St. Kitts & Nevis Celebrates the Reopening of Cruise

BASSETERRE (22 July, 2021) – St. Kitts & Nevis celebrates the resumption of cruise tourism with the arrival of the Seabourn Odyssey, a ship in the ultra-luxury Seabourn cruise line, which will make a port call every week during the period July to October 2021. Seabourn is recognized as one of the world’s leading luxury cruise lines, and caters to the more discerning traveler with their all-suite accommodations and industry-leading service.

A symbolic ship-to-ship salute, live steelpan performances and the renown drummers greeted the Odyssey, her passengers and crew as it docked at South Friars Bay. “Today is indeed a wonderful day for people of St. Kitts and Nevis as we warmly welcome the luxurious Seabourn Odyssey to our shores,” Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris said. “Tourism is one of the main drivers of the economy, and therefore our plan is to reopen the destination for tourism and travel responsibly. We have implemented a phased approach to rebuilding the cruise sector aimed at supporting our local economy and providing our visitors with a safe and positive on-island experience.”

“We are pleased to welcome the Seabourn Odyssey to St. Kitts and Nevis for the highly-anticipated restart of our cruise tourism sector,” Minister of Tourism, Honourable Lindsay F.P. Grant said. “St. Kitts is a destination that remains in high demand amongst travelers and I want to thank our cruise line partners and our stakeholders here on island for working so diligently with us to ensure that all the necessary requirements were met to allow for the successful return of cruises to the Federation. This is indeed a propitious occasion as we begin rebuilding towards our preeminent cruise port position in the region.”

St. Kitts is looking forward to the number of ships increasing steadily over the summer, with the following arrivals:

Thursday 29th July, 2021:

  • Celebrity Summit

Wednesday 11th August, 2021

  • Allure of the Seas

Thursday 12th August, 2021:

  • Celebrity Summit

Tuesday 24th August, 2021: 

  • Celebrity Equinox:

Wednesday 25th August, 2021: 

  • Celebrity Summit:
  •  Allure of the Seas

Thursday 26th August, 2021: 

  • Symphony of the Seas

Currently, the minimum protocols for any cruise ship visiting in St. Kitts & Nevis include:

  1. All crew and all passengers over the age of 18 must be vaccinated.
  2. All passengers, crew and children under the age of 18 must present a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours of homeport embarkation.
  3. Only bubble vaccinated tours and attractions will be offered to cruise passengers.
  4. Passengers and crew are not permitted to interact with the general population. All Tours will leave the dispatch area within the secure perimeter and return.
  5. All personnel interacting with cruise vessel operations including ship agents, port staff, taxi and tour operators must be vaccinated.

The St. Kitts Tourism Authority in conjunction with the Ministry of Health has worked with stakeholders to develop fully vaccinated ‘Travel Approved’ bubble tours, to showcase the island’s one-of-a-kind attractions such as UNESCO World Heritage recognized Brimstone Hill Fortress, the St. Kitts Scenic Railway and Caribelle Batik.

St. Kitts became a Marquee Port after reaching the one million passenger mark in two cruise seasons in a row, 2017- 2018 and 2018- 2019. The destination was named the Cruise Destination of the Year by Caribbean Journal in their 2020 Caribbean Travel Awards. The Federation was anticipating a third consecutive year of a million arrivals before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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More Connections To Antigua And Barbuda With BA’s Heathrow Route

(ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA) July 22, 2021 – Antigua and Barbuda welcomed on Wednesday the resumption of the British Airways flight route from London Heathrow to Antigua.  It has been over thirty years since British Airways operated a flight to Antigua from Heathrow.  The flight is a key step in bringing further accessibility to UK travellers following the inclusion of Antigua and Barbuda on the UK’s coveted Green List.

Charles Fernandez, Minister for Tourism and Investment has said “The increase in airlift with British Airways is a very positive step for Antigua and Barbuda. The island is currently the number one destination in the Caribbean for BA and with additional flights running over summer and beyond, we are in a strong position to cater to the strong demand from one of our most important markets.”

The European market will also benefit from the new route which allows for seamless airline connections from Heathrow, which is a major gateway into the United Kingdom for many European airlines.

