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Saint Lucia Moving Forward with International Airport Development

The redevelopment of Saint Lucia’s international airport will get underway very soon. On Tuesday, December 11, 2018, the Parliament of Saint Lucia voted to borrow US$100 million for the Hewanorra International Airport redevelopment project.

The plan, which is expected to be unveiled in the coming days, will include the construction of a new terminal building equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, restaurants, shops and executive lounges, and the conversion of the old terminal to accommodate fixed-based operators (FBOs).

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) is excited about this development as it will provide an added incentive for airlines to open up new routes to the destination.

Saint Lucia’s Tourism Minister, Honourable Dominic Fedee noted, “We have exhausted the current capacity of the Hewanorra International Airport, and the redevelopment project is part of our government’s broader plan to expand the island’s room stock by 50 percent in the next eight years.”

Currently, Saint Lucia has a room stock of just over 5,000 rooms spread across large and small hotels, villas, guest houses and apartments.

Acting CEO of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Mrs. Tiffany Howard says, “This is a welcome development and great news for the tourism industry. The SLTA continues to negotiate for more airlift into the island and having a new, modern airport to leverage with airline partners is a huge asset.”

At present, Saint Lucia welcomes close to 400,000 stayover visitors every year, with the largest number coming from the US market (45%), followed by the Caribbean (20%), the UK (18.5%) and Canada (10.5%). Tourism accounts for 65 per cent of the island’s economic activity.

Last year the government instituted a US $35 airport development charge (ADC) on each arrival to finance the US $100 million loan from the Taiwanese government. The Taiwanese are also providing much needed technical support on the project.

Construction of the new airport is slated to begin early in 2019 with the goal of having the facility fully operational by the end of 2020.

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888 4STLUCIA or visit http://stlucia.org/.

About Saint Lucia

One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies’ Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the Eastern Caribbean archipelago. The “Helen of the West Indies,” Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes.

Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Soleil Saint Lucia Summer Festival. Saint Lucia’s wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties. Saint Lucia is also home to world class cruise and yachting facilities. The island is continually recognized as one of the leading Wedding and Honeymoon destinations worldwide.

 

 

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Buju Banton to Perform at St. Kitts Music Festival 2019

Continuing to add to the already star-studded line-up, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism announced that Buju Banton will be performing at the 23rd Annual St. Kitts Music Festival, which will take place on June 26-30, 2019. He joins previously announced popular artists Smokey Robinson, French Montana, Popcaan, and Davido.

“It is very exciting to have Buju Banton join the roster for the 2019 St. Kitts Music Festival,” said Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant. “Having such a renowned dancehall artist only enhances the mix of top international acts, local performers and regional talent across a broad range of musical styles that helps the event appeal to a diverse audience.”

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, “Our annual Music Festival has become a verified driver for travel to St. Kitts specifically to attend the event, boosting arrivals from key source markets during our off-peak season. The addition of Buju Banton to the roster this year will only increase the Festival’s already strong appeal.”

For many years, the name Buju Banton (a.k.a. Gargamel) has become synonymous with modern reggae. Having metamorphosed from a brash teenage phenomenon into a self-assured deejay and singer, Buju’s fusion of traditional roots rock, contemporary R&B and dancehall DJ’ing have earned him a prophet-like status in his Jamaican homeland. Having hit the charts there suddenly in 1992 with a string of hits including “Bogle,” “Love Me Browning” and “Love Black Woman,” Banton soon thereafter released one of the more controversial songs in his musical catalogue, “Boom Boom Bye Bye.” His 2010 album, Before the Dawn, won Best Reggae Album of the year at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.

Now entering its 23rd year, the St. Kitts Music Festival attracts both locals and visitors alike. It features a wide range of musical styles on the popular market, including R&B, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Gospel and Contemporary music. Past artists have included such prominent acts as John Legend, The Goo Goo Dolls, Lionel Richie, Jason Derulo, Trey Songz, Patti LaBelle, Michael Bolton, R. City, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Wyclef Jean, Ne-Yo, Air Supply, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Shaggy, Kelly Rowland, Tarrus Riley, Jah Cure, Tessanne Chin, Toni Braxton, Sean Paul, Boyz II Men, King Konris, Stephen Marley, Maxi Priest, Beres Hammond, and Biggie Irie. For more information about the St. Kitts Music Festival, visit www.stkittsmusicfestival.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 watersports including catamaran cruises, 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.

 

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Cayman Islands on Track to Surpass 2017 Stayover Visitation

The Cayman Islands welcomed a total of 410,984 stayover visitors in the first eleven months of 2018. This represents an 11.26 percent increase over the first eleven months of 2017 and is the highest number of stayover visitors in recorded history. Total visitation for the year 2017 was 418,403. 

“The incredible growth in arrivals we have seen in 2018 is a testament to the resilience of the Cayman Islands through strong stakeholder partnerships, high investor confidence and a national commitment to the development of our infrastructure,” commented Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism, the Honourable Moses Kirkconnell. “The strategic efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and Department of Tourism must be continued, to ensure our islands take a holistic approach at addressing the needs of every visitor that graces our shore. I look forward to ending the year with record-breaking arrivals and continuing this momentum through 2019.”

