Archive for 2020 News

Nothing Beats The Bahamas: Country Launches New Extended-Stay Program

NASSAU – October 29, 2020 – The days of daydreaming of paradise from your makeshift home office or classroom are over. The Islands of The Bahamas announced its new Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS) program, a one-year residency permit designed to allow professionals and students to pack their laptop and their swimwear as they march to the island rhythm of their own drum, remotely, from The Bahamas.

BEATS applies to those whose workplaces and classrooms have shifted from face-to-face to virtual as COVID-19 has brought unprecedented flexibility to the traditional work from home environment. With 16 islands to choose from and plenty of breathtaking views, visitors can forget about daydreaming about a tropical vacation and start living it.

“What has always been unique about The Bahamas and even more so significant today, is that we are home to 700 islands and cays with 16 unique island destinations viable for travel,” said Joy Jibrilu, Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation. “This means that you can essentially choose your own work, study and play adventure. If you’re seeking serenity and seclusion, you can head to Mayaguana or San Salvador, or if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten path stay, you can opt in for Grand Bahama Island, Eleuthera or Long Island. The opportunities are endless.”

Not only will visitors be encouraged to enjoy the white sand beaches, incredible blue-hued waters and delicious cuisine, but BEATS will also serve as an opportunity to explore and dive deep into the culture of The Bahamas in ways they have not experienced before.

Remote workers can “backpack” their way through the country, island-hopping throughout the length of their stay. More time allows guests to become fully immersed in the beautiful Bahamian culture as they experience the destination in a much deeper way.

Extra-Curricular Activities and “Overtime” Offerings

  • Learn new skills: Head to Long Island, home of Dean’s Blue Hole, the second deepest blue hole in the world, where the learning extends far beyond the classroom at diving school.
  • Outdoor Physical Education: Master the art of bonefishing across the flats of Andros; hike to the top of Cat Island’s Mount Alvernia, which is the highest point in The Bahamas, or snorkel through the shipwrecks of Bimini.
  • Lunch break: Your remote “cafeteria” gets a serious upgrade on New Providence, where the local Fish Fry at Arawak Cay or Potter’s Cay serves the best seafood in town.
  • Sip Sip at Happy Hour: Clock out and clock into happy hour with any of the Bahamian staples, from the Bahama Mama and Goombay Smash cocktails to a refreshing Kalik or Sands beer.
  • Make new friends at “recess”: The swimming pigs, iguanas and nurse sharks on Exuma or the flamingos on Inagua can’t wait to meet you.

“We’re thrilled for travelers to have the opportunity to enjoy a rich Bahamian experience through an extended stay with us,” said Dionisio D’Aguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation. “Simply put, a workday is better in The Bahamas. At the end of a long day of meetings or classes, you will be rewarded with breathtaking sunsets, a relaxing walk on the beach, or fresh conch salad to feed your soul. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

The BEATS permit is valid up to 12 months from the date of issue. The total cost for individual professionals to apply for and obtain a BEATS permit is $1,025, while college students wishing to apply will be required to pay $525, inclusive of the application and permit fee.

For more information on BEATS, please visit www.bahamasbeats.com. To apply to be the WFH envy of your office/classroom, visit https://portal.immigration.gov.bs/.

All incoming visitors must follow all current COVID-19 government protocols in place to ensure the safety of visitors and residents of The Bahamas. Know before you go and visit Bahamas.com/travel updates for the most up-to-date information

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Tobago Leverages UNESCO Designation to Boost Tourism Development

SCARBOROUGH Tobago, Wednesday October 28 2020: The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited celebrates the island’s latest achievement of obtaining UNESCO Man and the Biosphere designation, and welcomes the opportunity to leverage this milestone to develop and promote the island’s tourism product.

This programme aims to improve livelihoods in local communities, while safeguarding ecosystems. It promotes innovative approaches to the sustainable development of green and blue economies across the globe, and the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.

Mr. Louis Lewis, Chief Executive Officer at TTAL stated:

“The Man and the Biosphere achievement is a welcome catalyst to spur growth in Tobago’s sustainable tourism development, which is a core focus of the Tobago Tourism Agency. It will undoubtedly auger well for our destination’s international appeal in the new era of travel, and enhances development that aligns with our brand of unspoilt, untouched and undiscovered.”

