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Message from Grenada’s Minister for Tourism & Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen on Occassion of World Tourism Day

It is my pleasure to address the nation on the occasion of World Tourism Day under the theme “Tourism and the Digital Transformation.” Over the past decade or so we have seen rapid increase in the use of technology in all areas of our lives.  Technological advances have led to improvement in areas such as science, medicine, commerce and agriculture.  Digital communications and social media have changed the availability and use of information and have served to connect the world in ways previously unseen – our world has become a “global village”. This use of technology and the digital transformation we are witnessing is also leaving its imprint on the tourism industry, a growing and dynamic industry on which, Grenada is highly dependent.

It is now not only possible but widely used, to book experiences without human contact through one’s computer or smartphone.  In fact, you can experience a destination or product via virtual or augmented reality without even physically setting foot at the location. Additionally, some organizations are already considering the integration of Artificial Intelligence into their business models.

A digitally transformed tourism sector can improve entrepreneurship, empower local communities, promote the efficient management of resources as well as increase the market share and visibility of any destination. As a nation, we need to better understand the growing economic, societal and environmental impacts of technology and innovation in tourism if the local industry is to enjoy sustained growth. In fact, not only must we understand, but we must engage the use of all available technologies to promote our tourism, to maintain and improve our sustainable practices and to ensure that the industry brings benefits to all our people for an extended time.

I believe there are innovative ideas right here in Pure Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique that are capable of revolutionizing the way our citizens and visitors experience all that this destination has to offer. I encourage citizens to give voice to these ideas. I also wish to encourage tourism enterprises to ensure that they keep abreast of the use of digital transformation to remain competitive. At the destination marketing level, my ministry along with the Grenada Tourism Authority will continue to lead the charge in further tapping into the opportunities provided by digital platforms and technology to ensure the world discovers, explores and shares Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean.

As citizens, we also have a number of digital social media platforms at our fingertips, including Facebook and Instagram which we know so well. I urge you to use them to share positive experiences about our country with the world, encouraging all to #FollowGrenada. We must pay attention to what we share, knowing that we are sending messages to the world and we need only our best to be seen and experienced.  In Grenada, the Tourism industry provides direct and indirect employment for approx. 11,000 people and visitor spend pumps millions into our local economy.

Let’s work together to ensure that these benefits continue for future generations.

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts Wins a 2018 Travel Weekly Magellan Award

Basseterre, St. Kitts (September 24, 2018) – The St. Kitts Tourism Authority is pleased to announce that its official website, www.stkittstourism.kn, has won a highly coveted Magellan Award by Travel Weekly and it is the only Gold Award winner in its category for 2018.

“It is such an honor to receive this prestigious distinction yet again for our destination website, which is the cornerstone of our digital marketing activities,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “As the primary source of information about St. Kitts for potential visitors, we felt it was important to invest in developing the best possible website launched just one year ago featuring a mobile-first design, immersive photo ad video content and a more user-friendly experience overall that reflects how today’s travelers research and book their trips. As one of the world’s smallest destinations, we consider winning this award a very ‘big’ achievement.”

The St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s website won the Gold award in the Travel Destinations category “Caribbean – Overall Destinations – Family Destination.” St. Kitts’ website was created by Tambourine, the island’s digital marketing agency of record based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Tambourine also created St. Kitts’ previous website, which won awards from some of the travel industry’s most respected organizations including HSMAI and Travel Weekly upon its debut in 2011.

In addition to upgrading the site from a desktop-first design to a mobile one that automatically redraws to render the optimal experience according to user access device, the new website features enhanced search filters based on user-selected preference criteria that automatically refines searches to match them. For example, a user can choose to stay in a hotel that is beachfront and/or has pool and/or Wi-Fi capability. TripAdvisor integration provides an additional tool for travelers researching the destination and links to social media are more prominently promoted.

