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Cayman Islands National Tourism Plan Seeks Public Consultation

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, 22 August 2018 – The Ministry and Department of Tourism want to hear from you on the draft National Tourism Plan (NTP) 2018-2023. As outlined during the community meetings held in February and March of this year on all three islands, the final NTP will provide a comprehensive and strategic way forward to maximize the benefits of tourism throughout the country.

“I would like to first thank all of those who came out during our first round of community meetings. It was wonderful to see a broad cross-section of persons both currently in the tourism industry and beyond, allowing us to hear first-hand the concerns and new ideas that were shared; these were key to getting us to this point now,” said Tourism Minister, the Hon Moses Kirkconnell.   “It is imperative that the community remains involved in the process because ultimately, this very important economic pillar of our society can only thrive with your support.”

Director of Tourism, Mrs. Rosa Harris further encourages the public to participate in this important stage of review.  “The National Tourism Plan is designed to be our road map for sustainable success in tourism while supporting the many businesses that are needed to make the industry thrive. Providing the government with your responses to the draft plan, will further shape the tourism management approach, priorities and action plan. The Ministry and Department of Tourism look forward to receiving your feedback.”

The plan focuses on several key areas such as enhancing business environment, workforce development, creating an outstanding visitor experience and improving the connectivity and infrastructure of the islands – each with strategies on how to effectively accomplish these goals. Comments and any additional inputs provided by tourism businesses and the public will be used to finalise the detailed Action Plans, the Evaluation Plan, and National Tourism Plan 2018-2023.  The public consultation process will be open from 22 August through 26 September 2018.

Submissions can be provided online by visiting www.CaymanNTP.ky  Hard copies of the draft National Tourism Plan will be available at the Government Administration Building reception area from Friday 24th August.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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BAHAMAS REVEALS STRONG POSITIVE TRENDS IN INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS

NASSAU, Bahamas (Aug 16, 2018) – International arrivals in The Bahamas show a solid growth of +10.2 percent year-to-date, maintaining the tourism turnaround that began in October of 2017. The growth trend is driven by strong performance from the U.S. but a 29.6 percent increase through July in arrivals from Canada is also contributing to the overall growth story. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation restarted robust marketing and communications efforts in North America telling The Bahamas travel story to consumers by bringing travel journalists and digital influencers to the country, and using strategic content and digital amplification to reach travel decision makers. The Ministry is already underway with the marketing program for 2018-19 and anticipates continued business growth supported by this work.

“We have seen very good news and gratifying results across major Bahamian tourism sectors in recent months and are very encouraged. Using our new tracking tools, we have seen double-digit increases in international arrivals and strong business on the books for future months. Lynden Pindling International Airport has reported historic arrival numbers for the country’s premier airport facility. Browse Nassau hotels on Trip Advisor for this coming weekend and you may see that most of the hotels are projected to sell out soon and we are seeing very strong occupancy rates. These outcomes are validation of the marketing and communications work we have been doing,” said Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation.

A new communications program is underway for the 2018-19 fiscal year and writers and influencers from the U.S. will arrive within days to kick off a new cycle of Bahamas storytelling. Writers from major publications including Good Housekeeping, Essence and Red Tricycle will visit The Abacos next week to capture the island-hopping and family travel options there. Grand Bahama Island will host a select group of influencers for an itinerary specially curated to develop visual stories to showcase the water, beaches and local heritage of the island for important platforms like Instagram. Development of a late fall trip to Cat Island is underway, along with ongoing outreach to media to promote fall travel offers and events, and to support several new American Airlines flights into the destination.

The Ministry of Tourism is also deploying advertising across a variety of broadcast, digital and out-of-home channels in key markets, raising awareness of the destination. An ambitious content marketing program complements this traditional advertising with the goal of inspiring consumers to explore more islands across the country.

The Ministry of Tourism expects tourism growth to continue as bookings are up 6.7 percent over the August to October period and show a 10 percent increase for the final two months of 2018.

