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Saint Lucia Assures Visitors of a Holiday Guarantee

CASTRIES – September 18, 2018 – Saint Lucia continues to prove why she is a destination that inspires travelers to visit and explore her beauty and splendor.

Visitors can now enjoy a stress-free vacation while they play and stay at 22 properties on the island that are offering guests a holiday guarantee if their vacation were to be interrupted by adverse weather.

Though Saint Lucia is seldom affected by hurricanes, hotel operators associated with the Saint Lucia Hotel Association and Tourism Association created the holiday guarantee, so visitors could book their vacations with confidence at any time of the year. This unique Holiday Guarantee programme covers cancellations made prior to arrival and if the vacation is cut short because of a hurricane.

The guarantee becomes effective when a hurricane warning is issued by the Saint Lucia Meteorological Service and offers a waiver of cancellation penalties and an opportunity to rebook the vacation.

Acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Mrs. Tiffany Howard said, “Given the impact of the 2017 hurricane season on the region, it is utterly important that this guarantee remains in effect to assure visitors that Saint Lucia takes pride in its tourism product. While Saint Lucia is rarely affected by hurricanes, this guarantee provide another security blanket to our visitors.”

Hotels offering holiday guarantees include Coco Palm Resort; Rex Resorts; Harmony Marina Suites; Hotel Chocolat; Ti Kaye Resort & Spa; Villa Beach Cottages; Bay Gardens Resorts; Cleopatra Villas;  Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort;  Stonefield Villa Resort; Sugar Beach- A Viceroy Resort; Villa C’est La Vie;  Marigot Beach Club; Dive Harmony Marina Suites; St. James Club; Calabash Cove, and Castles in Paradise.

Additional information on the Holiday Travel Guarantee can be obtained via our Saint Lucia Expert Agents or by visiting http://stlucia.org/summer-of-discovery/images/HolidayGuaranteeTerms. Terms and conditions will apply.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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First Vice President of St Martin Meets Newly Appointed GM of Belmond La Samanna

14 September 2018 (St. Martin, WI) – Valérie Damaseau, the first Vice President of St. Martin’s Territorial Council and President of St. Martin Office de Tourism met with the newly appointed General Manager of Belmond La Samanna, Eleonore Astier-Petin, to discuss and finalize the marketing plan for the re-opening of the luxury resort.

Scheduled for December 10, 2018, Belmond’s La Samanna will open her doors to again  offer guests the best of the best in hospitality. The 55-acre property is perched beside one of the most spectacular private beaches in the Caribbean, offering 83 rooms and suites, 8 villas, 3 restaurants, 2 bars, 2 pools, tennis courts, watersports center, fitness center, spa and an events center.

Leading up to the winter season, La Samanna will participate in the travel industry familiarization trip that is being arranged by St. Martin Tourism Director, Aida Weinum with representatives of American Airlines, Expedia and several wholesalers in attendance. The visit is scheduled to take place between November 1st and 5th. The Belmond team will also attend IFTM Top Résa later this month to promote the re-opening of La Samanna and the new offerings the resort will offer.

Vice President Damaseau shared with the Belmond La Samanna team the work the tourism office is doing to attract new visitors and bring back those persons that have visited before. She spoke of the first joint partnership between the French and Dutch tourism offices that was announced earlier this year and charged to synergize on the promotion of the destination.

On behalf of the St. Martin government, she also extended an invitation to the Belmond La Samanna management team to join stakeholder meetings and to participate in the upcoming destination press conferences that will be held Brazil and Argentina.

Back Row L – R, Ricardo Bethel, Special Projects Coordinator, St. Martin Tourist Office, Eleonore Astier-Petin, General Manager, Belmond La Samanna, Stephane Le Junter, Belmond La Samanna. Front L – R, Valérie Damaseau, 1st Vice President, St. Martin’s Territorial & President, St. Martin Office de Tourism Council, Stéphanie Bessière, Director of Tourism, The Collectivity of St-Martin Tourism, Aida Weinum, Director of Tourism, St. Martin Tourist Office, Suzanne Scantlebery, U.S. Promotional agent, St. Martin Tourist Office.

Looking forward, Damaseau spoke of the SMART Conference that is planned to take place in May 2019. The annual conference is organized by the L’Association des Hoteliers de St. Martin, Saint Martin Tourism Office and in conjunction with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association, attracts Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Travel Writers, and Event Planners from the US, Canada, Europe, and Latin America. The tradeshow provides a unique opportunity for local and regional hoteliers and activities providers to present their tourism product, network and negotiate prospective business opportunities.

The 1st Vice President used the occasion to update the team on the reopening of the ground floor of the Princess Julianna International Airport, scheduled for the beginning of November 2018, and disclosed that already several North American legacy carriers will reintroduce service to the island for the winter season.

