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St. Kitts Welcomes Mid-Week Flights from Toronto by Air Canada

Basseterre, St. Kitts (June 24, 2019) – Further expanding on a successful airline-destination partnership, Air Canada will operate a second weekly non-stop flight from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to St. Kitts on Tuesdays in peak season for the first time in the island’s history, complementing the carrier’s existing non-stop Saturday service.

“I could not be more pleased about the addition of our first ever mid-week flight by Air Canada,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs. “These Tuesday flights provide Canadian visitors and the Diaspora alike with more options to visit the destination during the busiest time of year for leisure travel. The service increase is highly significant for us and demonstrates the carrier’s growing confidence in our tourism product.”

From February 11 through April 14, 2020, Air Canada will operate the flight utilizing a 136-seat Airbus A-319 with 12 Premium Rouge and 124 Economy class seats as follows:

Flight Depart Arrive
AC 1730 YYZ 11:20 am SKB 5:05 pm
AC 1731 SKB 5:55 pm YYZ 10:05 pm

*Note: Flights are listed in local time and schedules are subject to change.

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, “Following its extension of service to St. Kitts to six months of the year for winter 2018-2019 and the up gauging of the majority of those flights from a 136-seat Airbus A-319 to a 200-seat Airbus A-321 aircraft, Air Canada’s addition of mid-week flying from Toronto for the first time in our history is a huge benefit for us. Allowing more flexibility in travelers’ length of stay, it provides one more building block to help us to continue our momentum of strong arrivals growth from Canada that we are achieving through targeted marketing to the affluent traveler in the golf and lifestyle niche markets.”

For the first four months of 2019, air passenger arrivals from Air Canada increased over 60% as compared to the same period in 2018. Air Canada’s new Tuesday flight significantly increases the amount of available seats to carry travelers to the island, thereby reinforcing St. Kitts’ potential air arrivals growth for 2020. This additional service is part of the destination’s specific strategy to further develop its tourism industry by building out airlift from select target gateways with valued air partners to support its expanding hotel product.

“Air Canada’s flights to St. Kitts are very popular with Canadians looking to escape winter to this beautiful destination. This additional flight complements our existing Saturday service from Toronto.  Not only does it provide more opportunities for tourists to visit this world renowned Caribbean island destination but also offers flexibility for local residents to visit other destinations in the world from our global hub in Toronto,” said Mark Galardo, Vice President, Network Planning at Air Canada.”

Air Canada first began serving St. Kitts non-stop on Fridays in peak season from Toronto Pearson International Airport in 2011 and subsequently shifted to Saturday service. It is the island’s only non-stop scheduled service from Canada. In 2018, service expanded from peak season only to operate for a six-month period starting in November 2018 through the end of April 2019.

From its first flight on Canada Day 2013, Air Canada Rouge has made the world easier to reach by opening some of the most desirable destinations to leisure travelers with non-stop flights from across Canada. It has grown to over 50 aircraft from four, flown over 30 million customers, and added over 40 new destinations to the Air Canada network, including routes not served by any other carriers.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Caribbean Airlines Cargo Interlines With Alaska Airlines

Piarco, Trinidad and Tobago, June 25, 2019. Caribbean Airlines Cargo has entered into an interline agreement with Alaska Airlines, which expands the airline’s cargo network by a further sixteen destinations.  The arrangement enables the movement of cargo to several popular locations such as Anchorage, Hawaii, Utah, Oregon and Nevada.

The airline continues to execute its mandate to facilitate cargo shipments to all corners of the globe.  To this end, Caribbean Airlines also has interline agreements with British Airways, China Airlines, Qatar Airways, Virgin Atlantic and many others, making easy the movement of cargo to all continents at special rates. Urgent shipments can be expedited by using Caribbean Airlines cargo priority shipping.

Chief Executive Officer, Garvin Medera stated: “Caribbean Airlines Cargo provides solutions to meet our customers’ cargo needs.  We work with our airline partners to provide a wide range of options which enable us to serve far reaching destinations in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and South America.”

