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Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean: Increased Airlift, Improving Cruise Guest Experiences and Adding Value for Summer

The Grenada Tourism Authority has announced a number of new initiatives and programmes aimed at improving the product offerings as well as increasing visitors to the tri-island destination.

Cruise Guest Experience Project Consultancy

Following the visit to Grenada of a high level delegation of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) in June 2017, Grenada’s Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen spearheaded a policy initiative to engage a cruise consultancy to improve the Pure Grenada Cruise Guest Experience.

Since then, Mico Cascais with 30-plus years’ experience in the global cruise industry has been engaged to fill this role. A six-month consultancy was approved by Minister Modeste-Curwen with the aim of developing a Grenada Cruise Guest Experience project proposal and road map.

The project is a 50/50 public private partnership between the Ministry of Tourism/Grenada Tourism Authority and private tourism stakeholders to be funded by both parties.

Today, one of the private sector partners George F. Huggins and Company Grenada Ltd. pledged its financial support for the project with the handover of a cheque to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation Arlene Buckmire Outram. Making the presentation on behalf of company CEO Anya Chow Chung was General Manager of the Services Division Sheldon Alexander. Speaking about the contribution, Mrs.Chow Chung said, “As the main tour operator for cruise ships in Grenada, we are delighted to significantly support this initiative aimed at improving the experience of cruise passengers who visit Grenada.”

Speaking of the project, GTA Nautical Development Manager Nikoyan Roberts said, “Team Grenada wants more passengers to come off the ship, experience Grenada and book tours.”

PS Outram thanked all private partners for joining the Ministry and the GTA in the initiative.

Additional Flights to Pure Grenada for Summer

A number of airline partners have announced more exciting opportunities for travellers to get to Pure Grenada for Summer from the main source markets.

From New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, Jetblue has announced a daily service from June 21  – September 4, 2018. Further to the daily flights, Jetblue has increased capacity from August 15 – September 04 with a larger aircraft.

Additional airlift out of New York will include two non-stop Caribbean Airlines flights in August.

Delta Airlines announced two additional flights from Atlanta’s Hartsfield–Jackson International Airport in August.

From Canada, airlift capacity has doubled from Toronto Pearson International. Air Canada Rouge announced an additional flight increasing the service to two weekly flights from May to August. September and October will continue with one weekly flight making it an all year round service.

Additional airlift out of Toronto will include one charter flight by Sunwing on August 1 and one non-stop flight from Caribbean Airlines on August 9.

Speaking about the additional airlift, GTA Marketing Manager Francine Stewart said, “ We are thrilled for the additional airlift from our source markets since Pure Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique is in-demand making it a year round destination”

#NextStopGrenada Summer Campaign

Following a particularly long Winter in North America and Europe, Grenada is enticing travellers to come to the destination for Summer deals with its #NextStopGrenada Campaign.

From May 1 to October 31, Grenada’s extended Summer season will provide visitors with the opportunity to enjoy up to a 50% discount on hotel rates, take advantage of room upgrades, complimentary massages, children discounts, complimentary yoga classes, tour discounts and so much more. This campaign is perfectly timed with Grenada’s increased airlift, providing more opportunities for visitors to experience the destination and enjoy savings.

According to GTA CEO Patricia Maher “The value proposition for people booking in the summer period is tremendous and they get to enjoy quality accommodation offerings and excellent customer service that bring visitors back year after year.”

For a complete list of summer deals and participating hotels, guesthouses, villas and tour operators visit www.puregrenada.com/summerdeals.

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Barbados Targetting Foodies For Summer With New Campaign

The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) has partnered with the Expedia Group to offer even more value and further enhance the Year of Culinary Experiences 2018 with a special summer campaign, ‘Brilliant Barbados: Year of Culinary Experiences’. The campaign places a strong emphasis on Barbados’ rich food history and rum as they promote the destination as the culinary capital of the Caribbean.

