Archive for 2022 News

New Travel Health Insurance Now Available for Purchase Online

Belize City,  Belize, February 7th, 2022:  The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce that the travel health insurance required from all visitors upon entry to  Belize with effect from Feb. 15, 2022,  is now available for purchase online at www.belizetravelinsurance.com

The Belize Travel Insurance is mandatory and will help protect travelers against incurred medical and non-medical expenses, if they test positive for COVID-19 during their stay in Belize.

The Insurance  Plan, available for $18.00 US,  provides coverage for up to $50,000 USD in medical expenses related to treatment of COVID-19 for a period of 21 days including 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 will also cover trip cancellations and expenses incurred by COVID-19 positive travelers for extended stays.

Some important entry highlights are listed below:

  • The Belize Travel Insurance is available for purchase online at www.belizetravelinsurance.com This link is also available on the BTB websites at www.belizetourismboard.org and www.travelbelize.org
    Please click HERE for a list of FAQ’s.
  • Airlines are not required to verify that a traveler has a purchased insurance policy upon check-in.  Verification of travelers will take place at the Phillip Goldson International Airport in Belize by the Immigration Department of Belize.
  • 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.
  • Exempted from purchasing the insurance are QRPs, Belizeans & permanent residents, foreign homeowners, long-stay non-nationals, Peace Corps, military personnel, airline crew and persons in Belize for less than 24 hours are exempted.
  • Please visit www.travelbelize.org/health-safety/for more information on the Belize Safe Travel Requirements.

In the past year, Belize has implemented several traveler protocols to keep visitors feeling safe, including the Tourism Gold Standard Program 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.

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

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Anguilla Appoints New Sales & Marketing Representative for the USA

The Valley, Anguilla,  February 4, 2022:     The  Anguilla  Tourist  Board (ATB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Vivian Chambers of the Muse Collection to the position of USA Sales and Marketing Representative, effective February 1st, 2022.  Ms. Chambers will be responsible for planning and implementing the destination’s marketing and sales activities; she is tasked with selling, promoting, and securing group and leisure travel business opportunities for Anguilla as well as retaining and growing the existing leisure market base.

“Vivian brings a wealth of experience to the position, and a proven track record as a Sales,  Marketing and Event Planning professional,” declared Kenroy Herbert, Chairman of the Anguilla Tourist Board. “We are confident that our partnership with The Muse Collection will bring Anguilla the visibility, relationships and insights we need to expand our clientele, increase our arrivals, and position our island as the premium destination in the region.”

“It is an honor to have been chosen to represent Anguilla in the USA,” stated Ms. Chambers, in accepting the position. “The people of Anguilla embrace many of the same core values that our company does,  health, wellness, family,  culture,  history and traditions.  We  are  confident that together we will grow our presence in this important market.”

Vivian Chambers began her career with JP Morgan Chase after graduating with a degree in finance. She soon discovered that her passion lay in the hospitality industry, and shortly after joined The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. where she was responsible for Event Marketing & Management for their portfolio of hotels on a global platform.

After a brief hiatus, which she took when her daughter was born, Vivian rejoined the industry as a luxury sales consultant for LXR Resorts – Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. As her portfolio of luxury clients grew, she launched The Muse Collection. The Muse Collection specializes in providing their clients, which they consider their partners, with bespoke sales and marketing representation in one of the most competitive and dynamic markets in the world, North America.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Vivian as we accelerate our marketing initiatives,” said Georgios Tserdakidis, Chief Marketing Officer for the Anguilla Tourist Board. “We sought a candidate who has marketing thought leadership, is familiar with analyzing market research and consumer behavior, and who will drive our business forward by nurturing our current relationships and securing new trade partners. Vivian excelled on all counts.”

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.

Posted in: 2022 News, Blog, Destination News

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Saint Lucia Tourism Authority Appoints Lorine Charles-St Jules as CEO

CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA (February 1, 2022) – The Board of Directors of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority has appointed Mrs. Lorine Charles-St. Jules to the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective February 1, 2022.

With more than two decades of tourism and leadership experience, Mrs. Charles-St. Jules has achieved significant success in the hospitality sector and most recently served as USA Account Manager for the Anguilla Tourist Board. She has been CEO of global marketing agency PEAEYE7 Marketing International for five years, handling business development and luxury resort marketing throughout the Caribbean, the U.S., and Canada.