This international designation strategically aligns with TTAL’s existing environmental programmes which have been instituted in partnership with accredited global bodies. Earlier this month, TTAL acquired Blue Flag pilot status for three of Tobago’s beautiful beaches, and a week prior to that the Agency was featured on Green Key International’s website for their efforts to raise the standard and quality of sustainable products in Tobago.

Commenting on the timeliness of destination Tobago’s latest milestone in light of the ongoing pandemic, TTAL’s Director of Product Development and Destination Management Mr. Narendra Ramgulam, stated:

“This news comes at an ideal time for Tobago, as it presents a beneficial tool for economic recovery in a post-COVID era. Trends indicate that travellers will especially now be seeking out safe and clean destinations. As an approved WTTC ‘Safe Travels’ destination, Tobago has already taken the necessary steps to meet the demands of the traveler of tomorrow, and we welcome this opportunity to further enhance our appeal as an environmentally conscious destination.”

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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First Winter Season 2020 TUI Flight Arrives in Saint Lucia from the UK

CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA (October 28, 2020) – Tuesday October 27 marked the return of TUI to Saint Lucia. TUI’s winter weekly direct flights from London Gatwick to Hewanorra International Airport will run through to March 2021.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the travel company has flown to the island showing its commitment and confidence in the tourism authorities and people of Saint Lucia. By continuing to manage Covid-19 protocols, Saint Lucia has been included in TUI’s long-haul programme for 2020-21 as one of only three Caribbean destinations featured.

As Saint Lucia continues its phased responsible reopening, 182 passengers and crewmembers from the UK on TUI flight TOM24 were welcomed at 16:10 AST, with a full complement of safety protocols in place including the wearing of masks, screening at a Nurses Station, verification of travel documents and sanitizing of hands and luggage.

“We want to thank our people again for their continued commitment to maintaining our Covid-19 protocols. It’s not an easy task but it’s necessary and is one of the reasons why major travel brands such as TUI support Saint Lucia year after year, even in these most challenging times. Our international visitors have now come to understand the importance of our health measures and checks when they visit us. We know that they choose Saint Lucia because they feel safe and of course they are going to have a great time.” said Minister of Tourism Honourable Dominic Fedee.

The hotels in the TUI programme include:

  • The Royalton
  • Hideaway at Royalton
  • Mystique by Royalton
  • Rendezvous
  • Bay Gardens Hotel
  • Bay Gardens Beach Resort
  • Harbor Club
  • Bel Jou
  • Sugar Beach
  • Starfish
  • The BodyHoliday

A second weekly flight begins from 5th November from Manchester in the UK, serving the North of the country. 

Travellers to Saint Lucia are encouraged to ensure that all travel documents are on hand when at the nurses’ station, immigration, and customs in an effort to expedite screening processes.

For more information about Saint Lucia’s COVID-19 response, all protocols and details of requirements prior to entry, please visit www.stlucia.org/covid-19.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Preparing tourism sector for borders reopening

Port of Spain, Trinidad – Wednesday October 21, 2020Tourism Trinidad Limited (TTL), in collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), hosted a Train the Trainer Webinar: COVID-19 Health Guidelines for Reopening the Tourism Sector & the Tourism Health Information System. Designed for a wide range of tourism stakeholders, this webinar provided a comprehensive understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as protection and safety measures. This training is a crucial step in the overall preparation for eventual reopening of the destination to international travellers.

One of the key messages from the virtual training was that tourism stakeholders must deliver simple, easy, healthy, and safe experiences for all visitors to Destination Trinidad as we navigate through the coronavirus pandemic. Over two hundred (200) tourism stakeholders took part in this program on October 14th.

Tourism practitioners were briefed regarding best practices to be implemented to restore the confidence of the travellers through regional safety and security protocols designed to reduce risks in each step of the tourism value chain. These protocols include the implementation of check procedures where appropriate, including temperature scans, testing, physical distancing, enhanced frequency of cleaning and the provision of hygiene kits for safe air travel, hospitality services and safe events.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Trinidad (Acting), Mrs. Heidi Alert, “this training was essential for the industry to emerge stronger and more sustainably from COVID-19. At this time, we must act decisively to restore travel confidence in a safe and responsible manner. It sends a clear message that we care deeply about the health and safety of both our citizens and visitors”.

