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It Is Almost Time To Connect!

Three weeks away from the May 1 start of the premier business-to-business marketplace, Connect Barbados, with over 100 participants – inclusive of 56 tour operators, have already registered to come and meet with local tourism partners including attraction providers and hoteliers.

Under the theme ‘Breathing Power into Business Connections’, the three-day conference is now in its 14th year. Tour operators have been invited from Barbados’ main source markets – the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Europe and Caribbean and Latin America. Tour operators such as: Air Canada Vacations, Virgin Holidays and Expedia Group, to name a few have already registered to come learn about what is new in Destination Barbados.

Connect Barbados is an annual conference providing opportunities to island operators to sell Barbados’ holiday products to invited tour operators in all of the island’s major source markets.

The marketplace allows global travel partners to learn about and experience the latest product and service developments on the island, while affording local partners the occasion to thank them for the tremendous contribution they continue to make the success of Barbados’ premier economic sector.

BTMI CEO, William ‘Billy’ Griffith, mentioned, “We are positively anticipating to surpass the 1,200 meeting appointments from Connect 2018 as we once again welcome and share our beautiful product with participating tour operators. Being able to connect our local service providers with the agents who have direct contact with potential visitors to Barbados will be extremely vital to both parties.”

This year, as we celebrate the Year of Wellness and Soft Adventure, tour operators will be treated to an outdoor welcome reception as they kick their feet in the sand at the “Feet in the Sand Beach Party, featuring top local entertainment and cuisine, before proceeding to two full days of business-to-business meetings at the Hilton Barbados Resort.

To close out the highly-anticipated conference, a special final evening reception will be held at the prestigious Harrison’s Cave and tour operators will get the opportunity to tour the cave first-hand. On the final day, participants will tour the island for a diverse Attractions Day, inspecting places of interest based on their specialities.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Growing romance tourism in Tobago

The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) is making strides to capitalize on global travel trends and position the island as a premier romance destination through targeted marketing initiatives.

One of these initiatives by the Agency is attendance at niche specific trade and consumer shows in source markets to generate viable leads from key stakeholders in the romance travel industry, which is one of the four brand pillars of the new Tobago Beyond branding strategy.

In the past month, the Agency attended the National Wedding Show in the United Kingdom from April 13 to 14, the L. Edwin Caribbean Wedding and Events Exposition in Trinidad from March 30 to 31, and partnered with local romance niche stakeholders for the “Love in Tobago” interactive wedding show on April 13, 2019.

Read more: https://www.facebook.com/notes/tobago-tourism-agency/media-release-growing-romance-tourism-in-tobago/2031212150520270/

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Jason deCaires Taylor Recognized For His Outstanding Contribution

St. George’s, Grenada – April 15, 2019 – World-renowned sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor has been specially recognized by the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) for his outstanding work in creating the World’s first Underwater Sculpture Park in the island. Between 2006 and 2009, Taylor founded the Park in Grenada which was listed as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic. His concrete sculptures based on people, history and folklore eventually become alive by supporting the sustainable growth of the colorful reefs in Molinere Bay.

Subsequently, this park became a marine protected area thanks to the Government of Grenada’s pledge to preserve 20% of its coastal waters. The Sculpture Park includes art installations such as Vicissitudes (famously known as the Circle of Children), Grace Reef, the Lost Correspondent and the Unstill Life to name a few.

As a gesture of gratitude to Jason Taylor for his work, the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) hosted a dinner with representatives of the Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation, the Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association (GHTA), the Grenada Scuba Divers Association (GSDA), the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Management Inc.(GUSMI), and the Grenada Arts Council. At the dinner, Taylor was presented with a special nutmeg designed award for his contribution to the destination’s unique selling points.

The GTA extends special thanks to members of the GHTA namely the Coyaba Beach Resort, True Blue Bay Resort and Maca Bana Villas for their support in hosting Mr. Taylor and his family during their recent stay in Grenada.

At the Sculpture Park, visitors are taken to the area by local tour operators and they can either sail, snorkel or dive to experience this stunning and unique experience. Tripexperts have rated this experience as the number one attraction in Grenada in 2019 based on online reviews, searches and clicks.

Jason Taylor is famous for integrating contemporary art into conservation with marine life. He has continued his artwork in Mexico, in the Bahamas and in Spain. He travels all over the world for his work and he is currently engaged on a project in Australia.

Tourism stakeholders in Grenada have continued his good work with additional sculptures such as the ‘Nutmeg Princess’ and the ‘Selfie Statue’. The GTA hosted a competition in 2018 to encourage local talent to create new sculptures. The winning submission dubbed “Wet Fete” includes the Carnival characters Shakespeare Mas, Wild Indian, Jab Jab, Shortknee and Vieux Corps. The plan is to add these sculptures to the Underwater Sculpture Park in the coming years.

Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor Receives Award from Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation Arlene Buckmire Outram

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Belize: Latest Figures Predict Another Bumper Crop Year for Tourism Industry

The unwavering efforts of BTB and its industry stakeholders and partners to market Belize as one of the world’s leading tourism destinations is paying off. The latest statistics for the first quarter of this year show an impressive and persistent growth in both overnight and cruise ship arrivals to Belize predicting yet another bumper-crop year for the tourism industry.

https://www.sanpedrosun.com/travel-and-tourism/2019/04/12/latest-figures-predict-another-bumper-crop-year-for-tourism-industry/

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First Speakers for St. Martin/St. Maarten Annual Regional Tradeshow (SMART) Announced

MAARTEN/MARTIN (April 9, 2019)– The Saint Martin/Sint Maarten Annual Regional Tradeshow (SMART) 2019 will feature 15 different speakers for workshops and masterclasses, which will provide the Northeastern Caribbean tourism sector with an overview of the latest developments in tourism. Innovations from both sides of the island, the Caribbean, the United States, and Europe will be highlighted alongside the many business meetings going on during SMART.

