Archive for 2020 News

Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Wins Gold for Digital Marketing Campaign

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s creativity during the Covid-19 pandemic and response to consumers growing demand for space, has been recognized and awarded by the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards.

The Magellan ‘Travel Destinations’ Gold Award went to the Tourism Authority’s destination marketing campaign ‘Your Space in the Sun” launched in July. The Travel Weekly Magellan Awards are the premier awards for the travel industry, honouring the best in travel and saluting the outstanding travel professionals behind it all.

A statement from Travel Weekly announcing the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority win, stated, “Judged by a group of your peers and held to the highest standard of excellence, your entry stood head and shoulders above the rest.”

Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, The Hon. Charles Fernandez, commenting on the award, applauded the team at the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority on the win.

He highlighted the team’s “unwavering commitment to keeping travellers informed during the covid-19 pandemic, and for proactively developing a digital marketing campaign that resonated with the travel trade and consumer.”

“Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism marketing efforts continue to adapt to suit the situation.  I am optimistic that with the combined efforts of the private and public sector, and the resilience of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Industry, that we will come out of this pandemic stronger.”

CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C. James said, “As the pandemic unfolded, and countries went into lockdown, our consumer sentiment analysis showed that persons equated the words ‘safe’ with ‘space’.  We had prospective travellers whose vacations were affected at the start of the pandemic, sitting indoors contemplating their next trip to the Caribbean, and so we shifted our 2020 marketing strategy.

In addition to keeping travellers informed on Antigua and Barbuda travel advisories, our focus was to inspire audiences, with uncluttered views of Antigua and Barbuda and most importantly no crowds. McCann Demand helped us design this campaign, that used captivating aerial photography and video footage that drew audiences into our wide, open spaces, and motivated them to choose Antigua and Barbuda when next they were able to travel.”

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s tailored 2020 strategy included a heavy focus on social media and the launch of the “Your Space in the Sun campaign with a television advert and a digital platform roll-out. The 30-second ad can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvILnN02nxM

Hannah O’Neill from McCann said: “Antigua and Barbuda is without a doubt a luxury destination and our approach was to maintain a premium feel through contemporary and modern creative which centred on this feeling of space, all communicated through authentic imagery of what the islands have to offer.”

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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The Bahamas Announces Updated Travel and Entry Protocols

NASSAU, Bahamas, October 31, 2020 – The Islands of The Bahamas today announced streamlined entry protocols that will enable visitors to better and more seamlessly enjoy The Bahamas vacation experience.

Those who booked travel under the former protocols that required an RT PCR test taken seven (7) days prior to travel will be permitted to enter The Bahamas with their Bahamas Health Travel Visa and negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result, through November 6, 2020 only.

Effective 1 November 2020, The Bahamas will require all travelers to:

1. Obtain a COVID-19 RT PCR test five (5) days prior to arrival.
2. Apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at travel.gov.bs
3. Take a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test on Day 5 of the visit (unless departing on day 5).
4. Always wear a mask and always social distance in public places.

In addition, beginning 14 November 2020, all visitors will be required to opt-in to mandatory COVID-19 health insurance when applying for their Health Travel Visa. The insurance will cover travellers for the duration of their stay in The Bahamas.

Specifics of the new protocols are as follows:

  • All persons travelling to The Bahamas must obtain a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (swab) test taken no more than five (5) daysprior to the date of arrival.
    • The name and address of the lab, where the test was performed, must be clearly displayed on the test result.
  • Exemptions:
    • Children age ten (10) and under.
    • Pilots and crew of commercial airlines who remain overnight in The Bahamas.

Bahamas Health Travel Visa

  • Once in possession of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result, apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at GOV.BS
  • Click on the International Tab and upload test results and other required documents.
  • Fees for the Bahamas Health Travel Visa, inclusive of Day 5 Rapid Antigen Test and mandatory health insurance, are as follows:
  • $40 – Visitors staying up to four nights and five days.
  • $40 – Citizens and returning residents.
  • $60 – Visitors staying more than four nights.
  • Free – Children 10 years and under

Upon Arrival

  • Any visitor who exhibits COVID symptoms at any time during their stay will be required to take a Rapid Antigen Test and receive a negative result before being permitted to continue with their vacation.

 If a person tests positive they will be required to follow up with a COVID-19 RT-PCR swab test. 

