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Barbuda’s Luxury Hotel Barbuda Belle Reopens for the First Time Following Hurricane Irma

JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (November 6, 2018) – Barbuda Belle, an intimate, luxury boutique hotel on Antigua’s sister island of Barbuda has reopened for the 2018/2019 Winter Season.

This is the first time that the award-winning hotel has opened since being damaged during Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

Accessible by boat via Barbuda’s Codrington Lagoon, the rustic-styled property located at Cedar Point offers ultimate seclusion, tucked neatly away behind of lush mangrove trees and a picturesque pink sand beach.  Originally a seven bungalow property, Barbuda Belle now boasts eight beachfront bungalows since renovations saw the total rebuild of one bungalow damaged during the storm, and the addition of a completely new bungalow.   A beach bar and grill is also a new addition. Daily rates for Barbuda Belle start at US$890.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism and Investment, Senator, The Hon. Mary-Clare Hurst spoke at the November 3 reopening Ceremony on behalf of the Minister of Tourism and Investment, The Hon. Charles Fernandez who was away on duty.

“Today marks a very important step in Barbuda’s recovery post Hurricane Irma and a significant step in our Country’s Tourism. Today is our collective affirmation to our visitors far and wide, that Barbuda is open for business!”, Hurst said.

“The Government of Antigua and Barbuda is excited by the momentum and progress that we have seen so far, as it relates to Barbuda’s Tourism and progress just one year on.”

The Barbuda Belle re-opening is the first in many openings that will take place in Barbuda for the season. The Barbuda Ocean Club, and Barbuda Cottages are expected to open in December.

For more information on Antigua and Barbuda go to: visitantiguabarbuda.com

To book Barbuda Belle go to: barbudabelle.com

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Saint Lucia Commemorates Inaugural JetBlue Mint Service

Prime Minister, Honourable Allen Chastanet and acting Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Mrs. Tiffany Howard are among officials set to welcome the inaugural JetBlue Mint service on Saturday November 3, 2018. The flight originating out of Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) is expected to land at the Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) at 12:39 p.m.

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority is ecstatic about the new service. While it is not a new flight, JetBlue has added its premium Mint service to the route, which allows passengers the luxury of kicking back and relaxing on fully lie-flat seats. Each seat features cushions with adjustable firmness and a massage feature, a comforter and pillow, and ergonomic touches. In addition, the Mint service provides individualized seatback TVs and unlimited snacks.

The Acting CEO at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Mrs. Tiffany Howard, said; “This is exciting news for our destination as the introduction of the JetBlue Mint service from Boston shows continued growth in our luxury sector out of Northeast United States. Our goal at the SLTA is to continue welcoming more visitors to Saint Lucia and JetBlue, as a partner, continues to complement our marketing efforts.”

The SLTA has planned a welcome ceremony to commemorate this new service with a pannist, and masqueraders who are expected to greet passengers on the tarmac followed by a short reception in the VIP Lounge of the Hewanorra International Airport.

Also expected to attend the ceremony are SLTA Director of Marketing for the USA, Kelly Fontenelle–Clarke; General Manager for JetBlue Airways, Marcelline Palton; and Regional Manager for LATAM/Caribbean – Product, JetBlue and JetBlue Vacations, Wendy Jurngerkes.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Norwegian Air’s Inaugural Flight from Montréal to Martinique

Montréal ǀ Thursday November 2018 1stThis winter, travelers departing from Montréal, Canada will have more options than ever to discover Martinique. Starting November 1, 2018, Norwegian Air will inaugurate non-stop flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 2.25 pm from Montreal Pierre-Elliot-Trudeau International Airport to Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport. Introductory rates start at $ 219 CAD—taxes included. Norwegian has been named «Europe’s best low cost airline » and « Best Value for Money in 2018.”

“We are extremely excited to add a new route between Montréal and Martinique, as we continue to grow our French Caribbean network. Montréal is also our very first Canadian destination, and it made perfect sense for us to start entering this new market by connecting Martinique to Montréal adding this very important North American gateway to our already popular and successful routes from New York and Fort Lauderdale. This week we are also launching direct flights between Fort de France and Cayenne in French Guiana, further strengthening our commitment to Martinique. We look forward to another successful season, which would never have been possible without the strong support of the Martinique Tourism Authority” said Anders Lindström, Director of Communications Norwegian Air, North America.

Our Board of Directors, hoteliers, tour operators and other industry partners of the Martinique Tourism Authority are delighted by the new connection provided by Norwegian Air between Montreal and Fort-de-France. This service which also opens with a connection to French Guiana is an exceptional opportunity to develop travel for Canadians to our island as well as to Cayenne.  I would like to add, that with a 49% growth already recorded in advance bookings for the coming season, the Canadian market is more than ever a priority. Thank you and congratulations Norwegian. Martinique loves you!” said Karine Mousseau, the Martinique Tourism Commissioner.

For booking, please visit  www.norwegian.com/en-ca
For more information about Martinique  www.us.martinique.org

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Antigua & Barbuda Featured in Popular Bravo Television Series “Married to Medicine”

November 1, 2018 (St. John’s, Antigua)Antigua & Barbuda was the obvious choice for the producers from the popular US reality television series Married to Medicine, when the BRAVO network was seeking a romantic and picturesque Caribbean destination to hold a vow renewal ceremony. Originally planned as a single episode, there was so much on island that the destination will now be featured in three separate episodes this Fall.