The announcement of the new campaign was made during the Connect Barbados conference by William ‘Billy’ Griffith, CEO of the BTMI. “The Year of Culinary Experiences is off to a great start. We recently launched it in our top source market – the United Kingdom, with much fanfare, and it was well-received by all in attendance. Everyone is excited to come to Barbados and to see what all the fuss is about. We think that partnering with a giant like the Expedia Group, on top of all the interest and intrigue the Year of Culinary Experiences is gathering, is going to bring a phenomenal boost to our summer business,” Griffith said.

Under this campaign, visitors travelling to Barbados receive up to 40 percent off accommodation rates in participating hotels and access special dining options including lunch discounts at participating restaurants. The offer is valid for booking dates between May 1 and October 31, 2018 and the travel window is open until November 30.

Visitors and locals alike can enjoy top class dining at some of Barbados’ best restaurants for just US$50.00 per person, including VAT and service charge, and a bottle of wine per couple for dinner. For lunch meals, the programme allows savings of 10 percent at participating restaurants.

There are currently over 20 accommodations participating in the summer campaign, across several categories. From all-inclusive options such as Sugar Bay on the South Coast, to boutique hotels such as The Atlantis Hotel in the East, and the recently renovated Fairmont Royal Pavilion on the West have come on board for this major promotion.

Those who book through Expedia will be spoilt for choice as they choose from 14 restaurants offering breakfast specials, 48 with lunch, and 30 for dinner as part of the Re-Discover dine-around programme.

Strong digital focus

“We are already marketing the summer campaign aggressively in all of our international markets through our traditional channels; however, we are also supplementing these efforts with a strategic, integrated digital marketing component,” Griffith said.

The campaign is also supported by other digital initiatives including robust social media campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, as well as newsletters and online advertising in prime digital real estate.

“As consumers’ booking habits continue to diversify, we are charged with ensuring we remain competitive, particularly in the digital field. This is why we are especially excited about this partnership with the Expedia Group, which is not only our biggest Online Travel Agent (OTA) partners, but also the largest OTA in the world. Expedia naturally has a very robust digital marketing focus, and our in-house digital team is working very closely with them on this campaign, and beyond, to augment our efforts in marketing destination Barbados,” Griffith added.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO Honours Top Travel Journalists and Influencers at Expanded Media Awards Ceremony During Caribbean Week New York

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (9 May, 2018) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced the finalists for the Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards, an expanded media awards programme which will, for the first time, feature categories for social media influencers and campaigns in recognition of the changing media landscape and increasing relevance of non-traditional media. The winners will be unveiled at an elegant dinner ceremony at the New Yorker Hotel on 7 June during #CaribbeanWeekNewYork2018.

A distinguished panel of media and industry judges were enthusiastic about the quality of work represented at this year’s event. In particular, the expanded programme attracted a significantly greater number of entries for the No Anansi Story! and Me Too! I Rediscovered Home! categories which honour Caribbean-based and Diaspora media, respectively. The number of submissions for the newly introduced social media categories also surpassed expectations. The judges panel indicated that the prestigeous competition attracts a higher calibre of submissions each year.

A contest in which readers can select the winner for the Oh My Word, I Blogged! Best Caribbean Travel Blog Posting will continue to allow voting through 18 May, 2018.

For the remaining categories, the following finalists have been selected:

I Couldn’t Have Written It Better Myself: Best Feature Article in a U.S.-based Consumer Newspaper

  • Melanie Reffes: “Cost No Object: Caribbean Vacations for the One Percent” – USA Today
  • Jessie Serwer: “Grenada’s Grand Anse May Be the Most Authentic Caribbean Beach” – New York Daily News
  • Mark Rogers: “Graze the Grenada Spice Market” – USA Today

Been There, Wrote That: Best Feature Article in a U.S.-based Consumer Magazine

  • Charlotte Peterson: “Spring Regatta Spices Things Up” – Sailing Magazine
  • Ryan Grim: “What Mangoes Mean to the island of Nevis” – Extra Crispy
  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates: “Home for a Hamilton: Don’t Throw Away Your Shot at Visiting Nevis” – USA Today Go Escape

Inner Circle King/Queen: Best Feature Article in a U.S.-based Trade Publication

  • Ed Wetschler: “8 Resorts Whose Kids Programs Teach Real Skills” – Recommend
  • Dan Peltier: “Cayman Islands Tests U.S. Meal-Kit Service to Boost its Food Tourism Marketing” – Skift
  • Mark A. Thompson: “Stopping to Smell the Flowers at Martinique’s French Coco” – Travel Weekly