  • All persons who are staying in The Bahamas longer than four nights/five days will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test.
  • All visitors departing on or before five days will not be required to obtain this test.
  • The rapid tests are easy, quick and will yield results in 60 minutes or less with results being provided electronically via SMS text message and email.
  • Hotel properties will provide relevant information on testing arrangements, while others will facilitate the required rapid test for their guests.
  • All persons on yachts and other pleasure craft will be able to make arrangements for their required rapid tests at the port of entry or via the relevant website.
  • All other visitors, returning residents and citizens will be able to make arrangements for their required rapid tests at the port of entry or via the relevant website.

Notwithstanding any health restrictions that may be implemented from time to time, all travelers abiding by these new protocols will be permitted to move about and explore the beauty and vibrant culture of The Bahamas beyond the confines of their hotel or other accommodations.

The Bahamas has remained diligent in its efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 throughout the islands, and these measures are imperative to ensure that remains the case. The health and wellbeing of both residents and visitors remain the number one priority of public health officials.  It is important to note, however, that due to fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, both in The Bahamas and worldwide, protocols are subject to change.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO Statement for Caribbean Tourism Month 2020, Theme: The Caribbean Awaits

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (2 Nov. 2020) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) joins our member countries, allied and affiliate members and Caribbean tourism interests in celebrating Caribbean Tourism Month in November, reaffirming our value of One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean. This year’s theme is, The Caribbean Awaits.

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.

We observe this year’s Caribbean Tourism Month with COVID-19 still affecting travel as the Caribbean and the rest of the world continue to await a vaccine. The impact on tourism has been immense – a 57 per cent decline in arrivals during the first six months of 2020, an estimated 50 per cent to 60 per cent fall in visitor spend, and tens of thousands of jobs lost. Those still employed have, in several cases, accepted reductions in working hours and wage cuts.

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.

The CTO, in conjunction with our members, has planned a number of social media activities in observance of the month. We encourage all of you to participate and to share our hashtag, #TheCaribbeanAwaits.

We cannot rest on our laurels, and we remain cognizant of the toll that COVID-19 has taken, and continues to take on our economies, and importantly, our people. In all of our destinations, we must remain vigilant and constantly adjust to what is probably one of the most dynamic situations any of us will ever face. We hope and pray for recovery; it will be slow, but every step forward is a welcome one.

In the meantime, be assured that whatever your travel plans, the Caribbean awaits.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Corporate News

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Open for Business October 31st Travel Requirements for St. Kitts & Nevis

Basseterre, St. Kitts (October 31, 2020) – As St. Kitts & Nevis welcomes visitors to its shores beginning today, this update provides additional information on changes to hotel properties to be used by visitors and a link to the Travel Authorization form to be completed by all visitors.

The Federation will observe a phased reopening with specific entry and travel requirements to be observed by visitors. The travel requirements outlined here are for Phase 1 which will designate visitors into three categories:

  1. Travelers from the CARICOM Member States that are part of the “Caribbean bubble”.
  2. International travelers coming from a country or territory outside the “Caribbean bubble”.
  3. Returning Nationals (Citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis (passport holder), Residents (proof of residency stamp in passport), Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME) certificate holders and Work Permit Holders.

All incoming passengers to St. Kitts & Nevis are required to complete the Travel Authorization Form, which can be found at www.travelform.gov.kn, prior to their arrival. Those coming from outside the CARICOM Bubble, must have their accommodations booked before submitting the Travel Authorization Form as your reservation information will be required to complete the form. Visitors are also required to upload proof of their negative PCR-test when completing the form. Once the form is completed and submitted, with a valid email address, it will be reviewed, and the visitor will receive approval to enter the Federation.

I. CARICOM Bubble 
Travelers from within the “Caribbean bubble” include those traveling from the following 8 CARICOM member states: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Lucia & St. Vincent and the Grenadines (the list of states is subject to change based on the level of risk determined by the amount of positive cases per 100,000 of the population within a 14-day period). Those coming from within the “Caribbean bubble” must have resided in a “Caribbean bubble” territory for at least 21 days and must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the Travel Authorization Form on the national website (www.travelform.gov.kn) and submit a negative PCR test completed within 72-hours of travel at an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory.
  2. Undergo a health screening at the airport which includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire.
  3. Download the SKN COVID-19 contact tracing mobile app (full details yet to be released), to be used for the first 14 days of travel or less.

The traveler will be allowed to integrate within the Federation. Travelers from the “Caribbean Bubble” can stay at private homes, condos, villas or “Travel Approved” certified hotel properties.

