CTO News

Find Your Caribbean Rhythm at the Second Annual Grenada Music Festival

St. George’s, Grenada W.I. – February 14, 2020 – Music lovers from far and wide are invited to get groovy and dance the night away during the 2nd annual Grenada Music Festival. Organizers of the event announced a diverse line-up of performers and international award-winning artistes who will headline the three-day event, scheduled for June 5-7 in the picturesque, Quarantine Festival Village as the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) celebrates a second year of Festivals in the region where the rhythm never stops.

At the event’s launch, held on Monday, February 3 at Pier 57 in St. George’s, Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) Patricia Maher thanked the organizers QWest Promotions for their investment and adding to Pure Grenada’s diverse calendar of activities. She invited the visitors to, “Find your Caribbean rhythm and come to our Grenada Music Festival early June for a one love musical experience with Grenadians and you will have the time of your life. We had a marvellous time last year at the beautifully located Quarantine Park and while you are here, you can explore and immerse yourself in everything Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique has to offer.”

The festival kicks off on June 5 with a heady mixture of jazz, reggae and rhythm and blues. Known for their hits ‘Fresh’ and ‘Celebration’, two-time Grammy award winners Kool & the Gang will hit the stage with their funky, upbeat, soul vibe. Also performing that evening will be Barbadian jazz saxophone legend, Arturo Tappin and the timeless, Marcia Griffiths, formerly of the world-renowned reggae trio, I-Threes, with her captivating love song performances.

On the June 6, the energy will be turned-all-the-way-up with headline act, two-time Grammy award winning Jamaican dancehall artist, Shabba Ranks. With international chart-topping hits such as ‘Ting-A-Ling and ‘Mr. Lover Man’, Shabba will take music lovers down memory lane with his jamming catalogue of tunes. He will be complemented by the smooth musical stylings of rising reggae empresario, Romain Virgo and world-famous Jamaican reggae icon Cocoa Tea will cap the night’s performances.

The festival will culminate on Sunday, June 7 with a pulsating fusion of regional and local soca acts including the energetic Krosfyah out of Barbados and Nadia Batson and her band SASS from Trinidad. Local artists including: Lavaman, Lil Natty and Thunda, Dash and Jab King will also take the stage for the final night

In addition to the fantastic line up of performers, the organizers have committed to a 100% sustainable festival village with all vendors using biodegradable food packaging as well seating that can be repurposed. Early bird tickets and season passes for the festival will be available for sale online beginning Wednesday February 12, 2020. For more information on tickets and the festival’s complete line-up, visit www.grenadamusicfest.com or call 473 406 3378.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Guyana Launches Official Rum Route

Georgetown, Guyana (February 14, 2020): The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has launched its official rum route in collaboration with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). Capitalising on Guyana’s rich agricultural traditions, local cultural heritage and cuisine, the Guyana Rum Route is a 200-kilometre journey which blends the past and present into one exhilarating experience. Guyana is the first Caribbean country to establish a heritage route as part of a regional product development thrust being championed by the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

“Set along the vibrant coast, the route offers a sensory experience of the role of rum and sugarcane in Guyana’s economy and its indelible mark on the landscape and people,” explained Brian T. Mullis, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority. “Rum flows throughout the Caribbean, connects us culturally, and is known to heighten the Caribbean experience.”

Neil Walters, Acting Secretary General & CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organization reiterated that “Guyana’s official Rum Route is part of CTO’s regional Heritage Routes programme. This programme is centered on creating thematic routes or trails that tell the story of a destination through indigenous and local goods including foodstuff like sugarcane, cocoa, spices and other tangible and intangible aspects of cultural heritage.”

