CTO News

Barbados #1 in the World for Visitor Satisfaction

Berlin, GERMANY – Barbados tourism is once again in winner’s row, this time beating out destinations such as second-place Seychelles and third-place Bermuda, to land the number one spot on the 2017 Destination Satisfaction Index (DSI).

Throughout the year, over 70,000 travellers were interviewed around the world, giving their feedback on 20 categories including Beaches, Accommodation, Cuisine and Shopping. In the end, Barbados had the highest overall World score, 8.8/10, of the 144 countries included. The destination also ranked highest in the Accommodation category, and highest in the Americas region ahead of Bermuda and the Bahamas.

The awards were presented to the Barbados delegation, led by Donna Cadogan, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, during a ceremony at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show held in Germany’s capital city.

When asked what the award means for Barbados, William ‘Billy’ Griffith, CEO of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), shared plans to leverage the accolade in the destination’s marketing communications over the next year. “For us it’s going to be very advantageous because with our marketing and our public relations, we’re going to be saying we’re best in the world, at least for the next 12 months. And I think it helps us in our quest to move forward in terms of pressing for success for Barbados tourism.”

L-R: Dennis Pyka, Managing Director of dp2research; Alvin Jemmott, Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.; Donna Cadogan, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport; William ‘Billy’ Griffith, CEO of the BTMI; and Marc Leimann, Managing Director of Norstat Germany

Travellers most satisfied with Barbados

The DSI, developed and executed by two European research companies – Norstat and dp2research, is a metric that measures the overall valuation of a holiday destination based on the factors travellers find most attractive. The online survey was administered in 24 source markets, and the 70,000 interviews resulted in 1.4 million responses direct from travellers which informed the scores in each category.

Marc Leimann, Managing Director of Norstat Germany, said he is excited about how the study went. “The feedback was that people, especially when it comes to Barbados, were extremely happy with the trip provided. Barbados basically really challenged and won against the world in total.”

Stressing the value of visitor feedback, Griffith added that “the important thing is that… it was the customer’s opinion and that’s really what drives the energy in terms of what we do, and that’s why we think it’s such a validation and an endorsement of what we’re trying to achieve.”

Best accommodations in the world

Apart from the overall World award, Barbados also topped the Accommodation category, scoring 8.8/10 ahead of Bermuda which placed second, and the Maldives which placed third.

Cadogan lauded the sector’s international acclaim and spoke on the strategic steps which resulted in Barbados’ recognition. “Over the last year, 2017, we would have had about 43 different establishments which refurbished, therefore our product is being refreshed. We are making a concerted effort and working on our accommodation and it is bearing results as you have seen from the Accommodation award that we have received here today.”

Some of the hotels that underwent extensive renovations and refurbishments included Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Sea Breeze Beach Hotel and Elegant Hotels’ Treasure Beach and The House. New properties like Sandals Royal also opened their doors, and the international chain has already announced plans for a third property on the island, its famous Beaches, with construction beginning September 2018.

Griffith also congratulated the accommodation sector and commended their contribution to the destination’s high overall score. He added that the DSI Accommodation award further supports Barbados’ outstanding performance in the highly-recognized TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. “We recently captured 13 Travelers’ Choice Awards for the Caribbean region. We placed across a diverse range of categories – Luxury, All-Inclusive, Best Service, Bargain and Romance. And what we’re really seeing here are different travellers from different countries all over the world giving their feedback on different platforms, and they’re all saying the same thing – that accommodations in Barbados are among the best in the world. That’s the main message here, that’s the main takeaway.”

Photo caption below:

L-R: Dennis Pyka, Managing Director of dp2research; Alvin Jemmott, Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.; Donna Cadogan, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport; William ‘Billy’ Griffith, CEO of the BTMI; and Marc Leimann, Managing Director of Norstat Germany.

