Archive for Destination News

Saint Lucia Celebrates The Reopening Of The Canadian Market

(Castries, Saint Lucia – To commemorate the reopening of the Canadian market, the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA), along with tourism stakeholders were on hand at Hewanorra International Airport to welcome Air Canada Rouge flight (1878) on Sunday, October 3rd. The return of Air Canada signals the reopening of Saint Lucia’s fourth largest international source market.

Air Canada discontinued its winter service to Saint Lucia in January 2021 during the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The first flight to Saint Lucia returns after nine months, following the Canadian Governments cancellation of all flights to Mexico and the Caribbean in February 2021.

To welcome Air Canada, a delegation led by Tourism Minister Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire, comprised the Chairman of the Board of Directors -Thaddeus Antoine and staff of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA), and President of the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association – Paul Collymore.

The flight landed at 2:00 p.m. bringing a combined total of 148 returning nationals and visitors to the island. A commemorative plaque was presented to Captain, Christopher Clarke, and crewmembers who disembarked to greet the delegation. Air Canada’s return service to Toronto (YYZ) departed with 51 passengers and facilitated the exportation of 2,545 pounds of fresh produce to Canada.

Air Canada will fly nonstop service from Toronto (YYZ) to Saint Lucia (UVF) once-a-week every Sunday, then increasing frequency to (2) weekly flights Friday & Sunday from October 31st. The winter schedule will include (4) weekly flights as of Christmas, December 25th (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Saint Lucia is also set to welcome back Westjet and Sunwing in the weeks ahead.

In 2019, Saint Lucia welcomed over 40,000 Canadian visitor arrivals to the island. Keeping the destination and the diverse Canadian market top of mind, the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority will continue to drive its robust, targeted marketing and public relations campaigns in the market, creating more awareness of the destination and access routes.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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Jamaica Welcomes Cruise Updates From Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Corporation

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – Jamaica is eagerly preparing for the resumption of cruise calls by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines beginning in November as well as 110+ planned cruise ship visits from October through April 2022 by Carnival Cruise Lines.

“Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean are critical partners for Jamaica’s tourism sector and the destination’s wider economic recovery,” said Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, Hon Edmund Bartlett. “We are seeing a welcome return of vessels with the recognition that Jamaica’s Resilient Corridors offer a safe environment for our visitors, tourism workers and the general population. The world has taken note of Jamaica’s protocols being implemented safely and effectively, as these plans clearly demonstrate.”

Minister Bartlett continued, “With the return of stopover visitor arrivals since June 2020, we have been seeing steady growth towards pre-COVID-19 levels. Now that cruise is also back, we are looking forward to even stronger growth in our numbers. While there are a few matters we still need to resolve with regard to Royal Caribbean’s return, all requirements have been put in place to meet both United States and Jamaica’s COVID-19 protocols in addition to passenger movement being limited to our Resilient Corridors.”

“With a boost in cruises to Jamaica, we will in turn see a boost to the economic and social livelihoods of thousands of Jamaicans who work directly and indirectly in our cruise sector, providing a positive impact for many,” Minister Bartlett concluded.

Royal Caribbean intends to resume cruises with limited operations as of November, following over a year and a half hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Calls to Jamaica from the line have the potential to bring tens of thousands of passengers into the destination. Plans from Carnival, the world’s largest cruise line, include 110+ cruise ship visits by its various brands that could carry more than 200,000 visitors to the island between October 2021 and April 2022. These operations are subject to continued close collaboration between Jamaican authorities and the cruise lines.

These cruise updates were provided during meetings with Royal Caribbean and Carnival last week in Miami. They were among a series of meetings held with travel industry leaders, including major airlines and investors, across Jamaica’s largest source markets of the United States and Canada. The purpose of these meetings is to drive increased arrivals into the destination in the coming weeks and months and to cement further investment in the island’s tourism sector. Joining Minister Bartlett at these meetings was the Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board, John Lynch; Director of Tourism, Donovan White; Senior Strategist in the Tourism Ministry, Delano Seiveright and Deputy Director of Tourism for the Americas, Donnie Dawson.

Jamaica resumed welcoming cruise ships safely back to its shores in September 2021. Cruises must meet strict measures governing the restart of cruise shipping, requiring passengers over the age of 12 and crew to be fully vaccinated and for all passengers to provide evidence of negative results from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of sailing. In the case of unvaccinated passengers, such as children, a PCR test is mandated, and all passengers are also screened and tested (antigen) on embarkation.

