Archive for 2021 News

Belize Tourism Board Announces New Safe Travel Requirements

In an effort to further protect the health and wellbeing of international visitors and Belizeans from COVID-19, Belize Tourism Board (BTB), the official tourism organization for Belize, has released new safe travel standards for any persons entering the country. Effective Feb. 15, 2022, all visitors are required to apply for Belize Travel Health Insurance – a mandatory insurance that helps protect travelers against incurred medical and non-medical expenses, if they test positive for COVID-19 during their stay in Belize.

The cost of the policy is $18 USD and provides coverage for up to $50,000 USD in medical expenses related to treatment of COVID-19 for a period of 21 days. This insurance plan will come online under the country’s public health regulations and provide cover for lodging expenses due to quarantine up to $2,000 USD (max $300/day USD). Travelers will also be covered for emergency assistance services such as air evacuation and emergency expenses related to pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, it covers trip cancellations and expenses incurred by COVID-19 positive travelers for extended stays.

Some important entry highlights are listed below:

  • It is recommended that travelers purchase the Belize Travel Health Insurance prior to their travel to Belize. However, purchases can be made upon arrival at the Philip Goldson International Airport or at Belize’s land borders.
  • Visitors must purchase Belize Travel Health Insurance and are required to complete the Customs and Immigration form that is provided on all flights to Belize.
  • Exempted from this mandatory insurance are Belizean nationals, permanent residents and travelers with QRP or Long Stay status and flight crews.
  • All international tourists must book their stay in Belize at a Gold Standard property (approved hotel or accommodation) and present confirmation at immigration.
  • All travelers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, entering Belize through the Philip Goldson International Airport from other countries, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test.
  • If no test is presented, a COVID-19 test will be administered at the airport for a fee of USD $50 per passenger. Children under the age of 5 years will not be required to present a negative test.

In the past year, Belize has implemented several traveler protocols to keep visitors feeling safe, including the Tourism Gold Standard Program and Travel Belize app, which enables travelers to seamlessly plan their vacation with certified hotels and tour operators (an entry requirement). The new Travel Health Insurance mandate underscores Belize’s commitment to health and safety, enhancing travel confidence and giving visitors peace of mind to schedule that well-deserved vacation for 2022 and beyond.

About Belize Tourism Board
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is a statutory body within the Belize Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, and it is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations. The BTB works in conjunction with members of the private sector – including the Belize Hotel Association, Belize Tourism Industry Association and Belize National Tour Operators Association – and is dedicated to building tourism in the most economically and environmentally sustainable manner. As a part of its responsibilities, the BTB promotes Belize as a premier tourism destination to both in-country and international consumers. Among its outreach to the international travel market, the BTB markets the country’s unique attractions to travelers, members of the travel trade industry and media outlets in key markets. The BTB is also dedicated to developing and implementing tourism programs that will help strengthen and grow the Belizean tourism industry; promote good destination stewardship; and instill high quality standards for accommodations and travel experiences. For more information on the BTB and its services, visit www.travelbelize.org.

Posted in: 2021 News, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

St. Kitts & Nevis Reduces Restrictions for International Air Travelers & Cruise Passengers

Effective Saturday, December 11th, 2021, fully vaccinated international travelers, nationals and locals arriving by Air into the Federation are no longer required to test upon arrival or Vacation in Place (quarantine) for 24-hours while awaiting test results. Fully Vaccinated cruise passengers upon arrival at Port Zante, Charlestown or South Friars are now allowed to fully integrate (Free Flow) into the Federation.

Only vaccinated travelers may visit St. Kitts and Nevis. Effective December 11, 2021, all children 12 and older must also be fully vaccinated in order to travel to St. Kitts and Nevis. Exemptions are in place for Citizens and Residents of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and also for children 11 and under who are accompanying their fully vaccinated parents or guardians. All travelers must submit negative test results from an RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel.

“The end of our Vacation in Place protocol for Air Travelers and Free Flow for Cruise passengers are major achievements in our phased approach to tourism recovery in the Covid 19 Pandemic,” said Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports. “We will maintain all tourism protocols through Travel Approved Certification for both air and cruise passengers. All stakeholders must be vaccinated to operate Travel Approved taxi/tours, attractions, excursions, restaurants, bars, or provide vendor services such as hair braiding. We are confident that our continued focus on a phased reopening will enable a meaningful rebound of the industry.”

Travelers must continue to show proof of vaccination to visit attractions or book tour experiences. Excursions must be scheduled through the concierge desk at Travel Approved Hotels or Resorts, and must utilize Travel Approved Taxis.