November air arrivals into the Cayman Islands were the best November in record history with a total of 38,172 visitors, a 9.07 percent increase over 2017. Visitation from the United States increased by 10.43 percent. Of significant note is the Southeast region which recorded a 19.44 percent increase over 2017. These figures were aided by the addition of JetBlue’s daily service from Fort Lauderdale in October. The Northeast region increased by 6.42 percent and was complemented by an increase in flight capacity from JetBlue and our national airline, Cayman Airways. The Southwest region recorded a 16.3 percent increase over 2017; while the West Coast and Midwest region recorded a 15.97 and 4.55 percent respectively. Canadian arrivals showed strong performance as well, with increased visitation at 13.27 percent growth over November 2017. Continued efforts to grow the Latin American market are fruitful as visitation grew by 10.3 percent.

Sustained growth is expected in the first quarter of 2019 with several key events happening in the destination. The 11th annual Cayman Cookout, which unites award-winning chefs and winemakers with worldwide purveyors of gourmet food, returns to the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean January 16 – 20, 2019. Taste of Cayman, a celebration of the Cayman Islands’ culinary heritage, returns to the Festival Green, Camana Bay January 26, 2019. To top it all off, the Cayman Islands is proud to be the host destination for KAABOO Cayman, set for February 15 – 16, 2019. The event will welcome a wide spectrum of internationally renowned musicians such as The Chainsmokers, Duran Duran, ZEDD, Jason Derulo; comedians such as Wanda Sykes, David Spade, Jenny Slate, Darrell Hammond and chefs such as Michael Mina, Richard Blais, Michell Bernstein and Nina Compton.

 

To learn more about Cayman Cookout, please visit www.caymancookout.com.

To learn more about Taste of Cayman, please visit www.tasteofcayman.org.

To learn more about KAABOO Cayman, please visit www.kaaboocayman.com.

For more information and detailed arrival statistics, please visit www.caymanislands.ky/statistics.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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End of Year Gifts for Dominica’s Tourism Industry

The Discover Dominica Authority is pleased to inform of the end of year gifts that the local Industry has received.  Over the past few weeks, various stakeholders and destination Dominica have received good news.

Since reopening November 1, 2018, Secret Bay, an exclusive and intimate eco-luxury boutique resort and the island’s only 5-star hotel, received two coveted awards: The resort was named one of Conde Nast Traveler’s 2018 Reader’s Choice Awards: “Best Resorts in the Caribbean.” This accolade is determined by the public and this year’s list generated 429,000 responses that helped land Secret Bay fourth out of 50 Caribbean resorts. Additionally, Secret Bay was named one of 10 Caribbean properties that made Fodor’s prestigious list of “100 Most Incredible Hotels in the World.” Over the years, Secret Bay has received numerous accolades.

Secret Bay features a limited collection of six freestanding, secluded and sustainably-crafted villas with their own individual plunge pools that are immersed in nature and positioned on a breathtaking clifftop overlooking the azure Caribbean Sea. Offering a wealth of transformational experiences, fine dining, wellness facilities, architectural residential-style villas and night and day access to remote beaches, Secret Bay provides guests with the ultimate five-star hideaway experience. Secret Bay is located at Ti Baie in the north of Dominica and can be reached at [email protected] and online at https://secretbay.dm.

These two accomplishments come soon after our very own Tamarind Tree Hotel was nominated for and awarded with the British Guild of Travel Writers BGTW Annual Tourism Award for Best Tourism Project in the Wider World Category for their project “Clearance and Restoration of Segment 11 of the Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT) in Dominica.”  The Tamarind Tree Hotel is a 21 room property which overlooks the Caribbean Sea atop a 100 ft cliff. The property is ideally located between two beaches and with easy access to hiking trails.  For more information about the hotel’s trail restoration project contact the Tamarind Tree Hotel at [email protected]  or at https://www.tamarindtreedominica.com/.

From December 17th through to December 28th, Dominica welcomed nineteen (19) different cruise ships to our shores, totaling 37,579 cruise passengers.   On Monday December 17th, Dominica welcomed three (3) ships for the first time this season as Dominica was visited by the MV Koningsdam, MV Celebrity Silhouette and the SY Royal Clipper.  During that period the destination also hosted two ships in port on five different occasions.

Dominica once again benefited from the FCCA Foundation Holiday Gift Project. Crew members of MV Celebrity Silhouette—along with West Dominica Children’s Federation, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Discover Dominica Authority (DDA)—brought holiday cheer and gifts to 200 Dominican children.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

About Dominica: Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a haven for adventure travelers seeking a unique vacation that includes: hiking and adventure, cultural events/festivals, diving and water sports, whale/dolphin watching and canyoning adventures. Dominica lies south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean. Air travelers can connect to Dominica on Air Antilles, Air Sunshine, Coastal Air Transport, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, or WINAIR from the surrounding hubs of Antigua, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  If travelling by sea, travelers can connect to Dominica on L’Express Des Iles ferry service from Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia and on Valferry from Guadeloupe and Martinique.

