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St. Maarten welcomes JetBlue inaugural flight from Newark, New Jersey

Philipsburg – JetBlue’s inaugural flight from Newark, New Jersey, landed in St. Maarten on Saturday, November 21st. St. Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB) representatives were present to welcome the arriving passengers and crew with tokens of appreciation. A plaque was also given to JetBlue representatives on behalf of the government and people of St. Maarten to commemorate the flight. Arriving passengers were greeted with the sounds of steelpan music and offered guavaberry liqueur for tasting. “I’m very happy to be able to fly from Newark to St. Maarten. It feels great to be back after these past few months,” JetBlue Captain Paul Getman stated in an invited comment.

“We are very happy to see another JetBlue gateway open to St. Maarten with Newark. This has been an ongoing relationship dating back to 2008 with our first flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport. With four gateways now servicing St. Maarten, it shows the confidence JetBlue has in the destination and we look forward to the continuous hard work and great working relationship that we’ve fostered,” STB Director May-Ling Chun said.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Dominica makes National Geographic Traveller UK Best of the World 2021 List

Roseau, Dominica – (November 26, 2020) Dominica is the only Caribbean island to make the National Geographic Traveller (UK) Best of the World 2021 list for adventure.  The list is compiled by the National Geographic Traveller (UK) in collaboration with its 16 local language counterparts of National Geographic Traveller. The list highlights destinations for future travel in five categories – Sustainability, Nature & Wildlife, Adventure, Culture & History, and Family Travel. The list will be published in the Jan/Feb 2021 edition of National Geographic Traveller (UK) and will be available on newsstands in the UK on December 3, 2020. Dominica’s lush rainforest and Boiling Lake were highlighted in the article as must do activities on the adventure seekers list for 2021. According to National Geographic Traveller UK, the list includes destinations which demonstrate “resilient communities, innovative conservation efforts, and thrilling opportunities for future explorations.” The list is available online at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/features/best-of-the-world-2021/

Hon Denise Charles, Minister of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives stated, “We are delighted at this recognition form National Geographic Traveller UK, of our efforts to develop and promote adventure tourism in Dominica.  This niche is one of our key pillars for developing a resilient tourism product in close collaboration with community partners.  This is testament to the hard work of our many stakeholders who continue to provide experiences in concert with our natural elements.”

According to Colin Piper, CEO/Director of Tourism at Discover Dominica Authority “This recognition affirms and recognizes Dominica for one of the many experiences that we espouse in our positioning as the Nature Island of the Caribbean.  We are thrilled that National Geographic has confirmed this to their many readers. The accolade captures the transformative experience that you will have on Dominica, which is ever so ideal now during these tough times of COVID-19 and into the future.”

For more information on Dominica and its adventure diversity click here, https://discoverdominica.com/en/adventurescontact Discover Dominica Authority at +1 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter,  Instagram and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

 

 

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Travel Requirements for St. Kitts & Nevis Update #5

Basseterre, St. Kitts (November 19, 2020) – St. Kitts & Nevis is now officially welcoming visitors to its shores. The travel requirements outlined below supersede all previously provided information and should be referred to by persons intending to travel to the Federation during Phase 1 of the reopening.

All incoming passengers to St. Kitts & Nevis are required to complete the Travel Authorization Form, which can be found at www.knatravelform.kn, prior to their arrival. International travelers must have their negative RT-PCR test and booked accommodation to complete the Travel Authorization Form required for entry. Once the form is completed and submitted, with a valid email address, it will be reviewed, and the visitor will receive an approval letter to enter the Federation.

The Federation’s phased approach for reopening outlines the specific travel requirements for travelers arriving by Air and Sea for Phase 1.