Oh Snap! Best Photograph in Conjunction with a Feature Article

  • Patrick Dykstra: photo of sperm whale of Dominica accompanying “What’s New in the Caribbean” by Elaine Glusac – The New York Times
  • Alex Mustard: photo of schools of silversides accompanying “Keepin’ It Easy: 60 Years on, Grand Cayman Dives are as Spectacular as Ever” by Ted Alan Stedman – Scuba Diving Magazine
  • IKenna Douglas: photo for “Photography Takes Centre Stage” – Panache

Golden Mic: Best Feature Broadcast

  • Harold Jessurun: “No Small Feat: Displaced Children of Barbuda” – Isla y Vuelta
  • Nneka Faison: “Take a Trip to Curacao” – WCVB/WABC Boston
  • Darley Newman: “Travels with Darley in Martinique” – Travels with Darley

Virtual Visitor Award: Best Feature in an Online Publication (not including blogs)

  • Alexander Britell: “Following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Bimini” – Caribbean Journal
  • Alexander Britell: “Grenada, the Caribbean Capital of Chocolate” – Caribbean Journal
  • Lebawit (Lily) Girma: “13 Fun Things to Do in Curacao Right Now” – CNN Travel

Up the Social Ladder: Best Social Media Marketing Campaign by a CTO Member Country

  • Saint Lucia – “Let her Inspire You”
  • Grenada – “Free to Wander”
  • Bahamas – “No Filter”

Look, I’ve Gone Social: Most Outstanding Social Media Coverage of an Event or Activity (by a journalist or influencer)

  • Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon and Brian Major: “Get to Know Grenada” – JetSetSarah
  • Krista Simmons: “Experiential Offerings in Grenada” – Tastemade Travel
  • Yashekia Powell: “Full Travellers Guide to Jamaica Food & Drink Festival” – The World Up Closer

Me Too! I Rediscovered Home! Best Feature by a Diasporan Journalist in U.S. or Caribbean Media

  • Dora Isaac Weithers: “St. Kitts: The Little Caribbean Island with Large Tourist Appeal” – HubPages.com
  • Kristin Braswell: “Empathy Not Embargoes: The Hypocrisy of the U.S. Cutting Ties with Cuba” – Essence
  • Danielle Pointdujour: “4 Reasons to Fall in Love with this Classic Bahamas Resort All Over Again” – Essence.com

No Anansi Story! Best Feature by a Caribbean-based Journalist (that appeared in Caribbean-based media)

  • Marie-Claire Williams: “Pilgrimage to the Home of Reggae” – Barbados TODAY
  • Catherine Morris: “Families Flock Pirates Cove: Freeport Welcomes First Bahamian Theme Park” – Welcome Bahamas
  • Kinisha Correia: “More than Just Beads: Story and Myth” – Panache

CTO assembled a panel of expert media and travel industry judges to review submissions and determine the award-winners, led by head judge Yuriy Boykiv, CEO at Gravity Media, LLC:

  • Yuriy Boykiv, CEO at Gravity Media, LLC, was responsible for the entire spectrum of global markets in his previous role driving the growth and business of the for the WorldDirect platform as Director of International Business at DIRECTV
  • Tiffany Dowd, Founder and President, Luxe Social Media, advises luxury travel brands on social media marketing and online strategy and was recognized among the “25 Best Luxury Digital Experts To Follow”
  • Tony Fraser, veteran journalist with over 40 years of experience, a graduate in journalism, history, sociology, politics and economics, and international affairs, and part-time lecturer in journalism at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine campus
  • Terry Gallagher, President, Lou Hammond Group, New York, and destination marketing leader with over 30 years’ experience planned and implemented strategic campaigns in the travel industry that resulted in award-winning placements
  • Mark Edward Harris, award-winning travel/documentary photographer whose work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Forbes Life, Islands, National Geographic Traveler, Playboy, Marie Claire, The New York Times and Vanity Fair
  • Andrea Hutchinson, a dynamic public relations expert and freelance events director with a degree in journalism and public relations, and experience in sponsor relations, marketing, logistics and creating strategic alliances on behalf of global brands
  • Josh Kahn, a well-respected tourism industry consultant and public relations specialist at award-winning boutique agency KTCpr as well as Immediate Past Chairman for the prestigious New York Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
  • Norie Quintos, award-winning journalist and Editor at Large for National Geographic Travel Media helping destinations and travel companies find and tell their stories as a consultant on communications strategy, media relations, custom content and messaging
  • Ruthanne Terrero, Vice President – Content/Editorial Director at Questex Travel Group, which includes Travel Agent Magazine, Luxury Travel Advisor, American Spa and Hotel Management, among other well-respected titles