The CARPHA training complements the wider tourism resilience training that we have engaged COSTATT to deliver to transport operators, tourist attractions, hotels, tour operators and food and beverage facilities to prepare for when the time becomes appropriate to reopen borders and once again welcome visitors. This retooling of the tourism sector will give Destination Trinidad an edge in its marketing activities”.

Mrs. Heidi Alert further added: “We are also thrilled to be working more closely with CARPHA, the leading regional public health response to COVID-19,  to roll out to the industry the online Tourism Health Information System (THiS) that will make successful tourism organizations eligible to receive the Caribbean Travel Health Assurance (CTHA) Stamp, adding further assurance to travellers about their commitment to their health safety.

The advantage of this Stamp is that it provides measurable and verifiable recognition that tourism businesses are implementing the recommended proactive COVID-19 health monitoring and safety measures and is, therefore, an excellent marketing tool”.

Established in 2011 by the Caribbean Community Member States, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is the recognised single regional public health agency for the Caribbean. The main objective of CARPHA is to strengthen and reorient the Caribbean’s health system approach so that our island states are better equipped to address the rapidly changing nature of public health challenges.

CONTACTS:

Corporate Communications & Stakeholder Relations Unit | Tourism Trinidad Limited | Phone:  (868) 612-7412 Ext. 1805, 689-5198 | Email:   [email protected]

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Travel Requirements for St. Kitts & Nevis Border Reopening October 31st

Basseterre, St. Kitts (October 19, 2020) – St. Kitts & Nevis is pleased to once again welcome visitors to its shores beginning October 31, 2020.  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.

In Phase 1 of the reopening, St. Kitts and Nevis 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.
  1. 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 entry form on the national website (www.covid19.gov.kn) and submit a negative PCR test completed within 72-hours of travel (List of accredited labs to be provided by the Ministry of Health, at a later date).
  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 (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 COVID-19 pre-approved private homes or COVID-19 certified hotel properties:

  1. The Hermitage Inn
  2. Montpelier Plantation & Beach
  3. Nevis Golden Rock Inn
  4. Nisbett Plantation Beach Club
  5. Mount Nevis Hotel
  6. Paradise Beach Hotel
  7. Pinney’s Beach Hotel
  8. Sugar Bay Club
  9. Timothy Beach Resort
  1. 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 entry form on the national website (www.covid19.gov.kn) and submit a negative PCR test completed within 72-hours of travel from an accredited laboratory (List of accredited labs to be provided by the Ministry of Health, at a later date).
  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 (to be used for the first 14 days of travel or less).
  4. 1-7 days they are free to move about the hotel property, interact with other guests and partake in hotel activities.
  5. 7 -14 days visitors will undergo a PCR-test (visitors’ cost) on day 7. If the traveler tests negative on day 7, 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 (visitors’ cost) on day 14, and if they test negative the traveler will be allowed to integrate into the St. Kitts and Nevis

Approved hotels for international travelers are:

  1. Four Seasons Nevis
  2. Koi Resort, by Curio, Hilton
  3. Oualie Beach
  4. Park Hyatt St. Kitts
  5. Royal St. Kitts Hotel
  6. St. Kitts Marriott Resort
  1. 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 entry form on the national website (www.covid19.gov.kn) and submit a negative PCR test completed within 72-hours of travel from an accredited laboratory (List of accredited labs to be provided by the Ministry of Health, at a later date).
  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 (to be used for the first 14 days of travel or less).

Following the airport health screening, the traveler will be allowed entry into the Federation and transported to Government approved accommodations, where they will stay at their cost for 14-days in quarantine.  The cost is USD600.00 and USD 100.00 for each COVID-19 test.

The Government approved accommodations are:

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

Any traveler in this category who wishes to stay in one of the six (6) approved hotels for “Vacation in Place”, are required to do the following:

  • 1-7 days they are free to move about the hotel property, interact with other guests and partake in hotel activities.
  • 7 -14 days visitors will undergo a PCR-test (visitors’ cost) on day 7. If the traveler tests negative on day 7, 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 (visitors’ cost) on day 14, and if they test negative the traveler will be allowed to integrate into the 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.

 

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