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St. Kitts Wins Caribbean Journal’s Cruise Destination of the Year Award 2020

Basseterre, St. Kitts (December 13, 2019) – Continuing to set tourism records and add to its growing list of accolades, St. Kitts has just been named Cruise Destination of the Year by Caribbean Journal in the publication’s Caribbean Travel Awards 2020.

“It is truly an honor to receive this distinction from one of the leading media outlets covering our region,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “The fact that St. Kitts was chosen as the best Cruise Destination in the entire Caribbean is yet another testament to the success of our cruise tourism sector. This is a crowning achievement immediately following our being the only destination in the OECS ever to achieve one million cruise passenger arrivals and having done so now for two years in a row.

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, “Earning this award from Caribbean Journal is a an extremely high commendation and endorsement of the quality of our cruise and overall tourism product. It underscores the need for us to continue our training for employees on the front lines of tourism from taxi drivers to aloe rub vendors and strive for even greater levels of visitor satisfaction in order to remain at the top in what is one of the most competitive regions in the world for cruise tourism.”

The 2020 Caribbean Travel Awards marks only the 2nd year that Caribbean Journal has included a category for Cruise Destination of the Year and last year it was won by Jamaica, a much larger destination. The publication states, “While St Kitts is one of the smaller countries in the region, it has long punched above its weight in the ultra-competitive Caribbean tourism industry, most notably with a continually strong showing in the cruise sector.”

This is the 6th Annual Caribbean Travel Awards by Caribbean Journal, which celebrates the best of Caribbean Travel each year. This year’s Caribbean Travel Awards includes winners across 21 categories, selected by Caribbean Journal’s editorial staff and its network of contributors. St. Kitts also won a 2018 Caribbean Travel Award for Caribbean Hotel of the Year for Park Hyatt St. Kitts and a 2017 Caribbean Travel Award for the New Hotel of the Year award for Park Hyatt St. Kitts.

Further, Caribbean Journal has named St. Kitts one of The 19 Best Caribbean Islands to Visit in 2019, one of The 25 Best Caribbean Beaches to Visit in 2019, one of The Best Honeymoon Destinations in the Caribbean, one of the Top 20 Islands to Live On in the Caribbean, one of The 18 Best Islands in the Caribbean to Visit in 2018 (along with sister island Nevis), and one of of 25 Caribbean Destinations to Visit in 2017. St. Kitts has also received extensive editorial coverage in the publication since it was launched in 2012, reaching Caribbean Journal’s ever-growing audience of readers who are interested in travel to and within the Caribbean.

About St. Kitts
Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. Located in the northern Leeward Islands, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history. The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are water sports including catamaran cruises, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on the beach. For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Grenada Crowns CTO Year of Festivals with New Festival of Lights

11th December, 2019–To crown the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Year of Festivals in 2019, Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean debuted its newest event, Festival of Lights on the 6th and 7th of December. The Festival took place on the Carenage, which is one of the most stunning spots in the destination.  The beauty of the festoon lights on the Carenage was further enhanced by new spotlights, which lined the entire harbor area, lighting the historical buildings in a multi-coloured glow as well as a new laser light show. Added to the ambience created by the lights was a mixture of carols, steel plan music, parang music, local cuisine, a Santa’s grotto and a night market that provided all the Grenadian Christmas goodies such as sorrel, ginger and household items. Performances by local artists and groups such as the PBC Boys Choir, Sonika McKie, Kareem Alexis, Emily Rapier and Hess and the Boys crowned the entire affair.

The Festival of Lights was the brainchild of the Chairman of the Grenada Tourism Authority and adviser to the Minister of Tourism, Mrs. Brenda Hood who championed the idea for a few years. She said, “ The Festival of Lights is an opportunity for us to show the world how wonderful and authentic Christmastime is in Grenada. It is also an opportunity for our visitors to interact with our friendly citizens.”

The Ministry for Tourism and Civil Aviation collaborated with the Grenada Tourism Authority to form a hard working Committee to bring the Festival of Lights to fruition. Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen said it was a great achievement for Grenada to host its first Festival of Lights. She said, “This was true collaborative effort and we thank all the businesses that came on board. The Carenage is a stunning location and we hope to enhance it every year with the Festival of Lights.”

The Festival of Lights Committee, the Grenada Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation are already receiving positive feedback from the general public and looking at ways to further enhance Grenada’s newest festival for 2020. There will be two more events on Saturday December 14 starting at 5pm and December 21 at 3pm to close out the Festival of Lights for 2019.

