CTO News

Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council to Host Africa Resilience Summit

The African Resilience Summit, organized by the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council in partnership with the Africa Travel Association, is taking place during the 42nd the World Tourism Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 24th, 2019.

CTO members who use the code ‘JMCTO’ to attend the African Resilience Summit will receive a 50% discount. Using the code ‘ACTO’ will give members a 25% discount to attend the full World Tourism Conference including the African Resilience Summit. Registration information can be found here: World Tourism Conference Registration

The African Resilience Summit will focus on key challenges for the 54 countries of the continent in differentiating themselves from the misconception of “Africa as a country”. The Summit will highlight the importance of preparedness and planning for sustainability as well as addressing current challenges. Sessions will cover topics such as tourism in government, security, risk management and media perspectives whilst discussing the opportunities tourism provides as a platform for resiliency and an engine for economic growth and job creation.

In line with the Resilience Council’s objectives, the Ministry of Tourism of Jamaica (MOT) and the University of the West Indies are also working to establish a Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRMC) which, once established and fully operational, will be handed over to the University of the West Indies on October 31, 2020, with the MOT still maintaining an interest in the Centre. The project, which is the brainchild of Minister of Tourism of Jamaica, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has an estimated start date of November 1, 2018. The project will run for two years until October 31, 2020.

The Resilience Council provides a platform for professionals from various industries to share information and best practices regarding resilience, crises and disasters – both man-made and natural – in the context of tourism. The council is partnered with multiple governments around the world, including Jordan, South Africa, Jamaica, Greece and Nepal, in order to host events which, provide this forum.

For more information on the summit, visit https://www.resiliencecouncil.com/resiliencecouncil/en/page/african-resilience-summit-about?utm_source=pr

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NEW YORK, NY (July 10, 2019) – What started as a simple local event is now the national sport of Martinique. The “Tour de Yoles” is one of the most important nautical competition unique to Martinique as well as a cultural emblem of the island. The event was created by local fishermen who combined their Creole know-how and the maritime legacy of sea navigation to product a distinctly Martinican event.  This year’s event, the 35th edition, will take place from July 28-August 4th throughout the island in seven stages. Book your American Airlines flight direct from Miami to take advantage of this unique spectacle.

All eyes will be on the sea that week as island life will beat to the rhythms of the event.  All Martinicans are excused from work and the coastline is lined with people gathering to admire the colorful boats or enjoy the various musical events that accompany the race.  You can even follow in the wake of the race by boat and cheer on your team.

The festivities begin in the town of Le François on Saturday, July 27th.  While the exact route is still being finalized, these are the expected stages. The race kicks off on July 28th from Francois to La Trinité.  The second stage on July 29th runs along the northern tip of the island from La Trinité to Saint-Pierre.  July 30th brings the race along the western coast from Saint-Pierre to the capitol city of Fort-de-France.  Stage four on July 31st traces the route from Fort-de-France to the coves of Les Anses d’Arlet.  The fifth stage runs from Les Anses d’Arlet to Diamant on August 1st with stage six hugging the southern coast of the island from Diamant to Sainte-Anne. Stage seven on August 3rd goes from Sainte-Anne to Vauclin.  The eighth and final stage will take place on Sunday, August 4th from Vauclin to Robert.

The “Yole Ronde” was created in the 1940s by a carpenter from le François, inspired by both the gomyé (or gommier) fishing boat and the European yole. At that time, the fishermen mainly used sail boats strictly for work. However, wild races were organized every Sunday and then with more frequency during the community celebrations in the towns of Le François, Robert, and Vauclin. The growing interest inspired the “Société des Yoles et Gommiers de la Martinique ” in 1972. In 1984 the gums separated from the yoles and ” La Societe des Yoles Rondes de La Martinique ” was born.

The Tour des Yoles week is a moment of intense communion of emotion and fun where all eyes are turned towards the horizon and our sails deployed.

For Americans wanting to experience this festive moment, American Airlines is providing daily and non-stop service to Fort-de-France, Martinique from Miami, starting June 7 and through September 3, 2019.

For more information on travel to Martinique, please visit us.martinique.org

For more detail about the race, please visit http://www.tourdesyoles.com/


Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Boutique Hotel in St Vincent and the Grenadines Receives International Service Excellence Certification

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (1 July 2019) – A boutique hotel in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has become the latest in the Caribbean to be Hospitality Assured (HA) certified, an international certification programme for service excellence.

“Hotel Alexandrina is extremely proud to be part of the Hospitality Assured family. The self-evaluation of our company to see where we are, and the steps taken to improve our operation was extremely effective,” said Ruth Stevens, managing director of Hotel Alexandrina, one of the host hotels for the upcoming Sustainable Tourism Conference scheduled for St. Vincent and the Grenadines from 26-29 August.

