CTO News

Saint Lucia Vies for 4 Global Titles at 26th Annual World Travel Awards

CASTRIES – Tuesday September 17, 2019 – Saint Lucia is thrilled to be nominated by the World Travel Awards for four (4) global titles that could see the destination being named the best among the world’s leading destinations.

In the 26th annual World Travel Awards (WTA), Saint Lucia will vie for the titles of:

  • World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination 2019
  • World’s Leading Island Destination 2019
  • World’s Leading Wedding Destination 2019
  • World’s Most Romantic Destination 2019

Voting for the WTA World categories is now open and runs until midnight on October 20, 2019. Industry partners and the public are invited to vote and encourage friends and family members to do the same, as the nominee gaining the most votes in a category will be named as the winner.

World Travel Awards is the pre-eminent leader in the travel and tourism industry recognizing and upholding excellence across all sectors.

Saint Lucia has won the World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination Award ten times, with the most recent honour bestowed in 2018.  The destination has also won the Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination Award, ten times in the last eleven years.

The red carpet World Travel Awards Grand Final Gala Ceremony – the world’s premier gathering of tourism VIPs – will take place on November 28, 2019 at Royal Opera House Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Barbados is Top Choice for Cruisers

Barbados is in winner’s row once again, this time as ‘Favourite Cruise Destination’, according to the 2019 Cruise International’s British Cruise Awards.

The destination beat out Jamaica, Dubrovnik, Norway and Singapore to win the prestigious accolade in UK cruising; an honour which was determined by public vote.

The glamorous event took place at the House of Lords in London on Monday evening and the industry’s finest were in attendance to see destination Barbados shine. Barbados High Commissioner, H.E. Milton Inniss, as well as Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s (BTMI) UK Director, Cheryl Carter, and Senior Business Development Officer, Marc McCollin, accepted the distinguished prize.

As the popularity of cruising increases each year, Barbados remains a firm favourite on the Caribbean cruising circuit, appearing on itineraries from a mixture of cruise lines such as Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, MSC, P&O, TUI, Marella, Star Clipper, Silversea, Seabourn, and Fred Olsen.

Earlier this year, the destination was also named one of the Top 5 in the category ‘Best Cruise Destination in the Southern Caribbean’ in Cruise Critic’s Annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards.

Cheryl Franklin, Director of Cruise at the BTMI, credited the win to the collaborative efforts of local operators. “I personally want to thank all of the dedicated and persevering provider partners in Barbados. Their support is unwavering and representing them is a tremendous privilege. I also want to thank Cheryl Carter, Director for the UK, and her London-based team for their unwavering in-market support, and for the outstanding developmental work with respect to the building and positioning of the Barbados brand over the years which continues to grow from strength to strength,” she said.

Franklin added that this is “a truly proud moment for Barbados and all of the operators who make up the diverse sector,” and went on to thank the Barbados Port Inc. for their ongoing support.

Barbados is forecasted to welcome 840,000 cruise arrivals this year and the BTMI has embarked on a number of strategic initiatives to ensure this winning streak continues. One such initiative is the weekly Festive Fridays marketplace at the Pelican Craft Centre, just a stone’s throw from the cruise port, which gives cruise passengers the opportunity to purchase local food and craft, and mingle with Bajans late into the night.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Summer Business Soars As #WhatCoolLooksLike Summer Campaign Delivers Month After Month Of Positive Growth

(ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA) September 10, 2019 – The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s summer campaign #WhatCoolLooksLike is delivering on target, as just three months into the campaign, the Ministry of Tourism is reporting month on month growth for the summer.

Minister of Tourism, Charles Fernandez has expressed satisfaction with the increases. He said: “With the launch of the campaign in May, the tremendous support from our partners, hotel openings, and new destination events on our tourism calendar like the Optimist World Championships, we are seeing double-digit increases, at a time when this is not the norm.”

The latest tourism statistics released from The Ministry of Tourism show a 10% increase in total stayover air arrivals for the month of May 2019.  June and July provisional figures are also reflecting double digit increases when compared to figures during the same months in 2018.

According to the provisional figures, for the year up to July, Antigua and Barbuda received a 10% increase in overall stayover air arrivals with 187,701 visitors.

“This healthy10% uptake in the summer is significant. It means that on top of the phenomenal growth we received from January to July 2018 of 171,147 visitors in comparison to the 159,764 in 2017, that the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s marketing strategy as well as other key factors, have really allowed us to steadily build arrivals, year on year”, said the Tourism Minister.

The #WhatCoolLooksLike Campaign was designed to run during the destination’s traditional shoulder season from May – October. With record-breaking results achieved during the summer, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism officials are proving that Antigua and Barbuda is more than a winter destination.

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s CEO Colin C. James said, “We are changing the narrative. Antigua and Barbuda is open year round. Our partners are communicating to us, that the campaign has made a huge difference and we are seeing it not only in increased arrivals, but in the increased ABST revenue coming into the country during the summer months.”