 

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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More Connections to Pure Grenada from the USA with American Airlines

People living in the USA now have more options and easier connections when travelling to Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean.  Close to 100 passengers arrived aboard the second American Airlines Saturdays flight from Miami on December 22, 2018 at the Maurice Bishop International Airport. On arrival, they were greeted with sweet steel pan music, cultural dancers in traditional wear and a refreshing rum sorrel drink.

The additional flight leaves Miami International after 9:00am and arrives in Grenada after 1:00pm while the original flight on Saturdays leaves Miami at 10:45am and arrives in Grenada at 3:22pm. These flights will allow many travellers to make connections on Saturdays without having to overnight.

Passengers were appreciative of the spicy Grenadian welcome with one commenting, “we’re glad to be back” while another said ‘this is a lovely welcome.” Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) Patricia Maher was also on hand to welcome the additional flight saying, “ We are happy for the double capacity from this key gateway of Miami International Airport on Saturdays with American Airlines as we have experienced strong growth in visitor arrivals from the United States of 12.3% year to date in 2018.”

Thus far, the US market accounts for 47% of market share for stayover arrivals with the five top performing feeder markets being New York, Florida, New Jersey, California and Texas.

About Grenada

The tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique is located in the eastern Caribbean just south of Barbados. Grenada is best known as the “Spice Island of the Caribbean” for its cinnamon and nutmeg production, but the lush destination draws visitors for so much more. The Pure Grenada experience beckons visitors to its 40 white sandy beaches such as the world famous Grand Anse Beach, 15 breathtaking waterfalls, 4 chocolate factories, 3 rum distilleries and more than 30 unforgettable dive sites, including the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean ‘Bianca C’ and the World’s First Underwater Sculpture Park. Grenada’s approach to hospitality is infused with a warm charm which is apparent from its luxury resorts to barefoot chic boutique hotels and villas. There are direct flights to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport from the US, Caribbean, Canada, UK and Germany making the island accessible to visitors from around the world that wish to experience Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean.

 

Media Contact

Ria Murray, Communications Officer, Grenada Tourism Authority
[email protected]

473 440 2001/2279; 473 420 2557 (mobile)

For all our recent news releases go to www.puregrenada.com/news

 

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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The Islands Of The Bahamas Snags Two Top Best Caribbean Awards

NASSAU, Bahamas: The Islands Of The Bahamas continues to dominate tourism in the Caribbean. So says Caribbean Journal which bestowed on the destination two key awards in its Caribbean Travel Awards 2018 : Best Caribbean Destination and Best Caribbean Tourism Minister. Caribbean Journal is the world’s largest website covering Caribbean travel and tourism.

Editor and Publisher of Caribbean Journal Alexander Britell said, “The region’s tourism offering has never been more diverse or more energetic. It’s a message to the world that the Caribbean isn’t just back — it’s better than ever.”

But it is better in The Bahamas, and according to officials, the destination had the most impressive growth in the region.

“While several destinations have had particularly strong growth in 2018, none has been more impressive — or more broadly impactful — than The Bahamas,” officials said on the destination’s website.

“That’s because while the destination has seen surging airlift growth (and a powerful increase in arrivals, thanks to the full-fledged debut of the Baha Mar mega resort), this year has seen something unique for the destination: universal growth. That means growth that has been felt beyond the traditional pole of Nassau and New Providence. Indeed, islands across the Out Islands (and, crucially, Grand Bahama) are seeing strong growth — a clear sign that The Bahamas’ tourism growth is being realized across 700 islands and cays. And that’s a very powerful thing.”

Just recently, Ministry of Tourism and Aviation officials reported that stopover arrivals have soared by some 18 percent from January to October 2018. Expedia travel has also reported that room night sales have grown by 30 percent and forward bookings are up by 9.2 percent.

The Caribbean Journal says part of this success is due to Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar.

“While The Bahamas’ impressive growth has come from myriad sources, the destination’s surge has been expertly stewarded by Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar, who took over in the role in 2017,” officials said.

“From adding new hotels to helping to secure crucial new flights to, importantly, making a concerted effort to give The Bahamas an active regional presence in the Caribbean, both at the public and private sector levels, D’Aguilar has been at the heart of the country’s impressive growth.”

Minister D’Aguilar said that new and refurbished hotel offerings are the key to the success The Islands Of The Bahamas has had over the past year.

“We will continue to work to reach millenials as well as repeat visitors looking for authentic, unique Bahamian experiences through the natural beauty of all of our islands, strategic partnerships and promotions, media relations and attractive programs for travelers,” he said.

“Our priority will be to continue to position The Islands Of The Bahamas as a premier travel destination.”

These latest awards come on the heels of The Islands Of The Bahamas being awarded the World Travel Awards’ World’s Leading Luxury Island Destination and the World’s Leading Wedding Destination.

 

MEDIA CONTACT

Kendea Smith

[email protected]

242-397-2786

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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