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LIAT Provides More Opportunities to Get to Pure Grenada for Spicemas Carnival 2018

St. George’s, Grenada – 27th July, 2018 – The Government of Grenada and regional airline LIAT have agreed on a partnership that will increase airlift to Pure Grenada during the ever-popular Spicemas Carnival Season. Previously all flights coming into Grenada were fully booked with visitors and the diaspora clamouring for more flights.

The agreement was reached following negotiations involving the Grenada Airlift Advisory Committee, the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) and LIAT representatives. LIAT’s 68-seater aircraft will fly into Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International on Wednesday 8th, Thursday 9th and Friday 10th August from BGI, Barbados.

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Dr.Clarice Modeste Curwen says, “Spicemas is our signature festival and interest from all over the world is growing by leaps and bounds. We thank LIAT for this first of its kind collaboration during our festive season and we look forward to future partnerships.”

Speaking about the benefits of the added flights, the Minister further stated, “This is great news as international travellers as well as the diaspora can visit Grenada, connecting through Barbados from London, Miami, Canada, New York and Panama.”

Marketing Manager of the GTA, Francine Stewart was also elated with the news saying, “With growing interest from travellers who are either from Barbados or in Barbados for the CropOver Festival and with Spice Mas trending as a hot Carnival destination, this is the perfect opportunity for them to experience, the Spice of the Caribbean.”

The additional flights also provide Grenadians with more outbound options to Barbados with the ability to connect to the UK, the USA, Canada and the Caribbean. Citizens are encouraged to take advantage of the extra flights.

The GTA and LIAT will move aggressively to market these additional flights through several media including digital platforms.

The Grenada Airlift Advisory Committee has continued to build on its relationship with LIAT since 2016. Since then benefits coming out of this relationship include a marketing partnership between LIAT and the GTA, open communication between the Airlift Committee and LIAT Executives and increased flights to Grenada in 2017. Committee Chairman Richard Strachan expressed his gratitude to the Tourism Minister and Government for supporting this pioneering venture with LIAT.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Barbados Tourism Growth Continues, Up 3% In First Six Months Of 2018

New airlift, new experiences and refreshed product are already translating to increased tourism business for Barbados. Newly released figures show that Barbados is continuing its path of positive growth in 2018, attracting 357,668 stayover visitors for the period January to June. When compared to the corresponding period in 2017, there were 10,819 additional visitors to the island; an increase of 3.1 percent.

According to in-house statistics from the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), the island enjoyed an influx of arrivals, and of the five top-producing source markets, the United Kingdom is out front once again with over 119,241 arrivals, up 2.8 percent from 2017. The UK maintains a 33.3 percent market share. Following closely behind is the United States, which recorded the fastest growth of 8.8 percent from 107,328 visitors during the January to June 2018 period. Over in Canada, 53,236 arrivals were recorded, seeing this market grow by 2.9 percent when compared to 2017.

The island also saw 14,863 arrivals coming out of Trinidad and Tobago, and there was a further increase of 3.1 percent growth from the other Caribbean territories, while Europe retained 4.3 percent market share with 18,988 visitors.

CEO of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), William ‘Billy’ Griffith congratulated the tourism players who contributed to the destination’s growth. He added that “there’s pressure to keep improving and to remain competitive as we continue to grow our brand. We must be strategic in our efforts, and now, more than ever, we must focus on our key relationships. Which is why over the next six months, you will see us working even more closely with our partners to ensure these trends continue through the upcoming winter period and beyond.”

Increases in air capacity

Last December, the BTMI joined with the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) to welcome Virgin Atlantic’s new London Heathrow twice-weekly service to Barbados, which will recommence in the coming winter 2018/19 season. Newcomer Thomas Cook will also recommence its direct weekly service from London Gatwick this winter 2018/19, which ran successfully through winter 2017/2018.

All eyes are on Latin America as Barbados’ newest partnership with Copa Airlines has introduced a twice weekly Barbados–Panama service. The inaugural flight landed in Barbados to much fanfare on July 17 and this new service is expected to open a gateway to wider South America and other Caribbean territories.

The United States will get a further boost this winter with two additions from American Airlines. The airline recently announced that it will be adding a third daily flight from Miami commencing December 19, 2018. On that same day, it will also launch a non-stop, daily service from Charlotte Douglas International Airport to Barbados. Over in Canada, WestJet is currently increasing its seats by 8 percent between May and October 2018, and this winter, Air Canada will increase its capacity from Montreal with three weekly flights.

Exciting new attractions and accommodations

In addition to the increased airlift, Griffith also acknowledged the role that the island’s new attractions have played in boosting 2018 arrival numbers. “We are cognisant of the continuous need for refreshing and invigorating our product offerings while preserving the elements of the Barbados experience that keep our repeat guest rate so high. New attractions like Rihanna Drive and Nikki Beach, or even Hugo’s restaurant, go a long way in showing that Barbados is committed to maintaining its position as a superior holiday destination.”

He also spoke about the addition of the new Sandals Royal resort, and extensively refurbished accommodation properties such as Sea Breeze Beach House in Maxwell, Christ Church.