Winners will be announced during #CaribbeanWeekNewYork2018 at an elegant awards ceremony and dinner gala on Thursday, 7 June, 2018. Tickets are available for $250 per person or $2,250 for a table seating 10 persons.

Learn more about the awards programme at https://www.onecaribbean.org/caribbean-media-awards-2018/ or visit www.CaribbeanWeek.com to browse events and activities planned throughout #CaribbeanWeekNewYork2018.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Corporate News

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New Caribbeanevents.com Provides At-A-Glance Resource For Travel Agents

CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA (May 9, 2018) – A new online portal for events and festivals scheduled throughout the Caribbean recently launched, providing travel agents with a much-needed resource to help plan and enhance their clients’ vacations.

Caribbeanevents.com currently features more than 200 events, with new events added daily, across the region. This intuitive, easy-to-use calendar provides information for travelers interested in culinary, cultural, musical, and other events, with the ability to search for events by date, island, and even event type.

“The Caribbean has a reputation for some of the world’s most authentic and inspiring festivals and events that on-island partners invest significant human and financial resources in each year,” said Nerdin St. Rose, founder of Caribbeanevents.com. “We developed Caribbeanevents.com to meet a specific need to provide a platform to promote these events while also providing travel planners with concise, up-to-the-minute information that can enhance their clients’ vacations to the region.”

St. Rose brings more than two decades of marketing and event management expertise to the development of Caribbeanevents.com. An authority on doing business in the Caribbean, she has worked and lived in several islands, including the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, and the Turks & Caicos Islands.

St. Rose also noted the benefit to event organizers and planners to submit information directly onto the site, at no cost in this initial phase.  Destinations can list events for free, with fuller details and live links available at a nominal cost.

Planned enhancements include opportunities for hotels and destinations to add richer, customized content as well as value-added advertising opportunities that include homepage features, video, and direct links for ticket sales.

Travel planners can visit Caribbeanevents.com to search the full calendar of events and follow along for updates on Facebook and Instagram.

About Caribbeanevents.com: Caribbeanevents.com is an online portal for events and festivals scheduled throughout the Caribbean. Travel planners and consumers can research by date, island or type of event to find what’s happening in destinations across the region.  Destinations and event organizers can upload information directly onto the site, with enhanced content packages available.

CONTACT:  Stephanie Strommer   |   [email protected] | 212-229-0119

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts Shines in US Roadshow

Basseterre, St. Kitts (May 4, 2018) – A signature activity in US, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority conducted its 1st annual Destination St. Kitts & Nevis US Roadshow 2018 from Monday, April 23 to Friday, April 27. The week-long series of events was held in New Jersey, New York and Atlanta in order to grow these gateway markets and, in the case of Atlanta, support the Midwest flow market, all of which support St. Kitts’ target demographics and current airlift. These events were designed to educate travel agents, tour operators, MICE planners, media, experiential lifestyle consumers and St. Kitts & Nevis diaspora about everything the destination has to offer travelers.

“Connecting face-to-face with travel industry professionals in the top gateway and feeder markets for our non-stop flights is a vital part of our marketing strategy,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “It is important to develop strong, lasting relationships with these individuals and expand our base of ambassadors in order to grow arrivals into the destination year over year.”

Nick Menon, Chairman of the Board of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, “I am very pleased with the quality of attendees and overwhelming success of the week of events. The responses we have been receiving from the media, tour operators, travel agents, MICE planners, golf consumers and diaspora including members of the St. Kitts and Nevis Association of Atlanta with whom we interacted has been nothing but positive.”