Guyana’s Rum Route covers three areas that can be experienced individually as day or overnight tours, or combined into a multi-day tour. These areas include Georgetown, Berbice, and the East Coast Highway (Half-day, Full-day & Overnight Tour options); West Coast Berbice (Overnight Tour options) and West Coast of Demerara (Half-Day, Full-day & Overnight Tour options). Highlights for interested travellers include:

  • Immerse yourself in the history of rum and retrace the steps of the Dutch and British on former plantations like Uitvlugt Estate and Blairmont Estate;
  • Gain insights into the experiences of slaves and indentured labourers who sustained a sugar economy for over two centuries;
  • Experience local rum shops, tour the Demerara Distillers Limited Distillery and production plants; and
  • Sample local rum-infused recipes, and taste Guyana’s world-famous rums.

This is a new offering in Guyana of which the two licensed operators are offering certain sites or elements of the areas listed above. For more information, contact Dagron Tours at 223-7921 or [email protected] and Wilderness Explorers at 226-2085 or [email protected]. Alternatively, visit the GTA’s website for an overview of the Guyana Rum Route.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Discover Puerto Rico Reminds Travelers The Island Is Open For Tourism

SAN JUAN, Puerto RicoFeb. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Discover Puerto Rico, the Island’s Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), today announced the rollout of a new campaign, #GoForPuertoRico, to encourage travel to the Island following January’s seismic activity. Drawing inspiration from Puerto Rico’s resilient spirit, the new creative reminds travelers that Puerto Rico is open for tourism, focuses on the Island’s diverse offerings, and communicates that by traveling, visitors are fueling local communities.

Puerto Rico had record-breaking numbers in lodging revenue, airport arrivals and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) bookings for the 2019 calendar year and expects to sustain the tourism momentum through 2020. From air access being at an all-time high to witnessing notable advancements in the lodging industry, tourism numbers in 2019 surpassed the Island’s past high. Lodging revenue reached nearly $1 billion in the past year. The Island also received 5.2 million travelers across all airports throughout the Island, which include tourists, diaspora, and visiting friends and relatives. And, specifically, the MICE sector showed a tremendous increase in leads, which could positively impact the next six years, providing a potential economic impact of over $320 million to Puerto Rico.

The new campaign builds upon Discover Puerto Rico’s brand campaign “Have We Met Yet?,” which re-introduced the Island to the world in April 2019. Travelers and meeting planners will immediately be drawn by the many aspects that make Puerto Rico a unique and meaningful destination — ranging from the hospitality of the Puerto Rican people, to the cuisine, to the festive spirit, to abundant natural attractions, and much more.

“Our destination is ready and continues to receive visitors not only in the San Juan area, but across all regions,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico. “A way people can show their support for the Island is to travel to Puerto Rico for their vacations, work trips, meetings, conferences and events. Flights are operating normally to all airports, attractions across the Island are open, and all major hotels are operating,” he added.

“The campaign launched across digital banners, social, and pre-roll in key markets and in over-the-top TV, the first since the DMO’s inception,” said Leah Chandler, CMO of Discover Puerto Rico. “The overall impetus behind the development of the campaign is to remind people that the best way to support Puerto Rico is to go, and now more than ever, hotels, small business owners, restaurants, artisans, tour operators, among other tourism partners, are ready to welcome visitors with open arms, which in turn will spur the local economy,” she added.

To view the “#GoForPuertoRico” creative online, visit YouTube.com/DiscoverPuertoRico and we encourage you to share it broadly. For more information about Puerto Rico, visit www.DiscoverPuertoRico.com.

About Discover Puerto Rico 
Discover Puerto Rico is a newly established private, not for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) whose mission is to make Puerto Rico visible to the world as a premier travel destination. The DMO brings prosperity to the people of Puerto Rico by collaboratively promoting the Island’s diversity and uniqueness for leisure and business travel, and events. It is responsible for all global marketing, sales and promotion of the destination and works collaboratively with key local governmental and non-governmental players throughout Puerto Rico’s visitor economy and community at large, to empower economic growth. To discover all the beauty the Island has to offer, visit DiscoverPuertoRico.com.

