CTO News

Sharon Flax-Brutus Appointed Director Operations, Virgin Gorda VIlla Rentals

(Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands (BVI) – July 20th, 2020 – The owners of Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals and Leverick Bay Resort and Marina are happy to announce the appointment of seasoned tourism and travel industry professional, Mrs. Sharon Flax-Brutus as Director of Operations.

Sharon was recently Director of Tourism for the British Virgin Islands for more than seven years, and brings numerous years of experience in various sectors of the travel and tourism industry, including 12 years in senior management positions at the Rosewood Little Dix Bay Resort in Virgin Gorda, as a travel advisor in Las Vegas, Station Manager for American Eagle in the BVI and overseeing the operations of her family owned tourism business for several years.

Sharon was responsible for policy making as well as strategy formulation for the BVI Tourism industry and influential in reestablishing the BVI brand as a discerning travel destination.

As Director of Operations, Sharon will work to enhance the operations of the properties that make up Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals and Leverick Bay Resort and Marina to take them to the next level by providing a more luxury guest experience, paying very close attention to detail and offering a more personalized guest experience from reservation to rebooking.

Property Owner, Christina Yates who expressed her excitement in Sharon joining the company stated “We feel so honored that Sharon has agreed to be a part of our team. Her experience, industry and product knowledge, respect of her peers and passion for the BVI is a huge asset to us and as we launch plans to expand our properties, she is the best person to take our companies to the next level.”

For more information about Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals, visit www.vgvirgingordavillarentals.com

 

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog

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Caribbean Airlines Expands in the Eastern Caribbean

Port-of-Spain July 21, 2020.  Subject to regulatory approvals Caribbean Airlines will launch service to the Eastern Caribbean from Barbados effective July 22, 2020.  Flights will initially operate between Barbados to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada with other destinations to be added once the regulatory approvals are received.

The route expansion into the Eastern Caribbean is part of the airline’s current strategic plan. Earlier this year, Caribbean Airlines acquired additional aircraft and resources including pilots and cabin crew to support this initiative.

CEO of Caribbean Airlines, Garvin Medera stated: “Transport is a main pillar of Caribbean States, where it provides a space for the facilitation of trade, investment, and the movement of people.  Regionally and internationally, there is a lot to restart, and subject to regulatory approvals Caribbean Airlines is resuming our 2020 plans to expand routes in the Eastern Caribbean. This will begin from Barbados, as its borders are now open to commercial services. For us, improving connectivity is a strategy that has been in the making and we have carefully planned for this expansion, using data and other research to guide our decisions.”

FLIGHT SCHEDULE FROM BARBADOS TO ST.VINCENT & GRENADA

Flight Frequency Origin Destination Depart Arrive
BW200 MO,TU,FR,SA BGI SVD 5.15 p.m. 6.00 p.m.
BW200 MO,TU,FR,SA SVD GND 6.55 p.m. 7. 30 p.m.
BW201 MO,TU,FR,SA GND BGI 8. 25 p.m. 9. 25 p.m.
BW204 WE,SU BGI GND 7.55 a.m. 8.50 a.m.
BW204 WE,SU GND SVD 9.45 a.m. 10.25 a.m.
BW205 WE,SU SVD BGI 11.25 a.m. 12.10 p.m.

 

 

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog

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Jamaica Continues to Welcome Visitors; Extends Phase 1 of Reopening Through July

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – July 17, 2020 – Jamaica has announced revised measures for international travelers visiting the island as of July 15. All visitors will still be required to complete an online Travel Authorization. Travelers from Arizona, Florida, New York, and Texas (areas declared by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as high risk at this time), will be required to upload negative COVID-19 PCR test results. Tests should be no more than ten (10) days old measured from the day the sample was taken to the day of arrival in Jamaica.

These results, provided by a CAP-accredited lab, are required for travelers from high risk locations to receive the Travel Authorization certification, and must also be presented upon arrival in Jamaica. All visitors will still be screened upon arrival in Jamaica via thermal temperature checks, symptom observation and a brief interview with a Health Officer.

Leisure travelers from areas not currently designated as high risk may be subject to swab testing based on symptoms or responses to the risk assessment. Those with negative results – as well as those who do not require testing – must adhere to the Stay in Zone order, which requires persons to remain at their hotel or resort within the Resilient Corridor for the duration of their stay. Those who are screened and assessed and show symptoms upon arrival will be subject to swab testing and must quarantine in their hotel room until test results are available.