The HA certification is owned by the Institute of Hospitality and managed by Hospitality Limited based in the United Kingdom.  It was developed specifically for the tourism sector, to promote and reward the highest levels of service and business excellence. The programme is managed in the Caribbean by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

The programme consists of nine key areas and 44 criteria that must be addressed to gain the Hospitality Assured certification. The key areas focus on: Customer Research, The Customer Service Promise, Business Leadership & Planning, Operational Planning & Standards of Performance, Resources (people, equipment, facilities), Training and Development, Service Delivery, Service Recovery and Customer Satisfaction Improvement.

Stevens said the steps to certification helped the hotel become more focused on customer satisfaction. “The exercises set forth in the programme helped us to recognise that customer satisfaction is the best indicator of our company’s performance and that our primary focus must be on our customer service promise.”

The CTO views the project as critical in helping to strengthen the business performance and overall competitiveness of tourism enterprises in the Caribbean by promoting a culture of quality, service excellence and continuous improvement through the use of an internationally recognised  business improvement tool and framework.

Stevens said there are real rewards from the programme. “Now, our business is operating at a higher level understanding of the importance of customer expectations and satisfaction and already receiving accolades and reaping the financial benefits because of our improved standards,” she said.

In recent months several businesses have become HA certified after completing a rigorous qualifying process. These include Alicia’s Inn and Baker’s Suites in St. Maarten – both of which were part of a pilot HA programme sponsored by the European Union’s Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises programme – and Ocean Terrace Inn in St. Kitts.

The CTO intends to grow the programme and to work with its members and its private sector partners to raise awareness about the benefits of this service quality management programme and to encourage the participation of the tourism and hospitality sector.

There are over 90 companies signed on to the programme with a service quality management system in place to strengthen their service delivery and overall business performance. Other Caribbean companies approved in recent months include Holiday Taxi Limited in Saint Lucia; Grand Coastal Inn and Old Fort Tours in Guyana; and Sunbreeze Hotel in Belize.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Antigua and Barbuda Offers Cool Summer Savings on Destination Experiences

JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (July 09, 2019) – The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s new #WhatCoolLooksLike summer promotion allows travellers to Antigua and Barbuda to benefit from exceptional savings on some of the destination’s top accommodations, excursions, restaurants and attractions, when they visit Antigua and Barbuda this summer.

Visitors are invited to take advantage of these cool and exciting summer experiences on offer in Antigua and Barbuda, during the campaign period from May 1 – October 31, 2019:

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. For more information contact: (268)-460-5050 or go to www.catherines-cafe.com

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. For more information go to: www.sheer-rocks.com

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. For more information go to:  www.antiguarainforest.com

Antigua VIP Tour Summer Discount

Offering highly personalized luxury land-based tours in a comfortable air-conditioned environment on the beautiful island of Antigua. Save 10% on any of the platinum tours, gold tours and silver tours this summer. For more information go to: antiguavipsafaritours.vpweb.com

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. For more information call Rendezvous Antigua at (268)480-1007 or (268) 480-1008.

Segway Tour Summer Special With Rendezvous Antigua

Explore Antigua’s historic Fort James and beaches using the Segway PT. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to maneuver this phenomenon of motion as it carries you through to the 17th century-built fort where a spectacular sight of the Caribbean Sea awaits. After conquering the fort, embark on an adventure cruising by beach parks, fruit trees and miles of beach on your zero emission Segway as knowledgeable and fun guides fill you in on interesting facts about the area. Pay a rate of only EC$100.  For more information call Rendezvous Antigua at (268)480-1007 or (268) 480-1008.

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. For more information call Rendezvous Antigua at (268)480-1007 or (268) 480-1008.

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. For more information call (268) 771-6282 or (268) 764-2448 or go to: www.adventuroushikes.com

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.  For more information email: [email protected] or visit: www.facebook.com/bestbooksanu

Admiral’s Inn Summer Special

The Admiral’s Inn and Gunpowder Suites, a boutique hotel with historic charm, casual elegance and friendly, personal service, located at Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour offers saving when you stay at the Inn this summer, with room rates as low as US$145 for 7 nights in the Standard Harbour view room. For more information and other room rates go to: www.admiralsinnantigua.com

Keyonna Beach Summer Deals

Situated on the beautiful Turner’s beach on the south-western coast of the island, Keyonna Beach, is a couples only all-inclusive Antigua resort unlike any other. This quaint boutique hotel offers a beach-front location with sweeping views of the colourful Caribbean Sea.  Save 20% on couple’s massages & private beach dinners. For more information go to: www.keyonnabeachresortantigua.com

Barbuda Rentals

Barbuda Rentals offers an exclusive line-up of island vehicle rentals for your stay in Barbuda! Offering summer cool daily rates of US$60 per day. For more information call (268) 721-9333, go to: www.barbudarentals.com  or visit them on their Facebook page: Barbuda Rentals as well as Instagram: @BarbudaRentals.

