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Martinique Opens All-New French Coco Boutique Hotel

NEW YORK, NY (July 5, 2016) – The new home of luxury travel in Martinique, French Coco, opened July 1, 2016, beginning a new era of upscale hospitality in The Isle of Flowers. Expressly designed to blend elegance and comfort with nature and the colorful Creole spirit of Tartane, the small fishing village where the hotel is located, French Coco debuts with a four-star rating and membership in the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels Of The World (www.slh.com).

“It’s always wonderful to welcome a new hotel, but for us in Martinique French Coco is extra special,” said Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas for the Martinique Promotion Bureau. “French Coco promises to connect guests directly with our local culture and daily life in Tartane, delivering experiential travel with a luxury twist and French-Creole savoir faire.”

Set directly within the village of Tartane, on the border of the Caravelle Peninsula Natural Reserve, French Coco is comprised of 17 suites (16 with their own private pools) encompassing four distinct categories:

  • Ti Suite – 430 sq feet, ground floor with private terrace.
  • Suite Créole – 430 sq feet, ground floor with a small private pool.
  • Suite Caraïbe – 538 sq feet, ground floor with private pool and garden.
  • Suite Presqu’île – 645 sq feet, private pool, terrace or balcony.

French Coco provides refined comfort, inspiring designs, elegance and intimacy, with sleek, modern styling and entertainment options combining with traditional Caribbean accents and wooden furnishings to create a soothing, peaceful atmosphere.

Not to be outdone by the suites, the restaurant at French Coco further promises to elevate Martinique’s hospitality sector to new heights of excellence. The restaurant is helmed by celebrated Martinican chef, Nathanaël Ducteil, a former apprentice of acclaimed French celebrity chef Alain Ducasse. Sourcing most of his products from local fishermen and French Coco’s on-site herbs and vegetables garden, Chef Nathanaël offers a contemporary Caribbean cuisine, blending tradition and modernity.

Specially priced grand opening room rates start at 300 euros (approximately US$330) per-night based on double occupancy, available from July 1, 2016 to November 30, 2016. Rates include breakfast, taxes, and service fees. (Additional 1 euro per-day local tax due upon departure).

For reservations and more information on French Coco, please visit www.hotelfrenchcoco.com.

For more information on travel to Martinique, please visit www.us.martinique.org.

About Martinique (www.martiniquepresskit.org)

The Caribbean Island with French Flair, The Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire) – Martinique ranks among the most alluring and enchanting destinations in the world. As an overseas region of France, Martinique boasts modern and reliable infrastructure – roads, water and power utilities, hospitals, and telecommunications services all on par with any other part of the European Union. At the same time, Martinique’s beautifully unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, 80+ miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, streams, and other natural wonders are the equal of neighboring Dominica to the north and St. Lucia to the south, so visitors here truly get the best of both worlds. The currency is the Euro, the flag is Le Tricolour, and the official language is French, but Martinique’s character, cuisine, musical heritage, art, culture, common language, and identity are of a distinctly Afro-Caribbean inclination known as Creole. It is this special combination of modern world conveniences, pristine nature, and rich heritage that has earned for Martinique several notable distinctions in recent years, including being ranked in the Top 16 Places to go in 2016 by Condé Nast Traveler, named as a “Must-Visit” destination for 2015 by Caribbean Journal, “Best Caribbean Destination” by About.com, and “Top Caribbean Island for Delectable Dining” by Caribbean Travel + Life. The Bay of Fort-de-France, which fronts Martinique’s charming capital city, was also inducted into The Club of The Most Beautiful Bays in the World. Martinique’s storied history further stirs travel passions. Napoleon’s bride, Empress Josephine, was born and raised in Martinique, while the majestic Mt. Pelée volcano and St. Pierre, The Pompeii of the Caribbean, are found here.

A special place, to be sure, with so much to offer – Martinique c’est magnifique!

