Archive for 2022 News

Caribbean Tourism Professionals Receive Certification in Sustainable Tourism Destination Management

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (22 Feb. 2022) – Close to 20 senior tourism professionals from the region are now certified in sustainable destination management after completing a six-course programme designed by the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies through a partnership with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

The programme, which exposes the participants to practical tools that facilitate the successful planning, development, management and marketing of sustainable tourism destinations and businesses, also presents them with the opportunity to improve their professional standing, expand their industry network, and deepen their understanding of tourism’s ability to contribute to environmental, social and economic goals.

Already, nearly 50 participants from CTO member countries, including permanent secretaries and directors of tourism, have completed at least one of the six-course online programme, 18 of whom have completed the full curriculum.

“We are pleased to see how this partnership with the International Institute for Tourism Studies, which was envisioned to equip tourism professionals across our membership with the skills needed to move the sector into the future, has been embraced by so many,” said Faye Gill, the CTO membership services director and the programme lead at the CTO. “We congratulate everyone who has enrolled in the professional certificate course on the success achieved and we look forward to seeing even more of our tourism leaders take up the challenge to broaden their knowledge and build on their expertise.”

Also commenting on the success of the collaboration, Seleni Matus, the institute’s executive director, said: “We are thrilled with the broad success of our partnership with the CTO through which we jointly offer a professional certificate in sustainable tourism destination management. Many tourism directors are graduates, as are professional staff from destination organisations throughout the region.  Because tourism is critically important to Caribbean economies, George Washington University is committed to working closely with the CTO to introduce new professional development programmes that will aid Caribbean nations in tackling relevant industry issues such as visitor management, product development and climate change adaptation.”

Each of the six self-managed, expert-led courses is offered over a one-week period. The six core courses include an introduction to sustainable tourism, destination management, destination marketing, product development, destination investment and finance and destination policy and planning.  Students must complete the six online courses to earn a sustainable tourism destination management certificate.

The certificate programme will be offered in three-course sets twice in 2022, with the first course scheduled to begin in June and the second in October.

About the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies 

For more than 30 years, the International Institute of Tourism Studies has been a global leader in tourism education, research, and consulting. We are helping to build a sustainable industry that balances visitor interests with destination well-being by providing guidance and support to community development and governance projects around the world. We also offer professional certificate programs in cultural heritage tourism, destination management and event management to prepare the next generation of doers, leaders and thinkers in these growth fields.

For more information on the GW International Institute of Tourism Studies, please visit https://business.gwu.edu/research/IITS and follow GW IITS on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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New Director of Tourism Appointed In Montserrat

Gvernment Information Unit / Montserrat Tourism Division, Brades, Montserrat. The Government of Montserrat welcomes the appointment of the new Tourism Director Mrs. Ineta Rosetta  West-Gerald with effect from February 7, 2022 for a period of two years.

Mrs. West-Gerald holds a Bachelor’s Degree (Honors) in Tourism from the University of Derby, United Kingdom, and a Higher National Diploma in Tourism Management from Loughborough University, UK. Other professional qualifications include Certificate in Marketing from the University in Applied Sciences, Breda, the Netherlands as well as professional certificates in Project Management, Product Development, Sustainable Tourism for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Event Planning.

Mrs. West-Gerald brings with her a wealth of experience spanning 25 years in the tourism field, twenty of which were through her roles as Marketing Officer and Product Development Officer at the Tourism Division.

She was instrumental in assisting the Tourism Division in its recovery efforts during the volcanic crisis when the island saw tourism arrivals plummet, and again through its transition to its new operations under the Office of the Premier.  She was also intimately involved in the Development of the Tourism Master Plan and Policy (2016-2025) and coordinated the development of the current Tourism Strategy (2019-2022).

Mrs. West-Gerald is known synonymously with Montserrat tourism at a number of trade events and worked with both the travel trade and media to strengthen the Montserrat Brand.  She is well respected in the tourism sphere and among several regional partners including the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.

