CTO Launches Online Risk Management Course to Coincide With Start of 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (9 June, 2020) –  As part of its ongoing programme to help guide tourism’s response to multiple hazards and to enhance the sector’s resilience, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has launched an online risk management course which aims at improving the skills and competencies of regional tourism industry stakeholders.

The course, Multi-Hazard Risk Management for the Caribbean Tourism Sector, is being launched to coincide with the start of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, which forecasters predict will be an overactive one with as many as 20 named storms, up to ten hurricanes – up to five of which will be category three or higher.

And at a recent online discussion organised by the CTO to help member countries prepare for the season, meteorologist Dr. Athena Massan revealed that sea temperatures had reached 80 degrees in late April, more than two months ahead of a normal year, increasing the likelihood of tropical storms affecting the Caribbean.

“With the scientists predicting an active season, the launch of this training course by the CTO is both timely and relevant as it will provide participants with practical skills to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from not just hurricanes, but the range of natural and other hazards which can affect the Caribbean tourism industry,” says Neil Walters, the CTO’s acting secretary general.

This three-month certificate course, which runs through to the end of August, was specifically designed to reduce vulnerability and increase the resilience of the tourism sector in CTO member countries through an integrated approach to risk management. It’s also meant to help thrust climate change adaptation and disaster risk management strategies in public and private sector tourism development, policy formulation, planning and business operations, to the fore.

It’s the first of two self-paced online training courses offered by the CTO to increase the skills and competencies of regional tourism industry stakeholders in sustainable tourism practices and support institutional strengthening in disaster risk management and climate change adaptation. The second course on sustainable tourism policy and development is scheduled to begin in September.

“The ability to deliver opportunities for online learning has become critically important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is of strategic importance to the CTO and in addition to these first two courses, the CTO is in the process of updating its various professional development courses to adapt for online delivery. CTO is grateful for the support of its project partners that have assisted in the organisation’s ability to deliver on this important mandate,” added Walters.

Developed to foster implementation, adaptation and use of these resources, the courses include practical exercises, downloadable templates, and self-assessment.

Both courses were adapted from two publications recently produced by the CTO – the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Policy and Development Framework and the Multi-Hazard Risk Management Guide for the Caribbean Tourism Sector. They are part of the CTO’s ‘Supporting a Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry’ project being implemented with funding and technical support to the tune of €460,173 from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), through the African Caribbean Pacific and European Union- funded Natural Disaster Risk Management (NDRM) programme.

“The CTO has been proactive in developing the two courses on topics that are instrumental to guide tourism sector resilience and response, given the multi-hazard context which confronts the region post COVID-19 and considering the predicted busy Atlantic hurricane season and the on-going challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to the already highly exposed and vulnerable Caribbean tourism industry to climate and disaster risks and impacts,” noted Dr. Yves Robert Personna, NDRM project manager at the CDB. “The CDB commends the foresight and vision of the CTO in seeking to provision these resources for the regional tourism sector.”

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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Warm Hospitality and Warm Welcome: Curaçao is Open for Summer Travel

WILLEMSTAD – JUNE 8, 2021 – In preparation for a busy summer season with increasing demand from North America, the Caribbean island of Curaçao announced today the latest coronavirus statistics, entry requirements and special offerings for travelers this season. Curaçao reports that 86,000 people of those eligible have been vaccinated, and over the past three weeks, documented a record-low positivity rate of 0.15%.

Considering these significantly reduced numbers, the nightly curfew has been removed for the first time in over a year. On-island restrictions have also been lifted with outdoor restaurants, bars and lounges allowed to operate at full capacity. Additionally, the airlift offered prior to the pandemic has resumed. Direct flights are available from major cities and airports including Miami (MIA) and Charlotte (CLT) via American Airlines and from New York (JFK) via JetBlue, making Curaçao an easily accessible destination.