New pages also include curated itineraries similar to those found in travel guides, special offers, expanded hotel and events pages, highlighted links to tips from bloggers / publications and a dedicated page for travel professionals. The new website provides a full range of details including where to stay, activities, dining venues, a calendar of events, details about getting married on St. Kitts and more.

With entries from the US and around the world, the Magellan Award winners represent the best in the travel industry and salute the travel industry professionals behind it all. The Magellan Awards honor outstanding design, marketing and services in a broad range of industry segments including Hospitality, Travel Destinations, Cruise Lines, Online Travel Services, Airlines and Airports, Travel Agents and Agencies, Tour Operators and Ground Transportation.

The Magellan Awards are judged and overseen by a one-of-a-kind panel of top travel professionals representing the best names and most accomplished leaders from the industry. In determining winners, entries do not compete with one another, instead they are judged against a standard of excellence based on the long experience of Travel Weekly. To uphold this high standard of excellence, a category may have multiple winners, or may have no winners at all. For a complete list of silver and gold winners, please visit www.travelweeklyawards.com.

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, 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.

About Travel Weekly:

Travel Weekly is the most influential provider of news, research, opinion and analysis to the North American travel trade marketplace. It reaches a broad industry audience in print, online and with face-to-face events throughout the year. Travel Weekly is a division of Secaucus, New Jersey-based Northstar Travel Media, the largest travel business-to-business travel publisher in the world.

About Northstar Travel Group:

Northstar is the owner of well-known brands including Travel Weekly, TravelAge West, Business Travel News, Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, Travel Weekly China, Incentive, M&C China,Web in Travel and the events that comprise the Burba Hotel Network. The company produces more than 84 face-to-face events in 11 countries in retail travel, hospitality and hotel investment, corporate travel, travel technology, sports travel, and the meetings and incentives industry. In addition, Northstar owns Phocuswright, the leading research, business intelligence, and event producer serving the fastest growing segment of the travel industry, online travel distribution. Northstar is also the majority shareholder in Inntopia, the leading SaaS e-commerce software, CRM database marketing and predictive analytics business serving the mountain destination, activities, and specialty destination travel markets.

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Destination News, Uncategorized

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Carnival Breeze Makes Inaugural Call to Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean

St. George’s, Grenada – September 26, 2018 – Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean opened its 2018/2019 cruise ship season with an inaugural visit from the Carnival Breeze. The large cruise ship has a capacity of 4,428 passengers and 1,386 crew members. Visitors disembarking the ship yesterday morning were treated to steel pan music as they went off on island tours provided by George F. Huggins, the Grenada and National Taxi Association’s the Watertaxi Association and other stakeholders. Popular tours are Grenada’s award winning rum distilleries, waterfalls and chocolate factories.

On board the ship a short ceremony was held to commemorate its inaugural visit. A delegation led by Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste-Curwen and including the Grenada Tourism Authority, Grenada Ports Authority, Customs, Immigration, Royal Grenada Police Force and agents George F. Huggins welcomed the captain and crew to Grenada. The Minister handed over a commemorative plaque to the ship’s captain on behalf of the Government and people of Grenada. She also provided an update on the work being done to ensure that cruise visitors have memorable experiences including frontline customer service training and foreign language training.

As of August 2018, the cruise industry in Grenada has grown by 26.75% year on year and Tourism officials are expecting this growth to continue.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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The Isle Of Flowers Gets 2 Big Nods From the Cruise Industry

A Seatrade Cruise Award and new visitor to the Port of Fort-de-France

New York, September 26, 2018—The Island of Martinique’ great port of Fort-de-France won second place in the Seatrade Cruise Awards’ Port of the Year category. The award was announced in Lisbon on September 19, 2018 featuring three finalists: the port of Dublin—the 2018 winner, the port of Martinique and the port of Quebec.