  1. Travelers arriving by Air (Private Jets, Charters and Commercial Aircraft) please note below: 
  1. International Travelers (Non-Nationals/Non-Residents)

Travelers coming from the Caribbean (including those within the “CARICOM travel bubble”), US, Canada, UK, Europe, Africa and South America. These travelers must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the Travel Authorization Form on the national website (www.knatravelform.kn) and upload an official COVID 19 RT-PCR negative test result from a CLIA/CDC/UKAS approved lab accredited with ISO/IEC 17025 standard, taken prior to 72 hours of travel. They should also bring a copy of the negative COVID 19 RT-PCR test for their trip.
  2. Undergo a health screening at the airport which includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire.
  3. Download the SKN COVID-19 contact tracing mobile app (full details yet to be released), to be used for the first 14 days of travel or less.
  4. 1-7 days: visitors are free to move about the hotel property, interact with other guests and partake in hotel activities.
  5. 8-14 days: visitors will undergo a RT-PCR test (USD 150, visitors’ cost) on day 7. If the traveler tests negative on day 8 they are allowed, through the hotel’s tour desk, to book select excursions and access select destination sites (details on available tours below).
  6. 14 days or longer: visitors will need to undergo a RT-PCR test (USD 150, visitors’ cost) on day 14, and if they test negative the traveler will be allowed to integrate into St. Kitts and Nevis.
  7. Travelers staying 7 nights or less, are required to take a RT-PCR test (USD 150, visitors’ cost) 72 hours prior to departure. The RT-PCR test will be done on the hotel property, at the nurse’s station. The Ministry of Health will advise the respective hotel, of the date and time for the traveler’s RT-PCR test before departure.  If positive before departure, the traveler will be required to stay in isolation at their cost, at their respective hotel.  If negative, travelers will proceed with departure on their respective date.

Upon arrival if a traveler’s RT-PCR test is outdated, falsified or if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 they will be required to undergo a RT-PCR test at the airport at their own cost.

Upon arrival if a traveler’s RT-PCR test is outdated, falsified or if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 they will be required to undergo a RT-PCR test at the airport at their own cost.

Approved hotels for international travelers are:

  1. Four Seasons
  2. Koi Resort, by Curio, Hilton
  3. Marriott Vacation Beach Club
  4. Paradise Beach
  5. Park Hyatt
  6. Royal St. Kitts Hotel
  7. St. Kitts Marriott Resort

International travelers who would like to stay at private rental home or condo must stay at a property that has been pre-approved as a quarantine housing at their own cost, including security.  Please submit request to [email protected].

At this time the only tour open to International Travelers is the Kittitian Highlights tour which includes a visit to Timothy Hill overlook, the capital city of Basseterre’s historical sites and Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  1. Returning Nationals, Residents (proof of residency stamp in passport), Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME) certificate holders and Work Permit Holders 

Travelers who are returning Nationals, Residents (proof of residency stamp in passport), Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME) certificate holders and Work Permit Holders). These travelers must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the Travel Authorization Form on the national website (www.knatravelform.kn) and upload an official COVID 19 RT-PCR negative test result from a CLIA/CDC/UKAS approved lab accredited with ISO/IEC 17025 standard, taken prior to 72 hours of travel. They should also bring a copy of the negative COVID 19 RT-PCR test for their trip.
  2. Undergo a health screening at the airport which includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire.
  3. Download the SKN COVID-19 contact tracing mobile app (full details yet to be released), to be used for the first 14 days of travel or less.

Any traveler in this category will be allowed entry into the Federation and transported to approved accommodations, where they will stay at their cost for 14-days in quarantine. The cost for quarantine at the Government facility at OTI is USD 500.00, at Potworks it is USD 400.00, and the cost for each COVID-19 test is USD 100.00. Returning nationals and residents may also opt to stay in pre-approved quarantine housing at their own cost, including appropriate security.