The airline also offers direct service to 80% of Caribbean islands, through its network of frequent passenger flights and multiple all-cargo freighter services.

Caribbean Airlines Cargo caters to the special needs of the oil and gas industry through the transportation of large and oversized time sensitive pieces. The airline is also well known for its professional handling and experience in shipping general cargo, live animals, perishables, human remains, dangerous goods, valuable cargo and diplomatic documents.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog

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Revamped Caribbean Education Charity Has New Name

NEW YORK, NY (20 June 2019) – Having this year expanded the areas of study for which it would provide financial support, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s education charity now has a new name.

The CTO Foundation, launched in 1989 to assist Caribbean nationals pursuing further studies in tourism/hospitality and language, is now officially the CTO Scholarship Foundation.

“We renamed the foundation to clarify its purpose in the public eye so that everyone will understand that the goal of the foundation is to provide scholarships to Caribbean nationals who are seeking to advance themselves in the various fields associated with tourism in the Caribbean,” said Sylma Brown, director of CTO USA Inc and the foundation’s treasurer.

The CTO Scholarship Foundation is a 501(C)3 approved charity in the United States and “we wanted to ensure that potential donors knew that contributions are tax deductible under U.S. IRS laws,” Brown added.

The CTO Scholarship Foundation has the expressed aim of training and developing future leaders for the Caribbean tourism industry by funding studies in tourism and tourism-related subjects, hospitality and language. Since its inception, the foundation has generated over US$1 million in scholarship funds and has provided over 280 grants and scholarships. The money spent thus far has been raised from various fundraising efforts and through the very generous support of a few major corporations.

All money generated through fundraising is used for scholarships. The foundation is managed by a board of directors, comprising private and public sector individuals, who dedicate their time and talent to support and guide the charity’s efforts.

“We have been providing study grants and scholarships for more than 20 years and are very proud that the CTO Scholarship Foundation has made a difference in the lives of many Caribbean youth and working professionals and their respective families,” said Jacqueline Johnson, CTC, chairperson of the CTO Scholarship Foundation and president of Global Bridal Group.

“As we further the education of Caribbean nationals in the tourism industry we equip them to lead their countries to greater prosperity in the future as tourism is the leading driver of foreign exchange in the region,” Johnson said, adding: “There is nothing more important that one can do today than prepare for tomorrow.”

In order to provide more opportunities for Caribbean nationals pursuing higher education and careers in the tourism industry, the foundation enhanced and expanded its programme earlier this year by introducing scholarships of up to $5000 in public relations and communications; tourism education and human resources development; hotel, resort, and villa development, design and planning; and aviation and air transport technologies. A master’s degree scholarship of no less than US$5,000 is also being offered for studies in tourism-related disciplines, including language, agriculture, fisheries, horticulture, event management, interior design, medical tourism, architecture, sports, culture and heritage, environmental protection and preservation, while study grants of US$2500 are being offered to those seeking to improve their skills in any tourism-related field of study.

Individuals who wish to make a contribution to the CTO Scholarship Foundation can do so via its GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/cto-scholarship-foundation.   Interested corporations should contact Sylma Brown at CTO directly: Tel: (212) 635-9530; E-mail: [email protected].

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Corporate News, Scholarship Foundation

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Expanded Lineup Set For Third Annual Saint Lucia Roots & Soul

Castries, June 17, 2019 – On Wednesday June 19, tickets will go on sale for the third annual Saint Lucia Roots & Soul. The festival slated for August 23 to 25, 2019 follows Carnival on the Saint Lucia Summer Festival’s calendar and forms part of the schedule of activities set to continue the celebration of the island’s 40th anniversary of independence.

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) is looking forward to the festival and the diverse offerings from the lineup that it presents.

