Archive for 2021 News

Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Stakeholders Excited as West Jet Returns

JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (November 22, 2021) –WestJet is now back in Antigua and Barbuda, providing Canadian travellers with another means of escaping the cold winter and finding themselves in the sunny twin-island paradise.

On Sunday, the Canadian airline resumed service to Antigua and Barbuda, for the first time following over a year’s absence. A symbolic water canon salute showered the WestJet aircraft on touchdown at the V.C. Bird International Airport.

Minister of Tourism and Investment, The Honourable Charles Fernandez, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James, Director of Operations at the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority, Joseph Samuel, General Manager of Caribbean Airport Services, Craig Richards, alongside other tourism stakeholders were present to officially welcome back the carrier and to greet arriving passengers.

The Tourism Minister called the airline’s arrival great news, as Canada is a key source market for the country. “Heading into the winter season, our tourism forecast is extremely positive as we see consumer travel confidence grow and demand for the destination increase. Having WestJet back, is a tremendous boost for us, and we are excited by the return.”

He continued, “Within the last twenty months we have put in place a number of measures to ensure all our visitors have a #sunseasafe vacation in Antigua and Barbuda.”

Antigua and Barbuda’s latest travel advisory issued on November 18, now allows fully vaccinated arriving passengers the option of presenting a RT PCR test negative result of four (4) days or fewer from date of testing, OR an approved Rapid Antigen test negative result of (3) or fewer days from date of testing to be permitted entry into Antigua and Barbuda. The list of approved Rapid Antigen tests is provided on the official tourism website: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com

WestJet will continue a weekly Sunday service to Antigua’s V.C. Bird International Airport until next month when the service will be increased to twice a week.

A total of 94 passengers arrived on Sunday’s flight.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO Hosts “Caribbean Comeback” Webinar for Travel Advisers

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (11 Nov. 2021) – Travel advisers who sell the Caribbean will be brought up to date with the latest travel developments in the region when the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) hosts an online educational session next week.

Twenty CTO member countries will share information on the latest protocols, new flights and hotel openings, and other developments.

The webinar is part of a programme of activities by the CTO and its member countries in observance of Caribbean Tourism Month 2021, which has as its theme, Caribbean Comeback.

The theme is meant to emphasise that the region is on its way back from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and is also an invitation to visitors to come back to the Caribbean.

During the month the CTO and its member countries will undertake a social media campaign using the hashtag #CaribbeanComeback and live demonstrations, including a cultural and culinary festival on Wednesday 24 November.

The travel advisers’ webinar begins at 10:00am Eastern time (3:00pm in the UK) on Thursday 18 November. Interested agents can register at https://bit.ly/3FDuCjU.

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.

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Montserrat’s Tourism Training Programme Ends With Tour Guide Training

Brades, Montserrat, November 2, 2021. The Montserrat Tourism Division ended its 2021 tourism stakeholder training programme with a one-week workshop that focused on tour guiding, and tour and taxi operations. The course, which ran from October 25 and ended on November 2, was facilitated by Ms Kathryn Mc Connie from Tours Incredible which is based in Trinidad & Tobago.

Ms Mc Connie has been in the hospitality and tourism industry for more than 30 years and in 1993 she made a significant contribution to the Tour Guiding profession though the development of the very first properly structured Professional Tour Guiding Course which was culturally appropriate for the region. In 1996, she collaborated with the Trinidad & Tobago Hospitality & Tourism Institute (TTHTI) to ensure that tour guides were assessed and certified by a recognized institution which eventually became ISO certified and accredited by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT).

Ms Mc Connie is a Certified Hospitality Educator with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute and the founding member of the Trinidad & Tobago Tour Guides Association. She is one of just three tour guides from the region who are members of the prestigious World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations. One of her greatest achievements is the publishing of her own text for tour guide training, “The Cicerone – Presentation Skills & Professional Guiding Techniques”, now in its 8th edition of printing.

Director of Tourism, Warren Solomon, noted: “This training could not have come at a more opportune time, with our borders going through the second phase of its re-opening. One of our objectives in making these training opportunities available to our stakeholders was to ensure that no one lost their edge during the period of inactivity when our borders were closed and successful participants would also be designated as Montserrat Service Ready”

A total of 24 tour guides, tour operators and taxi drivers participated in the workshop, which took on a hybrid format. The first two days consisted of classroom instruction done remotely, while Ms Mc Connie was in quarantine (as required by Montserrat’s COVID-19 travel protocols). The remaining days were a combination of classroom and practical sessions, where participants were assessed as they conducted tours around the island.

“The programme was very well-received and participants have adopted a more professional approach in discharging their duties,” stated Rosetta West-Gerald, Product Development Officer at the Montserrat Tourism Division. She continued, “Many are quite keen to put into practice what they would have learnt over the past 8 days and we are also encouraging them to offer tours to the local community and to those nationals returning home who may have lost touch with Montserrat over the years. This would certainly enable them to sharpen their skills and continually improve their service delivery.”

Montserrat’s borders are currently opened to fully vaccinated travelers arriving by air – the island still remains closed to cruise lines. There is a mandatory 5-day quarantine for arriving passengers; they are tested on day 3 or day 4 and released on day 5 once the results are negative.