The approved accommodations are:

  1. Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI)
  2. Oualie Beach Resort
  3. Potworks
  4. Royal St. Kitts Hotel

Any traveler in this category who wishes to stay in one of the seven (7) approved hotels for “Vacation in Place,” for International Travelers are required to do the following:

  1. 1-7 days: visitors are free to move about the hotel property, interact with other guests and partake in hotel activities.
  2. 8 -14 days: visitors will undergo a RT-PCR test (USD 100, visitors’ cost) on day 7. If the traveler tests negative on day 8 they are allowed, through the hotel’s tour desk, to book select excursions and access select destination sites (listed above under requirements for International Travelers).
  3. 14 days or longer: visitors will need to undergo a RT-PCR test (USD 100, visitors’ cost) on day 14, and if they test negative the traveler will be allowed to integrate into St. Kitts and Nevis 
  4. In-Transit Passengers

Passengers who are in-transit at RLB Airport must observe the following requirements:

  1. Show a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result upon arrival
  2. Must wear a mask at all times
  3. Undergo a focused health screening at the airport
  4. Must remain in the airport after clearing customs 

Travelers may consult TestforTravel.com to find a lab in their area that offers RT-PCR testing that can be completed in the required 72-hour window. Please note, the traveler is responsible for confirming that the lab is a CLIA/CDC/UKAS approved lab with ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, as results from a non-accredited laboratory will not be accepted.

The information contained on TestforTravel.com is for information purposes only. The St. Kitts Tourism Authority and Nevis Tourism Authority have no affiliation with TestforTravel.com and are not endorsing this list or the particular labs listed therein. Neither the St. Kitts & Nevis Tourism Authority nor the Nevis Tourist Authority make representations or warranties of whatever nature in respect to TestforTravel.com including, but not limited to, the accuracy or completeness of any information and facts contained therein.

  1. Travelers Arriving by Sea (Private Vessels e.g. Yachts) please note below: 

Travelers arriving via the country’s seaports must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the Travel Authorization Form on the national website (www.knatravelform.kn) including evidence of a negative RT-PCR test. The test must be done 72 hours prior to departing the last port of call or conducted before departure if they are at sea longer than 3 days.
  2. The vessel will be required to dock at one of six ports, submit the Maritime Declaration of Health to the port health officer and interact with other border agencies. The six ports are: The Deepwater Port, Port Zante, Christophe Harbor, New Guinea (St. Kitts Marine Works), Charlestown Pier and Long Point Port.
  3. These travelers will be processed accordingly and will vacation in place or quarantine as previously outlined. The prescribed quarantine time will be determined by the vessels or ships transit time from the last of port of call to their arrival to the Federation. Transit time must be supported by official documentation and sail clear advance notification system.
  4. Yachts and pleasure vessels over 80 feet must quarantine at Christophe Harbor in St. Kitts. Yachts and pleasure vessels less than 80 feet must quarantine at the following locations: Ballast Bay in St. Kitts, Pinney’s Beach and Gallows in Nevis. There is a fee to monitor yachts and pleasure vessels that are less than 80 feet that are in quarantine (fee to be announced later).

The CDC has assessed the Federation’s Covid-19 risk as very low and designated it as “No Travel Notice” required, having had only 19 cases of the Coronavirus, no community spread and no deaths.
Stakeholders in every sector of the industry have been trained in our health and safety protocols, which include a comprehensive system of inspection and monitoring to encourage everyone to maintain the basic standards.  Stakeholders who have participated in the training receive a certificates and business who have been inspected and meet the “Travel Approved” criteria, will receive their “Travel Approved” Seal.

Specifically, the “Travel Approved” program achieves two things:

  1. It offers “Travel Approved” training for tourism stakeholders and awards the “Travel Approved” seal to those businesses which meet, both the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and Ministry of Health inspections standards.
  2. It allows for St. Kitts and Nevis on their respective websites, to promote those business entities that have received the “Travel Approved” seal.  Those without the seal are not approved for visitors.

Visitors will also be asked to follow basic health and safety protocols of frequent handwashing and or sanitizing, physical distancing and mask wearing. Masks are required whenever the visitor is outside of their hotel room.

Travelers should regularly check the St. Kitts Tourism Authority (www.stkittstourism.kn) and Nevis Tourism Authority (www.nevisisland.com) websites for updates and information.