Géraldine Rome | Communications Coordinator | Martinique Promotion Bureau- CMT USA | 825 Third Avenue, 29th Floor New York, NY 10022 |T: 212 838 68 87 | DL: 212 745 0941 [email protected]  www.us.martinique.org

Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts & Nevis rank #7 among Best Caribbean Places to Visit

Basseterre, St. Kitts (June 30, 2016) – St. Kitts, along with sister island Nevis, has been ranked #7 on a list of the Best Places to Visit in the Caribbean for 2016-2017 by U.S. News & World Report.

“I’m very pleased to see our twin-island Federation included once again in these prestigious Best Vacations rankings,” said the Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry & Commerce. “To consistently be selected as one of the top Caribbean vacations and to appear in more and more categories is a clear indication that we are succeeding in building awareness for our tourism product in the US, which is our largest source market for visitors.”

U.S. News ranks travel destinations against one another in specific categories (e.g., Best Romantic Getaways in the USA). Including only places that are covered with in-depth analysis and travel guides, all destination rankings are updated once per year on a rolling basis and are based on the following components:

  • Editor Score (50 percent weight): For each ranked vacation spot, U.S. News’ editors evaluate factors reflecting the destination’s qualities for different traveler types (e.g. family friendliness, romance, beach quality). The editors further inform this evaluation with analysis of travel experts and travelers’ opinions, as expressed in travel guides and reviews. Each year, the editors analyze up-and-coming destinations to ensure each place included on any given list is relevant, insightful and offers compelling reasons to visit.
  • User Score (50 percent weight): U.S. News’ website visitors have the ability to vote on the destinations included on any ranking lists. Specifically, users are asked whether or not they believe a destination belongs on the list. The User Score for a destination is calculated from the percentage of “yes” votes and is specific to a given ranking list. For example, if 60 percent of voters say that “Anytown, USA” belongs on the list of Best Romantic Getaways in the USA, then the destination’s User Score for that rankings list would be 6.0 out of 10.

St. Kitts is currently ranked by US News & World Report, with sister island Nevis, at #6 on a list of the Best Islands in the World, #4 on a list of the Best Beach Honeymoon Destinations in the World, #3 on a list of Best Caribbean Honeymoons, #5 on a list of Best Family Vacations in the Caribbean and #10 on a list of the Best Affordable Caribbean Destinations.  It is further ranked at #7 among the Hottest Places to Travel this Winter by CNN Money based on bookings received by Virtuoso, #8 on a list of the Top 10 Best Islands for a Holiday by Places To See In Your Lifetime, #14 on a list of the 50 Travel Destinations That Will Be Huge In The Next 10 Yearsas well as #8 on a list of the 25 Best Caribbean Islands by Business Insider, one of the Top 12 Best Caribbean Vacations on FlipKey.com, the vacation rental company of leading travel website, TripAdvisor®. In 2016, St. Kitts has been ranked #15 of The Top 21 Destinations for 2016 by Robb Report and one of the Ones to Watch in 2016 by Travel Weekly. St. Kitts & Nevis have been named #13 on a list of the most popular Caribbean islands among the very rich by Bloomberg Business online, one of the Top 15 Emerging Travel Hotspots for 2015by The Huffington Post and has been ranked by The New York Times at #34 of the 52 Places to Go in 2015.

About U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report is a digital news and information company that empowers people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. Focusing on Education, Health, Personal Finance, Travel, Cars and News & Opinion, USNews.com provides consumer advice, rankings, news and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 37 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

About St. Kitts

Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and white 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, 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 a sandy beach.  Accommodations range from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels and resorts.


Posted in: 2016 News, Blog, Destination News

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Hon. Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism statement as a response to BrExit outcome

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, June 27, 2016 – The Cayman Islands tourism industry depends on visitors each year to stimulate the economy and contribute to the overall success of our country. This includes visitors from the United Kingdom and Continental Europe. The people of the United Kingdom have made a decision through a democratic process to exit the European Union. As we witness this historical event the Cayman Islands acknowledges the connection through sovereignty and business relations that underpin the Cayman Islands stability and tourism performance. The British Government will now appoint a new Prime Minister and deliver the framework to formally exit the European Union along with negotiating the exit terms; there are a few points to highlight at this juncture:

  1. The exit from the European Union is governed with the requirement for any member country to provide a two year notice period.
  2. The decision to exit affected the value of the Great Britain Pound and global stock market performance but this is projected to stabilise.