About Barbados

The island of Barbados offers the most authentic Caribbean experience with its exceptionally rich culture and history rooted in remarkable landscapes.  Rated as one of the world’s sexiest beaches in 2008 by Concierge.com; Barbados’ Crane Beach in St. Philip stands as a premier destination for travelers.  Barbados is also the first Zagat-rated Caribbean island and is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean. Barbados has hosted several world class events including: The annual Barbados Food & Rum Festival; the 2006 PGA World Golf Championships-Barbados World Cup, the ICC Cricket World Cup Finals in 2007, the Sentebale Charity Polo match with Prince Harry of Wales in 2010, and the ICC Twenty20 Cricket Finals for 2010, and the Rihanna LOUD concert in 2011. Accommodations range from picturesque plantation houses and villas, to quaint bed and breakfasts and award-winning, five-star resorts. Grantley Adams International Airport offers even more non-stop and direct service from a growing number of U.S. cities, making Barbados the true gateway to the Eastern Caribbean.  Barbados was voted eighth in the World by Trip Advisor’s “2008 Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards” in its Top 100 Destinations category. For more information on travel to Barbados, visit www.visitbarbados.org, follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VisitBarbados, via Twitter @Barbados.

 

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Travel to Martinique Scores a Record Year for 2017

New York, March 6, 2018—In the course of a press conference held in at the Habitation Apolline in Martinique on Monday, February 19, 2018, Karine Mousseau, the Martinique Tourism Commissioner announced that a record 1,041,139 travelers visited the Isle of Flowers in 2017.

Over 511,000 of these visitors were cruise passengers enjoying an excursion during one of the 256 cruise ship port calls and stay over visitors numbered a little over 534,000.

In her presentation, Mrs. Mousseau highlighted the percentages in terms of geographic origin of these visitors:

France: 66.3% — other European countries: 8.8% — North America: 6.8 % (only 2.4% in 2014) — Other (Guadeloupe, other Caribbean Islands, Guyana): 18.1%. It is to be noted that the average spend per visitor per day is 68 Euros ($84 at today’s rate), with American visitors spending 20% more, averaging $110 per day.

Mrs. Mousseau attributed the steady increase of visitors from North America and most notably from the United States to the much improved access, a result of her and her team’s combined efforts to attract and convince airlines to provide non-stop service from the United States to Martinique. For the third consecutive year Norwegian Air has provided non-stop service from NY/JFK to Fort-de-France—the number of flights increased to four weekly in 2017 and the added flights from new gateways like Boston-Providence and Fort-Lauderdale. American Airlines has increased its year-round service from Miami to six flights weekly during the season and Air France recently inaugurated for the 2017/2018 season direct service from Atlanta to Fort-de-France.

To increase the number of visitors to their island, the Martinique Tourism Authority offices throughout Europe and the Americas—including the United States, conducted over 250 actions, ranging from events to press trips, travel agent fams to marketing campaigns.

The Martinique Promotion Bureau, US division of the Martinique Tourism Authority in the United States used their world-class annual events to attract American guests, such as the November Raid des Alizés, an international women’s adventure race for charity, the December La Fête du Rhum at the Saint-James Distillery, the great Martinique Carnival and upcoming in March the world-class surf competition, Martinique Surf Pro.

“Every year we add to the tourism offer of our beautiful island,” said Karine Mousseau and we are very proud to announce for 2018 a new and exciting boating event, he International Martinique Flying Regatta. The general concept is that of an annual event, bringing together the most striking series of foiling or hydrofoil sailboats in the magnificent bay of Fort-de-France.” Mrs. Mousseau went on to say, “With its natural beauty, easy access, new and top notch events, Martinique is truly magnifique.”

 

About Martinique (us.martinique.orgmartiniquepresskit.com)

The French Caribbean Island of Martinique is also known as the Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, the Birthplace of coffee in the New World, The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire) – Martinique ranks among the most alluring and enchanting destinations in the world. As an overseas region of France, Martinique boasts modern and reliable infrastructure – roads, water and power utilities, hospitals, and telecommunications, services all on par with any other part of the European Union. At the same time, Martinique’s beautifully unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, 80+ miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, streams, and other natural wonders are unparalleled in the Caribbean, so visitors here truly get the best of both worlds. The currency is the Euro, the flag and the official language are French, but Martinique’s character, cuisine, musical heritage, art, culture, common language, and identity are of a distinctly Afro-Caribbean inclination known as Creole. It is this special combination of modern world conveniences, pristine nature, and rich heritage that has earned for Martinique several notable distinctions in recent years. In 2018, Martinique is highlighted in the Caribbean segment of the New York Time’s “52 Places to go in 2018.” and prominently featured in a January 2018 article in Travel + Leisure. In a 2017 review of noteworthy French Islands throughout the world ThePointsGuy.com selected Martinique as number one. Other distinctions include being named as a “Must-Visit” destination by Caribbean Journal, “Best Caribbean Destination” by About.com, and “Top Caribbean Island for Delectable Dining” by Caribbean Travel + Life.

