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STB Saddened by the Passing of Tourism Icon Robert Dubourcq

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (June 8, 2018) – “A house hold name, he was, in the development and shaping of St. Maarten’s Tourism Industry as we know it today”, said the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) on Thursday with respect to the passing of tourism icon Robert Dubourcq. Affectionately remembered by many, Mr. Dubourcq helped pave the way for many in the St. Maarten tourism industry, an action of which many have expressed their sincerest gratitude.

Remembered for his many years as manager of Divi Little Bay and more recently manager of Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Mr. Dubourcq no doubt helped to put St. Maarten on the map.

After his tenure at Sonesta Great Bay Resort, Mr. Dubourcq returned to the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA), the association he cofounded, as chairman and executive director. Under his guidance, SHTA developed into a multi-sectorial agency in the 1990’s.  With four decades of board presidency and membership to his name, he was forced to retire due to failing health. Even though he left his beloved St. Maarten, he remained a welcome contributor and cheerleader to the whole industry from the Netherlands where he relocated to.

For his unique contributions to the further development of Tourism on St. Maarten, Robert was awarded the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Hotelier of the Year Award in 2004 and the St. Maarten Hotel and Trade Association’s Life Time Achievement Award in 2012. His involvement and volunteerism in St. Maarten’s society extended way beyond his efforts for the SHTA. He was a Paul Harris Fellow Rotarian as well.

“The Management and staff of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau extend our sincerest condolences to the family and many friends of Robert Dubourcq,” STB said on Thursday.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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The Cayman Islands Promises “Worry Free Hurricane Guarantee” for Caribbean Getaways this Season

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, June 1, 2018 – The Cayman Islands prides itself in providing travellers with unrivalled vacation experiences and allowing guests to be unburdened by the stresses of everyday life. With an unpredictable hurricane season around the corner, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism continues to give its visitors peace of mind with the destination’s “Worry Free Hurricane Guarantee,” a specialty promise made by on-island partners to cover any cancellations made prior to arrival and compensation if vacation time is cut short due to inclement weather during a Cayman Islands getaway.

In anticipation of an active hurricane season, the destination launched its annual Worry Free Hurricane Guarantee to put travellers’ minds at ease, knowing they can book a getaway to the Cayman Islands and receive cancellation coverage in the event of a storm.

The Worry Free Guarantee includes a full refund of accommodation fees at participating hotels, condos and villas island-wide, with a maximum one-night penalty at most for cancellations made up to 48 hours prior to check-in as soon as a hurricane watch is issued by authorities. Additionally, many properties on-island are offering a free replacement stay throughout the summer months, allowing guests to rebook for the same duration as the initially-booked stay, regardless of how many days were affected by a hurricane or storm.

“In the Cayman Islands, we strive to not only provide unforgettable and relaxing vacations, but most importantly through this generous programme, we offer our guests a seamless solution for when travel disruptions occur,” said Mrs. Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism for the Cayman Islands. “It’s Caymankind to give peace of mind, and with our Hurricane Guarantee, I am pleased we can provide travellers relief knowing they can plan a vacation to our beautiful islands despite seasonal considerations and inclement weather.”

An array of hotels, condominiums and villas across Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are participating in the Worry Free Hurricane Guarantee. This program is available only through participating hotels and resorts. For a list of properties and their respective policies, go to https://www.visitcaymanislands.com/en-us/about-cayman/weather/hurricane-guarantee. For detailed property guarantees, please visit the individual property web sites or contact them directly.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Dominica Launches ReDiscover Dominica Campaign

Roseau, Dominica – (May 28, 2018) Dominica, The Nature Island of the Caribbean, has launched its “ReDiscover Dominica Campaign” to encourage travelers to visit the island. Visitors, friends of Dominica, and Dominicans can enjoy discounts on a trip to the Nature Island and, in doing so, help the country on its path to recovery. Dominica was hit hard by Hurricane Maria in September, 2017.

Tourism officials have been working closely with key industry players to reaffirm Dominica’s position as a desirable Caribbean destination. The destination is rebuilding and it is a great time for nature lovers, meaningful travelers, adventure seekers, leisure travellers, wellness enthusiasts, educational travelers and others to visit The Nature Island. The ReDiscover Dominica Campaign will offer deals on hotel accommodations and on-island activities to attract travelers.