Saint Lucia Roots & Soul will kick off on Friday, August 23, at the new indoor venue The Ramp on Rodney Bay from 8:30 p.m., with a night of spoken word and music, showcasing Saint Lucian born poet, performer, educator and double recipient of Saint Lucia’s Outstanding Youth in Literary and Performing Arts Awards, Curmiah Lisette. The stage will also welcome other Saint Lucian artists, including soulful singer-songwriter of neo-soul, alternative, reggae and calypso genres, Naomie “Ngozi” Grandison who will set the stage for the uncontested homegrown Hip-Hop, Rap and R&B singer, Asher “Smallz” Small. Joining Asher on the Roots & Soul stage will be a talented cast of young Saint Lucians led by the prolific musician and arranger Danyl Daniel. The night will end on a high note with the awe-inspiring Trinidadian Rapso band, 3Canal.

Day two of the festival moves to the historic Pigeon Island National Landmark at 6:00 p.m. and will feature homegrown folk-rock band, Skip Monday opening for the flamboyant British pop superstar, Leee John who is proud of his Saint Lucian roots. Award-winning songwriter, producer and performer Nigerian superstar, Timaya will set the stage for provocative Reggae legend, Tarrus Riley featuring British singer-songwriter from West London, Estelle.

The final day of the festival will also be staged at the Pigeon Island National Landmark, starting at 4: 00 p.m. The event will kick off with Saint Lucian-Canadian jazz and R&B balladeer, the young, refreshingly pure yet soulful ZAMANI who will pave the way for Saint Lucian Sherwinn ‘Dupes’ Brice. The curtains will come down on the third annual Saint Lucia Roots & Soul with thrilling performances by R&B duo Ginuwine and Grammy Award Winner Mya, ahead of headline act UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro, arguably the most successful, ageless and timeless reggae group in the world. Their inclusion is a great tie-in as Saint Lucia commemorates its 40th anniversary of independence.

With such an amazing lineup, this year’s Saint Lucia Roots & Soul targets a wide cross-section of people from around the world. Earlier this year the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority launched a robust marketing campaign across the United States, Canada and the UK.

“In 2018, the festival welcomed more than double the number of visitors who patronized during the inaugural year and we have an appreciation for how rapidly and profoundly the festival has gained global attraction. With our relentless efforts, we anticipate that it will garner much more attention in the regional and international markets, as music forms a major part of Saint Lucia’s tourism strategy.”  Said Jackie Mathurin, Senior Marketing Manager at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority.

The SLTA looks forward to welcoming media from around the world who will place special highlight on the festival and together represent a mix of print and broadcast journalists, social media influencers, bloggers and photojournalists.

“We are eager to produce yet another Saint Lucia Roots & Soul festival. The objective is to infuse as many genres of music into one soulful event.”   Said Chief Executive Officer at the Events Company of Saint Lucia, Thomas Leonce. “With every staging, we aim to perfect our craft and make Saint Lucia the events capital of the Caribbean.”

Tickets to Saint Lucia Roots & Soul are set at US$20.00 for Friday’s show and at US$40.00 for shows on Saturday and Sunday.  Tickets are available for purchase at www.stlucia.org/roosandsoul


For more information on Saint Lucia Roots & Soul, visit www.stlucia.org or call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888 4STLUCIA

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Tobago Promoted as Premier Birdwatching Destination in Canada

SCARBOROUGH Tobago, Wednesday June 12, 2019: The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) facilitated Tobago’s presence at the Huron Fringe Birding Festival in Canada from May 24 to 27, 2019, to promote the island as a premier birdwatching and eco-adventure destination in the Canadian travel market place.

The Festival took place at the MacGregor Point Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, attracting participants with varying levels of interest and skill in botany and ornithology (the study of birds) from around the world. The packed programme included sessions on bird identification and nature photography, guided hikes, and keynote presentations featuring speakers from the international birding community presenting on topics relating to ornithology.

One such session featured Tobago’s very own Mr. Newton George speaking on the topic of “Birding in Tobago”. George is an experienced and knowledgeable ornithologist who is widely acclaimed as Tobago’s premier bird-watching and natural-history guide. During his presentation to event attendees, he highlighted the approximately 220 species of birds found on the island, as well as the unique culture of Tobago.

