Archive for 2021 News

The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Collaborates with CTO to Assess Tourism Skills

The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT) invites its stakeholders and partners to participate in the Regional Human Resources Development Knowledge and Skills Audit for the Tourism Industry. Commissioned by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) with funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and CTO member countries and administered by A-Z Information Jamaica Limited (A-Z), the data gathered from the Caribbean-wide endeavour will allow the CIDOT to effectively make informed decisions in its mission to develop a highly skilled tourism workforce.

As highlighted in the CIDOT’s National Tourism Plan (2019-2023), “the first step in defining a strategy for ‘where we want to be’ is to understand ‘where we are now.’ For workforce development that means understanding the current needs and demands of employers, potential barriers to entry, training needs, supply constraints and other variables.”

“A primary focus for the Ministry of Tourism and Transport is ensuring that our workforce has the necessary skills for the industry,” said Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism and Transport. “By working with the CTO for this audit, we will gain valuable data to identify gaps and further invest in our people. I encourage all relevant members of the industry to take the time to complete these surveys as your participation will assist the government in improving our tourism product.”

The Regional Human Resources Development Knowledge and Skills Audit for the Tourism Industry consists of a series of surveys targeted at different areas of the industry. The first survey is the General Establishment Survey that forms the primary data collection portion of this project. This survey should be completed by Owners, CEOs, Managing Directors, General Managers, or Human Resources Managers in the tourism industry including those who are self-employed. This first survey is available until Monday, 1 November 2021.

The CIDOT is helping to facilitate this project by providing information to A-Z who will distribute the surveys directly to relevant members of the industry. Additionally, any interested persons who are part of the intended audience can complete the survey by visiting the CIDOT website. Over the course of the next four weeks, other surveys will become available for completion.

“The CIDOT is dedicated to supporting our tourism workforce and collaborating with our regional partners to investigate opportunities for our people through research,” said Mrs. Rosa Harris, Director of the CIDOT. “We will use this information to further inform our decisions as we continue to develop our national tourism training opportunities.”

For more information on the Regional Human Resources Development Knowledge and Skills Audit for the Tourism Industry and survey details, please visit

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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What’s New In The Bahamas In November

NASSAU, Bahamas, November 01, 2021 – Heat up your holiday travel plans this season. With tropical temperatures, exciting new openings and 100,000 square miles of the world’s clearest water, it’s easy to tell your family why “It’s Better in The Bahamas.”  


Coral Vita Earned Recognition for Its Environmental Sustainability Efforts – Coral Vita earns a top 15 finalists spot in the inaugural Earthshot Prize in the “Revive Our Oceans” category for their continued efforts to preserve the world’s coastal ecosystem.

Reimagined Sandals Royal Bahamian Prepares for Reopening – Sandals Royal Bahamian is on track to reopen January 27, 2022, and guests can expect to enjoy 200 fully renovated rooms and suites, five new restaurants, private island hideaways and a new Island Village.

Rosé Paradis Garden Opens at The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort – The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, partnered with Château d’Esclans to present Rosé Paradis Garden, an enchanting pop-up experience that transports guests from the storied Versailles Gardens of Paradise Island to the South of France. The experience is open Wednesday to Saturday, November 11, 2021, through February 11, 2022.

The Moorings Reopens in The Abacos Next Month – The Moorings makes its triumphant return to The Abacos after two years following the devastation of Hurricane Dorian and will resume offering charter vacations beginning December 2021.

Bahamas Charter Yacht Show Returns – It’s official, the 2022 Bahamas Charter Yacht Show will be held at Nassau Yacht Haven February 24 – 27, 2022 featuring more than 10 charter yachts and over 40 charter brokers.

The Bahamas Shines Bright with World-Renowned Recognition – The Islands of The Bahamas took home several wins across various categories in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards and was named “Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Destination 2021” in the 28th annual World Travel Awards.


For a complete listing of deals and packages for The Bahamas, visit

Atlantis Paradise Island Offers Special ”Singles Day” Package – Atlantis Paradise Island celebrates National Singles Day on November 11, 2021 with a special 24-hour bookable offer. The “Singles Day” Package includes up to 4-day accommodations at The Cove, The Royal and The Coral, respectively, along with $111 daily resort credit. Travel window: November 11 – October 31, 2022.