“Based on the 2019 theme, ‘Innovation & Revitalization,’ decided by the four SMART partners, L’Association des Hoteliers de Saint Martin, the Saint Martin Tourism Office, the Sint Maarten Tourist Bureau, and the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association, these topics were selected to facilitate the best possible comeback of the destination,” stated St. Maarten’s Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport, and Telecommunication, Stuart Johnson.

Managers and entrepreneurs will be offered expert workshops on how to further improve their operations. Topics will include social media strategy, deployment of technology, revenue management, the importance of customer reviews, occupancy strategies and customer engagement, increasing customer satisfaction, digital marketing trends, and economic and environmental practices (i.e., the value of being a “green” business in the Caribbean).

“We are pleased to announce that the workshops and masterclasses for this year’s conference will be presented by recognizable North American tourism and hospitality companies like Avvio, Flip.to, STR, TravelClick and TripAdvisor, while other established Caribbean innovators from BookSXM, Caribious, InspireFocus, and ShowMeCaribbean will share their best practices with the attendees,” stated St. Maarten’s Director of Tourism Ms. May-Ling Chun. “Experts like EPIC, in addition to other hospitality institutions, will provide insights on how to make operations more sustainable. Each workshop will take place twice daily, giving delegates the opportunity and flexibility with their SMART appointment schedule to attend the workshops of their interest.”

The tradeshow will be held the 21st through 23rd of May 2019 at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort Casino and Spa. Numerous tour operators, travel agents, travel writers, and event planners from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean are expected to attend this important event. In previous years, SMART has featured suppliers from Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts & Nevis, and St. Maarten-St. Martin.

Companies and individuals interested in participating can contact the SMART project office at [email protected] or call +1 721-542-0108. More information can be found at shta.com/SMART or on the event’s Facebook page (facebook.com/smartsintmaarten).

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St. Kitts Wins the Tourism for Tomorrow Award

Basseterre, St. Kitts (April 8, 2019) – The St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority are delighted to announce that St. Kitts and its Sustainable Development Council has won a prestigious Tourism for Tomorrow Award from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), presented at their Global Summit in Seville, Spain, April 3-4, 2019, headlined by keynote speaker Barack Obama. Taking home the Destination Stewardship Award for 2019, St. Kitts is now officially recognized as a global leader in sustainable tourism.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by the WTTC alongside organizations pursuing leading practices in sustainable development,” said the Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism for St. Kitts & Nevis. “Our Sustainable Development Council facilitates partnerships and relationships among public and private sectors as well as among all people in St. Kitts, to ensure that development in our destination preserves and benefits our environment, culture, heritage and community livelihoods. We hope this preservation will lead to long-term tourism growth and allow people to enjoy our beautiful island for many years to come.”

WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow (T4T) Awards are the world’s top accolade in sustainable tourism; they recognize the highest ethical standards in the sector and are respected by industry leaders, governments and international media alike. The Awards are aimed at recognizing best practices in sustainable tourism within the industry globally, based upon the principles of environmentally friendly operations; support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage; and direct benefits to the social and economic well-being of local people in travel destinations around the world.

Now in their 15th year, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards took place at a special ceremony during the WTTC Global Summit in Seville, Spain, held April 3-4, 2019, to celebrate inspirational, world-changing tourism initiatives from around the globe. The Destination Stewardship Award recognizes organizations helping a place to thrive and bring forward its unique identity for the benefit of its residents and tourists. Accepting the award for St. Kitts was Permanent Secretary (Ag.) in the Ministry of Tourism Mrs. Carlene Henry-Morton and Assistant Secretary Mrs. Diannille Taylor-Williams.

Permanent Secretary Morton noted, “In accepting the award on behalf of St. Kitts, it is important to acknowledge the team whose hard work laid the foundation for our sustainability program. Particular recognition goes to the Sustainable Development Council, chaired by Assistant Secretary Diannille Taylor-Williams, the Department of Marine Resources, the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network, the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation, the staff of the Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.”

The 2019 WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Award Winners are highly commended and recognized for business practices of the highest standards that balance the needs of ‘people, planet and profits’ within the Travel & Tourism sector. Award winners promote inclusive growth and illustrate a strong commitment to supporting change and transformation in business practices and consumer behavior towards a more environmentally conscious sector.

The Awards are judged by a panel of independent experts, including academics, business leaders, NGO and governmental representatives who narrowed down the list of 183 applications to just fifteen finalists. The three-stage judging process included a thorough review of all applications, followed by on-site evaluations of the Finalists and their initiative. The Winner of each category was determined by the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2019 Winners’ Selection Committee. WTTC represents the global private sector of Travel & Tourism. Its Global Summit is the most important event in the sector worldwide each year.

For more information on the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and the winners, please visit http://wttc.org/t4tawards. For a complete list of Winners and Finalists, visit: https://www.wttc.org/about/media-centre/press-releases/press-releases/2019/wttc-announces-winners-of-2019-tourism-for-tomorrow-awards/.

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