“Health and safety are paramount as we reopen our tourist industry on a phased basis,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Risk assessment is an important part of preventing further spread of COVID-19 and ensuring that our visitors and residents stay safe. We have developed and are implementing procedures throughout the visitor journey that ensure a seamless process so they are able to enjoy what our island and its people have to offer.”

Visitors staying outside the Resilient Corridor, who are deemed to be high risk, will be required to take a COVID-19 PCR test once they arrive in Jamaica and will be under quarantine orders until test results are returned. Positive cases will be isolated in home or state facilities depending on an assessment by the health authorities. Visitors who are low risk will not be required to be tested but will be under the stay at home measure for 14 days. All Business travelers will receive a swab test at the airport, and must remain in quarantine until results are available.

Travelers from high-risk areas must complete the Travel Authorization between two and five days prior to their planned arrival in Jamaica. The online authorization includes the immigration form, thereby streamlining the entry process. Approved travelers will receive a travel certificate, which must be presented (printed or electronic) during the airline check-in process. Travelers from high-risk areas will receive their travel certification or denial 48 hours after submitting their questionnaire. All other travelers may complete the form any time within the five days prior to planned arrival and will receive immediate approval or denial through a scoring algorithm.

The current process will be in effect through July 31. Jamaica’s health and safety measures are revisited every two weeks, which is consistent with the government’s approach of evaluating the COVID-19 global situation. As more is discovered about the virus including medical advancements or as the risk profile changes, Jamaica will make any necessary and appropriate revision to the protocols.

For more information on the Travel Authorization, visit www.visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization. For more information on Jamaica’s Health and Safety Protocols, visit www.jtbonline.org.

 

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Dominica Reopens Borders July 15

Roseau, Dominica – (July 17, 2020) Dominica reopened its borders on July 15, 2020 following successful restrictions to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Dr. Irving McIntyre, first made the announcement at a press conference on July 1, 2020, and the Prime Minister, Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, confirmed the dates and elaborated further on the intended protocols in subsequent radio and television programs.

The reopening of borders will be done in a phased manner, with nationals and residents allowed to return home beginning July 15, 2020 in phase one. All travelers including non-nationals can travel to The Nature Island beginning August 7, 2020 as part of phase 2 of the reopening of borders.

Health and safety guidelines and protocols have been carefully deliberated and formally announced to minimize the risk of new cases of COVID-19 once the borders are reopened.

These protocols are to be followed:

Protocols for Pre-Arrival
Compulsory requirements for all arriving passengers/travellers
All travellers must:
1. Submit a health questionnaire online at least 24 hours prior to arrival
2. Show notification of clearance to travel.
3. Submit a negative PCR test result recorded within 24-72 hours prior to arrival
General protocols and guidelines upon arrival
Travellers must:
1. Wear face masks at all times during the arrival process up to and including departure from the airport
2. Observe physical distancing guidelines
3. Practice good respiratory and personal sanitization
4. Follow all instructions of health care staff and officials
Disembarkation and Testing:
Travellers must:
1. Sanitize their hands at sanitization stations as directed
2. Undergo a health assessment to include a temperature check
3. Provide confirmation of the health questionnaire and negative PCR test results
4. Undergo rapid test screening and with a negative test result, they will be conveyed to immigration for processing and to customs for screening. Luggage will be sanitized when taken off conveyor belt
Those travellers who report a high temperature, high risk alert from their health questionnaire or Positive Rapid Test will:
1. Proceed to secondary screening area
2. Be given a PCR test
3. Be transported to mandatory quarantine at a government-approved facility or government certified hotel at their expense awaiting results
4. If the PCR test result is positive, the traveller will be admitted to the COVID isolation Unit.

Departure From Dominica
Vehicles will be permitted to enter the air and seaport with only the driver and travellers.
Travellers must:
1. Wear face masks at all times during the departure process until departure from airport.
2. Observe physical distancing.
3. Practice good respiratory and personal sanitization
4. Follow instructions of health care staff and officials

While restrictions to curtail the spread of COVID-19 have been lifted in Dominica, the health and safety protocols for respiratory etiquette, wearing of face masks, proper and frequent hand washing, sanitizing and physical distancing will still apply.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Tobago welcomes your return

SCARBOROUGH Tobago, Wednesday July 15, 2020:  The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited and the destination’s tourism industry stakeholders are seeking ways to stimulate economic activity for the island with initiatives targeting the domestic market.