The following attractions are now accessible with proof of vaccination:

  • Brimstone Hill Fortress and National Park
  • Carambola Beach Club
  • Caribelle Batik
  • Fairview Great House
  • Palms Court Gardens
  • Port Zante including vendors from Amina Craft Market and Black Rocks
  • St. Kitts Scenic Railway
  • Vibes Beach Bar
  • Reggae Beach
  • Spice Mill

“The evolution of our protocols and the end of our Vacation in Place quarantine will make St. Kitts and Nevis even more competitive for travelers planning trips for 2022,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “With seamless integration into the Federation, travelers can enjoy our quintessential Caribbean that engages the senses.”

This change comes on the heels of other significant announcements. International travelers can now plan overnight stays at multiple hotels, or book a twin island getaway between St. Kitts and Nevis. Fully vaccinated Nationals and Residents are also able to book hotel stays for staycation experiences, and can enter the Port Zante site while cruise ships are in port. Individuals must show a photo ID alongside a photocopy or original vaccination card in order to enter retail stores, bars, restaurants and casino. 

All Travel Protocols and Requirements remaining in place for the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis, including the submission of negative test results from an RT PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival. Please see https://www.stkittstourism.kn/travel-requirements.

Below are the travel requirements for fully vaccinated travelers as of December 11, 2021:

  • All travelers 12 and older must be fully vaccinated. A traveler is considered fully vaccinated when two weeks have passed since receiving their second dose of a two dose vaccine series (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sinopharm or Sinovac), or two weeks after they have received a single dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). Mixing of approved vaccines for St. Kitts and Nevis is accepted.
  • Submit a covid-19 RT-PCR negative test results from a CLIA/CDC/UKAS approved lab accredited with ISO/IEO 17025 standard, taken 72 hours prior to travel. These tests must be taken by nasopharyngeal sample. (no self-samples, rapid tests or home tests will be considered valid – visit testfortravel.com to find a testing location near you).
  • Fill out the embarkation form and all other supporting documentation.
  • Fully vaccinated travelers will be required to submit a copy of their official vaccination record card including dates when doses were administered.
  • All incoming travelers must have hard copies of their KNA travel form, negative RT-PCR test results, vaccination record card and taxi fare as only Travel Approved taxis will be allowed to transport travelers to their accommodations.
  • Forms must be submitted no later than 24 hours prior to travel: visit here to access form, upload test results and vaccination record card.
  • Health Screening Questions:
    • All travelers will have temperature checked and answer a series of health screening questions, including health and travel history.
    • In the event a traveler exhibits any covid symptoms during the health screening, the traveler will be required to take a covid-19 test on site at the traveler’s expense.
  • Book at travel approved hotel for international travelers:
    • Golden Rock Inn
    • Montpelier Plantation & Beach
    • Oualie Beach Resort
    • Paradise Beach
    • Park Hyatt, St. Kitts
    • Royal St. Kitts Hotel
    • St. Kitts Beach Club
    • The Four Seasons, Nevis
    • The St. Kitts Marriott Resort
    • Timothy Beach Resort
  • Antigen tests are available for outbound air travelers whose countries of origin accept approved rapid testing upon return from international destinations. RT-PCR testing is also available. The Federation has removed the exit testing requirement for travelers whose countries of origin do not require return testing. 

International travelers who would like to stay at a 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]

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Antigua & Barbuda Heads to Space

Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism and Investment, The Honourable Charles Fernandez has extended congratulations to Keisha Schahaff who will be the first Antiguan and Barbudan and Caribbean woman to travel to space.

Schahaff is expected to travel to space in 2022, having won two seats on a Virgin Galactic space flight during a sweepstakes organized by Virgin Galactic in partnership with fundraising platform Omaze.

“You will be carrying the whole of Antigua and Barbuda with you, and this type of recognition is priceless”, said the tourism minister as he extended best wishes to the future astronaut, during a meeting held yesterday.

Minister Fernandez presented Schahaff with a tropical bouquet and a tourism gift bag. The Minister offered the full support of the country and the Ministry of Tourism and Investment in assisting her on this “phenomenal” journey.

Schahaff stated that she is looking forward to representing her country and flying the Antigua and Barbuda national flag from space.

Also present at the meeting was CEO of The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C. James, Marketing Communications Manager Maria Blackman and Sports Tourism Officer within the Ministry of Tourism Karen Joseph.

“This is a remarkable opportunity”, said the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority CEO, Colin C. James. “Since your win, you have represented Antigua and Barbuda extremely well and have made us all feel proud”.

“We look forward to working with you, and hope that your journey to space increases awareness of Antigua and Barbuda and inspires more persons to visit our twin-island paradise”.