Yesterday’s flight also played host to a group of influential UK media and tour operators who are working closely with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority in the promotion of the destination. Over the course of their visit, the media and the agents will explore English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard, as well as some of the Antigua’s most loved restaurants, beaches and adventure activities. Key tour operators from Carrier, Kenwood Travel, Best at Travel and Caribtours are being joined by influential media from top tier trade and consumer titles, Robb Report, Travel Weekly, Wanderlust Magazine and the Press Association.

Cherrie Osborne, Director of Tourism UK & Europe for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has said “It’s an excellent time to bring key UK journalists and agents to Antigua and Barbuda so they can safely experience the destination for themselves. The demand for holidays to Antigua and Barbuda has been immense, particularly with our inclusion on the UK’s Green List. This is an opportune trip to reach this key market in order to encourage bookings and visitation this summer and beyond.”

The addition to the UK’s Green List has been a key turning point this year as UK travellers are able to now holiday in Antigua and Barbuda without the need for quarantine on their return to the UK. This media and agent FAM trip is an instrumental step in promoting the islands as an ideal destination for a post-lockdown holiday and this inaugural flight will be followed by increased airlift over the summer. Beautiful beaches, some of the world’s leading hotels and amazing on island activities, Antigua and Barbuda is a nation that has consistently offered luxury escapes, romantic getaways, family fun, and above all, a healthy and safe island paradise.

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Barbadian Certified Landscape Ecologist Awarded First-Ever Thomas J. Greenan Scholarship

NEW YORK, NY (21 July 2021) – A Barbadian certified landscape ecologist with a passion for promoting a sustainable environment for all living species is the recipient of the first-ever Caribbean Tourism Organization Scholarship Foundation’s Thomas J. Greenan Scholarship introduced this year for studies in agro/gastronomy-related subjects.

Twenty-two-year-old Ramon Robinson will pursue studies in applied horticulture- landscape operations and management at the Houston Community College in the United States.

It is very difficult in this world to carve out a career path for yourself and I am not exempt from any of these challenges, so one can imagine what this help means to me to be able to go on and begin my studies in the field of geology so I can have a chance to positively impact and make great changes in the world of sustainable tourism and agriculture,” said Robinson after being advised that he was successful. “This grant will enable me to comfortably begin my studies and knowing that I have crossed one hurdle has truly removed a weight from my shoulders and I feel motivated now more than ever to give my best as I continue my academic journey.”

The US$5,000 scholarship includes an internship at Adya Global, an organisation committed to sharing the beauty of the world with all, and in ways that honour and respect the land and people who inhabit it. Adya, co-founded by Thomas J. Greenan, works to create sustainable and equitable relationships with its partners across the globe that are community-based and focused on agro and gastro production capabilities.

Robinson was selected after a rigorous selection process, which included interviews with the applicants.

“We are thrilled that the first Thomas J. Greenan Scholarship will go to Ramon, knowing he will be able to take his knowledge and skills back home, playing his part towards ecological sustainability of the tourism sector,” said Nalini Tiwari Greenan, Thomas’ partner and co-founder of Adya Global. “As we engaged with a number of worthy recipients during the application process, we are reminded of how much work is left to be done. There are so many young people who want to do their part to make their corner of the Caribbean more just in a number of ways; their determination to do so is inspiring and should move all of us to step up our part in this work.”

The foundation has also granted its Delta Air Lines scholarship to Brandon Balbosia of Trinidad and Tobago, 35, who has been dreaming of becoming a commercial airline pilot since he was ten years old.

“Delta is proud to partner with the Caribbean Tourism Organization to support the dreams of future aviators,” said Luciano Macagno, Delta’s managing director for Latin America, the Caribbean and South Florida. “We congratulate Brandon Balbosia on being awarded the Delta Air Lines scholarship and wish him all the best as he continues his aviation studies.”

Balbosia will pursue an eight-month instrument rating course at Briko Air Services Ltd in his native Trinidad.

“For many years I have been pursuing the goal of becoming a commercial pilot, however, I have not been able to afford to meet the cost. This scholarship will allow me to achieve my instrument rating, which is a very major step in becoming a commercial pilot. It will definitely give me the foundation I need in terms of financing the training so that I can focus more on the rigorous studies and training,” said Balbosia.