To welcome back travelers, starting now through June 29, visitors can book and take advantage of an island-wide promotion, which is valid for travel June 19 – October 30, 2021. Every fourth night is free at participating hotels, ranging from family-friendly boutique hotels and all-inclusive resorts to luxury villas, private island retreats, trendy bungalows, and internationally known brand-name properties with suites of all sizes. The island’s unbeatable location below the hurricane belt offers year-round sunshine and reliable weather, making it a favored destination for Caribbean enthusiasts and tropical vacation seekers this summer.

“Having gone through a difficult 2020, the hospitality and tourism industry is now making an aggressive comeback and travelers are eager to getaway this summer,” states Paul Pennicook, CEO of the Curaçao Tourist Board. “Over the last 14 days, Curaçao has only seen 10 positive cases per 100,000 people. With an even bigger desire to serve our visitors, paired with new hotel deals and immersive outdoor adventures, Curaçao is primed for travelers to create meaningful experiences this season.”

Internationally recognized for its European-inspired architecture, cultural and culinary delights, as well as a signature uncrowded and relaxed ambiance, Curaçao provides the perfect getaway for those looking to stay safe and socially distanced this summer. There is no shortage of outdoor and al fresco activities to enjoy on-island, whether solo or with travel companions. Options include self-guided walking tours and private sailing trips, hiking and biking trails, kiteboarding, snorkeling and animal encounters. Standing firmly as one of the best diving destinations in the world, Curaçao offers a roster of more than 65 dive sites ranging from shipwrecks and drop-off reefs teeming with marine life. In addition, with more than 35 beaches that provide all sorts of landscapes, from rugged cove-like enclaves to breathtaking white-sand shorelines, travelers to Curaçao can explore the island unrestricted and enjoy ample room to soak up the sun as all beaches are fully open.

Welcoming all international visitors since January 1, 2021, Curaçao’s entry requirements and safety protocols have adapted to coincide with the evolving travel environment. To enter the country, travelers must complete the three mandatory steps on www.dicardcuracao.com:

  1. Complete the digital immigration card online before departure.
  2. Fill out the Passenger Locator Card (PLC) 48 hours prior to departure and carry a printed copy upon arrival, as well as schedule an antigen test at a local laboratory on their third day of travel in Curaçao.
  3. Provide proof of a negative result from a certified COVID-19 PCR-test and carry a printed document of proof with them. Travelers will be required to upload their negative test results on www.dicardcuracao.com before their departure.

Current protocols require all potential visitors, both vaccinated and not, to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, though government officials and a consulting team of respected doctors are discussing possible future amendments to this policy. For more information on entry conditions and travel updates, visit www.curacao.com.

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St. Lucia Eases On-Island Protocols For Covid-19 Vaccinated Travelers

CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA (June 1, 2021) – The Government of Saint Lucia has announced that effective May 31, 2021, fully COVID-19 vaccinated travelers can enjoy more opportunities to experience the entire island.

Fully vaccinated travelers can now book rental cars, dine at more local restaurants, and take part in additional activities such as beach hopping, all while observing existing on-island protocols.

Vaccinated visitors now have increased access to all parts of Saint Lucia from day of arrival without restrictions and quarantine has been removed for vaccinated returning nationals. For example, vaccinated travelers are able to explore shops, markets, restaurants and activities throughout the island in popular areas including Castries, Rodney Bay, Soufrière and more.

All visitors to Saint Lucia can stay at a range of COVID-certified accommodations (hotels, villas, Airbnb). And for vaccinated visitors, they can now stay at more than two properties if preferred.

“For both visitors and our local residents, our commitment to safely and responsibly coexisting with COVID remains strong,” said Hon. Prime Minister Allen Chastanet. “While all visitors to Saint Lucia can currently experience a wonderful vacation as well as approved tours and attractions, fully vaccinated travelers are now invited to explore the entire destination at their leisure, while following our protocols. We’ve successfully and safely managed tourism since reopening our borders in June 2020, with no need to close because of our protocols and the bubble we created for our visitors and frontline tourism workers. We are delighted to be able to expand the opportunities for vaccinated visitors and ease the restrictions for returning nationals. Vaccinated visitors can now truly vacation like a local.”