About Grenada The tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique is located in the eastern Caribbean just south of Barbados. Grenada is best known as the “Spice Island of the Caribbean” for its cinnamon and nutmeg production, but the lush destination draws visitors for so much more. The Pure Grenada experience beckons visitors to its 40 white sandy beaches such as the world famous Grand Anse Beach, 15 breathtaking waterfalls, five chocolate producers, three rum distilleries and more than 50 unforgettable dive sites, including the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean ‘Bianca C’ and the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park. Grenada’s approach to hospitality is infused with a warm charm which is apparent from its luxury resorts to barefoot chic boutique hotels and villas. There are direct flights to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport from the US, Caribbean, Canada, UK and Germany making the island accessible to visitors from around the world that wish to experience Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean.

 

Media Contact

Ria Murray, Communications Officer, Grenada Tourism Authority / [email protected]

473 440 2001/2279 / 473 420 2557 (mobile)

For all our recent news releases go to www.puregrenada.com/news

 

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Love is in the Air on Grand Bahama Island

Grand Bahama Island welcomed its first international destination wedding since Hurricane Dorian.

Fay Rickhuss and Thomas Doyle from England were married in a beautiful ceremony at the Grand Lucayan Lighthouse Pointe Gazebo on November 9, followed by a reception on Spanish Main.  The wedding group included some 28 guests, friends and family who accompanied the couple from England.

The bride and groom were determined to be married on Grand Bahama island, as the bride’s father had been treated at the Immunology Center some years ago.  When their flights were cancelled, they opted to arrive on Balearia Caribbean Cruise Line.

The couple also started a hurricane fund for the island.

“We are thrilled that Fay and Tom chose to celebrate their vows here on Grand Bahama Island, and we wish them a long and happy life together,” said Ian Rolle, Acting Chairman, the GBITB’s Board of Directors.  “This is a wonderful vote of confidence in our island, and we are grateful for their support.”

The wedding arrangements at Grand Lucayan Resort were coordinated on island by Chic Bahamas Weddings, a leading Bahamas wedding planning company.

About Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board

The Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board (GBITB) is the private sector marketing and promotion agency for Grand Bahama Island.  The GBITB is mandated to support economic growth for tourism stakeholders on Grand Bahama Island.

Activities include the development and execution of various marketing and promotional initiatives designed to enhance and increase Grand Bahama Island’s awareness and profile in the market.  The Board’s membership includes a wide range of tourism related businesses including the accommodation sector, restaurants, bars, attractions, transportation providers, artisans and retailers.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT

Carmel Churchill 

T: 242-727-9002

E: [email protected]

President of Doncar Hospitality Management Services Limited 

Sales & Marketing Consultant for the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Antigua and Barbuda Launches ‘Come Home in December’ Diaspora Sweepstakes

Following a dynamic year of award-winning marketing campaigns, new events, and hotel openings, The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is excited to be celebrating an even greater milestone.  By December 2019, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism stayover arrivals would have reached over 300,000. And, with the launch of a new ‘Come home’ sweepstakes, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is inviting the Antiguan and Barbudan diaspora to join in on the celebrations.

“The destination has received tremendous growth since 2018, and we are proud to know that by December 2019, we would have met and surpassed our target of 300,000 stay-over visitor arrivals,” said Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, The Honourable Charles Fernandez.  “We have to recognise each and every one employed in the tourism industry, who have welcomed visitors to our shores and whose deliverance of quality customer care ensures our visitors have an amazing experience while they are here.”

“Reaching 300,000 stay-over tourism arrivals is a significant milestone,” said CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C. James.  “We have incredible partnerships with stakeholders throughout the industry, who have been instrumental in bringing us to this milestone, and who are as committed as we are to driving tourism growth.”

As Antigua and Barbuda Tourism officials push to reach the 300,000 mark, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has launched a sweepstake specifically targeted to the global diaspora.

“The Antigua and Barbuda diaspora are travelers too.  And we are inviting them to ‘Come home in December’ to reconnect with family and friends, and ring in the new decade in Antigua and Barbuda,” said James.

The ‘Come Home in December’ promotion entices Antiguans and Barbudans living abroad to come home during the month of December for a chance to win a free 3-night, 4-day trip back to Antigua during summer of 2020. The promotion officially kicks-off today, November 20, 2019.

The sweepstake is open to citizens of Antigua and Barbuda living abroad and persons of Antiguan and Barbudan heritage. Persons must enter on the www.visitantiguabarbuda.com website and be able to prove booking and travel between December 1 and December 31, 2019. One winner will be selected from each of Antigua and Barbuda’s main source markets in the USA, Canada, U.K. & Europe and the Caribbean. Winners will be selected by random drawing and will be expected to show proof of citizenship and heritage or lineage. Visit www.visitantiguabarbuda.com to enter and for full details and terms and conditions.