PRESS CONTACTS

Géraldine Rome
Mi Mi Chloe Park

Martinique Promotion Bureau
Atout France USA
T: 212-838-6887
T: 212-745-0967
E: [email protected]
E: [email protected]

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Top Travel Agents Conclude Romance Familiarization Tour To Belize

Belize City, Friday, March 2nd 2018:  A team of ten travel agents from the United States and Canada have concluded a one-week familiarization tour to Belize, from February 23 to March 2, after getting a first-hand experience of what Belize has to offer as a Wedding and Honeymoon destination. This was the first of its kind organized by the Belize Tourism Board.

The team from the United States included representatives from FROSCH New York,  Dreams and Destinations, Kiel Travel and Alacrity Lifestyle.

The team from Canada was comprised of representatives of Romantic Planet Vacation, Now Destinations, McTavish Travel, Crystal Water Weddings, TTI Travel and Travel Agent Next Door.

As part of the tour, the team visited Placencia where they experienced a sunset cruise offered by Splash Dive Center. They also had the opportunity to visit top resorts such as Ellysian resort, Chabil Mar Villas, Laru Beya, Robert’s Grove, Belize Ocean Club, the Placencia Hotel, Naia Resort & Spa among others.

Placencia is a gorgeous emerald peninsula in southern Belize with 16 miles of white sandy beaches which offer an ideal location to celebrate a wedding or spend quality time during a honeymoon. The Caribbean sea is to the east and the charming Placencia lagoon lies to west looking towards the Maya Mountains on the mainland. The entire peninsula can be easily navigated on a beach cruiser bike but the busy part of Placencia lies in the south where the visitor will find the greater concentration of coffee shops, bistros, internet cafes, the harbor, guest houses, taxi and bus station, banks and local restaurants.

From Placencia, the travel agents journeyed to Hopkins where they visited Villa Verano and Almond Beach Resort. They also travelled to the Cayo District, where they had the opportunity to experience first-hand the services offered by Mystic River Resort, San Ignacio Resort Hotel, the Lodge at Chaa Creek and Ka’ana. The agents also visited the Mayan site of Xunantunich where they had the opportunity to see an authentic Mayan wedding and vows renewal conducted by a Maya Chaman and organized by Signature Belize Wedding & Events, a Belizean wedding planner.

While in the Cayo District, the group visited the Mountain Pine Ridge. As the oldest and largest protected forested area in Belize, Mountain Pine Ridge (MPR) covers 300 square miles of area, where visitors can find a sharp contrast to the tropical landscape.  This pine tree-dominated forest is more than just a vast wooded area: visitors find deep ravines, traverse dramatic granite expanses atop the Maya Mountains and observe meandering rivers, streams, waterfalls and pools amid the sweet fragrance of the evergreens. It is also the home of the Rio Frio Caves, and the Rio On pools where visitors can relax in the swirling pools especially during the summer months. While visiting the Mountain Pine Ridge the travel agents were able to tour Hidden Valley Resort and Gaia River Lodge.

From the Cayo District, the team travelled to San Pedro where in addition to enjoying a sunset cruise they visited Mahogany Bay Village, El Secreto Resort, Portofino Beach, Matachica Resort & Spa, Las Terrazas, Coco Beach Resort, Grand Caribe, Ramon’s Village Resort, the Phoenix Resort, Banyan Bay Suites, Xanadu Island Resort and Victoria House among others.

In San Pedro, the group viewed a wedding re-enactment at Mahogany Bay Resort Beach Club, organized by Confetti, a wedding planner and decoration company. The group also had the opportunity to snorkel at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Alley.

The team also had a chance to experience the unique cuisine offered by various Belizean restaurants, including Mayan Beach Bistro and Crave House of Flavors, Blue Water Grill.

The travel agents departed the country on Friday, March 2nd and were very impressed with Belize’s attractions and warm hospitality.

“Belize is amazing. I have found that there is something for everybody, for honeymooners, for couples, for nature travelers, family, great relaxation, amazing spas as well as beautiful hotels very upscale to the clientele,” said Belinda Serrano from FROSCH New York. She added: “Belize has a lot more to offer, the architecture of the hotels is amazing. The people are very friendly. Belize is unbelievable!”