$500 Air Credit for Black Friday and Cyber Monday – Holiday travellers receive a $500 air credit when pre-booking an air-inclusive 7-night package at a participating Bahama Out Islands Promotion Board member hotel. Bookable between November 26 – December 2, 2021, and valid for trips between November 28 – January 31, 2022. Blackout dates apply.

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St. Kitts Celebrates Viking Orion’s Inaugural Call

Basseterre, St. Kitts (October 25, 2021) – St. Kitts & Nevis today celebrates the inaugural call of the Viking Orion, an ultra-luxury ship from Viking Ocean Cruises, a division of Viking Cruises. Officially a stop on their winter 2021/2022 schedule, the Viking Orion will call 10 times to St. Kitts Winter 2021/20-22 season. This is the fourth vessel to call since the restart of the cruise sector and the first inaugural call of the 2021/2011 season. Viking Ocean Cruises is the largest luxury cruise line and was voted the #1 Ocean Line in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Viking Cruises came to St. Kitts for the first time in the 2016-17 Season, with the Viking Sea.  Since then, the Viking Sky, Viking Star and Viking Sun have visited St. Kitts.  Welcoming the Inaugural call of the Viking Orion is significant in the global pandemic, as cruise tourism rebuilds globally. The Honourable Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports, said, “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Viking Orion today. This visit is symbolic of the continued relationship between Viking Cruises and St. Kitts, it demonstrates Viking’s confidence in St. Kitts the destination.  The restart of cruise globally requires all of us in the Federation to their part so old and new cruise visitors can experience our one-of-a-kind attractions, dynamic culture, rich history, simply the authentic Caribbean.

While in port, passengers will have their choice of distinctive, “Travel-Approved” excursions to engage their sense of wander, including the historic and one-of-a kind Brimstone Hill Fortress and National Park, Caribelle Batik, where the hot wax method of making batik cloth is still used or the St. Kitts Scenic Railway, the last and only passenger railway in the West Indies.  Passengers can also enjoy and wander along one of our beautiful beaches, South Friars or Carambola Beach Club, tour a fully restored French Plantation house at Fairview Great House or enjoy the tropical gardens at Palms Court Gardens.  Visitors can also wander freely in Port Zante and enjoy the local art and crafts from the Amina Craft Market and Black Rocks vendors or visit the retail stores, souvenir shops, bars and restaurants offering local, Caribbean and International dishes.

“We want to thank Viking Cruises for their valued partnership and for including St. Kitts & Nevis on the itinerary of the Viking Orion’s inaugural season,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. While St. Kitts has often been a destination for inaugural vessels, this visit is exceptionally significant at a time when the cruise lines and the destinations are working together to rebuild the sector in the wake of the global pandemic.  We look forward to having Viking Cruises back and look forward to our ongoing partnership for many years to come.

The Viking Orion is sailing from Ft. Lauderdale, Port Everglades on a 14-day cruise itinerary on which St. Kitts is the third (3rd) day.

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Bartlett in Talks With Emirates Airlines to Introduce Special Flight to Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica; October 25, 2021: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has revealed that he has initiated discussions with top representatives of Emirates Airlines, with the aim of introducing a unique flight between Dubai and Jamaica early next year. The announcement comes as the Minister concluded marketing activities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) yesterday, with a crucial meeting with senior executives of Emirates Airlines at their Dubai Headquarters.

A major element of the wide-ranging discussion was the possibility of introducing a special service between Dubai and Jamaica, in celebration of Jamaica Day at Expo 2020, Dubai in February 2022. “We agreed to explore the feasibility of arranging this flight, details of which are to be worked out as soon as possible. There was also a productive discussion around tourism and airline recovery prospects and the positive V-shape pattern being experienced by Jamaica and Dubai,” said Bartlett.

He anticipates further discussions in the context of multi-destination strategies being formulated in the northern Caribbean to enable a more fulsome engagement of the Emirates and other partners in the Middle East. Emirates is the largest airline in the UAE, and the Middle East overall, operating over 3,600 flights per week.