ABOUT ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Antigua (pronounced An-tee’ga) and Barbuda (Bar-byew’da) is located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Voted the World Travel Awards 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination, the twin-island paradise offers visitors two uniquely distinct experiences, ideal temperatures year-round, a rich history, vibrant culture, exhilarating excursions, award-winning resorts, mouth-watering cuisine and 365 stunning pink and white-sand beaches – one for every day of the year. The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua comprises 108-square miles with rich history and spectacular topography that provides a variety of popular sightseeing opportunities. Nelson’s Dockyard, the only remaining example of a Georgian fort a listed UNESCO World Heritage site, is perhaps the most renowned landmark. Antigua’s tourism events calendar includes the prestigious Antigua Sailing Week, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, and the annual Antigua Carnival; known as the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival. Barbuda, Antigua’s smaller sister island, is the ultimate celebrity hideaway. The island lies 27 miles north-east of Antigua and is just a 15-minute plane ride away. Barbuda is known for its untouched 17 mile stretch of pink sand beach and as the home of the largest Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere.  Find information on Antigua & Barbuda at: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com or  follow us on Twitter. http://twitter.com/antiguabarbuda  Facebookwww.facebook.com/antiguabarbuda; Instagram: www.instagram.com/AntiguaandBarbuda

 

For media enquiries, please contact:
Maria Blackman
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority

T: 1 (268) 562 7600/464-7601
E: [email protected]

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Tourism Trinidad to Provide Cruise Visitors with an Authentic Experience

On Thursday November 14, 2019, Tourism Trinidad Limited (TTL) held an official welcome ceremony to launch the 2019/2020 cruise season as the Caribbean Princess cruise liner docked at the port of Port of Spain with some 3,600 passengers.

For this November 2019 to April 2020 cruise season, Destination Trinidad will be receiving 70,000 passengers from twenty-seven (27) vessel calls. Two (2) new cruise lines and three (3) new cruise vessels will also be calling at the port of Port of Spain. In 2018, Destination Trinidad received 59,000 passengers.

Internationally, the cruise season has been on an upward trend; declaring a record high of 28.5 million passengers in 2018; with a significant number of those passengers coming from North America – 14.2 million passengers to be exact. In fact, North American travellers dominated the Caribbean, for cruise travel – recording a seven (7%) percent increase…up to 9.8 million passengers in 2018.

At the official cruise reception, the Chairman of Tourism Trinidad, Howard Chin Lee, pointed out that “today’s travellers are looking for new experiences; especially millennials (or as we like to call them…the disrupters) who are actively seeking out authentic experiences in exotic, far flung destinations and want something cool to share with their friends on social media”.

Cruise ships are responding to this competitive environment, offering lavish features such as underwater lounges with submarine type experiences to entice the new age traveller.  Recently Virgin – one of the most prominent players in the airline industry has taken a bold step to ‘reinvent the cruise experience.’ As explained by Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Cruise, “We have taken the time to think about every detail and craft an experience that brings the Virgin brand to life and disrupts the travel industry.”

It is against this background that Tourism Trinidad welcomed the Caribbean Princess guests with an immersive and authentic experience that celebrated the vibrant and diverse spirit of Trinidad through enticing cuisine, exhilarating entertainment, and authentic regional experiences, bringing the destination to life and disrupting traditional welcomes.

The sweet sounds of parang, steelpan, colourful Moko Jumbies and Maypole dancing greeted the passengers on the quayside as they disembarked. Inside the Cruise Ship Hall, sampling stations of Maracas Bake and Shark, Doubles, Coconut Water as well as an exhibition of Lopinot’s cocoa and coffee heritage (with chocolate and cocoa tea tasting) were set up.

Chairman Howard Chin Lee emphasised the need for Trinidad to find innovative ways to further enhance and use its tourism assets to disrupt Caribbean Cruising and capture significant market share beyond the 4% increase of last year.  “Our Port is one of a few to offer Cruise ship docking in the capital city, with immediate access to duty free shopping, gift shops and boutiques, and easy access to our financial district.  This undoubtedly presents a competitive advantage for Trinidad.  Now, add to this our leisure, eco, and year-round festivals and you have a one-of-a-kind tourism experience like no other Caribbean island”.

In the coming months Tourism Trinidad will be working hand-in-hand with regional corporations, tourism action groups and industry partners to address major issues impacting upon the visitor experience such as destination improvement and skills development.  The company will be undertaking hospitality and service quality training across communities, agencies and service departments, sharing best management practices; and focusing on all the individuals who come into direct contact with international visitors (immigration, customs, transport, shops, restaurants and hotels and even within the communities). These are the people who will feel the direct benefits of increased business opportunities and greater demand for their products and services.