The Honeymoon and Weddings is a growing niche market throughout Central America and the Caribbean. Belize’s panoramic views of the turquoise Caribbean Sea, swaying palm trees, charming white sandy beaches, ancient Mayan cities, amazing sunsets and exotic flora offer a picture-perfect backdrop that inspires couples to say those magical words at the right moment.

The travel agents’ visit to Belize is also part of BTB’s unwavering marketing efforts to promote Belize as a Curious Place and the best honeymoon and wedding destination in Central America and the Caribbean region.

For footage of the team snorkeling in San Pedro please click the following link:   https://we.tl/UZpT3FoTVY

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Six Senses to Make its Caribbean Debut in St. Kitts

Basseterre, St. Kitts (March 6, 2018) – The Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority are pleased to announce that premier hotel resort and spa brand Six Senses will be making its Caribbean and Latin American debut on St. Kitts in 2021.  This marks yet another inaugural property in the region by a top tier hotel brand for St. Kitts following the opening of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour in November of last year.

“We sincerely look forward to welcoming the distinguished Six Senses brand to St. Kitts,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “Six Senses only develops resorts in the world’s most unique and exquisite destinations, therefore it is a singular testament to the history and natural beauty of the island’s landscape to become one of them. The Six Senses philosophy with regard to sustainability, wellness and premier service makes it an ideal fit for St. Kitts as it complements our own vision and direction for our tourism product as we continue to enhance the variety of accommodations we have to offer to the discerning, experiential traveler.”

The new Six Senses resort will be set on 41 acres of a former sugar plantation in the La Vallee area of St. Kitts amidst gentle hills rolling down to a long stretch of sandy Caribbean beach.  All projected 70 pool villas and The Retreat will be nestled within the island’s lush natural environment and offer scenic views of the landcape and the sea.  Six Senses is scheduled to open on St. Kitts in the fourth quarter of 2021.  A signing ceremony was held on Sunday, March 4, at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour.

The Six Senses development will create approximately 300 jobs on island during construction with several hundred more becoming available once the hotel is operational, thereby providing employment for St. Kitts’ citizens and benefiting the Federation’s economy.  It is a project of Range Developments, which also led the development of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour.  Range Developments is an investment and hospitality company operating across the Eastern Caribbean that focuses on the development of iconic properties in places of remarkable natural beauty.

Six Senses is a signature hospitality brand that is committed to sustainability and service.  Each of its properties has a distinctive and diverse personality that makes use of the natural land topography.  The brand’s award-winning best practices include environmental performance of each property and support for the preservation of natural and cultural heritage, while enhancing social and economic benefits to local communities in destinations where Six Senses operates.  Six Senses currently operates resorts in such exotic and glamorous locales as the Seychelles, Fiji, France, Oman, the Maldives, Thailand, Singapore, Turkey, Vietnam, Portugal and China.

For more information about Six Senses, visit http://www.sixsenses.com. For more information about Range Developments, visit www.rangedevelopments.com.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →

New Categories Added For Caribbean Travel Media Awards

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 5 March, 2018 –   Two new categories have been added to this year’s Caribbean Travel Media Awards to be presented by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) during Caribbean Week New York.

Both awards are for social media and are among changes for this year’s Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards programme.

This year the CTO introduces the Up the Social Ladder award for best social media campaign by a member country and the Look, I’m Going Social award for most outstanding social media coverage of an event or activity in, or about, a CTO member country by a journalist or influencer.

In addition, for the first time ever the awards will be presented at a dinner, after being a luncheon event from its inception.

“Social media has become an important tool in the coverage of tourism, and both our members and the media are increasingly using the various platforms to tell compelling Caribbean stories. Therefore, we believe now is the time to introduce these awards to make the categories of awards more reflective of the ways the public consumes information,” said Sylma Brown, the head of the CTO New York office, which organises Caribbean Week New York.

“The decision to make it an evening event came after feedback from our members, who felt this was one way of giving the awards programme the stature it deserves,” Ms. Brown added.

During the Caribbean Travel Industry Awards Dinner, the CTO will also present its Lifetime Achievement Award, the allied members’ Jerry, Allied and Special Recognition Awards will be presented, and Jamaica will hand out its Marcia Vickery and Marcella Martinez awards. Tickets are US$250 per person or US$2250 for a table of ten.