“We are very excited about the forward momentum and growth that is taking place for our island this year. The confirmed reopening of Belmond La Samanna is a significant step in reasserting our position as the destination of choice in the Caribbean. Working closely together with our partners and stakeholders, we are able to leverage our strength and increase our impact in the marketplace and look forward to working with Belmond La Samanna to ensure the successful debut of this new and improved legendary resort” concluded 1st Vice President Damaseau.

 

ABOUT ST. MAARTEN/ST. MARTIN: With duty-free shops, an eclectic array of restaurants, properties and loads of water sports, St. Maarten is for action-oriented vacationers. With its blend of warm hospitality and European style, St. Maarten is one of the Caribbean’s more attention-grabbing spots. The destination offers visitors the opportunity to explore two sides and personalities in one island. It highlights the best between its two sides: Dutch St. Maarten to the south, French St. Martin to the north. Find information on St. Maarten/St. Martin please visit: http://www.stmartinisland.org/ and http://www.vacationstmaarten.com/ or follow us on Facebook facebook.com/stmaartentourism/ Instagram: @stmaartentourism Twitter @ilesaintmartin

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Portfolio Marketing Group, Nana Delatour Tel:212.490.2098 Email: [email protected].

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts Presents CFBC Student with a Hospitality Scholarship Award from Range Developments & Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spa

Basseterre, St. Kitts (September 6, 2018) – St. Kitts is pleased to announce that Range Developments and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas have kept their promise to the CFBC hospitality students and awarded one of its most promising students a chance to work at the Six Senses Zil Pasyon in the Seychelles. On 29 August 2018, the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Lindsay Grant, awarded the scholarship to Wycliffe Clarke. Wycliffe will spend the next six months at the Six Senses Zil Pasyon so he can continue his practical education at what is undoubtedly one of the finest resorts in the world.

“We are extremely pleased that Range Developments and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas have committed to this scholarship and to the development of hospitality training for our youths, who are the future of St. Kitts’ tourism industry,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “This partnership will not only help one student; it benefits the entire destination as we strive to employ only the highest standards and best practices in hospitality to ensure that our target visitors continue to want to return to our shores and stay at the new Six Senses St. Kitts when it opens in 2021.”

Hospitality training is key to ensuring St Kitts cements its position as the leading five-star tourism destination in the Caribbean.

“At Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, we take great pride in bringing on board hotel school interns and graduates assign projects to student groups from around the world. We are thrilled to have agreed with Range Development to include CFBC in the institutions we shall from now on closely cooperate with. This first scholarship and our regular lectures and interactions with the school are only the beginning. We look forward to working very closely with CFBC in gearing up for the opening of Six Senses St. Kitts and its future,” Said Mr. Bernhard Bohnenberger, the president of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.

Six Senses Hotels Resort Spas’ senior management, including Mr. Bohnenberger, has been lecturing hospitality students monthly via a video link. Mr. Bohnenberger has a wealth of experience in the industry and is a member of the board of EHL (Lausanne hospitality school).

“We wish this young man all the best with the advancement of his career and am sure he will return to St Kitts enriched by the experience,” said Mr. Mohammed Asaria, the founder of Range Developments. “We expect him to share his experiences with his peers and this way the island’s tourism industry will learn best practices from other leading resort destinations. Hospitality training is a key component to a successful tourism industry. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas shares our ethos and appreciate their commitment to St Kitts.”

During the signing ceremony for the launch of the Six Senses St. Kitts in February this year, Mr. Mohammed Asaria, the founder of Range Developments and Mr. Bernhard Bohnenberger, the president of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, made a long-term commitment to hospitality training in St Kitts. One of the key pledges made to CFBC by Range and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas was the award of a hospitality scholarship one of the top performing CFBC hospitality students.

Range Developments is the developer of the award-winning Park Hyatt St Kitts, Kempinski Dominica and Six Senses St Kitts, and is fully committed to tourism in the Eastern Caribbean. Construction on the Six Senses St Kitts will begin in the coming weeks and project managers have already been appointed.

In addition to collaborating with Range Developments and Six Senses, St. Kitts is fully dedicated to its Tourism Education program in schools designed to teach the principles of the tourism business to the island’s youth who are the future of its tourism industry. Having begun with three pilot schools, the program has expanded to include over 360 students in six schools – four primary schools, one secondary school and one technical and vocational school. Tourism officers from the St. Kitts Tourism Authority work alongside teachers combining class work and field trips to various sites and attractions on island. A Hospitality School of Excellence is in development and an awards ceremony was held for those students who have excelled in the program.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Sun Country Airlines Announces New Nonstop Service to Belize, St. Kitts & Nevis

Minneapolis, Minn. – September 5, 2018 – Sun Country Airlines today announces the addition of two new destinations – Belize and St. Kitts & Nevis – to its growing network. Sun Country will offer the first ever seasonal nonstop service between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Belize, and between Minneapolis/St. Paul and St. Kitts and Nevis. Both destinations are on sale now at suncountry.com

“At Sun Country, we pride ourselves on delivering fantastic value to our guests, connecting them to their favorite people, places and memories. Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are amazing beach destinations that we have no doubt Minnesotans will be excited to flock to in the winter,” said Ben Brookman, the vice president, network and pricing of Sun Country Airlines. “We are pleased to be the first airline to offer scheduled nonstop service from MSP to these two great destinations, and look forward to offering Minnesotans affordable nonstop service to even more vacation hot spots.”