Mrs. Charles-St. Jules has deep expertise in setting and executing business strategies across many facets of the tourism industry, including marketing destinations, developing sales programming for luxury resorts, and global travel trade management. An award-winning strategic thinker, she is an accomplished sales leader, research consultant for the Organization of American States, public speaker, and Adjunct Lecturer at Monroe College in New York and University of New Haven, Connecticut.

The CEO position brings Mrs. Charles-St. Jules back to her roots in Saint Lucia, where she previously held various executive positions at Saint Lucia Tourist Board for nine years including Director of Marketing, and Tourism Planning Officer for the Saint Lucia Ministry of Tourism for two years.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Mrs. Charles-St. Jules to the organization and we are in no doubt that her track record as a tourism professional will lead brand Saint Lucia along a sustained growth trajectory. Her diverse experience in tourism marketing, sales and strategy will contribute greatly to our mission,” said Mr. Thaddeus M. Antoine, Chairman of the Board of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority.

“I consider it a distinct honor and a privilege to have been afforded the opportunity to contribute my professional experiences, resources, and networks, in joining the esteemed leadership team at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. I aim to leverage the valuable expertise, insights, and connections attained through my various private and public sector roles in our key tourism source markets, for the benefit of Saint Lucia as a tourism destination and a nation. This appointment brings me an added layer of personal fulfillment as it provides an avenue for me to continue to give back in a significant way to my homeland through our lifeblood industry of tourism,” shared Mrs. Charles-St. Jules.

In bidding farewell to outgoing CEO, Beverly Nicholson-Doty, the SLTA Chairman remarked, “We thank Mrs. Nicholson-Doty for her stellar leadership and passion for development demonstrated over the past two and a half years. She led our brand through the most challenging time of the pandemic, of which Saint Lucia was recognized for eight major accolades in various niches. The fruit of her tenure is valued greatly, and now that she has chosen to move on, we wish her the very best in her future endeavours.”

Mrs. Charles-St. Jules is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, with a master’s degree in International Tourism Development and Sustainability. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management and Tourism from the University of the West Indies.

The CEO will be responsible for the overall management of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, including oversight of the development of the Authority’s marketing and destination services, and general administration. Enacted in August 2017 and serving as a statutory arm of the Government of Saint Lucia, some of the core roles of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority are to operate as the destination’s lead marketing agency through targeted campaigns internationally to showcase Saint Lucia on a global scale, positioning Saint Lucia in traditional markets as well as emerging markets and new growth opportunities.

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Statia Remains Cautious While Further Easing the COVID-10 Measures

The Public Entity St. Eustatius strongly advises Statian residents to remain cautious by taking personal responsibility (respecting hygiene guidelines, getting tested and vaccinated) while the government further eases the COVID-19 measures as of Tuesday February 1st, 2022. A maximum of 25 persons (instead of now 15) is allowed to be inside the restaurants and bars, or 50 percent of the full capacity. Dancing is still not allowed. Schools, day care centres and out of school organizations can allow 25 students per class instead of 15. The easing of measures is not yet applicable to supermarkets and non-essential businesses.

Gatherings will be once again possible as of February 1st, 2022. However, a maximum of 25 persons is allowed or 50% of the capacity of the venue. For indoor and outdoor sport activities a maximum gathering of 25 persons is also applicable. Both Government Commissioners repeat the call to the residents to get vaccinated and to get tested when not feeling well. “Considering the high number of infections, worldwide, and the contagiousness of the Omicron variant, it is impossible to get and keep Statia COVID free. Therefore, we have a shared responsibility to protect the vulnerable groups in our community. These are the elderly and persons with underlying health conditions,” says Government Commissioner Alida Francis.

The virus is spread on the island, and it is expected that it will be around in the coming months. The overall vaccination percentage of the population is still too low, 50%. The risk during an outbreak is that non-vaccinated elderly and other vulnerable groups on our island run the risk of getting infected, so they should be protected. But we must also further ease the measures as these are a burden to our economy.

Reason

The pressure on the economy is another reason that the local government further eases the COVID-19 measures, while remaining cautious and taking steps to protect the population. This approach is aimed at keeping a balance between public health and economic development. Additional nursing staff provided through the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS) are now working on the island. The capacity in the health care sector is adequate. If needed, St. Maarten can accommodate patients from Statia as the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) has enough capacity.  COVID-19 patients will be transferred to St. Maarten in case of deteriorating health in an early stage to assure the most optimal care. This is already the case these past weeks since the outbreak.