The following are the categories for this year’s Travel Media Awards to be presented to journalists from US and Caribbean-based media:

I Couldn’t Have Written It Better Myself

  • Best Feature Article in a US-based Consumer Newspaper

Been There, Wrote That

  • Best Feature Article in a US-based Consumer Magazine

Inner Circle King/Queen

  • Best Feature Article in a US-based Trade Publication

Oh Snap!

  • Best Photograph in Conjunction with a Feature Article

Golden Mic

  • Best Feature Broadcast

 Virtual Visitor Award

  • Best Feature in an Online publication not including blogs

Up the Social Ladder

  • Best Social Media Marketing Campaign by a CTO Member Country

Look, I’ve Gone Social

  • Most Outstanding Social Media coverage  of an event or Activity by a journalist or influencer

Me Too! I Rediscovered Home! 

  • Best Feature by a Diasporan Journalist in US or Caribbean Media

No Anansi Story!

  • Best Feature by a Caribbean-based  Journalist that appeared in Caribbean-based media

Oh My Word, I Blogged!

  • Best Caribbean Travel Blog Posting

The deadline for receiving entries is Friday 6 April at 11:59 Pacific Standard Time.

The blog award is given to the person voted as having written the best travel blog posting about the Caribbean or any CTO member country. The winner is decided by public vote.

Bloggers are asked to enter via the following link: https://ctobesttravelblog2018.pgtb.me/z5k1wp. Voting begins on Monday 9 April at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and ends on Friday 18 May at 11:59 p.m. PST.

All other entries must be submitted in the following formats via https://caribmediaawards.pgtb.me/dDmC8s.

Caribbean Week New York, which takes the sights, sounds, tastes, colours and attributes of the Caribbean to the vibrant American city, takes place from 2-8 June, 2018.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Caribbean Week, Media Awards

Leave a Comment (0) →

Pure Grenada Off To Great Start For 2018

St. George’s, Grenada – March 1, 2018 – With the final numbers tallied, destination Pure Grenada records total arrivals of 100,654 for January 2018, an increase of more than 30% over January 2017 (75,600).  In addition, all visitor categories reflected an increase including Stay over (13, 815) up by 13%, Cruise (82,797) up by 37% and Yachting (4,042) up by 43%.

CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, Patricia Maher, stated that “We are delighted with the performance and everyone on the ground is enjoying the results of the hard work by all the Tourism stakeholders. The excitement with the opening of Silversands Grenada later this year is palpable as it is the first hotel development on Grand Anse Beach in over 25 years. Work is also progressing on the Kimpton, Kawana Bay, another hotel development on Grand Anse Beach, which will be open in 2019. We will grow our room stock by 32% in the next two years which will lead to increased capacity to almost 3,000 licensed and certified rooms by the Grenada Tourism Authority.”

To further support the destination’s developing tourism industry, the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Grenada Airports Authority (GAA) representatives attended Routes America 2018 from 13 – 15, February in Quito, Ecuador and met with 10 airlines to discuss expansion of service or new routes. The interest in Grenada is growing and with the 16% growth in arrivals from the US market (67,250) in 2017 over 2016 and US market share at an all-time high of 46%, this strong performance data piqued the interest of the US based airlines.

Building on this momentum, the marketing and sales team attended the New York Times Travel Show, CHTA Marketplace in Puerto Rico, Boston Globe Show and the Telegraph Travel Show in London in the first two months of the year. Virgin Atlantic in collaboration with Unilad Adventure launched a destination video on social media that shares the many reasons to visit Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean in 2018. With all this heightened activity, the GTA forecasts a 6% growth in total visitor arrivals performance for 2018 that will benefit all the citizens of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

About Grenada

The tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique is located in the southernmost region of the Caribbean near St. Vincent and the Grenadines and off the coast of Venezuela. Grenada is best known as the “Spice Island of the Caribbean” for its nutmeg and mace production, but the lush destination draws visitors for so much more. The new Pure Grenada experience beckons visitors to its 50 white- and black-sand beaches, 15 breathtaking waterfalls, countless hiking trails and more than 30 unforgettable dive sites, including the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean ‘Bianca C’ and the World’s First Underwater Sculpture Park. Grenada’s approach to hospitality is infused with a warm charm which is apparent from its luxury resorts to barefoot chic boutique hotels and villas. There are direct flights to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport from the US, Caribbean and Canada, making the island accessible to visitors from around the world that wish to experience Pure Grenada.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 11 of 53 «...910111213...»