Find more amazing #WhatCoolLooksLike summer offers on: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts Celebrates Mid-Week Air Canada Flights with “Taste of St. Kitts” Culinary Event

Basseterre, St. Kitts (July 4, 2019) – Cirillo’s Culinary Academy in Toronto was the site for St. Kitts’ celebration of the expanded mid-week service from Air Canada with their second annual “Taste of St. Kitts” culinary event. Highlighting the increased airlift and reinforcing that the dining scene in St. Kitts is an experience not to be missed, the interactive cooking event had agents creating recipes from popular Kittitian restaurants.

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, remarked, “Leveraging our culinary experience, we are cultivating a higher profile to engage with more visitors to St. Kitts, especially this winter with our additional Air Canada Tuesday flight. The second annual “Taste of St. Kitts” provided the perfect platform to showcase our diverse cuisine as we launched our celebration of new service from Toronto!  The additional flying is part of the destination’s specific strategy to further develop its tourism industry by building airlift from select gateways with valued airline and industry partners to support its expanding hotel product.”

Hosting the event was Paul Minich, Market Consultant for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority in Canada. In his presentation he noted, “We are thrilled! There is strong growth from Canada and this expansion of service is very important to the destination. Our product appeals to the discriminating traveler looking for a more experiential vacation and the quality and diversity of our culinary product is certainly a key component of the St. Kitts & Nevis vacation experience.”

From February 11 through April 14, 2020, Air Canada will operate the flight utilizing a 136-seat Airbus A-319 with 12 Premium Rouge and 124 Economy class seats as follows:

Flight Depart Arrive
AC 1730 YYZ 11:20 am SKB 5:05 pm
AC 1731 SKB 5:55 pm YYZ 10:05 pm

Note: Flights are listed in local time and schedules are subject to change.  

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Tobago Tourism Agency hosts press trip with award-winning Irish travel writer

SCARBOROUGH Tobago, Friday July 05, 2019: The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) hosted an award-winning travel-journalist from Ireland for a fast-paced press trip from June 11 to 18 2019, in ongoing marketing efforts to promote unspoilt, untouched, undiscovered Tobago in the Irish market.

Press trips, also known as media familiarization trips, are effective ways for travel journalists to become familiar with the product offering of a destination, in order to effectively and compellingly write about their experiences and persuade potential visitors to book.

The Irish press was specifically targeted for this trip as the Irish market is a potentially rich source of business. Its steadily growing rate of outbound travel over the past few years has reached a rate of approximately 1.73 annual overseas trips per head, as opposed to the UK market’s 1.1 annual overseas trips per head.

Additionally, Ireland is an ideal target for visitor arrivals, as based on information from travel agents and operators serving that region, the Irish tourist is well accustomed to travelling to the UK- specifically Manchester- for connecting flights. This augers well for travel to Tobago as Manchester Airport offers direct airlift to the island.

Dublin-based travel-journalist and content creator Mr. Tadgh Peavoy is a prolific writer for many of Ireland’s national and online publications, and is also a lecturer in journalism in Dublin, Ireland. He has been commissioned by the Irish Daily Star – the 4th biggest news outlet in Ireland – to write a double-page feature on Tobago for their travel section. Mr. Peavoy is also writing an online feature on Tobago for Buzz.ie, the online version of the Irish Daily Star, which achieves around 1 million users a month.

In order to fully capitalize on the opportunity presented by this international press coverage for Tobago, the Agency curated an itinerary for the Irish journalist designed to showcase a variety of Tobago’s natural assets, activities, culinary and cultural experiences, which will then be translated into immersive travel articles for an Irish audience.

Speaking about his week-long experience in Tobago, which was his first time in the Caribbean, Mr. Peavoy enthused about not only the remarkable physical attributes of the island, but also about the friendly locals whose welcoming nature set the destination apart as an ideal vacation destination.

The seasoned travel-writer, who has also visited and written about destinations in Europe, South America and North America, also praised Tobago’s unspoilt, untouched beaches as some of the best in the world, calling the iconic Englishman’s Bay “the postcard-picture definition of tropical paradise”. His resulting articles about his visit to the destination will be used as inspirational marketing content to drive increased arrivals to Tobago from the lucrative Irish Market, which is in alignment with the Tobago Tourism Agency’s Road Map for Growth.

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