The #WhatCoolLooksLike Campaign activations within the US, UK, Caribbean and Canadian Markets spanned tv, radio, digital, social media, print, PR and outdoor.

Antigua and Barbuda adverts appeared in places like cinemas, airport lounges, on in-flight screens, outdoors, in malls, on undergrounds and at consumer shows.  Campaign offers were pushed out to consumers via co-op marketing with the travel trade.  Consumers also benefited from discounts on flights booked with airline partners during the campaign period, and on-island summer offers.

The US market, The UK & Europe market and the Caribbean Market continue to thrive with the markets showing growth for the year up to July 2019.  The destination is also acquiring new market share, as arrivals from other countries and emerging markets have increased. Though arrivals from Canada experienced a slight decline due to a significant reduction in airlift, The ABTA CEO said, “We are combatting that with a number of activities planned in the market with airline partners.”

“As we continue the campaign, the teams are working flat out on their various plans, and at this current run rate we are looking forward to a record year again in air arrivals barring no natural disasters,” said the tourism official.

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s #WhatCoolLooksLike Campaign, was recently awarded a Silver Winner, in the 2019 Travel Weekly Magellan Awards. Being selected a Magellan Award Winner is a tremendous achievement and proves winners represent a high standard of excellence within the travel industry.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Caribbean Airlines Partners with Feel Foundation to Deliver Relief Supplies to the Bahamas

Piarco, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I. September 6, 2019 – Caribbean Airlines has collaborated with The Foundation for the Enhancement and Enrichment of Life (FEEL) to support humanitarian relief efforts for The Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

Starting on Sunday September 08 and in the coming weeks, Caribbean Airlines will use its services to airlift supplies donated via the FEEL and Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) disaster relief programme, for distribution to families displaced and most affected by the hurricane.  ​

Garvin Medera, Caribbean Airlines CEO stated, “We are extremely saddened by the devastation in Grand Bahama and Abaco, and Caribbean Airlines is doing its part to ensure that the much needed aid is delivered to the Islands of The Bahamas. The Bahamian Government has identified trusted partners through which relief supplies will be distributed, and our partnership with FEEL allows the people of Trinidad & Tobago the opportunity to support The Bahamas through their donations.”    

Persons wishing to support, may drop off donations of relief supplies to the FEEL offices located at: 

Warehouse 22, Unit 2208

Fernandes Industrial Centre

Eastern Main Road, Laventille.

 

 

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Antigua and Barbuda ‘Cool Card’ Unlocks Access to Amazing Vacation Savings

JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (SEPTEMBER 4, 2019) – The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has launched a ‘Cool Card’ as a part of their end of summer promotions for the #WhatCoolLooksLike destination marketing campaign which runs until October 31, 2019.

The ‘Cool Card’ available for download on the official website for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority www.visitantiguabarbuda.com, will give consumers access to exclusive offers and benefits at participating businesses in Antigua and Barbuda, to include hotels, restaurants and tours.

Persons who want access to the card must first sign up on the Antigua and Barbuda tourism website. Once sign-up is complete, participants will receive an official email with instructions for downloading the “cool card” onto their phones. Persons can then present the card at any of our participating partners who are listed on the official Antigua and Barbuda “special offers” page to unlock access to even more of their offers.

Some of the Summer offers available during the campaign period include:

Walking Tour Of St. John’s City With Rendezvous Antigua

Gently sloping to the sea, St. John’s City gives a strong sense of old-world charm and elegance. The walking tour complete with a Whisper radio system encompasses historical buildings, churches, monuments, private residences and shops boasting West Indian Vernacular styles of architecture. Be a part of the buzz as you explore the bustling fruit and fish markets and then make a final stop at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda. The summer promotion offers adults and children, a price of EC$50.

Horseback Riding With Rendezvous Antigua

This relaxing and scenic horseback ride allows you to explore beautiful beaches and Antigua’s historic past.  You will view the Caribbean Sea and feel its breeze as you make your way across land and beach to historic Fort James built in 1739. A return ride along the Caribbean white sand beaches brings you back to Runaway Beach, over ¾ miles of white sand beach fringed with coconut trees and clear Caribbean Sea.  Offering adults, a price of EC$130 and children EC$100.

Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour

“Experience the thrill of zipping through the rainforest”. An exhilarating tour for everyone and their family, while visiting our beautiful island of Antigua.  The Antigua Rainforest Canopy tour is offering a summer cool special for the full course or the 12+1 course, with adults paying EC$100 and children EC$50 for either tour.

Adventurous Hike Summer Special

A unique way of meeting your adventurous expectations! Take advantage of Adventurous Hikes’ summer promotion with 15% discount on any of their 3 hikes, whether it is the iconic Pillars of Hercules, Antigua’s highest point, Mount Obama, or the scenic Hawksbill beach for the low price of US$65 for any 3 trails.