Looking ahead to the next six months, Griffith said he is looking forward to experiencing the new Heritage Railway by St. Nicholas Abbey, which features a 45-minute train ride along the East Coast in a restored locomotive.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Divi Little Bay Beach Resort Hosting the Patriots Cheerleaders July 23-30

NEW YORK, NY (July 23, 2018) – Divi Little Bay Beach Resort and The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau are thrilled to welcome the famed Patriots Cheerleaders to the island from July 23-30 as they shoot their ever-popular annual swimsuit calendar and various video productions. While on the island, the ladies will be exploring St. Maarten’s landmarks, culture and history through a variety of planned activities.

“We’re honored that the Patriots Cheerleaders chose to highlight St. Maarten and Divi Little Bay by shooting their upcoming calendar on the island,” said Marco Galaverna, Divi Resorts President & COO. “It’s been a long road to recovery since last year’s storms, but we’re excited to show these ladies how quickly we’ve rebuilt and demonstrate why St. Maarten is known as the friendly island.”

Representing the 5X Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, the Patriots Cheerleaders entertain thousands of fans from the sidelines of Gillette Stadium, participate in goodwill missions and appearances and have entertained at high-profile events such as Super Bowls, Pro Bowls, and international games.

When they’re not striking a pose for the camera on St. Maarten, the cheerleaders will be interacting with guests, locals, media and dignitaries with plenty of meet & greet opportunities including autographs, photos, games, activities and parties and participating in a community outreach project.

“We’ve set up some really exciting events while the Patriots Cheerleaders are here, including an evening Sunset Sail with Aqua Mania Adventures, Karaoke Night, a downtown tour and a BBQ Beach Dinner,” said Divi Little Bay’s General Manager Anne-Marie Brooks. “We’re really looking forward to showing the cheerleaders everything that our wonderful island has to offer, and we know they are excited to meet locals while they are out and about on their tours.”

About Divi Resorts

Divi Resorts is the vacation expert of the Caribbean, with a collection of eight premium resorts spanning the five stunning Caribbean islands of Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, St. Croix, and St. Maarten. For more information on Divi Resorts, call 1-800-367-3484 or visit www.diviresorts.com.

About The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau:
St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations – Kingdom of the Netherlands and France – creating a destination with European charm and Caribbean flair. Located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island’s 37 square miles has 37 breathtaking beaches and is home to many historical and family-oriented attractions. Direct air service is available to Princess Juliana International Airport from major U.S. and Canadian cities. For additional information on St. Maarten, visit the official site of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau at www.vacationstmaarten.com.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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St Kitts Cruise Passenger Arrivals Exceed 1 Million for the First Time in the Island’s History

Basseterre, St. Kitts (July 16, 2018) – The St. Kitts Tourism Authority and Ministry of Tourism are pleased to announce that St. Kitts received its millionth cruise passenger today, reaching the key number of arrivals that gives the island marquee port status for the first time in its history.

“I am deeply gratified to welcome over one million cruise passengers to our shores as of today,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce.  “It is particularly significant that this historic occasion is taking place now, as we have over two months left in the 2017-2018 cruise season to increase arrivals even further.  Reaching this milestone at this point in time is truly a testament to the strength of our relationships with the cruise lines and to the continuing appeal of our tourism product.”

CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority Ms. Racquel Brown added, “In the highly competitive Caribbean cruise marketplace, exceeding the million passenger mark for the first time is a highly significant achievement that is a direct result of our successful marketing strategy. Having reached this benchmark, St. Kitts is now considered by the cruise lines to be in the same elite port status category as much larger destinations in the region. Cruise passengers clearly enjoy our diverse range of activities and friendly, welcoming people, and we are working hard to ensure that we keep the ships and their guests returning to our shores.”

St. Kitts reached the one million cruise passenger mark this morning with the arrival of guests from Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas. The ship, which has a capacity of 3,782 guests at double occupancy, docked at the island’s Port Zante cruise pier at 8:00am. Tourism Minister Lindsay Grant led the welcome delegation and selected the millionth passenger upon disembarkation, who was treated to a complimentary ½ island tour. The historic occasion was further commemorated with special t-shirts given to arriving passengers and everyone being treated to an experience of the island’s culture with live performances by a steel pan band, masquerades and more in a grand celebration befitting the importance of the milestone.

“We are very pleased to be the cruise line that brought the millionth passenger to St. Kitts,” said Federico Gonzalez, Associate Vice President, Government Relations Latin America & Caribbean, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “The island is a long-time, valued industry partner that offers our guests the opportunity to expore lush natural beauty, rich heritage, a wide range of attractions.  In addition, our parternship with the tourism team and their ongoing work to continually improve the infrastructure, services and amenities in St. Kitts showcases why it is one  of ourdestinations of choice for our Caribbean itineraries.”

So far this season, the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. cruise lines, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, have made a total of 102 port calls to St. Kitts, bringing over 350,000 cruise visitors to island. Including calls from all international cruise lines over the nine-month period from October 2017-June 2018, the total number of cruise ship calls into St. Kitts grew from 358 to 486 as compared to the same period from 2016-2017, an increase of over 35 percent.