“We are thrilled that our efforts and the improvements we made to welcome the top cruise ships and their passengers have been recognized by the great organization Seatrade and the cruise industry leaders who judged the competition” said Jean-Rémy Villageois, CEO of the Martinique Port Authority.

The “Grand Port” of Fort-de-France—the island’s capital, features the passenger cruise terminals of Pointe-Simon Cruise Terminal and nearby Tourelles. These modern facilities are located the capital’s magnificent bay which was named among the “Most Beautiful Bays in the World.”

The Pointe Simon Cruise Terminal in Fort-de-France’s is now the island’s most frequented and state-of-the-art cruise facility. It is attached to a promenade, along the seaside that leads directly into the heart of the capital city. The early 2018 inaugurations of the first shops of the new shopping center of la Pointe Simon have also contributed to the site’s appeal. The Tourelles Cruise Terminal in Fort-de-France also received an upgrade, with expanded facilities, additional security lines and new VIP room for larger home ported vessels.

Martinique Salutes Carnival Glory

Recognizing the Isle of Flower’s know-how and beauty, the Carnival Glory, one of the cruise line’s “fun ships” will call on Martinique February 22nd, 2019. The cruise, which is part of the “Caribbean Carnival Journeys,” will depart Miami for its 12-night romp through Caribbean on February 16. Through February 28 Carnival Glory will visit the U.S. Virgin Islands’ St. Croix, The Islands of Guadeloupe, Barbados, Martinique—the Isle of Flowers,- Antigua – St.Marteen/Saint-Martin and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

On learning of the return of this great ship, Karine Mousseau, Martinique Tourism Commissioner said: “It is a true pleasure for us all to welcome back the Carnival Glory. We very much look forward to greeting its passengers.”

The Conquest-class ship—among the largest of the Carnival fleet—is an amazing floating resort, featuring the Camel Club Casino, an impressive array of clubs, shops and lounges, Very family friendly it includes family entertainment areas like a teen club, a video game roomand Camp Carnival. It also boasts Spa Carnival and large selection of international and specialty eateries. 60% of the staterooms have ocean views and private balconies.

Martinique is now well on the cruise world’s map. In 2017 it welcomed over 620,000 passengers during 278 port calls.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Pure Grenada Bans the Importation of Polystyrene ‘Styrofoam’

St. George’s, Grenada – September 18, 2018 – Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean, has made a major shift to ensure that its natural environment is protected and preserved for future generations. The Government of Grenada has implemented a far-reaching Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act, which began with the complete ban on the importation of polystyrene commonly referred to as ‘Styrofoam’ effective September 1, 2018.

The importation ban will be followed by sale sanctions on ‘Styrofoam’ effective March 1, 2019 and a complete embargo on its use a month later. The Act will also bar all single use plastics such as shopping bags, cutlery, plates, straws and cups by February 1, 2019.

Grenada’s Minister for the Environment, Simon Stiell, described the Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act as a “progressive legislation which seeks to regulate the use of non-biodegradable products, with a view to reducing the negative environmental impacts and improving the health of Grenadians.”

Environment America’s Wildlife Over Waste campaign is one of the many environmental campaigns that believe banning Styrofoam needs to occur. According to their campaign, scientists have found plastic fragments including Styrofoam in 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species. When animals ingest Styrofoam it can harm the animal’s health and people as well if the animal makes its way up the food chain.

The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) fully supports this move by the Government. CEO of the GTA, Patricia Maher said, “Our brand is Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean. This legislation will greatly assist us in keeping our tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique clean and beautiful for citizens as well as visitors.”

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen has always championed the ban on ‘Styrofoam’ and plastics. She said, “Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean is renowned for its naturally beautiful landscape. I am elated that my Government has taken action to contribute to the preservation of our environment for future generations.”

The legislation comes on the heels of robust advocacy by the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) and the Grenada Green Group (G3) for a ban on Styrofoam and plastic. Already in Grenada, many hotels, restaurants and stores have transitioned to the use of alternative biodegradable products.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Dominica Update – One Year Post Hurricane Maria

ROSEAU, Dominica, Sept. 18, 2018 – One year after Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica, the island nation is rebounding.

