans who can fly to Barbados and sail on shorter cruises to Grenada and beyond in 2021.

 

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CTO Launches “Caribbean Awaits” Campaign

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (5 Nov. 2020) The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced a social media campaign dubbed, #TheCaribbeanAwaits, in observance of Caribbean Tourism Month this month.

The campaign, which is being run in conjunction with member countries, aims to maintain the Caribbean’s prominence as a place of solace as COVID-19 continues to impact the global travel and tourism industry.

“This theme compliments the region’s success in generally containing the spread of COVID-19 which has taken a major toll on tourism along with other sectors of our economies. Caribbean countries have taken the required steps to protect our citizens and residents, conducted the required training to prepare our tourism and related frontline workers for the return of visitors and put the health protocols in place to reassure our potential visitors and residents that we take their health seriously. This has been the groundwork, and now we seek to rebuild the sector,” said Neil Walters, the CTO’s acting secretary general in a message to mark the start of the month.

“The resilience of the Caribbean is shown by the progress we have made towards the resumption of tourism activity. Currently, about 25 Caribbean countries have reopened their borders to commercial travel, either fully or partially, and others are putting the necessary measures in place to welcome visitors. This year’s theme further compliments the reopening of our borders, as the clarion call ‘We welcome you’ speaks to the fact that the Caribbean is the perfect place for those who have begun to travel or are thinking of travelling soon, to find solace in a place that is an oasis of health at this time,” Walters added.

During the course of the month the general public will be encouraged to share on social media, the things they “can’t wait to experience” in the Caribbean, using the hashtag #TheCaribbeanAwaits and tagging the CTO and the particular country. The CTO, with support from the membership, will also execute a photo and video campaign reflecting the them, as well as a series of short celebratory-themed “live” demonstrations on Facebook – including cuisine and cocktails – to promote excitement about the Caribbean.

Introduced in 2011, Caribbean Tourism Month has as its primary objectives the creation of opportunities to raise awareness among the people of the Caribbean as to the importance of tourism to the development of the region; the generation of media coverage of the Caribbean tourism product and each destination’s local tourism product; and the celebration of the diversity of the Caribbean tourism product. This year’s observance holds special significance due to the impact of COVID-19 on the industry.

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Message from Grenada’s Tourism Minister Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen on Tourism Awareness Month 2020

Fellow Grenadians, it is my pleasure to address you on the opening of Tourism Awareness Month 2020. The theme this year, ‘Tourism; Connects Us All” concisely highlights just how all our lives are touched in some measure by the Tourism industry and indeed the COVID-19 pandemic has made this even more clear.

When we think about the Tourism industry, we first think about livelihoods and job creation. Statistics show that approximately 10,400 people benefitted directly and indirectly in the industry pre COVID. This reach is much more significant when one considers the families dependant on Tourism workers for their collective livelihood. There is the potential for just one Tourism worker to impact the wellbeing of 2-3 other lives. During the pandemic, the Tourism industry has been hard hit and this was acutely felt by a number of families, therefore, Government knew it had to move swiftly to ensure that the industry was rescued.

Another dimension highlighting the way ‘Tourism connects us all’ is the direct and indirect revenue the industry generates, contributing almost a quarter of our Gross Domestic Product. Data up to September 2020 shows that Grenada experienced a 42.7% decline in overall visitor arrivals contributing to a decline in expenditure for stayover arrivals alone by 75% or just over 300 million dollars. This is revenue needed to sustain Grenada’s development through education, transportation, health and other services the nation depends on.

Thirdly, Tourism has deep connections to other critical sectors such as Agriculture, energy, fisheries, entertainment and craft. The synergy between Agriculture and Tourism means that local farmers can increase their production of fresh produce to supply the Food and Beverage and Accommodation sectors. In the midst of the pandemic, some farmers, fishermen and vendors reported sustaining significant losses when hotels were closed. In the future, I would like to see the bonds between these two sectors deepen as we seek to provide healthy, fresh foods to our residents and visitors.

Finally, Tourism connects us all because we are proud citizens of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Tourism is you, Tourism is me; it is all of us.  If we are not innovative and cannot provide memorable experiences, if we do not care for our environment for generations to come, if we are not custodians of our culture, if we are not friendly and courteous people, if we do not produce healthy fresh foods, then our Tourism industry, our gains cannot be sustained. Whatever you do in life, you have a role to play.

Today, we are happy to see signs of recovery with hotels open again and major flights returning from the USA, Canada, the UK and the region and for that we must be grateful. Slowly but surely we are getting back on our feet, but it will take a continued collective effort to ensure we build back stronger. Tourism connects us all in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

 

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BTB Releases its 2019 Belize Travel & Tourism Statistics Digest

Belize City, Friday, Nov 6, 2020:  The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce the release of the  Belize Travel & Tourism Statistics Digest 2019.

The Belize Travel & Tourism Statistics Digest is a digitally interactive publication produced by the BTB in an effort to provide the Tourism Industry with the latest reports on tourism trends. Tourism has developed into one of Belize’s main industries and has become the country’s number one foreign exchange earner. Tourism statistics allow the BTB, tourism stakeholders, and other industry partners to analyze the growth of the tourism sector in comparison to previous years.

The latest publication contains an overview of the overnight visitor arrivals, the performance of the cruise sector, the number of visits to protected area sites countrywide, and an overview of      the performance of Belize’s accommodation sector.

The 2019 Digest also contains the results of the visitor expenditure and motivation survey (VEMS) conducted during the exit process at the three main border points. This survey was designed to capture the travel motivation of overnight visitors, their activities in the country, as well as their expenditure and satisfaction ratings.

Additionally, the Belize Travel & Tourism Statistics Digest provides valuable information on the level of employment in the tourism sector, which serves as a major performance indicator for the tourism industry as a whole. Employment is a key metric in measuring tourism’s impact on the nation’s economy.

In addition to the 2019 publication, stakeholders can keep abreast of the statistics provided on the BTB website by clicking the following link: https://www.belizetourismboard.org/belize-tourism/statistics/

Data requests can also be sent to [email protected]

The BTB recognizes the importance of statistics in making decisions based on data, planning and overall tracking of the progression of the tourism industry. On this premise, shortly after Belize reopened for leisure tourism, the BTB launched a survey for arriving guests at the Philip Goldson International Airport. The objective of the survey exercise was to obtain information on the visitors’ experience at the airport, checking-in to their accommodation, as well as the enhanced health and safety measures the destination has implemented.

The survey revealed that approximately 95% of the respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall experience in Belize, including the new safety protocols and arrival process at the PGIA as well as with the Gold Standard Certified hotels. The BTB, therefore, takes this opportunity to express a heartfelt thanks to our industry stakeholders for their unwavering support to ensure a very successful reopening of the tourism industry. To view the result of the survey, please click the following link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-ZKMG53767/

The BTB remains committed to our industry stakeholders and the nation to report on the latest tourism trends and the performance of the industry, as we continue to promote Belize as a world class, culturally immersive and fun-filled tourism destination.

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