The ReDiscover Dominica Campaign will run in all of Dominica’s major source markets including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Caribbean and French West Indies. The promotion features one free night on a minimum four-night stay at nine participating hotels. Guests can book four nights, yet pay only for three.  To qualify for the free night, interested visitors must book between May 24 to July 31, 2018 using the promo code DOM2018 and travel between July 1 and December 15, 2018.  Adult visitors age 18 and over will be entitled to US$100 spending money in the form of coupon vouchers redeemable at fifteen participating vendors and participating hotels. On island activities include dining, car rentals, horseback riding, island tours, underwater experiences, spa services and duty-free shopping. The campaign will be promoted digitally on all Discover Dominica Authority online channels and on regional and international trade partner’s platforms.

Visitors are encouraged to book through their respective tour operators within their geographic location or book directly with participating hotels on the campaign website.

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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Grenada Wins 14th GOLD MEDAL at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

St. George’s, Grenada – May 22nd, 2018 – The Pure Grenada exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 named ‘Grenada-The Road to Success’ has won a highly coveted gold medal. This brings to 14 the number of gold medals awarded to Grenada in 20 years of exhibiting at the Show, with four being awarded in as many consecutive years to Grenada-based lead designer, Catherine John and her extended team of volunteers.

This year, the team brought Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean to life with a fragrant and exuberant representation of one of the island’s iconic historic symbols-the board bus. Measuring 10ft by 4ft, the sides are open to the spice-fragranced breeze and sweeping views as the bus heads back to the countryside from the capital city of St George’s.

The Grenada team’s intricate design emphasises the rich and abundant flora typical of the tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, accented with scented spices and complemented by verdant foliage. Heliconias, orchids, gingers, tropical ferns, fruits and spices all feature prominently.

Mrs. John said: “’Grenada-The Road to Success’ unites Grenadians in the memory of travelling by open-sided bus to and from our capital St George’s. These buses, always resplendent in our national colours of red, gold and green, were an institution in themselves and provided vital transport links to work, school and markets. Goods were carried on the rooftop, represented by our hanging orchids and bananas, whilst the exhibit showcases our islands’ extraordinary fertility and biodiversity with evocative blooms, foliage and spices that thrive at different levels of vegetation.”

She added: “Our rainforest, dry forest, orchids and spices are all represented, revealing their intense colours and fragrances to ensure Grenada really stands out from the floral displays at the Show.”

The blooms, greenery and spices were grown in Grenada and arranged to design ahead of Monday, 21st May when the display enthralled VIP Press Day visitors including Dr Johnson Beharry VC – recipient of the highest military decoration for valour in the British and Commonwealth armed forces, who was born in Grenada. Well-known names including ITV Royal Wedding presenter, Philip Schofield; athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton; singer Beverley Knight; and actors Alison Steadman OBE and Christian Vit (Game of Thrones) were also impressed.

Mrs. John said: “We’re delighted that the exhibit has been awarded a Gold Medal here in London. A journey on an open-sided bus was a delight, and my personal inspiration for the design comes from memories of driving past cocoa and spice trees, palms, exotic blooms and brightly-coloured blooming shrubs. Many more Grenadians will fondly recall idyllic journeys on such buses between the 1930s and 1990s.”

Patricia Maher, CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, said: “We’re proud to sponsor ‘Grenada-The Road to Success’ and the entire team who have once again provided visitors to the world’s premiere flower show with an authentic taste of our islands. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is an unrivalled world stage and continues to play a prominent role in enticing visitors to Pure Grenada, where they are free to wonder at our abundant natural beauty and exquisite gardens.”

All connected with the pavilion express their gratitude to the 2018 supporters and those who offered their time and plant materials.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show remains open to the public until Saturday 26th May 2018. For more information on Pure Grenada, visit www.PureGrenada.com or search for #FreeToWonder on social platforms.

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St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, in collaboration with St. Martin Tourist Office (French) host journalists from the Netherlands and Belgium

Philipsburg, May 15th 2018 – The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau is currently hosting a group press trip consisting of journalists from the Netherlands and Belgium representing the publications: ‘De Telegraaf’, ‘Reishonger’, ‘We Are Travellers’ as well as ‘KNACK’.

These journalists are on St. Maarten to see the progress made, as well as to receive updates from various stakeholders including Princess Juliana International Airport and Port St. Maarten. In addition, the journalists will partake in various activities on the Dutch and French side to get a sense of what there is to do on the island. The journalists will visit the art gallery of Max Phelipa ‘Art in the Garden’ and Tess Verheij ‘Art Craft Café’. They will also experience the zipline at Rainforest Adventures, take a tour at Topper’s Rhum Distillery as well as take a sunset sail by Aquamania amongst other activities.