Kicking off the week of events on Monday were networking functions held at Caffe Aldo Lamberti in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, an affluent suburb of Philadelphia, and at the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank, New Jersey, an upscale borough in the northern part of the state near the shore. On Tuesday, the delegation interacted with guests at a high-tech, virtually immersive event at Lightbox NYC where video of the destination played on all four walls of the venue. After flying to Atlanta on Wednesday, the action continued in upscale suburbs of the city, with events at The Manor Golf & Country Club on Thursday and the Grand Hyatt Buckhead on Friday.

The events each attracted between 35 and 65 attendees, all of whom were top travel professionals representing some of the most respected organizations in the business. In addition to being treated to videos and lively conversation with representatives from St. Kitts, the individuals played games, listened to presentations and won a variety of prizes from a hotel stays to island or catamaran tours and bottles of Brinley Gold Shipwreck rum to golf round trip VIP airport transfers, all of which were donated by participating tourism stakeholders. At the Lightbox and Manor events, the Grand Prize included two round trip tickets to St. Kitts as provided by Delta Airlines along with hotel stays and tours. As a result, many of the attendees are now adding St. Kitts & Nevis as a featured destination they will sell, promote or visit.

The delegation from St. Kitts consisted of: Nick Menon, Chairman of the Board of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Avenice Thompson, Director of Marketing of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Denise Zimber, Christina Mucha and Michelle Reed, Marketing Consultants for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Tom Jaronski, Golf Consultant for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Adriana Suao, Vice President – Account Services, and Stephany Bermudez, Creative Director, of Tambourine; and Candice Kimmel, CEO and Founder, and Cathy Preece, Vice President & Accounts Supervisor, of Adams Unlimited, PR & Marketing Agency for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.

A number of tourism stakeholders from St. Kitts & Nevis were also part of the delegation, including: Chris Ghita, General Manager, Ocean Terrace Inn; Kayrecia Simmonds, Manager, Kantours Destination Services; Marielle Alexander, Manager St. Kitts & Nevis, Sunlinc; Christine Marshall and Rachel Roland, Sales Managers for Park Hyatt St. Kitts; Sylvia Martinez, Director of Sales and Marketing, St. Kitts Marriott; Jennie Luppinacci, Owner, Hermitage; Natalie John, CEO, Dreamy Weddings; Cyndi Miller-Aird, President, Miller + Aird Destination Marketing for Belle Mont Farm; Jamar Wilkins, Travel Industry Sales Manager, Four Seasons Resort Nevis; and Darren Thompson, General Manager, Royal St. Kitts.

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, 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: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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American Airlines Unveils Third Daily Flight To Barbados From Miami; Launches Dec. 19

Following a year of record-breaking growth, Barbados anticipates an even larger influx of U.S. visitors with the latest uptick in flight service to the country. This month, American Airlines, the largest airline carrier in the United States, unveiled its newest routes, which include a third daily flight from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI). Commencing December 19, 2018, the new route will hinge on Barbados ascension as the Caribbean destination du jour. In 2017, Barbados welcomed 188,970 U.S. visitors – a 30 year high and the country is showing no signs of slowing down.

“The U.S.A is a very important growth market for Barbados and the commitment we’ve seen from our airline partners to increase and enhance flight options is backing this trend,” said Barbados’ Minister of Tourism and International Transport, the Honourable Richard Sealy. “As we know, ease and accessibility are primary drivers for customers’ consideration of a destination, and with this increased service from the Miami gateway, we anticipate even more success with visitor arrivals from the USA market.”

High-level airline partnerships have been a cornerstone effort for Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), and this latest announcement is testament to this strategy.

“We’re thrilled to continue growing our presence in Barbados this coming December with a new seasonal frequency, further strengthening our more than 40-year commitment to this key destination in the Caribbean,” said Alfredo Gonzalez, Managing Director- Caribbean. “With this new route we will now be operating up to four daily flights to Barbados during the winter season from our hubs in Miami and Charlotte.”

The new route will go on sale May 14.

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