Also, Alida Francis says, the number of cases is stabilizing, the infections are less severe, and the symptoms are generally very mild. In addition, the number of persons needing hospital care is very low: less than 2 percent needed hospitalization up till now. The Government Commissioner further says that the population in general adheres well to the hygiene measures: wearing a face mask, keeping social distance and respecting the measures taken at public places such as restaurants, bars and supermarkets.

No changes

Non-essential businesses such as nail salons, barbershops and hair salons must adhere to the same measures. For these businesses nothing changes yet. They can only accept two customers at the time, with an appointment. These close contact professions must always wear face masks and gloves. Supermarkets and other essential businesses can only allow a maximum of 10 persons inside at the same time. Smaller shops can allow 5 persons at the same time.

Entry Policy

The entry policy will also be less strict as of February 1st, 2022. As of February 1st, all countries will be considered as high risk. The requirement of a negative PCR test within 48 hours before departure to Statia will remain in effect. However, the mandatory entry test for vaccinated persons will not be applicable anymore.

All persons entering Statia from a high-risk country still must stay in quarantine (non-vaccinated persons, 7 days) or monitoring (vaccinated persons, 5 days). A mandatory anti gen test at the end of the quarantine period or monitoring period is still applicable.

Non vaccinated persons from a low-risk country must go into quarantine for 7 days with a mandatory exit antigen test on the 7th day

Testing and vaccination

The Public Health Department will keep the intensity of testing and vaccination high. Vaccination is possible twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays. Testing is possible daily.

After a person is tested positive, isolation of 7 days is mandatory, instead of the current 10 days. On the 7th day persons can be released after a negative antigen test. If the test is positive a re-test will be done every 3 days until there is a negative result.

If someone was in contact with a person who tested positive, quarantine of 7 days (instead of 10 days) with an antigen test on the 7th day is required. This applies to both vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals.

The easing of the measures was decided upon after careful deliberation with stakeholders: the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS), Dutch Institute for Health and Environment (RIVM) the Public Health Department, the Crisis Team, the Island Council, the St. Eustatius Business Association, the tourism and hospitality sector, school principals/management and church leaders.

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

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Jamaica to Host World Free Zones Organization’s International Conference

KINGSTON, JAMAICA, February 1, 2022 – Already known for being a worldwide leader in the tourism industry, Jamaica will step into the spotlight on the global economic stage as it serves as host this June to the World Free Zones Organization’s 8th Annual International Conference & Exhibition (AICE) 2022, the first to be held in the Caribbean. The news was announced last week during a ceremony shared internationally from the island nation’s tourism capital, Montego Bay.

“We could not be more pleased to have our island serve as host nation for this important global event,” said Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Jamaica, Jennifer Griffith, speaking on behalf of the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica. “Investment is crucial to the ongoing development and growth of our tourism sector as we seek to diversify our tourism product, provide more jobs for Jamaicans and attract more visitors to our shores in the future.”

Themed, ‘Zones: Your Partner for Resilience, Sustainability and Prosperity,’ the World Free Zones Organization’s AICE 2022 will be held from June 13-17, 2022, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. The five-day event will bring together world-class speakers, global free zone practitioners, policy makers, multi-lateral organizations and business representatives, to exchange ideas, experiences and visions for creating a more integrated global trade and business environment. The event is expected to bring over 1,000 visitors into Jamaica.

“Jamaica is the investment destination of the Caribbean,” said Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Jamaica, who was the keynote speaker at the press conference. “We now have 213 Special Economic Zone stakeholders located across 10 of Jamaica’s 14 parishes. Preliminary data suggests that Special Economic Zones already approved and those being processed here on island, will provide employment for approximately 53,000 people.”

Dr. Samir Hamrouni, CEO of the World Free Zones Organization, said, “The Caribbean is an important region for World Free Zones Organization. Free Zones here contribute immensely to economic growth, jobs, income and prosperity. We also believe there is potential for growth of Free Zones in this region. This is one of the key reasons we have chosen Jamaica to host the next edition of AICE. Thank you to each one of you, the Jamaica Tourist Board, the Jamaica Special Economic Zones Authority, the local organizing committee and everyone who has helped us bring this Conference to the island on behalf of myself and my colleagues.”

Also speaking at the event was Christopher Levy, Chairman of the Jamaica Special Economic Zones Authority (JSEZA). To conclude the program, a video was played to officially launch the conference and gifts were presented to key individuals who were critical in bringing the AICE to Jamaica. The event was attended by local Jamaican officials and media, while international media attended virtually.

Registration for AICE in Jamaica is now open at www.AICE2022.com. For more information on Jamaica, please visit www.visitjamaica.com.

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