Married to Medicine, which boasts a weekly viewership of over 1.5 million, chronicles the lives of seven women in the Atlanta medical community; with three of the women being doctors themselves while the others are doctors’ wives. It shows the group as they balance their social circles, careers, and families.

“This television shoot provided us with the opportunity to showcase the best of Antigua & Barbuda to a huge audience in our primary source market,” said the Honorable Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez, Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism and Investment. “Our resorts, beaches and attractions will stream in to living rooms across the country, and around the world through syndication and digital viewing, over a three-week period in November, a time when our potential visitors are considering and planning their winter holiday escapes,” he concluded.

“Partnering with Married to Medicine for a vow renewal was a perfect fit for Antigua and Barbuda for the sixth season of this incredibly popular show. We were just named as the “Most Romantic Destination in the Caribbean,” by the industry leading WTA awards for the fourth year in a row, and are blessed with diverse topography and activities that allowed for various filming opportunities. We are excited to raise awareness of exactly why viewers should be planning their next trip today,” said Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.

The stunning Tamarind Hills Villas, located on a sunset-facing bluff on Antigua’s glorious west coast, showcasing two of the island’s most beautiful beaches, hosted the cast. The popular show spent ten days in Antigua from May 28 through June 6 earlier this year, filming at a variety of locations and properties. The group was welcomed on-island by the Tourism Cadet Corps, and treated to cocktails and dinner hosted by the Ministry of Tourism at the legendary UNESCO World Heritage Site, Clarence House. Officially re-opened for Prince Harry’s visit, the evening was a truly memorable moment for the cast. Among the highlights of their stay were a visit to Stingray City; culinary classes for the ladies and a cricket match for the gents; and for the finale, a spectacular torch lit dinner on the beach with live entertainment under the stars.

The first of the three episodes filmed in Antigua airs on Sunday, November 4 at 9PM Eastern/8PM Central on BRAVO. The second and third episodes will be broadcast on November 11th and November 17th respectively. Preview Bravo’s Welcome to Antigua episode here: http://www.bravotv.com/video/share/3819586

For Antigua and Barbuda vacation information, go to: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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BTB Secures Assistance for Stakeholders in Sargassum Affected Areas

Belize City, Wednesday, 31st October, 2018: In light of the challenges posed by sargassum on our tourism industry, the Belize Tourism Board has secured assistance for accommodation stakeholders in sargassum affected areas in Belize. This comes on the heels of several site visits conducted last month by a BTB team of senior officials, to assess the areas severely impacted and to consult with owners of affected coastline properties (beachfront properties) and members of the Sargassum Task Force (STF), with the hope of designing a concerted strategy to address the situation.

The BTB’s team included Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Mr. Einer Gomez, Chairman of the Board of Directors, BTB and Mrs. Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism.

At the conclusion of these visits, the following assistance was approved and will be implemented immediately, to assist those properties which have been most affected by sargassum.

  • 2% from the 9% hotel tax due, which is a 22.2% reduction on the monthly accommodation tax returns for all coastline properties affected by sargassum, in the four affected destinations of San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Placencia and Hopkins. This reduction in the monthly accommodation tax is applicable for four consecutive months namely October, November, December 2018 and January 2019.
  • In addition, on BTB’s advice, the Government of Belize has agreed that coastline properties in the four affected destinations wishing to import sargassum materials and equipment/machinery, can apply for duty exemption from the Ministry of Finance through the BTB.
  • The Government of Belize has agreed to contribute $1.5 million for BTB to assist the municipal bodies in San Pedro, Caulker, Placencia and Hopkins in the containment and control of sargassum.

The BTB is congnizant of the fact that impacted properties and destinations have faced increased operational costs in their clean up efforts, disposal of sargasssum, implementing barriers and in beach reclamation efforts. The BTB therefore welcomes the above measures, which will aid affected properties especially in preparing for the high tourism season.

The BTB urgues all stakeholders and the public to stay tuned for news emanating from the STF on new developments relating to sargassum. The task force is comprised of NEMO, the Fisheries Department, Ministry of Tourism, the BTB, the Coastal Zone Management Authority, Ministry of Health,  the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Hotel Association (BHA), stakeholders and representatives of the San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Hopkins and Placencia Village Councils. The STF continues to pursue research and consultations for a long term solution of the sargassum situation.

The BTB also reiterates its unwavering commitment to continuous consultations with valued stakeholders on the issue of sargassum and to ensure that our dynamic tourism industry is always fully protected.

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Pure Grenada Supports the CTO’s Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation

St. George’s, Grenada – 1st November, 2018 – Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean fully supports the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s year of wellness and rejuvenation. The Caribbean is blessed with a beautiful natural environment and naturally friendly people that make perfect escapes for relaxation. This theme is timely as the Caribbean seeks to position itself as the ultimate global destination for wellness and rejuvenation.

The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is thrilled to be highlighted in the CTO’s Guide to Wellness and Rejuvenation which showcases some of our diverse offerings in this sector, and in its publication of Caribbean Wellness Ambassadors. We look forward to our ambassadors being featured on the CTO’s social media platforms in the coming weeks, including during Caribbean Tourism Month starting November 1.

CEO of the GTA Patricia Maher said, “Our Pure Grenada with pristine beaches, crystal clear waterfalls, organic chocolate and our warm and friendly people, complimented by the Spice of the Caribbean create unique and memorable wellness experiences.”

She further stated, “We are happy to provide the grand prize for this year’s wellness ambassador winner, including airfare, accommodation, and an island tour that will convince our winner of our spicy wellness offerings.”

For more information, visit www.puregrenada.com

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