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 watersports, 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: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Nominations Sought for International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame Local Honourees Cayman Islands

The Ministry and Department of Tourism announces the call for nominations for Honourees in the 2018 International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (ISDHF).

Honourees are categorised as persons who have made a significant contribution to scuba and watersports in the Cayman Islands.  New this year, an additional category titled the Emerging Honourees will be added to recognize persons in the industry under the age of 35.

“As a destination built on the foundations of our maritime heritage, we are exceedingly proud each year to recognise those in our community who have played a role in the Cayman Islands being recognised as one of the best dive locations in the world,” shared Hon. Minister of Tourism, Moses Kirkconnell.  “I encourage everyone in the community to put forward nominations for persons who have helped develop this unique building block of our tourism industry.”

Founded in 2000 by the Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism, the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame recognises international and local pioneers who have made outstanding contributions to the recreational scuba diving industry at the annual ceremony held in Grand Cayman.

“It is important to find those people who through visionary leadership helped create Cayman as a scuba diving hub. There are still many people in the Cayman Islands that have not received the recognition they are due. Being inducted as an honouree has rejuvenated my passion to teach young Caymanians the importance this industry has on the community,” said current honouree, Mr Stephen Broadbelt.

To be considered for the nominations, individuals should have made a significant contribution to the area of dive in the Cayman Islands through development, promotion, positive environmental impact or education, to name a few. To nominate an individual please visit the website www.nominatedive.com. The deadline for submissions is noon on Wednesday, 8 August 2018.

For more information on the nominations process, please visit the website www.nominatedive.com or email [email protected].  The ISDHF gala awards dinner takes place on Friday, 14 September 2018.

The list of current honourees:

Kent Eldermire , Jason Washington, Nancy Easterbrook, Gladys Howard, Dr. James Poulson, Captain Frank Ebanks, Rodney McDowall, Winston McDermot, Carlos (Norbert) Scott, Captain Gleason Ebanks, Captain Marvin Ebanks, James Ebanks, Darby Bodden, Captain Crosby Ebanks, Patrick Evans, Captain Chuckie Ebanks, Stuart Freeman, Ollen Miller, Kem Jackson, James Dailey, Cornell Burke, Neville Darvin Ebanks, Peter Milburn, Tom Hubble, Ashton Levy Ebanks, Burns Rutty, Don Foster, CJ Ebanks, Robert (Peter) Bradshaw, Sam McCoy, Ron Kipp, Arthle Evans, Adrian Briggs, Capt. Clinton Ebanks, Wallace Rivers, Stephen Broadbelt, Gerald Wilcocks, Anthony Scott

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Belize tourism arrivals continue steady upward trend

Belize City, Wednesday, 11th July 2018: The latest statistics for the middle of 2018 shows that tourism arrivals to Belize continue to register groundbreaking levels and moving on a steady upward trend. Overnight tourism arrivals in June registered double digit increases for the past three consecutive years while the first half of the year registered a 17.1% cumulative increase.

During the month of June, cruise ship arrivals registered a 57.2% increase while at the end of the first half of this year, there was also an overall increase of 10.2% in cruise visitors to Belize as compared to the first half of 2017.

OVERNIGHT ARRIVALS REGISTERED 17% INCREASE OVER FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR

Overnight tourist arrivals increased by 15% in June 2018. Overnight arrivals in June have increased by at least 10% in each of the past three years. Arrivals in June and July have closely approached the high season numbers of January and February, particularly over the past six years. There is a 17% cumulative increase in overnight arrivals over the first half of the year.

CRUISE SHIP ARRIVALS FOR FIRST HALF OF 2018 EXPERIENCED 10.2% INCREASE

In June 2018, there were 20 cruise ship calls which amounted to over 73,000 cruise passengers arriving in Belize.  This represented a sizeable increase of 57.2% or over 26,000 more cruise visitors when compared to June 2017. At the end of the first half of the year, there has been an overall increase of 10.2% in cruise visitors as compared to the first half of 2017. Arrivals for 2018 includes visitors from both Belize City and Harvest Caye Seaports.

Another exceptional increase in tourism arrivals is a reaffirmation of significant gains for our country that continues to be a growing, viable and a must-visit destination in Central America and the Caribbean. It is also illustrative of the extremely successful efforts of the Belize Tourism Board and our valued stakeholders to market Belize as a Curious Place and as a premier tourism destination.

About the Belize Tourism Board

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is a statutory body within the Belize Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, and it is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation. The BTB works in conjunction with members of the private sector – including the Belize Hotel Association, Belize Tourism Industry Association and Belize National Tour Operators Association – and is dedicated to building tourism in the most economically and environmentally sustainable manner. As a part of its responsibilities, the BTB promotes Belize as a premier tourism destination to both in-country and international consumers. Among its outreach to the international travel market, the BTB markets the country’s unique attractions to travelers, members of the travel trade industry and media outlets in key markets.

The BTB is also dedicated to developing and implementing tourism programs that will help strengthen and grow the Belizean tourism industry; promote good destination stewardship; and instil high quality standards for accommodations and travel experiences. For more information on the BTB and its services, visit www.travelbelize.org.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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