The United Kingdom and Continental Europe account for approximately 9% of annual stay-over visitors to the Cayman Islands and is considered one of our secondary source markets along with Canada. The impact on the Cayman Islands Tourism industry is unpredictable and considering the anticipated length of time for the United Kingdom to successfully exit the European Union; the impact will not be immediate to the Cayman Islands. It would be irresponsible of my ministry to make any further statement on potential impact. The Ministry and Department of Tourism are closely monitoring the situation and when there are clear indicators of potential impact to our tourism industry, we will ensure that strategies are appropriately designed to support this evolving situation.

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Hilton Worldwide announces its first property in Belize with Curio – a collection by Hilton

Belize City, Belize – June 15, 2016 – The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce the new hotel brand in Belize; Curio, a collection by Hilton. In 2012, with the endorsement of the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan, we began our path towards our 2030 goals for Tourism. Since then, one of our recurrent objectives has remained the need to introduce additional globally-recognized brands within our product offering. As a result, today we mark an important milestone for tourism development in Belize.

We congratulate the Mahogany Bay Village group for its successful creation of this business partnership. With 12 months of continuous growth in overnight arrivals, we hope that this news continues to highlight Belize’s readiness for further investment, growth and development in tourism.

For further information please download the press release http://bit.ly/21mKV9F

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Martinique cited as Caribbean’s Safest Destination in 2016 Caribbean Tourism Quality Index

NEW YORK, NY (June 15, 2016) – Martinique has been cited once again as the “Safest Destination in the Caribbean,” the designation published in the 2016 Caribbean Tourism Quality Index. Released during the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) “Caribbean Week” in New York (May 31-June 4, 2016), the Caribbean Tourism Quality Index is an annual study produced by Resonance Consultancy, an international leader in destination development, branding, and marketing headquartered in Vancouver and New York.

The Resonance study measures tourism’s supply-side performance and competitiveness in 28 destinations across the Caribbean. This marks the second time in recent years that Martinique has been recognized as the “Safest Destination in the Caribbean,” the previous designation stemming from a 2011 International Business Times study.

“As flowers are an international symbol of peace, I suppose it’s fitting in a way that The Isle of Flowers should be recognized like this,” said Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas for the Martinique Promotion Bureau. “In reality, though, it is the warmth and welcoming spirit of the Martinican people and the steadfast dedication of our local authorities that keeps us at the top for travel safety.”

The top safety ranking is the latest in an impressive list of honors for Martinique over the past year.

  •      Ranked in the Top 16 Places to go to in 2016, Condé Nast Traveler
  •      Ranked #7 (of 24) Top Destinations of 2016, Budget Travel
  •      Travel Top 10: Trendiest 2016 Destinations, Ebony
  •      Best Culinary, Cruise, Tourism Board Destination – Caribbean (2016), Travvy Awards
  •      Top 5 Best Romantic Islands in the Caribbean (2015), USA TODAY
  •      Ranked #1 Must-Visit Place in the Caribbean (2015), Caribbean Journal
  •      Traveler’s Choice Award, Best Beaches (2015), TripAdvisor
  •      Named Best Caribbean Island for Romance (2015), Business Insider
  •      Silver Magellan Awards, Overall Destination and Waterfront Development (2015), Travel Weekly

“Our recent strong run of awards, honors, and this top safety ranking validate Martinique’s continued emergence as the new ‘it’ destination in the Caribbean for U.S. travelers,” said Wiltord.

For more information on travel to Martinique, please visit www.martinique.org.

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Barbados tourism registers strong first quarter

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados. June 1, 2016 – Barbados continues to be a destination in high demand.