George’s attendance at the Festival complemented the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited’s efforts in promoting Tobago as an eco-destination, affording the destination an additional platform to be positioned in this niche field of interest.

The four day festival also presented an opportunity for TTAL to raise awareness about the destination through engagement activities at an interactive Tobago booth, managed by the Agency’s Promotional Analyst for the Canadian market Mr. Jesille Peters, along with Mr. George and Mrs. Dianne Pilgrim-George.

In addition to information disseminated about Tobago at the booth, the team engaged with key decision makers in Canadian’s birdwatching community as well as travel trade partners, to build relationships and foster strategic partnerships aimed at increasing the number of birdwatching and eco-adventure visitors to Tobago.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Caribbean Lens International Film & Arts Festival Honors Martinique Filmmaker Euzhan Palcy

New York NY (June 10, 2019) – On June 15, 2019, at a gala event in Hollywood, California, the Caribbean Heritage Organization is paying special tribute to Martinican film director Euzhan Palcy with its Trailblazer Award. The celebration caps the June 10-14 CaribbeanLens International Film & Art Festival, which will also be the first Euzhan Palcy week. Of special note,  a restored version of Palcy’s award-winning film “Rue Cases-Nègres” (“Sugar Cane Alley”) will make its American premier on the festival’s opening night in Hollywood’s historic Grauman’s Egyptian Theater, followed by a Q&A with Palcy.

Born in Martinique and an avid student of literature, theater, art and film, Euzhan Palcy is a pioneering film director, writer and producer, and “Sugar Cane Alley” was her breakthrough feature film, a portrait of native life in Martinique under French colonial rule in the 1930s. Released to great acclaim in 1983, it won a 1984 César Award (the French equivalent of an Academy Award) for Best First Feature Film, a first for a woman and for a black director, and more than a dozen other international prizes, including the Silver Lion (Best First Film) and Best Lead Actress awards at the 1983 Venice Film Festival, more firsts for a black director.

In fact, Palcy has achieved a great many firsts in her storied career, perhaps most notably as the first black female director of a film produced by a major Hollywood studio (MGM). The film, “A Dry White Season,” explores the injustice and exploitation of apartheid in South Africa. At great risk to Palcy’s life, it was partially filmed undercover in apartheid Soweto. The cast includes Donald Sutherland, Susan Sarandon and even Marlon Brando, whom Palcy coaxed out of retirement and directed to a 1990 Best Supporting Actor nomination. This made Palcy the only woman filmmaker ever to direct Brando and the first black director (now joined by Spike Lee) to guide an actor to an Oscar nod.

Although “A Dry White Season” was banned in South Africa, it earned Palcy a devoted international following, and the 30th anniversary of the movie’s release will be commemorated at CaribbeanLens with a showing on June 13, also at Grauman’s Egyptian Theater and proceeded by a Q&A with Palcy.

Euzhan Palcy Week will close with the screening of her third feature film “Simeon” on June 14 at the Writer’s Guild Theater. Hailed by The Los Angeles Times as “’one of the sunniest and most charming ghost stories ever told” Palcy’s lively and colorful Caribbean musical comedy fairytale literally had audiences dancing in the aisles.

Palcy has guided many other notable and lauded projects, most of which focus on history and social justice, and have earned her numerous peer and political tributes – not least the French Legion of Honor – as an iconic humanitarian and cinematographer.

“Euzhan Palcy is a shining example of the creative and dynamic spirit of Martinique and its people” states Karine Mousseau, Martinique Tourism Commissioner. “We’re thrilled to see her receive such well-deserved recognition. Congratulations as well to the Caribbean Heritage Organization for putting together this remarkable event where the Caribbean gets its due place.”

For information about Euzhan Palcy euzhanpalcy.net/

For information about the festival caribbeanlens.com/

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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