Best of Books Summer Holiday Special

The Best of Bookstore is offering 20% off two of Joanne C. Hillhouse’s books this summer, while stocks last! You can find Musical Youth for vacationing adults and young adults. Also find “Lost” a Caribbean Sea adventure/ “Perdida” una aventura en el mal Caribe (Spanish Ed.)-for bedtime with your little one.

Beach Limerz Cool Summer Special

Positioned a few steps from the dazzling waters of Fort James Beach, a Beach Limerz experience is a must on your visit to Antigua & Barbuda. This lively beach bar serves up authentic local dishes with rum punch starting from US$20.

Catherine’s Café Summer Special

Located on the stunning Pigeon Point beach, Catherine’s Café offers classical French cuisine with province style influences and local ingredients. Enjoy a three-course dinner and a glass of wine for only US$38, all summer long at Catherine’s café.

Sheer Rocks Summer Special

Poised artfully on the edge of a remarkable sunset facing bluff and terraced in a Cliffside, protruding over the rocks of Ffryes Bay, Sheer Rocks is one of the most beautiful and must-visit dining spots and experiences in Antigua. The restaurant located within Coco Bay, will have you in a swoon over the shimmering sea views and flavourful, thoughtfully executed food and top-notch cocktails.  Pay only US$48 for a jug of sangria and four tapas dishes.

Find more offers on: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com/special-offers. Access even greater savings when the Cool Card is presented at participating businesses.

The Antigua and Barbuda “Cool Card” is also part of the ABTA’s lead generation strategy, where email opt-ins will be used for nurturing consumer leads into sales.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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HURRICANE DORIAN AND THE ISLANDS OF THE BAHAMAS

Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 – 1:00 PM EDT

NASSAU, Bahamas – September 3, 2019 – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (BMOTA) continues to track the progress of the slow-moving Hurricane Dorian. The storm has been downgraded to a Category 3, but remains very dangerous.

While the eye of Hurricane Dorian is beginning to inch away from Grand Bahama Island toward the northwest, the southern eye wall of the storm continues to impact the island.

Hurricane conditions will continue in Grand Bahama Island through tonight, with strong feeder bands impacting The Abacos. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to 110 miles per hour with higher gusts. An incredibly dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 10 to 15 feet above normal in parts of Grand Bahama Island. A hurricane warning remains in effect for Bimini and the Berry Islands.

The all clear has been issued for New Providence, which includes the capital of Nassau and neighboring Paradise Island, as well as Eleuthera and Andros. Residents and visitors on New Providence should continue to exercise caution as flooding conditions and power outages have been reported.

Islands in the Southeastern and Central Bahamas remain unaffected, including The Exumas, Cat Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Long Island, Acklins/Crooked Island, Ragged Island, Mayaguana and Inagua.

“Though Hurricane Dorian has weakened, it continues to cause destruction to Grand Bahama Island and has left a devastating impact on The Abacos,” said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Director General Joy Jibrilu. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Bahamians and residents in these two northern islands, especially those who have lost loved ones. We are overwhelmed by the amount of inquiries about relief efforts, and encourage everyone to go to www.bahamas.com/relief for verified ways to help.”

The following is a status update on airports, hotels, airlines and cruise schedules at this time. This is not a comprehensive list and visitors are strongly advised to check directly with airlines, hotels and cruise lines regarding possible impacts to travel plans.

AIRPORTS

  • Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau remains open. There have been flight cancellations and travelers should contact their airlines directly for any schedule changes.
  • Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) is closed.
  • Leonard Thompson International Airport (MHH) in Marsh Harbour, Abaco is closed.

HOTELS

  • Hotels in Nassau and Paradise Island remain open.
  • Hotels in The Abacos and Grand Bahama Island assisted in evacuation procedures prior to Hurricane Dorian’s arrival.
  • Reservation holders should contact properties directly for complete information.

FERRY, CRUISE AND PORTS

  • Nassau ports are open and operating on their normal schedule, although cruise line schedules may be altered.
  • Bahamas Ferries have cancelled all sailings until further notice. Passengers seeking further information should call 242-323-2166.
  • Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration remains closed and has cancelled September 3 and September 5 sailings.
  • Grand Bahama Island’s Freeport Harbour is closed.

Each Bahamas Tourist Office (BTO) throughout the islands is equipped with a satellite phone to keep in touch with the command center in New Providence. The Ministry continues to monitor Hurricane Dorian and will provide updates at www.bahamas.com/storms. To track Hurricane Dorian, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov.

For information on Bahamas Hurricane Dorian relief efforts, please visit www.bahamas.com/relief.

Media Queries:

Anita Johnson-Patty, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation

[email protected]

 

Weber Shandwick, Public Relations for The Bahamas

[email protected]

 

 

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