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority launched a successful #YourSpaceInTheSun marketing campaign in 2020, to encourage persons to find all the space they needed to relax and rejuvenate in Antigua and Barbuda, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Antigua and Barbuda Images: aandbtourism.fotoseeker.com

 

 

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Anguilla Approves Day Trips and Cruise Excursions on Island

Anguilla has announced new protocols as she reopens her borders to Day Trippers and passengers on one-day Cruise Excursions to the island.

The new protocols do not require these visitors to make an application for entry permission into Anguilla on the visitor portal.  However, as of December 9th, 2021, visitors coming to Anguilla on a day trip or an on-shore cruise excursion for one day must:

  1. a)    Be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination to the fixed-based operations agent/ship or aircraft carrier and officials upon arrival in Anguilla. According to Anguilla’s Ministry of Health, the definition of “fully vaccinated” means that the visitor has received the last dose (in a 2-dose vaccine) or the only dose (in a 1-dose vaccine) three (3) weeks or twenty-one (21) days prior to arrival on Anguilla.
  2. b)    Provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test from a nasopharyngeal swab taken two (2) days prior to their arrival date.

Self-administered and antibody tests will not be accepted.

This information will be verified upon arrival in Anguilla. Once all matters are in order day-trippers entering the island will be assigned a day trip wristband, which can only be removed upon leaving the island.  Day-trippers are also allowed to rent a car for the day.

In addition to the new protocols, Anguilla has extended its list of accepted COVID-19 vaccines for Entry Permission to include Sinopharm, Sinovac (also known as CoronaVac) and Covaxin.

The full list of accepted vaccines and COVID-19 tests for Entry Permission into Anguilla is as follows: 

Accepted Vaccines:

  1. Pfizer/BioNtech also known as Comirnaty
  2. Oxford/AstraZeneca also known as Vaxzevria
  3. Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
  4. Moderna
  5. Sinopharm
  6. Sinovac (also known as CoronaVac)
  7. Covaxin

For more detailed information on Anguilla’s travel protocols please visit the official website of the Anguilla Tourist Board: www.IvisitAnguilla.com/escape; follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/AnguillaOfficial; YouTube; Instagram: @Anguilla_Tourism; Twitter: @Anguilla_Trsm, Hashtag: #MyAnguilla.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

CTO Launches Online Training and Development Learning Centre

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (6 Dec, 2021) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has reached agreement with the Nova Scotia, Canada-based e-learning courseware development company, Velsoft, to further advance the regional tourism development agency’s virtual training programme.

As part of the memorandum of understanding, Velsoft will provide CTO access and hosting to its learning management system and manage the Caribbean Tourism Institute, the CTO’s online campus developed by the Canadian firm.

The new portal is an open online educational, training and development learning centre designed to provide affordable access to training opportunities for everyone who works, or aspires to work, in the Caribbean tourism and hospitality sector.

“Velsoft has been working closely with us to help us realise one of our key human resources development objectives of increasing the access of Caribbean nationals to high quality training and educational opportunities,” said Neil Walters, the CTO’s acting secretary general. “This partnership has allowed us to develop and offer this virtual training hub and will continue to help us in our mission to develop and design relevant e-learning content, which will benefit our tourism and hospitality sector.”

From its inception, the CTO has been a strong proponent of human resources development in the tourism industry and has as one its strategic objectives, to assist its member countries in developing and strengthening their human capital to better enable them to offer high levels of professional service.

The launch of the online training platform and courses is an important step in achieving this objective and to support ongoing training and build regional and institutional capacity.

“What the Caribbean Tourism Institute presents us with is a blended approach to learning, utilising synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods as this online platform will allow for self-paced instruction but will also offer occasions when it will host real-time training and development sessions,” said Sharon Banfield, the CTO’s director of resource mobilisation and development.

As part of the agreement, Velsoft will provide all technologies to convert CTO courses into e-learning and will allow the institute full access to its non-accredited courses, which will be promoted under the institute’s brand.

“Velsoft is excited to partner with the Caribbean Tourism Organization on the ambitious initiative to raise the collective level of skills in the Caribbean’s tourism sector. The Caribbean Tourism Institute represents the easiest and most cost-effective way to provide personalized training that is both culturally and contextually relevant,” said Jim Fitt, chief executive of Velsoft.

“Our intention is to release at least two new online courses each month as a way of ensuring the Caribbean Tourism Institute maintains its commitment to ensuring the latest and most applicable training is made available to the over 2.5 million professionals in the Caribbean’s hospitality and tourism sector, ” he added.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Corporate News

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 45 12345...»