“Sun Country’s new nonstop flight from Minneapolis to Belize City marks our farthest reach into the Upper Midwest — an area of the U.S. that can really benefit from easy access to a tropical Belizean vacation when winter comes,” said Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism for Belize. “We appreciate Sun Country for further supporting our thriving tourism industry and providing more curious travelers with seamless opportunities to escape to Belize.”

“We are extremely pleased to welcome this new air service from Sun Country Airlines,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce for St. Kitts & Nevis. “This flight from Minneapolis increases the number of nonstop flights into the Federation from the US, our primary source market for visitors. Further, the additional lift from the upper mid-west provides more options for travelers to reach our twin islands during peak season.”

New seasonal nonstop from Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) to Belize Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE):

  • Service offered December 22, 2018 – April 20, 2019
  • Operates 1x/week with roundtrips on Saturdays

New seasonal nonstop service from Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) to St. Kitts & Nevis Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB):

  • Service offered December 22, 2018 – April 20, 2019
  • Operates 1x/week with roundtrips on Saturday

For the lowest fares, full schedule, Sun Country Vacations® flight and hotel packages visit suncountry.com.

About Sun Country Airlines

Sun Country Airlines is a privately-held company based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. The award-winning airline is a leader in leisure travel flying to more than 50 popular destinations across the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica and the Caribbean, having earned a reputation for offering world-class service at an affordable price. The airline also offers services from its Sun Country Charters and Sun Country Vacations divisions. For more on these Sun Country destinations and to book travel, including flight and hotel packages, visit suncountry.com.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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British Virgin Islands Continue to Achieve Recovery Milestones

TORTOLA, BVI — When Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean last September, it made a particularly harsh impact on the spectacular shores that 30,000 of my fellow BVIslanders and I call home.

But one year later, I am pleased to say that the Herculean efforts put forth by the local community, international volunteers and the BVI government have paid off. The beaches have been cleaned up, roads cleared, and visitors are flocking into the territory once again.

As the largest sector of the economy, restoring the BVI’s tourism product was a huge priority during the immediate aftermath of the storm. There is still work to be done, but we at the BVI Tourist Board are proud to recognize the progress made over the past year. The BVI Reborn video gives a glimpse into the progress of our recovery.

The charter yacht and sailing industry was the first to rebound, with some operators accepting guests as soon as November 2017 to jumpstart the winter season. Cruise calls resumed at Tortola Pier Park the following month, bringing in thousands more visitors. Disney Cruise Line made its return just days ago to much fanfare, and Norwegian Cruise Line will follow in Fall 2018. We are expecting a remarkable 2018/2019 cruise season with projections of over 200 calls and 400,000 passengers at Tortola Pier Park and Road Harbour alone.  Additionally, we expect over 50 calls by the smaller boutique ships, to other islands including; Anegada, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda, demonstrating the diversity of our destination to accommodate cruise visitors.

To date, many of the BVI’s premier resorts have come back online as well. This includes: Scrub Island Resort & Spa, Cooper Island Beach Club, Guana Island Resort, Oil Nut Bay, Anegada Beach Club, and more. Visitors will enjoy enhanced offerings at several of these properties, including an expanded private beach at Scrub Island, and brand-new glamping accommodations at Anegada Beach Club. In fact, Anegada has emerged as a must-visit island thanks to its unique attractions like world-class kitesurfing, amazing conch shell mounds and iconic bright pink flamingos. The only coral island in the group, Anegada boasts the Caribbean’s third largest barrier reef, the Horseshoe Reef.

Oil Nut Bay has significantly upgraded its facilities, and this December, will be offering stunning new one-bedroom suites with nightly availability. A marina village with 93 slips that can accommodate yachts up to 40 meters, will also be opened in December.  The resort’s helipad which facilitates air arrivals along with the new facilities, will now give guests the freedom to explore neighboring islands, embarking by boat or helicopter, with ease.

As of August 15, there are 769 rooms on land and 2,930 berths available throughout the Territory. By winter season, that number will rise to over 1,000 rooms and 3,200 berths. Necker Island is scheduled to reopen on October 1st, with several of our luxury properties to follow in late 2019 including Bitter End Yacht Club and Rosewood Little Dix Bay.