Photo L to R: Gianira Arrindell (St. Maarten Tourist Bureau), Alexander Bakker (de Telegraaf), Audrey St. Luce-Jack (Princess Juliana International Airport), Acting Minister TEATT Cornelius de Weever, Tanja Olde Weghuis (Aviareps), May-ling Chun Interim Head of Tourism, Ichel Moeslikan (Port St. Maarten), Kamiel Vermeylen (KNACK), Lotte Wildiers (Reishonger), Agnes Nijholt (We are travelers), William Bell (St. Maarten Tourist Bureau)

At the welcome dinner organized for the journalists, Acting Minister of TEATT Cornelius de Weever was present, alongside Interim Head of Tourism May-Ling Chun and members from Port St. Maarten, Princess Juliana International Airport and St. Maarten Tourist Bureau. Students of the National Institute of Arts gave a heartwarming performance at the welcome dinner that show cased the local dance and attire.

“Our Tourism product has drastically changed and we have the opportunity to rebuild St. Maarten phase by phase better and stronger and public relations is a high priority in this entire process” says May-Ling Chun.

It is imperative that the consumer markets in the Netherlands and Belgium know that there is progress being made on the island after the devastation of Hurricane Irma, and most importantly that there are ample tourism activities and hotels that are open and ready to welcome tourists again.
Therefore, the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau will continuously work on public relations to ensure that the trade and consumer markets are aware that St. Maarten is open for business and that they receive updates about the progress of the island as it happens.

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BTB and Love FM to Hold First Ever 218 Mile Sea Kayak Race From Punta Gorda to Corozal

Belize City, Wednesday, May 16th , 2018:  The first ever sea kayak race from Punta Gorda Town to Corozal will be held from May 17 to 21, a grueling five-day adventurous extreme challenge covering over 218 miles of sea paddling.

Dubbed as the BTB Love Belize Sea Challenge, the race is a joint venture between the Belize Tourism Board and Love FM.

Besides providing a truly unforgettable lifetime experience the race aims to promote Belize as a key tourism destination for paddlers and kayakers; underscore Belize’s rich and effervescent culture and history, including food, music and tradition, of the communities along the coastline; create environmental awareness with paddlers and fans on the important of protecting Belize’s natural and cultural resources and provide visiting teams with a unique Belizean experience and opportunity to see Belize from a closer and local perspective.

The race will kick off at 5 am on Thursday May 17th from Punta Gorda and the contenders will travel to Abalone Caye to Monkey River to Placencia. On the second day, they will travel from Placencia to Riversdale then to Hopkins and Dangriga. On the third day the paddlers will go from Dangriga Town to Gales Point Manatee Bar Mouth to Old Belize then Belize City. The Fourth day will cover the distance from Belize City to St. George’s Caye to Caye Caulker and San Pedro and on the final day the paddlers will travel from San Pedro to Blackadore Caye to Sarteneja and finishing at Rainbow Beach in Corozal Town.

The race is open to kayakers worldwide. There will be three different categories of competitors, namely Male, Female and Mix teams with cash prizes totaling $30,000.

The BTB Love Belize Sea Challenge will be broadcast live on Love FM, Estereo Amor and Love TV where a joint BTB/Love FM broadcast team, in addition to providing updates on the kayak race, will highlight the various points of attractions and local tourism regions along the race path.

So far eight teams have registered to participate in the kayak sea challenge, which promises to be a trilling, adrenaline-charged and unforgettable event. Whether you find yourself at the kick-off point in the southernmost point of Belize or cheering at the finish line on the northernmost point, you cannot miss this sea challenge that is sure to become a Belizean tradition.

BTB is proud to be a part of this historic event as we join in exploring, promoting and conserving our beautiful Jewel.

Here are some spots that you can join in for some fun and entertainment:

Wednesday, May 16 – 4pm– 6pm –  Opening Event  at Garbutt’s Marina, Punta Gorda Town
Thursday, May 17th –  Race departs 5 am from Garbutt’s Marina,  Punta Gorda arriving in Placencia 3 pm at Placencia Point
Friday, May 18th –  Race departs Placencia 5 am to Dangriga arriving Dangriga at 3pm at Alejo Beni Park
Saturday, May 19th – Race departs Dangriga 5 am to Belize City, arriving Belize City at 3 pm at BTL Park
Sunday, May 20th – Race departs Belize City 5 am to San Pedro, arriving San Pedro at 3 pm at Central Park
Monday, May 21st   – Race departs San Pedro 5 am to Corozal Town, arriving at 3 pm at Rainbow Beach (Grand Finale)

For further details on the BTB LOVE BELIZE SEA CHALLENGE please visit the following link:

https://www.travelbelize.org/race-become-tradition or contact Love FM at 223-0246 or 203-0528 or call Julia at 621-1955 or Manuela  at 622-5807; email: [email protected]

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