  1. The Hermitage Inn
  2. Hamilton Beach Villas and Spas
  3. Montpelier Plantation & Beach
  4. Golden Rock Inn
  5. Sugar Bay Club
  6. Timothy Beach Resort

II. International Travelers
The second category of travelers refers to those coming from outside of the “Caribbean bubble” including the US, Canada, UK, Europe, Africa and South America. These travelers must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the Travel Authorization Form on the national website (www.travelform.gov.kn) and submit a negative PCR test completed within 72-hours of travel from an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory.
  2. Undergo a health screening at the airport which includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire.
  3. Download the SKN COVID-19 contact tracing mobile app (full details yet to be released), to be used for the first 14 days of travel or less.
  4. 1-7 days: visitors are free to move about the hotel property, interact with other guests and partake in hotel activities.
  5. 8-14 days: visitors will undergo a PCR-test (USD 100, visitors’ cost) on day 7. If the traveler tests negative on day 8, they are allowed, through the hotel’s tour desk, to book select excursions and access select destination sites (list to be announced later).
  6. 14 days or longer: visitors will need to undergo a PCR-test (USD 100, visitors’ cost) on day 14, and if they test negative the traveler will be allowed to integrate into St. Kitts and Nevis.

Approved hotels for international travelers are:

  1. Four Seasons
  2. Koi Resort, by Curio, Hilton
  3. Marriott Vacation Beach Club
  4. Paradise Beach Nevis
  5. Park Hyatt
  6. Royal St. Kitts Hotel
  7. St. Kitts Marriott Resort

International travelers who would like to stay at private rental home or condo must stay at a property that has been pre-approved as a quarantine housing at their own cost, including security.Please submit request to [email protected].

III. Returning Nationals, Residents (proof of residency stamp in passport), Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME) Certificate Holders, and Work Permit Holders
The third category of travelers refers to those returning Nationals, Residents (proof of residency stamp in passport), Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME) certificate holders and Work Permit Holders).  These travelers must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the Travel Authorization Form on the national website (www.travelform.gov.kn) and submit a negative PCR test completed within 72-hours of travel from an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory.
  2. Undergo a health screening at the airport which includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire.
  3. Download the SKN COVID-19 contact tracing mobile app (full details yet to be released), to be used for the first 14 days of travel or less.

Travelers in this category returning from a territory within the “Caribbean bubble” can stay at a private residence or a non-branded hotel. Returning nationals and residents may also opt to stay in pre-approved quarantine housing at their own cost.

Any traveler in this category who arrives from outside the “Caribbean bubble” will be allowed entry into the Federation and transported to approved accommodations, where they will stay at their cost for 14-days in quarantine. The cost for quarantine at the Government facility at OTI is USD 500.00, at Potworks it is USD 400.00, and the cost for each COVID-19 test is USD 100.00.

The approved accommodations are:

  1. Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI)
  2. Oualie Beach Resort
  3. Potworks
  4. Royals St. Kitts Hotel

Any traveler in this category arriving from outside the “Caribbean bubble” who wishes to stay in one of the seven (7) approved hotels for “Vacation in Place,” for International Travelers are required to do the following:

  • 1-7 days: visitors are free to move about the hotel property, interact with other guests and partake in hotel activities.
  • 8 -14 days: visitors will undergo a PCR-test (USD 100, visitors’ cost) on day 7. If the traveler tests negative on day 8, they are allowed, through the hotel’s tour desk, to book select excursions and access select destination sites (list to be announced later).
  • 14 days or longer: visitors will need to undergo a PCR-test (USD 100, visitors’ cost) on day 14, and if they test negative the traveler will be allowed to integrate into St. Kitts and Nevis.

 

The CDC recently assessed the Federation’s Covid-19 risk as very low and designated it as “No Travel Notice” required, having had only 19 cases of the Coronavirus, no community spread and no deaths.

Stakeholders in every sector of the industry have been trained in our health and safety protocols, which include a comprehensive system of inspection and monitoring to encourage everyone to maintain the basic standards.  Stakeholders who have participated in the training receive a certificates and business who have been inspected and meet the “Travel Approved” criteria, will receive their “Travel Approved” Seal.

Specifically, the “Travel Approved” program achieves two things:

  1. It offers “Travel Approved” training for tourism stakeholders and awards the “Travel Approved” seal to those businesses which meet, both the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and Ministry of Health inspections standards.
  2. It allows for St. Kitts and Nevis on their respective websites, to promote those business entities that have received the “Travel Approved” seal.  Those without the seal are not approved for visitors.

Visitors will also be asked to follow basic health and safety protocols of frequent handwashing and or sanitizing, physical distancing and mask wearing. Masks are required whenever the visitor is outside of their hotel room.

Travelers should regularly check the St. Kitts Tourism Authority (www.stkittstourism.kn) and Nevis Tourism Authority (www.nevisisland.com) websites for updates and information.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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