Jamaica remains open for travel and continues to welcome visitors safely. It’s health and safety protocols were among the first to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels recognition that allowed the destination to safely reopen to travel in June 2020. The island has also recently announced additional airlift from key source markets and ninety percent of planned tourist investments remaining on track.

For more information on Jamaica, please go to www.visitjamaica.com.

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What’s New In The Bahamas In October

NASSAU, Bahamas – It’s time to book that fall getaway! Whether you prefer to relax on the white sand beaches or load an itinerary with thrill-seeking adventures, visitors are welcome to experience why “It’s Better in The Bahamas” with world-renowned accommodations, increased direct airlifts and new attractions on the horizon.

NEWS

Bahamas Shines Bright with World-Renowned Recognition – The Islands took home several huge wins across various categories in Travel + Leisure’s highly anticipated annual “World’s Best Awards” and received 20 nominations in the 2021 Caribbean Travelers’ Choice Awards. Online voting for the Caribbean Travelers’ Choice Awards closes October 31, 2021.

Taste of SLS Baha Mar – Grammy award-winning musician John Legend will perform at Taste of SLS Baha Mar on November 5, 2021. Tickets include exquisite cuisine, bespoke cocktails and a glass of LVE Rosé. Attendees must be age 18 and older.

United Airlines Announces Bookable Flights to Nassau – United Airlines introduced new nonstop Saturday service to Nassau from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport beginning December 18, 2021. Flights are available to book as of early September.

Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina at Paradise Landing Reopens in 2021 – With an expanded perimeter and the first fixed T-docks installed, Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina prepares to welcome back visitors for the 2022 winter yachting season. Guests will enjoy luxury dockside residences, world-class retail, fine dining and extensive amenities.

PROMOTIONS AND OFFERS

For a complete listing of deals and packages for The Bahamas, visit www.bahamas.com/deals-packages.

Travel with Confidence with Sandals Vacation Assurance – Sandals Resorts International introduces Sandals Vacation Assurance. Guests at Sandals Royal Bahamian and Emerald Bay can receive benefits including replacement vacations and airfare credits, no charge quarantine stays and free cancellations.

Hot Fall Deals, All-Inclusive Style – Escape to Grand Bahama Island and save up to 40% when staying at Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan Resort. Travel window is now through October 31, 2021.

Hold onto Summer with Tropic Packages – Fall is here, but you can still keep the summertime vibes going when booking a two or three-night stay at Hilton at Resorts World Bimini. Tropic Packages starting at $508 per person include roundtrip travel on Tropic Ocean Airways from Fort Lauderdale. Booking window is now through December 31, 2021.

Stay a Little Longer at Baha Mar – Resort guests at Baha Mar receive the fourth night free when booking a stay across the hotel portfolio including Grand Hyatt, SLS and Rosewood, plus a $100 resort credit, unlimited access to Baha Bay and a complimentary “Return Home” Rapid Antigen Test.

Hideaway an Extra Day – The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas is offering guests a complimentary fourth night with every three consecutive paid nights, along with private airport transportation. Travel window is now through December 31, 2022.

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St. Eustatius: New Policy In Place For The Hospitality Sector

Live music, bands and DJ’s will be made possible again. A new policy that was agreed upon with the hospitality sector, the police and other important key stakeholders stipulates the guidelines for music during events as of Friday, October 1st, 2021. The new policy is based on 3 phases: green, yellow and red. Shifting from one phase to another depends on the number of active COVID cases on the island, and whether they are contained or not. The policy further takes into account enforcement with regards to noise disturbance.

Since the last COVID-19 outbreak on Statia, the Government adhered to a strict policy under which live music, DJ’s and Bands in bars, restaurants and at events were prohibited. During the previous months, in depth and constructive stakeholder consultations were held with the owners of bars, restaurants, events holders,  the police  and other civil servants to discuss adapted regulations and come to an agreement. This new policy will b assessed at the end of 2021.

Green

In phase green it is possible for restaurants, bars and event holders to play live music and to have bands and/or DJ’s in place. The green phase can only go into effect if Statia does not have any COVID-19 cases, or that the infected persons are in isolation. This is currently the case. Statia has 3 active cases that are in isolation. Bars, restaurants and event holders must have hand sanitizing stations available and open ventilation in place.

Yellow

During the yellow phase live music, bands and DJs are not allowed, and outdoor events can only permitted if maintaining social distance is possible. This phase will be in effect when there are active cases on the island and the containment of these cases is not guaranteed. This means  that the Public Health Department is not confident that the COVID situation on Statia is well under control based on their investigation. Yellow also stipulates that the staff members at restaurants and bars, who have contact with the clients must wear a mouth mask. Just as in phase Green, the bars and restaurants need to have hand sanitizing stations available and good ventilation in place. Hand sanitizing     must also be placed on tables, at the entry and in the restrooms.