The long-term aim of Tourism Trinidad is to build a sustainable service culture thorough continuous training, product development and enhanced service delivery – thereby creating the right customer experience to sustain and grow Trinidad’s tourism business.

Tourism Trinidad will be providing cultural entertainment throughout the 2019/2020 season from the moment our international guests arrive to their departure.

CONTACTS:

Sherma Mitchell, Public Relations Specialist

Phone: (868) 689-5198 / Email:   [email protected]

ABOUT TOURISM TRINIDAD LIMITED

Established in June 2017 and a state enterprise under the Ministry of Tourism, the mandate of Tourism Trinidad Limited is as follows:

1) Development and marketing of Trinidad’s tourism offerings and the promotion of Destination Trinidad

2) Attracting tourism investment into Trinidad

3) Promoting education, awareness and co-operation in advancing expansion through tourism

Posted in: 2019 News, Destination News

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Barbados Records Strong January – September Performance

Chief Executive Officer of The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) William Griffith has revealed that based on the destination management organisation’s review, the island has enjoyed a 4.2% increase in stay-over arrivals in the first nine months of 2019 in comparison to the corresponding 2018 period.

Between January and September 2019, Barbados welcomed 522,583 visitors through the enhanced Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) thereby accounting for an increase of 21,200 visitors. The BTMI continues to aggressively pursue new cruise marketing and product development initiatives, which has projected cruise arrivals to reach around 840,000 by the end of December. It is anticipated that these initiatives will contribute to longer term growth.

Of Barbados’ major source markets, Central and South America recorded the highest growth for  2019 at 11% followed by the United States at 9.5%. Germany and the United Kingdom also performed favourably with increases of 5.7% and 8.7% respectively.

Griffith applauded the tourism team in Barbados and across all markets and attributed Barbados’ favourable performance to their development of strategic initiatives. “Several of these efforts are bearing fruit and we must press forward in this light to conclude the rest of the year with a solid performance.”

Increased Airlift

“One of the pivotal elements of guaranteeing the viability of our tourism industry is ensuring that the island remains easily accessible by land and sea. The BTMI has worked closely with our airline partners to maintain, and even boost airlift and this has contributed in part to our favourable increases in arrivals,” stated Griffith.

Barbados has expanded its reach in the European market as Eurowings from the Lufthansa Group launched its non-stop service between Frankfurt, Germany and Bridgetown, Barbados in October 2019. With thrice-weekly flights being provided, this service adds an additional 990 seats for business and leisure travellers Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until April 2020.

Upcoming Opportunities 

Looking ahead there are several initiatives geared towards cementing the island’s record performance for 2019, and in preparation for 2020. The BTMI is gearing up marketing and communications activities to invite all friends and family of Barbados to the island next year under the theme We Gatherin’.

“We are pressing full steam ahead with our deployments and activations in the market as we seek to drive more business to the island. Amidst Barbados’ independence celebrations, the BTMI is looking forward to the Barbados Mindful Living Festival this November 22 to 24 as a nod to 2019 as the Year of Wellness and Soft Adventure.

This health and wellness festival will be the perfect segue into the 2019 Run Barbados Marathon Weekend from December 6 to 8, which has evolved into one of the premier sporting attractions on the island. The marathon will feature a fun mile, 5k walk, 10k walk and run as well as the half marathon and marathon. Destination Barbados will be wrapping up 2019 with a burst of energy as we encourage travellers to “Come for the run, but stay for the fun!”

About Barbados

The island of Barbados offers the most authentic Caribbean experience with its exceptionally rich culture and history rooted in remarkable landscapes. Rated as one of the world’s sexiest beaches in 2008 by Concierge.com; Barbados’ Crane Beach in St. Philip stands as a premier destination for travellers. Barbados is also the first Zagat-rated Caribbean island and is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean. Barbados has hosted several world class events including: The annual Barbados Food & Rum Festival; the 2006 PGA World Golf Championships-Barbados World Cup, the ICC Cricket World Cup Finals in 2007, the Sentebale Charity Polo match with Prince Harry of Wales in 2010, and the ICC Twenty20 Cricket Finals for 2010, and the Rihanna LOUD concert in 2012. Accommodations range from picturesque plantation houses and villas, to quaint bed and breakfasts and award-winning, five-star resorts. Grantley Adams International Airport offers even more non-stop and direct service from a growing number of U.S. cities, making Barbados the true gateway to the Eastern Caribbean. Barbados was voted eighth in the World by Trip Advisor’s “2008 Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards” in its Top 100 Destinations category. For more information on travel to Barbados, visit www.visitbarbados.org, follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VisitBarbados, via Twitter @Barbados.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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