Archive for 2020 News

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.


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

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Belize Introduces Updated Tourism Industry Protocols

Belize City, Belize (Monday, October 20, 2020) – As Belize moves forward to fully reopen and rebuild our tourism industry, the health and safety protocols for tourists continue to be reviewed and updated. At a press conference held on Friday, October 16, 2020 further relaxation of the restrictions on movement of visitors were announced by the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow.  The following are the updated protocols that are now in effect for the tourism industry:

  • The Safe Corridor for tourists has been expanded to include all Gold Standard and Certified entities including hotels, tour operators, restaurants, tourism sites, gift shops, car rentals and taxis.  While Tourists can therefore move around freely, they are highly encouraged to remain within the safe corridor by visiting and using only those entities that are Gold Standard Certified and the certification is displayed and clearly visible.
  • Tourists are to reserve and stay only at Gold Standard hotels. Therefore, only hotels that are Gold Standard certified are included on the Belize Health App for Tourists to select. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) will only be promoting and partnering with these properties that have implemented the recommended health and safety protocols to protect guests and have therefore attained Tourism Gold Standard Certification.
  • The Tourism Gold Standard Program that is currently in place for Hotels and Tour Operators will now be offered to other entities within the Tourism Industry including Tourism sites and attractions, Restaurants and Gift shops. In addition, Car Rentals, Taxis and other approved transport providers will continue to be offered a Certification under the Tourism Gold Standard program.

With the updated entry requirements for Belize:

  1. An application to enter Belize is no longer necessary. Therefore, all Residents and Tourists are free to travel to Belize at any time.
  2. Residents and Tourists that arrive with their negative PCR test or test negative at the airport, no longer need to quarantine for 10 days.
  3. The requirement to download the Belize Health App and complete the information within 72 hours of arrival in Belize remains mandatory for all incoming passengers – Residents and Tourists.

The BTB reiterates the importance of health and safety measures for residents and visitors and assures you that the destination is committed to ensuring that all health, safety and sanitizing protocols are observed, as we rebuild tourism for Belize.

Visitors are  encouraged to visit for information on the arrival and departure processes. For questions or concerns, kindly contact the Belize Tourism Board at

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Caribbean Public Health Agency Launches Unique Health Assurance Stamp, Mobile App

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago (October 20, 2020) As part of its ongoing efforts to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and other public health threats, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is preparing to officially launch two important initiatives to protect the Region’s tourism sector and safeguard the health and safety of residents and visitors.

Dr. Joy St. John, CARPHA’s Executive Director, explained that the new tools, which will debut on November 5, 2020, are part and parcel of CARPHA’s Traveler’s Health Program (THP), which provides an early monitoring and response system to public health issues that impact tourism.

The THP, set up several years ago by CARPHA, is a key outcome of a unique partnership established six years ago to bridge collaboration between health and tourism authorities aimed at safeguarding the health of travelers and employees in the hospitality industry.

The Caribbean Travelers Health Assurance stamp for Healthier Safer Tourism (HST) is a measurable and verifiable recognition award for tourism entities and destinations that are implementing the recommended proactive COVID-19 health monitoring and safety measures.

“Caribbean travelers now have the added assurance of a healthier, safer option for accommodations (hotels, guesthouses) and services (transport, tour operators) awarded the HST stamp,” said Dr. St. John, who noted the stamp has been officially approved by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the region’s preeminent tourism bodies.

The public health expert explained that hospitality facilities awarded the HST stamp will be listed as preferred options on the Caribbean Traveler’s Health Mobile App. Awardees will also later be listed on the websites of CARPHA and CHTA, with links to regional and international health and tourism stakeholders.

The Caribbean Traveler’s Health Mobile App is a unique, multifaceted, health information repository, designed for travelers and health and tourism stakeholders. It provides travel health information by each Caribbean destination (inclusive of vaccination requirements, health care facilities, accommodations listings), health alerts of current public health issues, COVID-19 proactive/prevention measures, and travel requirements by country (testing, health screening, pre-approval, and tracking).   It links directly to CARPHA’s COVID-19 situation reports, guidelines, and the THP. The app also identifies accommodations and other hospitality facilities within a destination that have been awarded the Caribbean Travelers Health Assurance stamp.

Dr. Lisa Indar, Director of Surveillance and Head of the THP, explained that the app will be expanded next year to include cruise ships that have been awarded the stamp. “CARPHA is uniquely resourced and positioned to provide reliable travelers health information of this detail and magnitude,” she added, explaining that the app has been designed for both iOS and Android platforms.

In addition to the stamp and the app, CARPHA’s Proactive COVID-19 Health Measures for Tourism are aimed at building travelers’ assurance, tourism resilience, and regional health security. The measures include utilizing the Tourism and Health Information System (THiS), a web-based, early warning and response information system to capture illnesses in real time and thereby reduce spread and reputational damage; certified training in COVID-19 health measures for the hospitality sector (including testing, masks, social distancing, handwashing hygiene, sanitization, and response from visitor arrival to departure); guidelines and checklists; hospitality health, safety and environmental sanitation (HSE) operational standards.

CARPHA is a global pioneer in tourism-health partnerships, having worked with tourism stakeholders in the Caribbean over the past six years on health safety, education and training matters.   Earlier this year in March, CARPHA partnered with CTO, CHTA, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center (GTRCMC), and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission (OECS) to form the COVID-19 Tourism Task Force to launch the Caribbean COVID-19 health, safety and sanitation guidelines and training for thousands of the Region’s tourism employees.

About the Caribbean Public Health Agency

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is the new single regional public health agency for the Caribbean. It was legally established in July 2011 by an Intergovernmental Agreement signed by Caribbean Member States and began operation in January 2013. The Agency is the Caribbean region’s collective response to strengthening and reorienting its health system approach so that it is equipped to address the changing nature of public health challenges. The approach is people-centered and evidence-informed. CARPHA is leading the regional health response to COVID-19.For more information visit


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

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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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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, 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, Editorial Director, will add her talent, experience, and intimate knowledge of the Caribbean to this project. 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 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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