In addition to Adya Global and Delta Air Lines, the foundation has also received support from Royal Caribbean International and a number of individuals who have contributed via its recently launched GoFundMe page https://gofund.me/6df65df4, which is part of a fundraising drive to fund additional scholarships and study grants for Caribbean nationals.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Scholarship Foundation

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Antigua and Barbuda Releases New Adverts For ‘Your Space In The Sun’ Tourism Campaign

(ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA) July 14, 2021 – The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has intensified marketing efforts with the rollout of the next phase of Antigua and Barbuda’s ‘Your Space In The Sun’ campaign.

From July through to September, consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom will see Antigua and Barbuda advertising in-stadia, on radio – traditional, digital and streaming, in print – with advertising in major publications, through online programmatic and retargeting adverts and via strategic influencer social media campaigns.

Building on the concept of the ‘Your Space In the Sun’ campaign launched in July 2020, new creatives have been designed to entice persons to book Antigua and Barbuda.  The 2021 ‘Your Space In The Sun’ thirty and sixty second campaign videos feature stunning imagery and invitations to visitors to lose track of time, broaden their horizons and enjoy all the space they need in the destination.

This latest advertising push by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, comes immediately following the relaxing of Covid-19 travel restrictions in the United States and United Kingdom, that have opened up travel to Antigua and Barbuda.

“We have seen a rapid increase in demand for Antigua and Barbuda from these regions and expect to have a busy summer season. Our focus now is to build on this momentum with enhanced marketing activity that will take us through to the Fall”, said CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James.

As more tourism markets for Antigua and Barbuda re-open with flights available to the destination, ‘Your Space In The Sun’ advertising will roll out in these locations.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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Skift and CTO to Host Webinar on Recovery of Caribbean Sector, Global Trends

July 14, 2021 (BRIDGETOWN, Barbados) — The Allied Members of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) have partnered with leading global business travel outlet Skift to host their first joint webinar, ‘The Trends Driving Travel’s Big Rebound: Implications for the Caribbean’ on Thursday, July 22 at 11 a.m. EST, featuring Skift CEO and Founder Rafat Ali, global tourism reporter Lebawit “Lily” Girma, and host William “Billy” Griffith, Chairman of CTO Allied Members Board.

“The Caribbean is a vital and historic region in global tourism. As travel resumes worldwide, this is the perfect time to kick off an exciting partnership between the CTO and Skift,” said Griffith. “Examining global trends through a regional lens is key to aligning business goals moving forward for tourism professionals throughout the Caribbean.”

Consisting of industry stakeholders in the Caribbean region, the Allied Members of the CTO are the non-government members of the organization, representing a range of businesses and other entities with interest in the Caribbean tourism sector. Viewers are invited to this discussion covering the recovery of the Caribbean, where speakers will dissect global travel trends and place them in a Caribbean context. The webinar will cover how the pandemic has impacted and shaped Caribbean recovery, including:

  • Identification of the main travel marketing cohorts post-pandemic
  • New innovations, subscription travel, and their benefits
  • Impact of the short-term rental market on local tourism
  • The rising costs of travel
  • Climate change and its influence on business travel

Speakers:

Rafat Ali is the CEO/founder of Skift, the most influential business media company in global travel, providing news, research, events, and marketing services. Previously, he was the founder/CEO of paidContent and ContentNext, which he sold to UK’s Guardian News and Media in 2008, and left in 2010. Prior to that, he was managing editor of Silicon Alley Reporter. Rafat was the Knight Fellow at Indiana University, where he completed his Masters in Journalism, 1999-2000. Prior to that, he completed his BSc in Computer Engineering, from AMU in Aligarh, India.

Lebawit Lily Girma is Skift’s global tourism reporter. Prior to joining Skift, Lily built a distinguished career as an award-winning travel journalist focused on sustainable tourism and the Caribbean region. In addition to Skift, her work has been published and referenced in major outlets, including BBC, CNN, Washington Post, and Travel and Leisure, among others. In 2020, Forbes featured Lily as one of “15 Black Travel Writers to Read Now, and she is also a recipient of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Marcia Vickery Wallace award for excellence in travel journalism.

To register please visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TMSAO0mkQe6PlVG5EIaBMA

 About Skift:

Skift is the most influential business media and marketing company in global travel, providing news, research, live events and marketing services to all sectors of the world’s largest industry. Skift identifies and synthesizes existing and emerging trends in its daily coverage of the global travel industry and through its Skift Research  practice. Skift also produces Skift Global Forum annually to bring together the biggest CEOs and the most influential professionals in the travel industry to discuss the future of travel.

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