Mrs. West-Gerald now succeeds outgoing Director of Tourism, Mr. Warren Solomon, who was recruited under the Government of Montserrat’s Technical Cooperation (TC) Programme in February 2019.

Mr. Solomon’s achievements included spearheading the launch of the Montserrat Service Ready programme, which certifies members of the transportation and hospitality sectors as having achieved an advanced standard of service delivery training; the formation of a Tourism Stakeholders Advisory Council (TSAC) in November 2020, and he maintained brand visibility for Destination Montserrat throughout the COVID era, among other accomplishments. He will be in office until March 31, 2022.

The Premier of Montserrat, Hon. Joseph E Farrell, and Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier, Mrs. Daphne Cassell, take this opportunity to extend appreciation to Mr. Solomon for his strategic leadership of the tourism sector over the past three (3) years and to welcome Mrs. Rosetta West-Gerald at the particular juncture.

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The Cayman Islands Announces Removal of On-Island Antigen Testing for Travellers

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (17 February 2022) – The Cayman Islands Government today announced that effective Friday, February 18, fully vaccinated travellers are no longer required to complete on-island antigen testing on days 2, 5 and 7 after arrival. A negative antigen or PCR test conducted the day prior to arrival is still required for entry and applies to all travellers aged 5 and over.

In addition, the Government announced it is easing the following restrictions:

  • Public gathering limits will have a new maximum capacity of 500 persons for indoor events and 1,000 persons for outdoor events.  
  • Fully vaccinated travellers are no longer required to take a COVID-19 test prior to travelling domestically between Grand Cayman to the sister islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. 

For more information, please visit www.visitcaymanislands.com

Posted in: 2022 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Destination News

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Antigua and Barbuda Inspires Middle East Travellers

DUBAI, 18 February 2022 – A high-level government and tourism delegation from Antigua and Barbuda visited the United Arab Emirates earlier this month as part of a week-long promotional and development mission to deepen connections between the two countries and showcase the allure of the destination.

Located at the heart of the Caribbean, the twin-island paradise is known for its 365 white and pink sandy beaches, cheerful weather, and world-class resorts. While it has long been a favourite with affluent US and British travellers, it is now emerging as a must-visit destination for Middle East travellers, with its award-winning V.C. Bird International Airport providing convenient travel connections from key international hubs already popular among Middle East travellers, including London, New York and Miami.

To highlight the exceptional range of experiences on offer, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority hosted a series of events across the UAE over the past week, including a culinary masterclass with the Antiguan and Barbudan chef Lejorn Hill who is Executive Chef at Dubai’s Paramount Hotel, providing a taste of Antigua and Barbuda cooking experience. Fashion-loving Emirati women were also treated to a virtual fashion show by Antigua and Barbuda’s iconic female fashion designers and artists, while an exclusive dinner with CEOs from major travel corporations at the world’s tallest restaurant, At.mosphere at the Burj Khalifa, provided a meaningful and memorable networking opportunity.

The team also hosted an insightful panel session at the Antigua and Barbuda Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai to discuss the destination and the positive social, economic and environmental impact of its wide-ranging approach to sustainable tourism.

Led by Colin C. James, Chief Executive Officer of Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, and supported by Patrice Simon, Executive Director of Antigua Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association, the conversation also featured valuable insights from Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, known as the ‘Green Sheikh’ and the official environmental adviser to the Ajman Government.

Broad appeal for Middle East travellers

As one of the Caribbean’s premier destinations for leisure, cruises, and business travellers, Antigua and Barbuda welcomes over a million visitors annually to its shores and is well positioned to meet and exceed the needs of travellers from across the region.

“There is undoubtedly a strong synergy between what we offer as a destination, and what visitors from the region are looking for when it comes to travel experiences,” explained Colin James.

The essence of Antigua and Barbuda undeniably lies in its culture and people. Steeped in history and wrapped in a culture of warmth and vibrancy, the country is excited to welcome guests from across the globe to experience the islands’ traditions, taste its delicacies and witness how a rapidly progressing nation is becoming a key business and tourism destination.