When the Trinidad and Tobago government closed the borders in mid-March to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Agency ran a user-generated campaign to keep travelers and locals “Dreaming of Tobago”, showcasing the island so that it remains top of mind for regional and international visitors amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Now, the Agency is transitioning the destination’s message from “Dreaming of Tobago” to “We Welcome Your Return”, initiating a new phase of storytelling to promote the island in the domestic market. As the country undergoes a phased reopening and easing of restrictions, the re-opening of beaches, restaurants, bars and iconic sites and attractions presents an opportunity for domestic tourism to thrive.

TTAL launched a new campaign video on July 10th called Tobago Welcomes Your Return, showcasing the diverse offerings of destination Tobago through testimonials and videos shot by fans of the island, as the Agency seeks to turn dreaming into reality for residents and visitors from the sister isle of Trinidad.

Sheena Des Vignes, TTAL’s Marketing Coordinator, stated: “Our industry partners have faced incredibly challenging times in the face of COVID-19, and the planned domestic campaign will be about encouraging locals to plan their next Tobago staycation and support local businesses around the island.

We intend to inspire locals with authentic, home-grown storytelling communicated through platforms relevant to the domestic audience, building awareness of Tobago’s offerings and the #101reasonsTobago.”

The campaign will also see the Agency partnering with stakeholder groups such as the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association to curate and promote things to do, places to stay, and other areas of interest to create the perfect staycation in Tobago.

Louis Lewis, CEO of the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited noted that Tobago’s focus on domestic tourism and staycations is critical to stimulate the island’s economy, which is heavily dependent on travel and tourism.

“In this challenging environment where the pandemic has proven the relevance and importance of tourism, we want to ensure that we take strategic action to contribute to Tobago’s economic sustainability during these trying times. Stimulating our domestic tourism market will lead the way to recovery in a post coronavirus world, especially as international travel remains out of our grasp at this time. Essentially, it is very important that we in Trinidad and Tobago get out and support local, coming together to breathe life into Tobago’s tourism sector once again.”

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Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Saint Lucia Receives Prestigious Title from Travel + Leisure

CASTRIES, July 14, 2020 – Fresh off the heels of the reintroduction of commercial aviation services to the island, Saint Lucia has been awarded a title of prestigious honour by world renowned national U.S. travel magazine, Travel + Leisure. Destination Saint Lucia now ranks at number17 in the “Top 25 Islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas”.

Annually Travel + Leisure’s discerning readers demonstrate their commitment to seeking out meaningful travel experiences of the highest caliber. In 2020, hundreds of thousands of readers voted in the magazine’s annual survey, sharing their thoughts on favorite hotels, islands, tour operators, and more. The Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards is a leading barometer of the places and companies that satisfy some of the most passionate and discerning travelers.

Speaking on the recent accolade, Minister with responsibility for Tourism – Honourable Dominic Fedee said, “It is an honour to be named by such a pillar of the travel industry and this award reflects the ethos of our Saint Lucian people who take pride in what they do, and it is also a reflection of our hospitality that is second to none. This award is also is quite timely as Saint Lucia has just resumed travel services from the important USA market and we are gearing up to accommodate the Caribbean and the wider world in the coming weeks.”

Three Saint Lucian accommodation properties were also named in the category of “Top 25 Resort Hotels in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas”. Jade Mountain ranked at number 9, Cap Maison number 12, and Anse Chastanet at number 21. In addition, BodyHoliday was rated #4 in the “Top 5 International Spas” category.

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) continues to strategically position the destination as one of choice to travelers. With current global changes to the travel landscape, the SLTA and the Ministry of Tourism continue to work in tandem with local Health Authorities to ensure the Health and safety of visitors and Saint Lucian communities.

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, or         1-888 4STLUCIA or visit www.stlucia.org/

About Saint Lucia

One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies’ Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the Eastern Caribbean archipelago. The “Helen of the West Indies,” Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes.

Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Soleil Saint Lucia Summer Festival. Saint Lucia’s wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties. Saint Lucia is also home to world class cruise and yachting facilities. The island is continually recognized as one of the leading Wedding and honeymoon destinations worldwide.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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