To qualify as fully vaccinated, travelers must have had the last dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose vaccine at least two weeks (14 days) prior to travel. Travelers will indicate that they are fully vaccinated when filling out the pre-arrival Travel Authorization form, and upload proof of vaccination. Visitors must travel with their vaccination card or documentation. Upon arrival in Saint Lucia, pre-registered fully vaccinated visitors will be expedited via a dedicated Health Screening line and will be provided with a non-electronic identification wristband for the duration of their stay. This wristband must be worn throughout the stay and removed when departing Saint Lucia.

Non-vaccinated travelers will continue to be permitted to stay at up to two certified properties for the first 14 days and non-vaccinated returning nationals will be required to apply for quarantine for the same period.

Regardless of vaccination status, no changes have been made to pre-arrival protocols for travelers, including: all arrivals to Saint Lucia (five years or older) must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken no more than five (5) days before arrival; submit the online Travel Registration form; and must adhere to all safety protocols in place, including wearing a mask in public places. Detailed information on the latest travel COVID-19 protocols for all visitors, plus Frequently Asked Questions for vaccinated travelers can be found at www.stlucia.org/covid-19.

Since the first international flights returned to Saint Lucia in July 2020, the country has implemented consistent COVID protocols, providing increased safety for both visitors and local citizens. Some 80,000 international visitors have been welcomed from July 2020 – May 2021. The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association, along with the Ministry of Health & Wellness and Ministry of Tourism, continue to work in concert to provide swift responses to global COVID-19 developments.

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What’s New In The Bahamas In June

NASSAU, Bahamas, June 1, 2021 – Wanderlust no more. The Bahamas welcomes travellers to celebrate the arrival of summer with ease! Experience the islands – in real life – for an unforgettable vacation. With plenty of deals, must-visit experiences and new relaxed travel measures, soaking up the tropical sun, lazing on the white sand beaches and cooling off in the refreshing, warm turquoise waters of The Bahamas is not as out of reach as you may think.

NEWS

Fully Vaccinated Travellers Relax with Ease – As of May 1, 2021, those who are fully vaccinated are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test before entry, submit to rapid testing mandates or complete the daily health questionnaire during their stay. The only entry formality required of fully     vaccinated travellers is to obtain a Bahamas Travel Health Visa within five days of travel. Before booking, travellers should visit Bahamas.com to stay up to date on the latest travel information.

Baha Mar Welcomes New Oceanfront Water Park – Baha Bay, a 15-acre oceanfront water park, is set to open July 2, featuring 24 water slides, a duelling water coaster, 500,000-gallon wave pool and winding river for guests of the Baha Mar resorts.

Riu Palace Paradise Island in The Bahamas Reopened – The all-inclusive adults-only beachfront resort welcomed back guests last month with an extensive range of cuisine, on-site entertainment and more.

PROMOTIONS AND OFFERS

For a complete listing of deals and packages for The Bahamas, visit www.bahamas.com/deals-packages.

First Responders Appreciation – To show appreciation, Comfort Suites Paradise Island is comping the first night for first responders now through June 15, 2021, when booking 4+ nights. Guests who stay for 3+ nights are eligible for up to $300 in food and beverage credit.

Sneak Peek into Paradise – The new Margaritaville Beach Resort – Nassau is offering guests 35% off when booking travel before June 30, 2021.

Free Night + $250 in Resort Credit for Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas – Guests who book travel to Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas, now through August 13, 2021, receive the 5th night free, and stays beginning July 11 are eligible for a $250 resort credit.

Stay Longer on Us DealsBaha Mar is offering exclusive promotions at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, SLS Baha Mar and Rosewood Baha Mar. Guests can take advantage of discounted rates, complimentary nights and $100 resort credits.