“A growing share of affected residents can say their lives are back on track or almost back to normal after the hurricane,” said Colin Piper, Director of Tourism. “The progress made this past year represents a milestone in the recovery process during which the people of Dominica – and the natural environment itself – have shown their resilience and indomitable spirits.”

Island updates include:

Access
Dominica’s airports – Douglas-Charles and Canefield – are fully open for commercial operations with same-day connectivity with international carriers to and from Douglas-Charles. The ferry service operated by L’Express des Iles is also available. A new ferry service, Val Ferry, began operating between Dominica and Guadeloupe in August 2018. Val Ferry runs a weekly schedule with seating capacity of 400.

Cruise tourism continues to generate significant economic activity. Dominica hosted 33 cruise ships for the 2017-2018 season (out of 219 expected cruise visits prior to Hurricane Maria).

Since July 2018, Carnival Fascination began making bi-weekly stops to Dominica and will continue until November 2018. A total of 181 cruise calls – or 304,031 passengers – are projected for the 2018-2019 cruise season.

Roadways are also open for all vehicles across the island, yet travellers are advised to be cautious as road repair work is still ongoing in some areas. Public transportation, taxi services and car rentals are all available on the island.

Hotels/Accommodations
A majority of Dominica’s properties are open, with more than 540 hotel rooms available. Since last fall, many lodging properties have made an amazing rebound and have used this as an opportunity to do intense renovation to improve and enhance their existing location. Two hotels will be reopening soon – Secret Bay (November 2018) and Jungle Bay (February 2019) Fort Young Hotel, Dominica’s premier hotel, is currently operating with 40 rooms and is undergoing a massive renovation to include 60 additional rooms to be fully operational by October 2019 with a total of 100 new and refurbished rooms.

Two new luxury hotels will soon be available – Cabrits Resort Kempinski Dominica (October 2019) and Anichi Resort, part of the Marriott Autograph Collection (late 2019).

Health Services
Princess Margaret Hospital, the island’s main health system, has been fully functional and all of the 49 community health centers are operational (39 operate from their original locations and 10 have been relocated due to the devastation).

Tourist Attractions
The top tourism sites and attractions are open to the public. Restoration and maintenance work are still ongoing in some areas, including roads, facilities and signage. All major beaches have been cleaned and are open to visitors.

Restaurants
The restaurant and food industries have shown significant rebound, and many of the food establishments have received renewed operation permits from the Environmental Health Department. The island’s food scene will be highlighted in the upcoming Taste of Dominica event (October 15 to November 30, 2018).

Utilities
Electricity has been restored to the national power grid in most areas across the island. Full connectivity to individual homes is ongoing in conjunction with certified home renovations. Ninety-seven percent (97%) of customers have access to reconnect to the national grid.

Ninety-eight percent (98%) connectivity has been restored to the national water supply network.

Internet service and Wi-Fi hot spots are widely available within town and urban settlements, including Roseau. Cellular phone service on the island is widely available.

Events
Earlier this year, Dominica celebrated Carnival and the Jazz ‘n Creole Festival. Both events attracted many local and visiting patrons. Upcoming events include the World Creole Music Festival (October 2018) and Dominica’s 40th Year of Independence (November 3, 2018). This year is also a reunion year, an opportunity for Dominicans living abroad to return to celebrate their culture. Most of the reunion activities will take place during the independence celebration (starting September 29, 2018).

About Dominica

For more information about Dominica, contact Lise Cuffy at the Discover Dominica Authority at 767-448-2045 or [email protected] Visit www.DiscoverDominica.com. Follow Dominica on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. A playlist of videos highlighting the recovery and unique experiences in Dominica is available on the Discover Dominica YouTube channel.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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