While in the UAE, Minister Bartlett and his team also met with the country’s Tourism Authority to discuss collaboration on tourism investment from the region; Middle East tourism initiatives; and gateway access for North Africa and Asia and facilitation of airlift. There were also meetings with executives of EMAAR, arguably the largest and most prestigious hospitality and Real Estate/Community developer in the Middle East; DP World, one of the world’s largest port and marine logistics companies; DNATA, the single largest tour operator in the UAE and TRACT, a powerful tour operator in India.

“The round of marketing activities my team and I had with the key tourism and logistics partners in the UAE, were very fruitful.  This will undoubtedly result in the process of securing new investments, markets and gateways from the Middle East, Asia/Asia Minor and Africa to Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean,” Minister Bartlett explained.

From the UAE, Minister Bartlett will head to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he will speak at the 5th edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII). This year’s FII will include in-depth conversations about new global investment opportunities, analysis of industry trends, and unparalleled networking among CEOs, world leaders, and experts.

He will be joined by Senator, Hon. Aubyn Hill in his capacity as Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC), with responsibility for Water, Land, Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs), the Special Economic Zone Authority of Jamaica and special projects.

Minister Bartlett will return to the island on Saturday, November 6, 2021.

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Jamaica Announces Enhanced Pre-Departure Testing Services for Canadian Travellers

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – October 25, 2021 – Canadians travelling to Jamaica will now benefit from more accessible and affordable PCR testing services while in the destination thanks to the continued lobbying efforts of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB). Jamaican officials have partnered with two private laboratories on the island to provide Canadian residents returning home with access to seamless in-hotel PCR tests at a discounted rate.

Starting Monday, October 25, Canadian visitors will be able to book their required pre-departure COVID-19 molecular test directly through Baywest Wellness Clinic and Technological Solutions Limited (TSL) for $75 USD (inclusive of taxes), a reduction of more than 50% off the previous PCR testing price. Visitors must schedule their test through a dedicated online laboratory portal in order to qualify for this exclusive rate.

Tourists staying at a licensed hotel in Jamaica’s Resilient Corridors and other approved accommodations can schedule a PCR test to be conducted on property via a convenient concierge service. Visitors staying in a private villa, guest house, or residence can book an in-person appointment at the closest Baywest or TSL laboratory location. Travel agents will also be able to book PCR testing on behalf of their clients in advance.

“Jamaica’s new in-hotel PCR testing and reduced pricing will be a game-changer for Canadian travellers visiting the destination,” remarked Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett. “This effort is the latest initiative in our ongoing Jamaica CARES program, a comprehensive destination-wide commitment to providing all travellers with a safe and seamless experience while visiting our beautiful island.”

“The upcoming fall and winter seasons are critical for Jamaica’s tourism sector, and the JTB is proud to have negotiated improved COVID-19 testing options for Canadian travellers on island,” said Donovan White, Director of Tourism, Jamaica. “All of our partners in Jamaica and Canada are very appreciative that visitors in the destination will now have access to sophisticated PCR testing in the comfort of their hotel at a heavily discounted rate.”

Canadians travelling to Jamaica can book PCR tests online prior to departure or while in the destination through these two dedicated booking platforms:

The online platforms capture all the necessary information required to re-enter Canada, including travel dates and the location of the test. Payment for the service will be processed online at the time of booking via credit card. Test results from Baywest and TSL will be emailed directly to clients 24- to 48-hours following the sample collection.

“The JTB has been working very hard to collaborate with the country’s accredited laboratories to facilitate more accessible and affordable testing for our Canadian visitors,” said Angella Bennett, Regional Director, Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board. “We are very excited to bring this long-awaited enhanced service to the market and make travelling to Jamaica even more seamless for Canadians this winter.”

As per Canada’s current re entry travel guidelines, all passengers aged five and up regardless of vaccination status must provide proof of a COVID-19 negative molecular test result to enter the country. Valid tests must be performed within 72 hours of their scheduled flight departure time.

For more information about Jamaica’s current entry protocols and testing services for Canadian travellers, go to

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