Posted in: 2020 News, Allied News, Destination News

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St. Martin and St. Maarten attend CHTA Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2020

St. Martin’s Tourist Office and St. Maarten’s Tourist Bureau participated at the CHTA Caribbean Travel Marketplace last week, from January 21st – 23rd at Baha Mar in The Bahamas. CHTA’s Marketplace is the Caribbean’s largest tourism marketing event with over 1,000 delegates, tour operators, and suppliers, along with representatives from 28 Caribbean countries in attendance.  With a total of 11,000 prescheduled appointments, the conference provides multiple networking opportunities that reinforce existing relationships and foster new ones.

St. Martin and St. Maarten took the opportunity of sponsoring the opening luncheon for this major forum for a second year in a row. Honorable Valérie Damaseau, 1st Vice President of French St. Martin Territorial Council and President of St. Martin’s Tourist Office, delivered the keynote address, sharing with the audience that the island is once again open for business and expecting a very promising winter season. Her remarks included a message from the Honorable Rene F. Violenus, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication for Sint Maarten, who sent his apologies for being unable to attend.

The luncheon was extensively branded, with destination signage and flags of both countries each table, and a promotional video played on a continuous loop. A group of models representing the destination walked around the room collecting business cards directly from the delegates.

In addition to the luncheon, there was also a joint press conference presented by Ms. May-Ling Chun, Director of the St. Maarten’s Tourism Bureau and Aïda Weinum, Director of St. Martin’s Tourist Office. The media in attendance were given updates on the reconstruction developments for the Princess Julianna International Airport as well as updates on cruises, restaurants and hotel openings such as the much anticipated Secrets Resorts & Spa opening in March.  A full calendar of events as well as top attractions were also highlighted in the presentation, and the media was given a USB with all the pertinent information.

“  The team at the St. Martin Tourist Office is optimistic about the expansion of our tourism product  for the year of 2020. Thanks to the support of our stakeholders, trusted travel partners and media Saint Martin remains a top Caribbean destination for exciting visitors. Participating in these meetings not only allows us to network but also to promote new brands that are opening on island such as Secret Resorts & Spa, Planet Hollywood & The Morgan. ” said Aïda Weinum, Director of St. Martin’s Tourist Office.

During the course of the two-day trade show, the delegation shared a double booth on the floor of the CHTA Marketplace and met with buyers worldwide including tour operators and villa wholesalers such as Pleasant Holidays, Classic Vacations and Apple Leisure Group, and online travel agencies Booking.com and Expedia. The team took advantage of the opportunity to promote SMART, Sint Maarten and Saint-Martin’s regional trade show taking place from May 19th– 21st. The response from both industry partners and the media was exceptionally positive.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts Welcomes Koi Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton

Basseterre, St. Kitts (January 30, 2020) – St. Kitts is pleased to announce the opening of KOI Resort St. Kitts, Curio Collection by Hilton, representing the brand’s debut on island as well as KOI Hospitality’s first entry into the hotel space. The 102-room oceanfront haven is the latest addition to St. Kitts’ growing hotel portfolio, having most recently welcomed the Park Hyatt St. Kitts at Christophe Harbour to the destination in November 2017.

“We are thrilled to be home to the Hilton brand’s first property in St. Kitts as well as the first KOI Hospitality hotel,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “As we continue to build and develop our stayover tourism, the addition of select upscale properties balances the strategic growth of our airlift service from key non-stop gateways and flow markets. The opening of Koi Resort St. Kitts not only adds room stock to our current hotel inventory, it provides further diversity in the accommodations options we can offer visitors.”

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, “The opening of KOI Resort St. Kitts as a Curio Collection by Hilton brand that appeals to the experiential destination travelers who comprise our primary target market is a benefit to our tourism sector. As more lifestyle travelers are choosing St. Kitts as their destination of choice, it will help us to remain ‘on the rise’ in what is one of the most competitive regions in the world for tourism.”