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Grenada Wins Cruise Critic’s 2018 Destination Award

St. George’s, Grenada – August 20, 2018 – The numbers are in and the three-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique was named a Top-Rated Southern Caribbean Cruise Destination in Cruise Critic’s third annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards. The award is based entirely on consumer ratings submitted with reviews on CruiseCritic.com and as a destination awarded in this category, Grenada received high ratings among cruisers who visited the island in the past year.

“On behalf of Pure Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, we are truly humbled by this award and thrilled to be named a top destination for cruisers,” said Patricia Maher, CEO of Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA). “To be recognized by our visitors is a remarkable honor and one that we do not take for granted. So far in 2018, growth in our cruise sector is trending upward and we will continue to work on elevating the product and experiences, to exceed expectations and keep Grenada top-of-mind with visitors to our shores.”

“Our data regularly shows that whether you’re a first-time cruiser or you’ve sailed dozens of times, destination is a top consideration when shopping for a cruise,” explains Colleen McDaniel, Senior Executive Editor of Cruise Critic. “While tropical destinations will always be popular among cruisers, what’s really exciting to see is the rise in esteem of destinations more known for their immersive and experiential offerings.”

Cruise Critic®, the world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, boasts the largest online cruise community, with more than 350,000 cruise reviews, covering approximately 500 cruise ships and over 300 worldwide ports.

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Puerto Rico Tourism Industry Calls For News Coverage Of The Island’s Positive Milestones As The One Year Anniversary Of Hurricane Maria Approaches

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, August 20, 2018 – Discover Puerto Rico announced today a new initiative to underscore the progress Puerto Rico’s tourism industry has made since Hurricane Maria. As the one year mark approaches and old imagery resurfaces in the news and in social media, local tourism and community members are rallying audiences everywhere, including news media, to #CoverTheProgress and share real-time Island imagery and the many milestones that have led the Island in one of the greatest comeback stories in tourism.This initiative stemmed from the strong sentiment of the local community paired with reactions from recent travelers to Puerto Rico. Tourism benefits everyone on the Island, and sharing the positive milestones achieved within the tourism industry will help continue to attract travelers – helping to drive the recovery forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Six months after Hurricane Maria hit, more than fifty percent of travelers said media coverage negatively impacted their view of Puerto Rico as a destination and we’re hoping to change that as the one year anniversary approaches. Puerto Rico declared itself open for tourism in late December, and the local tourism industry has worked very hard for the past year to come back strong. There’s a lot to celebrate and we don’t want the one year anniversary to set us back,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico. “While there’s still progress to be made in some areas of the Island, we’re asking for the vibrancy of Puerto Rico as a tourism destination to also be shared and for the milestones the local industry and communities worked hard to achieve to be celebrated. We’re taking this moment to encourage all audiences to help us spotlight our tourism recovery and invite travelers to visit us as tourism is a vital contributor to the economy.”

As part of this initiative, local members of Humacao – one of the Island’s hardest hit communities that became well known for the S.O.S. image that went viral in the immediate aftermath of the storm – have a message to share. They came together with the local tourism industry to replace the aerial image in hopes that this image also goes viral. This time, the message reads: “Bienvenidos!”

“Being on the Island and completely disconnected, we didn’t realize how far our picture traveled. We’re thankful it did. But now, we’re ready to turn the page. We’ve been wanting to clean up that message for a while as we’re past it. We were asked what message we’d want to share with the world and hope our new positive message spreads just as fast,” said Janet Gonzalez, resident of Humacao.

The following are among the many tourism milestones achieved:

  • Arrivals by Air and by Sea. 
    • Flight capacity is on the rise with monthly seat capacity surpassing the 420,000 figure. There are currently on average 110 daily flights via 28 different airlines, and relationships with airlines continue to drive growth. By Q4, the destination is poised to make a full turnaround and be on par with 2017 levels.
    • Puerto Rico has more cruises on the Island than ever before with 14 vessels – which is four more vessels than last year. The Island also has 119 cruise shore excursions for travelers to enjoy.
    • In fact, cruise tourism in May turned out to be the best results for that month in the last 20 years, with 107,390 cruise passengers received. This was 12.9% higher than the 95,139 cruise passengers who visited in May last year.
    • All-in-all, for the next cruising season, a record breaking $1.7 million passengers are expected, which equates to approximately $250 million in revenue.
  • The Return of Luxury. 
    • Puerto Rico currently offers 132 diverse lodging options. Next month, travelers will have even more choices with iconic luxury hotels reopening after taking the time to renovate and new hotels opening their doors.
    • In October, 657 new rooms will be available from the Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton and The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort. In December, 480 new rooms will be available from Meliá Coco Beach. And, in January, an additional 652 new rooms will be available from Caribe Hilton. Additional revamping includes El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Resort and The Ritz-Carlton San Juan.
    • The investment in new hotel development equates to $1.9 billion, which adds another 2,900 jobs locally.
  • What’s Next in Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE). 
    • Puerto Rico is already a prime destination for hosting Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events. Coming next year is District LIVE!, a five acre hospitality and entertainment district built in partnership between Island Hospitality Partners and the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority. This complex is destined to be the most vibrant and popular setting for events, conventions and performances of all types in the Caribbean region.
  • Destination Attractions to Discover. 
    • Puerto Rico offers over 189 tourist attractions, including walking tours through Old San Juan, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristobal and the Bacardi Distillery. The Island also offers salsa tours that visit famous places to dance your heart out, caving systems like Cueva Ventana, Toro Verde Adventure Park and El Yunque rainforest – the largest rainforest in the U.S. While nature takes its course, many trails of El Yunque are already open – including the Angelito Trail, La Coca Falls and the Yakahu Tower.
    • The islands of Culebra and Vieques are ready to welcome visitors, too. Culebra is home to Flamenco Beach, recognized as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. There are day excursions to the islands if you are staying in mainland Puerto Rico.
    • The bioluminescent bays are an experience not to miss, and Puerto Rico has three of the world’s five. The reflection of microorganisms causes the water to glow when touched. Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays are located in Mosquito Bay in Vieques; Laguna Grande in Fajardo; and La Parguera in Lajas.
    • There are plenty of culinary options with more than 1,885 restaurants across the Island, including Culebra and Vieques. Puerto Rico is a foodie’s paradise.
    • For those looking for golf and added entertainment, the Island offers 13 professional golf courses, 16 casinos and plenty of nightlife options like bars and clubs.

It’s easy to plan a trip to Puerto Rico – no passport is required for U.S. citizens or green card holders, and U.S. currency is used. Visit DiscoverPuertoRico.com for current offers and information on the Island’s wide array of offerings in adventure, culture and cuisine.

About the Destination Marketing Organization  

Discover Puerto Rico is a newly established private, not for-profit enterprise whose mission is to make Puerto Rico visible to the world as a premier travel destination. The DMO will bring prosperity to the people of Puerto Rico by collaboratively positioning the Island’s diversity and uniqueness for leisure, business and events. It is responsible for all global marketing, sales and promotion of the destination and must work collaboratively with key local governmental and non-governmental stakeholders throughout Puerto Rico’s visitor economy and community at large, while powering economic growth.

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St. Kitts Welcomes Wednesday Peak Season Service from United Airlines

Basseterre, St. Kitts (August 20, 2018) – For the first time in the island’s history, United Airlines will fly a second weekly nonstop flight from its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to St. Kitts, complementing the carrier’s existing Saturday service.

“The addition of a mid-week flight by United Airlines marks yet another historic first for St. Kitts this year,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “I could not be more pleased to welcome this additional service, which increases the available options for visitors and Diaspora to get to island during peak travel season from the New York metropolitan area, which is our primary source market for arrivals.”

For the period from January 9 through March 6, 2019, United will operate a total of 9 scheduled round-trip, non-stop Wednesday flights between Newark and St. Kitts. 

Depart                         Arrive

EWR 8:35am               SKB 2:05pm

SKB 3:05pm                EWR 7:07pm 

*Note: Flights are listed in local time and schedules are subject to change. St. Kitts observes Atlantic Standard Time (AST; UTC-4 hours).