“We have a lot to offer the mid to the upper end of the market and know how to cater for a discerning clientele, which is important when welcoming affluent travellers from this region, as they are typically very well-travelled and expect exceptional service and experiences,” continued James.

“The pandemic has really put a reset on where people go and what they do, with people looking to improve their wellbeing, seeking space and opportunities to reconnect with family. Antigua and Barbuda is the perfect fit for the kind of traveller that is seeking these experiences and we would like to be top of mind when they look for new adventures and destinations for their next vacation.”

Getting there is set to get easier

James emphasised that whilst getting to Antigua and Barbuda is possible – it is currently featured with Emirates Holidays, showing that there is latent demand – they also have laid the groundworks for introducing air services. “We are continuing to have meaningful discussions with Emirates Airlines, and are very hopeful that, in the foreseeable future, we will be at the top of their list as they expand and look towards our part of the world, making it even easier to get to our little piece of paradise.”

service WITH CARIBBEAN PANACHE

Patrice Simon explained how the private sector works diligently to ensure visitors receive the highest level of service, but in a way that is authentic to the island and the people. “People who come here expect a certain level of service but they still want to feel like they are in the Caribbean. Our people are very laid back – we’re on an island surrounded by 365 beaches, so there isn’t any stress and we can focus on creating a wonderful environment and offering the best service possible. This is really important to us – hospitality is what we do, it’s not an industry, it’s a way of life – around 70 per cent of our GDP comes from tourism – so we have to excel at it.”

85 per cent of accommodation sits within the luxury category, including the 300-acre private island paradise, Jumby Bay Resort which is part of the renowned Oetker Collection of premium destinations and is rated the number one luxury resort in all of the Caribbean, and the fifth-best resort in the world.

Total ban on plastic

In a week that has seen the UAE take its own progressive stance in the battle against plastic bags, Simon explained how Antigua and Barbuda was the first country in the western hemisphere to ban plastic bags in 2016, followed a total ban on all plastics and Styrofoam in 2018.

Describing the importance of it being driven at a government level and how the movement had been embraced across the islands, Simon said: “We have a lot of properties that have taken their own initiative to contribute towards the sustainability movement, but we also have a very strong foundation from the Ministry of Tourism which has ensured everyone is aligned in utilising energy saving initiatives, green water to reusable packaging.”

James added: “This is serious for us. We are a small island state and we depend on the marine environment. We realise that a lot of that plastic waste ends up in the ocean and our beaches, and that affects out livelihoods and longevity as a nation. We have to be very targeted in what we do and we make sure to practice what we preach. Much like the UAE, we punch well above our weight on issues that really matter to us.”

100% green energy – with SUPPORT from partners in the UAE

The island of Barbuda, known for its beautiful 17 miles of unbroken pink sand beaches, was totally devasted by hurricane Irma in 2017. It has since been rebuilt but, with a very small section of our total population living on Barbuda – around just 1,500 permanent residents – it presented an opportunity to approach the rebuild differently.

In another example of the government’s commitment to using resources wisely, they decided to make Barbuda the first country in the world to be totally reliant on green energy. James explained ‘’working in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, as well as the governments of New Zealand, the UK and the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, we have rolled out a solar initiative that allows us to harness the beautiful, free energy source that we have. By early 2023, every single household in Barbuda will be powered exclusively by green energy.”

Avoiding ‘greenwashing’ through transparency

The Green sheikh commended Antigua and Barbuda for its commitment to creating a cohesive and sustainable approach to environmental challenges. While welcoming the greening of consumer sentiment, he also highlighted the awakening of travellers to the reality that not all claims of environmentally and socially responsible practices are true. “Of course, not everyone takes the issue as seriously as Antigua and Barbuda does, and there are instances where perhaps efforts are unsubstantiated and even exaggerated, and we need more transparency to mitigate scepticism and enhance consumer confidence in the industry.”