Traveling to the BVI has never been easier. We have regained full capacity in terms of airlift and ferry service, with some airlines even expanding service between San Juan and Tortola.

Over the past several months, we have hosted major events like the annual BVI Spring Regatta and the Emancipation Festival, a celebration that highlighted our culture and resilience. This November, BVI Food Fete will return with a fantastic lineup of culinary events.

As we reflect on the lessons learned from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the BVI recognizes the need to plan for the future. The government successfully restored 100% of power across all of our islands by May 2018, while continuing efforts to strengthen our infrastructure in anticipation of future storms. Click here for information on the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Act.

There is also a new Disaster Alert App launched by the BVI Department of Disaster Management to improve disaster alert notifications for our residents and guests.

For those looking to offer their support to the BVI, the most vital way to help — as always — is by booking a trip and patronizing our local hotels and businesses. The Tourist Board will also continue running the Seeds of Love program to replant the islands’ indigenous trees and vegetation in Tortola, Virgin Gorda and other islands. Donations can be made here.

General donations for the territory are still welcome through the BVI Recovery Fund.

The BVI is grateful to all of the volunteers and “voluntourists” who have devoted time and energy to our recovery. We thank everyone for their passionate support, as the British Virgin Islands continue to progress, and we look forward to providing ongoing updates on the status of our cherished islands.

On September 6, the BVI Government will hold a “Service of Thanksgiving, Reflection and Restoration” on Tortola, while an interdenominational prayer service will be held on Virgin Gorda, recognizing our “Journey to Healing.”  #BVILove

About the British Virgin Islands

Known as a treasured destination rich in undiscovered experiences, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is an alluring archipelago comprising 60 islands and cays located 80 kilometers (60 miles) east of Puerto Rico, in the northwestern region of the Caribbean Sea. The main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke have attracted travelers globally with their cultural Caribbean authenticity. Located in Tortola, Road Town is the BVI’s capital.

Ranked #1 Best Place to Visit in the Caribbean by U.S. News for two consecutive years in 2017 and 2018, the BVI is where nature’s best secrets are kept with an abundance of pristine beaches, azure seas, towering sage mountains and burnt-orange sunsets. It’s no wonder the BVI’s Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke were featured on the “Top Islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas” list in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2017 and 2018.

Despite its status as a United Kingdom territory, the BVI uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency.

The BVI Tourist Board invites everyone to experience the tropical mystique of the country’s unparalleled and enriching offerings. For more information, visit www.bvitourism.com.

Posted in: 2018 News, Caribbean Recovery, Destination News

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New flights from Air Antilles add 2016 additional seats into the Nature Island

Roseau, Dominica – (August 29, 2018) The Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Air Access Committee of Discover Dominica Authority have successfully negotiated an additional 2016 seats into the destination from two new flights added by Air Antilles.  The flights will commence on November 1, 2018, departing Pointe-a-Pitre (PTP) at 9pm to arrive in Dominica at 9:30pm on Thursdays and Sundays.  The aircraft will overnight in Dominica and depart the next mornings (Fridays and Mondays) at 5:30am to reach Pointe-a Pitre at 6:00am.  The flights will terminate for the season on March 29, 2019.

During this period, a total of forty two (42) flights will operate on the ATR 42 with capacity of 48 passengers, allowing for movement of up to 2016 in and 2016 out of Dominica.  These flights allow travelers to connect from the following international flights:

  • Norwegian: from JFK, New York
  • Air France: from Paris Orly
  • Air Caraibes: from Paris Orly
  • Corsair: from Paris Orly
  • Level: from Paris Charles de Gaulle
  • XL Airways: from Paris Charles de Gaulle

With the introduction of this new service, travelers to Dominica will benefit by having same day connections and also from a cost standpoint.  Travelers will have same day access from JFK into Dominica via connections with the low cost carrier Norwegian Airlines and similarly same day connections from Europe and especially France at reasonable rates from airlines departing from Paris Orly.

Tour Operators, travel agents and consumers will have visibility of these flight in the Global Distribution System (GDS) and on popular online travel agent sites allowing for a myriad of ways to book your adventure to Dominica.  Furthermore Air France will offer a code share with Air Antilles on these flights allowing for greater visibility of the flights on the Air France website and network and offering travelers additional benefits of that code share arrangement.

According to Colin Piper, Director of Tourism, “while there are a number of ways to get to Dominica these flights were planned to offer connections to Norwegian to take advantage of their lower fares, and also to provide alternatives and convenience in same day access to travelers from Europe and the US to get to Dominica.”

Leisure visitors as well as Dominicans residing abroad are expected to take advantage of this new service when planning their travels to the Nature Isle.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, see Dominica’s updates on the tourism sector post Hurricane Maria: www.dominicaupdate.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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