Summertime with UNEXSO Grand Bahama – Make a splash this summer on Grand Bahama Island with special excursion deals from UNEXSO. Book now for 30% off the dolphin close encounter. The offer expires on August 30, 2021.

$300 Fuel Credit for Out Island Vacations – Boaters receive a $300 fuel credit for a pre-booked 4-night consecutive hotel stay at Bahama Out Islands Promotion Board member resorts and marinas before October 31, 2021. Booking window: now – June 30.

Exclusive Travel Deal for Bahamas Residents – Residents of The Bahamas can take advantage of a limited-time offer to explore the Family Islands, which includes one free Airline/Bahamas Ferry ticket from Nassau for pre-booked 2-night hotel stays or two free Airline/Bahamas Ferry tickets from Nassau for pre-booked 4-night or longer hotel stays. Individual hotel offers are available.

Private Pilots for Out Island Hopping – Jet set travellers can enjoy the excitement of an island-hopping vacation with this great offer. Private Pilots who pre-book a 2-night stay at any participating Bahama Out Islands Promotion Board member hotel will receive a $150 Fee Credit. Travel window: July 5 – October 31, 2021.

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Anguilla Appoints Georgios Tserdakidis Chief Marketing Officer

The Valley, Anguilla, June 2, 2021……The Chairman of the Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB), Mr. Kenroy Herbert, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Georgios Tserdakidis to the position of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), effective April 1, 2021.  Mr. Tserdakidis is a multilingual marketing and communications specialist with extensive international experience in strategic destination marketing and communications for the travel and tourism industry. He has worked with leading tourism boards, global brands, mega-events, governments and public sector entities, and has cultivated strong relationships with the travel industry and media around the world.

“Mr. Tserdakidis joins the ATB at a critical juncture, as we are rebuilding our tourism industry in the wake of the COVID pandemic that has devastated the hospitality industry worldwide,” said ATB Chairman Herbert.  “Out of every challenge comes opportunity, and we can seize this moment to re-imagine and restructure our industry for the 21st century.  We need fresh, creative and innovative thinking and this is what Mr. Tserdakidis brings to our organization,” he continued.

As Chief Marketing Officer, Mr. Tserdakidis will be responsible for the development and continuous review of all elements of the Anguilla Tourism product.

“The ATB is at its core a marketing agency, and we devoted a great deal of time and consideration to the appointment of the CMO.   We are confident that we have found the right candidate in Mr. Tserdakidis and welcome him into our ATB family,” said Stacey Liburd, Anguilla’s Director of Tourism. “We look forward to working closely with him to realise the full and extraordinary potential of both the organization and our beloved Anguilla as the Caribbean’s premiere tourism destination.”

Prior to joining the Anguilla Tourist Board Mr. Tserdakidis held key positions with Expo 2020 Dubai and  Visit California, as well as overseeing national tourism organization and airline accounts with Germany’s leading travel public relations agency.  He has also served as Leader of the Press Office and Office of Protocol for the Consulate General of Cyprus in Frankfurt, Germany.

“I am delighted and honoured to be joining the talented team at the Anguilla Tourist Board and look forward to sharing my expertise and leveraging my industry relationships on behalf of this amazing destination, Anguilla,” declared Mr. Tserdakidis.  “We have an exceptional story to tell, and I deeply appreciate the Board’s entrusting me with this vital mission.  I’m excited to embark on this journey together with the team at such a significant time for the global travel industry as we work together to elevate the Anguilla brand and make her the most desirable destination in the region.”

Mr. Tserdakidis studied Urban Development, Tourism Geography and Political Science at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, and completed research programmes in New York and Singapore.

For information on Anguilla please visit the official website of the Anguilla Tourist Board: www.IvisitAnguilla.com; follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/AnguillaOfficial; Instagram: @Anguilla_Tourism; Twitter: @Anguilla_Trsm, Hashtag: #MyAnguilla.

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