To find out more about visiting Antigua and Barbuda and its commitment to building a sustainable tourism industry, visitantiguabarbuda.com.

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Grenada To Host Impressive Roster of Caribbean Sailing and Fishing Events in 2022

St. George’s, Grenada W.I. – Grenada is kicking off a series of sailing events and regattas from December 2021, including the just completed Atlantic Rally for Cruisers ARC+ Transatlantic Rally 2021, through February 2022. Along with its white sand beaches, mountainous topography and tropical rainforests, Grenada, the Spice Island of the Caribbean, is globally recognized as a major draw for pleasure boating, yachting and fishing events. Grenada boasts eight globally recognized marinas in the numerous bays and inlets across this tropical paradise. The location of Grenada provides safe anchorage and berthing for visiting yachts and charters during the hurricane season, which makes insurance less costly compared to other destinations.

Grenada’s main St. George’s harbor is a picturesque horseshoe-shaped bay, where marine enthusiasts can cruise out for excursions above and below the water. The island’s pristine blue waters and colorful corals make the destination a draw for snorkeling and scuba diving. Most recently, Grenada’s iconic Underwater Sculpture Park, innovatively designed to act as a coral reef, was renovated, providing an even more amazing experience to view the diverse marine life. Island hopping between sister islands Carriacou and Petite Martinique is also a key attraction.

Atlantic Rally for Cruisers ARC+ Transatlantic Rally 2021

The 2021 edition of the ARC Rally for Cruisers started from Las Palmas on November 21, 2021 and the last boat arrived at Camper & Nicholson Port Louis Superyacht Marina on December 13, 2021. There were 66 participating boats with 30 nationalities represented.

Spice Island Billfish Tournament 2022

52nd Republic Bank Spice Island Billfish Tournament will be from January 25-29, 2022, at the Grenada Yacht Club. The Spice Island Billfish Tournament first started in 1964 for fishing enthusiasts and invite visitors to plan their trip to Grenada to participate. 25 boats registered to date from Caribbean and USA. http://sibtgd.com

Grenada Sailing Week 2022

Grenada’s premier sailing event, Grenada Sailing Week, will take place January 27-30, 2022 at Petite Calivigny Yacht Club. The regatta will be a one-off departure from the regular week-long regatta, with a 3-day blend of traditional Grenada Sailing Week races and the PCYC Around the Island Regatta. The first day, participants will sail the 35-mile passage from Grand Anse, Grenada to Tyrell Bay, Carriacou. Day two will be a race around Carriacou, and day three will be the return passage to Grenada. www.grenadasailingweek.com

Royal Ocean Racing Club Transatlantic Race 2022

The RORC Transatlantic Race is a global high-powered competitive sailing events with a world class fleet of multihulls and monohulls scheduled to start January 8, 2022 from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote through January 29, 2022. The 3,000 nautical-mile race across the Atlantic to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada, has a star-studded entry list of 29 racing yachts includes teams from Austria, Cayman Islands, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States of America. http://rorc.org

Viking Explorers Transatlantic “Friendly” Rally 2022

Viking Explorers Transatlantic Rally is the second edition in Grenada and will take place late January/early February 2022. It’s an exciting family-friendly exclusive rally with a maximum of 25 boats with a small fleet and a purpose of creating a friendly environment for all ages. www.vikingexplorersrally.com/

In addition, Grenada’s Petite Martinique Whitsuntide Regatta is scheduled for May/June 2022, and the Carriacou Regatta for August 2022.

“We’ve had a hiatus of events on island due to the pandemic, and we’re thrilled to be welcoming back the sailing community that continues to choose Grenada as a top destination for their events,” said Petra Roach, CEO, Grenada Tourism Authority. “The nautical niche is one where we’ve got competitive advantage and these events are a true testament to our island’s ability to deliver extraordinary nautical experiences.”

For more information, visit: https://www.puregrenada.com/sailing/charters/. For updates on travel requirements, visit covid19.gov.gd.

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