Stayover Arrivals

Provisional figures shared by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) revealed that arrivals increased 7.4 percent during the first quarter of 2016 when compared to the previous year.  This represented some 184,177 visitors compared to 171,413 during the same period last year.

CEO, William Griffith, commended the BTMI’s global team for the work they continue to do in concert with local and international industry partners to keep Barbados top-of-mind among travellers, as well as the travel trade.

“Our team has been placing considerable emphasis on business-to-business (B2B) relationships through training for travel agents and participation in trade shows to update these key partners on the latest product developments taking place on the island.”

This B2B strategy climaxed earlier this month during the gold edition Connect Barbados 50 when more than 900 meetings were held between local tourism partners and 50 leading tour operators.

A breakdown of the figures showed that the island’s airlift growth strategy in the US is paying off with stay over arrivals increasing by 13 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 from that market.  This represented a total of 42,383 visitors compared to the 37,487 visitor arrivals in 2015.

The Canadian market was relatively flat with a 0.8 per cent decline generating 30,675 stay over arrivals.  Arrivals out of the UK rose by 10 per cent for the 24th consecutive month to reach 71,263 stay over arrivals.

A sluggish European market performance resulted in a decline of 6.1 per cent representing 13,129 stay over arrivals. Germany, the main producing country, recorded a 7.3 per cent decline to reach just 4,854 visitors.

The Caribbean region continued to be a bright spark with regional travel to Barbados growing by 14.3 per cent.  This was led by a 34 per cent increase in travellers arriving from Trinidad and Tobago or 7,210 stay over visitors.  Demand out of other Caribbean countries also increased by 6.4 per cent with 14,491 visitors registered.

On the South and Central American front, there was growth of 2.8 per cent totalling 2,930 stay over arrivals compared to 2,849 in 2015. Demand out of Brazil declined significantly by 48.2 per cent to 705 visitors. However, this decline was buoyed by a 49.6 per cent growth in visitors from the remaining South and Central American market when some 2,225 arrivals were recorded.

CEO Griffith confirmed that the BTMI global team was already working toward achieving a strong summer with the Crop Over Festival, romance and family travel featuring prominently in their promotional efforts.

Visitor Spend

Barbados’ tourism growth has also augured well for the country’s visitor expenditure performance with the sector recording an estimated US $336,757,000 during the first quarter of 2016 based on the CTO conducted visitor exit survey.  This represents an increase in total expenditure by stay over visitors of 20 per cent over the same period in 2015 and continues the growth in visitor expenditure experienced in 2015 of 3.7 per cent when compared with 2014.

The growth in visitor expenditure on island in the first quarter was led by the USA market where average daily spend increased by 22 per cent.  As a result total visitor spend on island by US visitors increased by 64%, the largest increase both in percentage and absolute terms.  On island revenue from those countries categorised as Other and which includes Latin America, Asia, Africa and other smaller markets visitor expenditure increased by 22 per cent, the UK increased by 19%, Canada by 7% and Europe by 1%.  The only exception to this performance was the Caribbean market where total visitor expenditure declined by 18%.

Length of Stay

In relation to average length of stay, this metric grew in all markets to achieve a total improvement in length of stay of 15 per cent. The length of stay achieved was 10 nights, compared to 8.7 nights in 2015.  The most significant growth achieved was in those countries grouped in the category Other market where length of stay grew by 37.3 per cent.  Out of Europe average length of stay grew by 25.6%.  From the USA average length of stay grew by 17.1% and out of Canada it grew by 13%, while from the UK average length of stay grew by 12.2%.  The Caribbean was the only market in which average length of stay remained unchanged during the first quarter.

Griffith confirmed that confidence had returned within the tourism industry and this was being revealed by the creation of new attractions; improved hotel plant and additional accommodation options; and the strengthening of the island’s digital marketing strategy, led by a new destination website at VisitBarbados.org.

“Based on the reports coming from our tour operators, this is the light at the end of the tunnel.  We will continue to work with them and incorporate their feedback, and the suggestions from the visitors themselves, so that we can maintain this growth path.”

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