“We are thrilled that United has decided to provide a second weekly non-stop flight to St. Kitts,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “Having a Wednesday flight gives travelers more flexibility in their vacation planning and provides increased capacity during the period when demand is highest. This is a testament to the success of our work to grow North American airlift from key gateways in order to accommodate new hotel developments and existing hotel product upgrades.”

United first began serving St. Kitts in December 2015 and continues to operate non-stop Saturday flights from Newark. With the addition of these 9 Wednesday flights, there is a greater potential for an increase in air passenger arrivals into St. Kitts.

About United

United Airlines and United Express operate approximately 4,600 flights a day to 357 airports across five continents. In 2017, United and United Express operated more than 1.6 million flights carrying more than 148 million customers. United is proud to have the world’s most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark/New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates 757 mainline aircraft and the airline’s United Express carriers operate 551 regional aircraft. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 193 countries via 28 member airlines. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United’s parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol “UAL”.

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.

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Sallie Fraenkel Speaker at Statia Sustainability Conference

ORANJESTAD, St. Eustatius (August 15, 2018) Sallie Fraenkel, will headline the seventh annual Statia Sustainability Conference, scheduled to be held September 27 and 28 at the Mike van Putten Youth Centre.

Fraenkel is the founder and President of Mind Body Spirit Network, a four-year old company that brings together like-minded individuals through events and travel. She has produced over 29 events on subjects ranging from “clean beauty” to “transformative travel”.

Former chief marketing and chief operations officer of SpaFinder and executive vice president of the Global Spa and Wellness Summit, Fraenkel has over 30 years of experience in the spa, wellness and entertainment industries.

During her tenure at SpaFinder, she oversaw the expansion of the company, including the award-winning website Spafinder.com, Luxury SpaFinder Magazine, the gift card division and all marketing and technology activities for the company.

She was the creator of events including Aspen Spa Days, The Spa Experience Aspen and The Spa Experience Grand Central.  In 2013, Fraenkel ran the Global Spa and Wellness Summit in New Delhi, India. She is co-chair of the Social Impact Initiative for the Global Wellness Institute and sits on the board of Gift of Hope, a non-profit helping women and children with HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

Registration for the sustainability conference, which is organized by the St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation (STDF), Excellence Consultancy, PEECC, St. Eustatius National Park (STENAPA) and THE Eastern Caribbean Public Health Foundation (ECPHF), is now open. Interested persons may contact the STDF.

Get familiar with Statia world wide

In recognition of the island’s efforts towards sustainable tourism policy and quality, on the 30th of August 2016, Statia was presented with a Bronze QualityCoast Award by Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Mr. Henk Kamp. The island of St. Eustatius won an award: No Anansi Story! – Best Feature By A Caribbean Journalist Rickisha St. Louis of Grenada Broadcasting Network for her broadcast feature on St. Eustatius entitled, “St. Eustatius: The Caribbean’s Hidden Treasure” has been broadcasting on the Caribbean Media Corporation’s Carib-Vision http://youtu.be/qrU-MQd0jv8.

St. Eustatius, The Caribbean’s Hidden Treasure was categorized in the Top 8 Caribbean Towns in the world http://www.lonelyplanet.com/caribbean/travel-tips-and-articles/76984 by Robert Reid of Lonely Planet. On October 19, 2012, St. Eustatius was named “The Caribbean Shangri-La” story published in the famous Washington Post http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-10-19/lifestyle/35499555_1_kapok-scorpion-crater by Scott Elder. In 1991, the Simon Doncker House Museum won an American Express Award as the best example of historic preservation in the Caribbean area.

About the St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation
The St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation is the agency responsible for promoting and developing tourism on St. Eustatius. The mission is to get the island Government to lend greater priority to tourism by providing adequate funding to effectively and efficiently promote tourism in key markets; ensuring a quality tourism product by introducing and controlling the minimum standard requirements; preparing future generations to take on greater responsibilities within this sector by means of teaching tourism as a subject on levels of the education system.

The St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation office is located at The Godet House on Kerk weg, St. Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean. Tel: +599 318 2433 or +5993182107; E-mail: [email protected] ; Facebook/Twitter: St. Eustatius Tourism; Website: www.statia-tourism.com.

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