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Martinique Caribbean Vibes Spotify Playlist: Discover the signature sounds of the Island

In anticipation of the re-opening of borders between the United States and the French West Indies’ Isle of Flowers, the Martinique Tourism Authority has created a musical experience of the island’s most vibrant genres.

Debuting on November 19, 2020 “Martinique Caribbean Vibes,” the Martinique Magnifique Spotify playlist will showcase 80 songs of the island’s traditional and contemporary music, offering listeners over 6 hours of the best that the French Caribbean Island has to offer.

The playlist features groups and artists such as Malavoi, Jocelyne Béroard—female lead singer of Kassav, Ralph Thamar as well as the new generation of Martinican dancehall, rappers and hip-hop artists such as Kalash, Paille, Tiitof and Meryl—who was nominated in the “Best International Flow category” in this year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards.

Music is deeply rooted in Martinique’s culture; as an expression of freedom during the time of slavery on the plantations or to lighten collective work in the fields, known as lassotè; music has always been ingrained in the daily life of the people of Martinique.

As time goes by, musical styles have evolved through the generations. These unique and distinctive musical genres reflect the island’s cultural and historic mix of African, European and Caribbean influences.

Martinique Caribbean Vibes Spotify playlist will showcase the variety of the Island’s musical genres. It includes styles like the oldest Creole music and dance forms of the French West Indies such as Bèlè, Chouval Bwa and Biguine. Zouk music.  Zouk was created and popularized by the group Kassav and its lead female singer Jocelyne Béroard, characterized by a fast tempo, percussion and horn driven rhythm and form. The playlist also features Dancehall music, an upbeat variation of Reggae, embraced by Martinican artists and other local musicians inspired by soul, pop and jazz music.

The Martinique Caribbean Vibes has been created in the food path of the recent local campaign Partez en Musique en Martinique (aka Let’s discover Martinique in Music), to support local artists, restaurants and hotels which have been impacted during this pandemic. The concept was to invite the local population and its visitors to musical events respecting all sanitary measures, performed by local artists, all around the island.

“Music is in our DNA, and launching our Martinique Caribbean Vibes Spotify playlist is the perfect way to celebrate and share our culture. We wish to bring joy and food for the soul to our listeners during this time” said Karine Mousseau, Martinique Tourism Commissioner. “We are blessed by so many signature styles and iconic artists, listening to our music is a great way to taste the Isle of Flowers.’’

Going forward, Martinique Magnifique Spotify channel will offer additional playlists following the island’s calendar of events and most notably favorite songs from Martinican and international celebrities like top model Mélodie Monrose, the island Tourism Ambassador.

To connect with Martinique Magnifique’s “Martinique Caribbean Vibes” on Spotify click here

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Jamaica Begins Series of “Doctor Bird Sales Calls” Across the US

As Jamaica continues on the road to recovery, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Sales team has kicked off an exciting initiative dubbed “Doctor Bird Sales Calls,” to reconnect with its valued travel specialists throughout the United States. The program is being executed on an appointment-only basis and in a responsible manner to ensure the safety and well-being of trusted travel advisors and staff.

Launched in October in the Midwest, the Doctor Bird Sales Calls series will be rolling out  throughout Jamaica’s various key markets following significant interest from travel partners wanting to meet with the JTB sales team for the latest destination updates and developments. The series began in Chicago and Ohio, followed by visits with agents in Maryland, Maine and Massachusetts.

The program’s name is inspired by The Doctor Bird, Jamaica’s National Bird that is indigenous to the island.  They are easily identified by their colorful appearance and quick movement, similar to the swiftness and efficiency of these sales calls. During the visits, the JTB sales team continues to gain valuable insight from the travel advisors on how they are coping with the challenges of this new landscape and how the JTB can best support them.

The feedback from travel agents has been overwhelmingly positive. Advisors have commended the JTB for their proactive approach and continued interest in the overall well-being and success of their travel agent partners, noting that the JTB is one of the first destination partners to visit since March.

For more information on travel to Jamaica, go to www.visitjamaica.com.

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