KOI Hospitality owns and operates the acclaimed KOI restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and additional international locations. Meaning ‘love’ in Japanese, the ‘KOI’ name was the inspiration behind the love and care that was put into the property, including the resort’s meticulously appointed guest rooms, delectable cuisine and poolside programming. Situated along Half Moon Bay adjacent to the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club, KOI Resort St. Kitts is launching a new lifestyle, vibe and frame of mind for those visiting the destination by offering Asian-inspired design, locally-inspired programming, globally celebrated cuisine by KOI Hospitality and immeasurable experiences for travelers.

Set on prime beachfront property just minutes from the Robert L Bradshaw International airport, KOI Resort St. Kitts features 102 guestrooms, a full-service pool terrace overlooking the ocean, a well-equipped gym, upscale spa treatments and a variety of elevated dining options, including the famed KOI Restaurant. Guestrooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows leading out to tranquil terraces with panoramic views of the ocean, golf course or nearby mountains and offer a variety of signature design elements and luxurious amenities including soothing rain showers, relaxing bathtubs, lavish beds and modern comforts.

The resort’s pool is situated just steps from the ocean and includes a terrace complete with plush lounge beds. Notable amenities include the Kaya Spa, offering with a wide variety of body treatments, massages and facials in a tranquil setting, and an on-site fitness facility at the well-appointed Kaya Wellness. Three culinary outlets offer style, haute cuisine and attentive service: the KOI Restaurant brand’s signature KOI Restaurant, a sophisticated blend of modern elegance and Asian tradition serving Japanese cuisine; Jaya Kitchen & Cocktails, the resort’s poolside bar and restaurant serving beach-inspired entrees and snacks; and Jaya Ultra Lounge, serving a menu of Caribbean-inspired libations and customized craft cocktails.

Every detail of the property was curated by the KOI Hospitality executive team to retain the vision of KOI restaurants with design that appeals to all senses. They have created experiences at the highest quality standard that are intended to provide a sanctuary for locals and visitors alike. With a striking yet minimalistic design, the lobby interiors were inspired by the majestic and zen vibe reminiscent of Southeast Asia adorned with handcrafted details, rich textures and unique pieces of art inspired by the local culture.

KOI Resort St. Kitts also features more than 6,000 square feet of function space and state-of-the-art meeting facilities for up to 300 guests for meetings, events and weddings. Further to on-property activities including water sports and health/wellness offerings, guests can explore the destination in style by chartering a day sail to Nevis, snorkeling, ziplining, hiking in the rainforest, visiting cultural sites and attractions and much more.

KOI Resort St. Kitts is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 17 distinct hotel brands. For more information or reservations, visit KOI Resort St. Kitts, Curio Collection by Hilton.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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New CEO Appointed for Nevis Tourism Authority

Nevis, W.I (January 29, 2020)- The Nevis Tourism Authority, (NTA) has a new CEO. The NTA Board of Directors conducted an exhaustive review of more than 40 applicants. These 40+ applicants were shortlisted based on their knowledge of the destination, background in tourism, industry experience and qualifications. The board conducted extensive interviews with the finalists which focused on their vision to grow the destination, relevant and creative traditional and digital marketing strategies, proposals for engaging domestic and international stakeholders, human resource competencies and the ability to manage limited resources.

Ms. Jadine Yarde has been selected as the new head of the NTA. She is an American born, and has Barbadian and Grenadian citizenship. Ms. Yarde has lived in the major US cities of Boston and New York for the majority of her life, before moving to Barbados and working in tourism, marketing and entertainment and later as a consultant in both Barbados and Grenada. She has worked with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc and has been involved in the development of Limitless Concierge Service, which is a Barbadian and Grenadian based concierge service. This has allowed her to immerse in the Caribbean lifestyle while understanding the traditional tourist and their needs and wants. With over 10 years of experience in marketing, tourism and entertainment, Ms. Yarde, who holds a BSc in Marketing, brings to the table a creative vision for the future of Nevis’ tourism industry, an analytic tourism outlook, a strong digital marketing mindset and clear understanding of how important a business’ digital footprint is.

Ms Yarde assumes office effectively on February 1st , 2020.

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