Persons returning from travel and in the monitoring protocol are not allowed to visit events during phase yellow and cannot attend gatherings or meetings in enclosed areas.

Red

In case of an outbreak of COVID-19 on the island, events, live music, bands and DJ’s are not allowed. Restaurants can only open with strict limitations. Take away is possible.

Persons in the monitoring protocol are not allowed to visit events and cannot attend gatherings  or meetings in enclosed areas in any of these 3 phases.

Noise disturbance

The Task Force (Police, Cabinet, Public Health Department) and the Government Commissioners  recently held meetings with the stakeholders from the hospitality sector who agreed on limiting the volume of music played to avoid noise disturbance to the neighborhoods. To maintain public order and avoid noise disturbance, bars, restaurants, and events holders are required to strictly adhere to their license and to the event policy, including adherence to the opening and closing times. Noncompliance with the regulations will first lead to a warning by the Government Commissioner or Police. This will include instructions to comply with the license/permission. A decibel meter has been purchased, Bavpollers (local enforcement officers) and police officers will be trained in the use of this instrument to measure the sound level when loud music is played at the mentioned establishments. Enforcement has already started by way of the stakeholders consultations. These meetings will continue to help license holders better understand the content of licenses and also to create more awareness with regards to the General Local Ordinance (Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening).

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The Montserrat Premiere Of Under The Volcano

Brades, Montserrat – The Montserrat Tourism Division is proud to announce the local premiere of Under The Volcano, which will be held at the Montserrat Cultural Centre from October 1 – 3, 2021.

“This is truly an exciting time for the destination and people of Montserrat,” noted Warren Solomon, Director of Tourism for the Montserrat Tourism Division. “Being able to showcase how a small island in the Caribbean, with a larger-than-life impact, influenced and shaped the music industry on a global scale, is a proud moment for us all and one we are happy to see brought back into focus after so many years.” The film is directed by Gracie Otto and produced by Cody Greenwood of Rush Films.

The official local premiere of the film will take place on Friday, 1 October 2021 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre, where specially invited guests (government officials, local participants in the film and the local media) will walk the red carpet and enjoy the pre-film entertainment, glitz and glamour. Guests at the premiere will also have the opportunity to attend a Q&A with the filmmakers after the screening, to learn how Rush Films was able to unearth the unique story of AIR Studios Montserrat and turn it into one of the best music documentaries of the decade. On the 2nd and 3rd of October school children and the locals will be given the opportunity to watch the film for free, by participating in a series of competitions on Montserrat’s only radio station – ZJB Radio (88.3 and 95.5FM).

Under the Volcano is a celebration of the creative process, and tells the story of the recording studio that was at the centre of the pop world in the 1980s. It all began in 1979 when the late Sir George Martin (often referred to as the fifth Beatle) built a musical outpost called AIR Studios (Associated Independent Recording Studios) Montserrat, where the who’s who of top musicians recorded hit albums throughout the decade.

“I fell in love with Montserrat and decided to build the ultimate get-away-from-it-all recording studio, which offered all of the technical facilities of its London predecessor, but with the advantages of an exotic location”, states the late Sir George Martin on the official AIR Studios website.

In the shadow of an active volcano, the studio not only attracted the biggest musical talent on the planet including: The Police, Paul McCartney, Duran Duran, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Earth Wind and Fire and the Dire Straits, but it was also the birthplace of hits songs that defined the sound of the 80s. The film features interviews with the likes of Sting and Mark Knopfler, as well as personal archives from artists such as Sir Paul McCartney and Stewart Copeland.

For a decade, AIR Montserrat formed the backdrop to monumental events in music history including the break-up of The Police, the reunion of The Rolling Stones, and the reinvigoration of Paul McCartney after the tragic murder of John Lennon. After a decade of hits, and at the peak of its popularity, the studio was destroyed when Montserrat was hit by a series of devastating natural disasters.

Producer, Cody Greenwood noted, “Under the Volcano has been a personal journey for me. I have so many fond memories of visiting Montserrat as a child and I’m honoured that the people of Montserrat were open to sharing their story with us. We wish we could be on the island to view the documentary.”

While Director, Gracie Otto commented “We are thrilled to finally share Under the Volcano with audiences in Montserrat. The documentary is a celebration of the island and we hope the people of Montserrat love the film”.

Montserrat is set to re-open its borders to vaccinated travelers on October 1 and it is hoped that the international release of this film would generate renewed interest in visiting the island.

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