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American Airlines Increases Service Between Miami and Anguilla

The Valley, Anguilla, November 3, 2021:  The Anguilla Tourist Board with American Airlines is pleased to announce that American Airlines will increase its service from Miami to Anguilla to three times a week, starting on January 5, 2022.  The new service begins with twice-weekly flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Anguilla’s Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA) on December 11, 2021. As of January 5, a third flight will operate every Monday, on the same flight schedule.

The new schedule is loaded into American Airlines’ system and flights are now available for booking. The schedule as of January 5, 2022 is outlined below:

Miami, FL (MIA) – Anguilla (AXA) Anguilla (AXA) – Miami, FL (MIA)
Schedule Depart Arrive Depart Arrive
Mondays Wednesdays Saturdays 10:50 AM 2:49 PM 3:40 PM 5:53 PM

 

“We have worked extremely hard to provide a safe and enjoyable vacation experience to our visitors, with transparent entry protocols and now easier and more convenient access than ever before,” stated Kenroy Herbert, Chairman of the Anguilla Tourist Board. “We have a very low Covid-rate, our tourism industry workers and 80% of our local residents are fully vaccinated, and our stakeholders understand the concerns of today’s travelers, particularly around offering some degree of flexibility when making their travel arrangements.”

“We are thrilled and delighted that American Airlines is already incorporating additional service to our island, a testament to the strong demand for Anguilla and the premium tourism product that we offer,” said Stacey Liburd, Anguilla’s Director of Tourism.

“We are very encouraged by our forward bookings, and with new resorts, new attractions and new events coming on stream, Anguilla is definitely the place to be this winter.”   

For flights and reservations to Anguilla visit www.aa.com or contact your preferred Travel Advisor.

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; YouTube; Twitter: @Anguilla_Trsm, Hashtag: #MyAnguilla.

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Martinique Reopens Its Sky To Air Canada

Montreal – Air Canada is coming back to Martinique starting October 30th, following several months of interruption of service due to the pandemic.

A direct weekly flight from Montreal (YUL) will be operated to resume service to Martinique with a two-class B737 aircraft of 169 seats, all equipped with individual touch-sensitive screens that grant access to a full entertainment system, including movies, documentaries, music, and games.

« We are delighted to come back to Martinique” stated Alexandre LEFEVRE, Air Canada’s Senior Director network planification.

“This proves how much Martinique and the whole French West Indies are important for us at Air Canada, as we have established strong relationships in the region for over 45 years now. As much as Martinique is a popular sun destination for Quebecers, Quebec is an appealing destination for Martinicans looking for leisure, high education, and business opportunities. This strategic route will be operated up to five times a week on a new generation Boeing-737 aircraft. We are looking forward to welcoming you on board.”

Air service to Fort-de-France will be provided in strict accordance with sanitary measures, to ensure the safest stay in the Isle of Flowers.

A sanitary protocol applied with care

Visitors must expect obligations depending on their vaccinal status and provenance. People with a complete vaccinal scheme must apply for a French vaccinal passport (https://www.demarches-simplifiees.fr/commencer/passe-sanitaire-etrangers) and and will not be subject to any travel restrictions while arriving to Martinique.

Non-vaccinated people or with an uncomplete vaccinal scheme must comply with the following obligations:

  • Negative PCR test (72 hours or less) or negative antigen test (48 hours or less) prior boarding
  • Compelling reason (personal, professional, family, sanitary and/or urgent matter)
  • 7-days of self isolation when arriving and mandatory COVID test after

On the other hand, Air Canada implemented its CleanCare+ program in May 2020 that settled new biosecurity rules to allow passengers and crew to travel in a safe environment:

  • Customer face-coverings and employee Personal Protective Equipment now mandatory
  • Personal care kits containing disinfectant and safety items
  • Electrostatic cabin spraying to reinforce aircraft grooming protocols
  • Revised food product minimizing crew and passenger contact

These protocols will ensure the safe transportation of our travellers from Canada and allow the next intensification of airline service to Martinique this winter.

A gradual and necessary recovery

Named top emerging destination in the world by TripAdvisor in 2021 and recognized twice by UNESCO, Martinique is on top of Canadians’ travel wish list. Air Canada supports the growing appeal of the Isle of Flowers by increasing gradually its rotations to Martinique: starting in December, Canada’s biggest airline carrier will implement up to five non-stop flights per week from Montreal to Fort-de-France.

This latter news was warmly welcomed by Bénédicte di GERONIMO, Martinique Tourism Commissioner: “Our team worked hard to develop creative ways to convey the charms, qualities and authenticity of our island. Thanks to the work of the Martinique Tourism Authority alongside Air Canada, Canada has become the 2nd main market for Martinique. We are delighted to welcome back Air Canada to Martinique’s sky!

The island will hope from this resumption of service with Air Canada the recovery of its three weekly direct flights all year long from Montreal to Martinique.

Martinique is also looking forward to recovering its three flights per week, all year long from Montreal. Frantz Thodiard, CEO of the Aimé Cesaire’s Martinique International Airport stated: “The resumption of air service between Montreal and Fort-de-France reboots the historic link with Canada, a destination highly appreciated by Martinicans for its multiples offers and opportunities. Air Canada’s investment sustains the confidence inspired by Martinique as a destination”.

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