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Grenada Reports Stellar Tourism Performance in 2019

St. George’s, Grenada W.I. – January 28, 2020 – 2018 was a record-breaking year for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique as the three- island destination welcomed more than half a million total visitors to its shores. Building on this solid foundation, supported by continued aggressive public relations and marketing efforts to attract target audiences, Grenada maintained its growth momentum in 2019 which resulted in a preliminary total visitor number of 525,453 as released by the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) today.

Stayover visitor arrivals, which are considered the most valuable visitor in terms of on-island spend, accounted for 162,902, a 1% increase over 2018’s bumper growth (10%) of 160,970 arrivals. With the addition of American Airlines’ new direct service from Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport and considering that one of the largest hotels on island, the Rex Grenadian, has been closed for refurbishment since May 2019, this is a good indication of the destination’s growth and high demand with intrepid travelers.

As the market share increases, so will Grenada’s accommodations portfolio with the addition of The Royalton Grenada hotel, scheduled to open on March 1, 2020 as the largest hotel on island with 269 rooms. Sandals Grenada with 257 rooms and Radisson Grenada Beach Hotel with 227 rooms will be the second and third largest hotels on island respectively. The destination will also be home to the Kimpton Kawana Bay hotel which will have 220 rooms with construction well underway on the world famous Grand Anse Beach and 100 rooms will be available by December 2020.

Cruise visitor arrivals accounted for 337,940 maintaining solid numbers after 2018’s record growth (15%) of 342,826. Plans are in place for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) to increase visits from 19 cruise calls in 2019 to 29 cruise calls in 2020 with Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International. Carnival Corporation’s Carnival Fascination cruise ship is planning 12 new calls to Grenada throughout the year 2021.

Grenada continues its stellar growth in yachting with preliminary visitor arrivals currently at 24,611. With the expansion of Camper and Nicholson’s marina of 160 berths, with an additional 90 completed, the world class facility at Port Louis is gearing up for major growth in the sector.

GTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Maher, stated that tourism prospects are excellent for the destination, not just for 2020 but beyond, with the announcement of a Six Senses Hotel to open in 2022. This upscale 100-room hotel project is part of a two hotel development plan at La Sagesse in the beautiful parish of St. David’s. It will be the first Six Senses brand hotel in the Caribbean. Recently, the destination was named “Top 12 to watch in 2020” in the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) Travel Trends Report 2020, the only Caribbean destination to be included in the UK global benchmark report since 2018.

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen, noted the destination’s tourism partners and the industry’s allied members are looking forward to significant future growth plans throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique taking into account all the new developments in the stayover, cruise and yachting sectors.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Montserrat Tourism Arrivals Cross 20,000 for the First Time in the Active Volcano Era

The Montserrat Tourism Division, Office of the Premier reports that visitor arrivals to the island in 2019 increased by 14% over 2018, signaling the first time since the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano in 1995 that the number has crossed 20,000. For the period January to December 2019, Montserrat recorded 20,956 total visitor arrivals compared to 18,338 for the same period in 2018.

A 59% increase in cruise visits was largely responsible for the overall growth and this was complemented by a 2% increase in stayover arrivals. The Caribbean region led the way, generating 19% of total stayover visits, followed by the UK, which accounted for 13.4% and the US, which produced 12.6%. Commenting on the positive results, Director of Tourism, Warren Solomon, said “We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to surpass the threshold of 20,000 visitors. It tells us that we’re on the right track with our marketing initiatives and that if we are able to be consistent in our delivery, we could continue the growth trend.”

The Hon. Premier and Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Joseph Farrell and Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier, Mrs Daphne Cassell, are working with Ministry of Finance to secure additional funding for marketing to increase stay-over visitors.

The tourism data released by the Statistics Department also revealed a 1% growth in visitor spend, amounting to $27 million. This means that although more people are visiting the island, this is not being fully reflected in their level of expenditure. The Tourism Division is confident that its product development initiatives, some of which include enhancements to the trail network and beach facilities, service training in the tourism sector and the construction of a Volcano Interpretive Centre would stimulate increased activity and spending by visitors to the island.

“We recently launched a new survey tool that will capture both the sentiments of our visitors, as well as more accurate estimates of their expenditure,” noted Product Development Officer, Rosetta West-Gerald, “This will allow us to better understand both the positive or negative impacts of our product offerings and make adjustments where necessary.”

Some of the new planned marketing activities in which the Tourism Division will be engaging in 2020 include: The launch of a new website to enhance its digital marketing capabilities, a more aggressive approach to going after the group and excursion markets in Antigua, and a number of trade and consumer initiatives in the US, UK and Canada.

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Official Dates for Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival 2020 Released

Roseau, Dominica:  (January 28, 2020) – The Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), organizers of the World Creole Music Festival, the region’s greatest indigenous music festival, announces the official date for the 2020 edition of the festival, for October 23rd, 24th and 25th , 2020, at its usual venue at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium, Roseau, Dominica’s capital.

The 22nd edition of the Festival will be held one week earlier, to accommodate preparations for celebrating the country’s 42nd anniversary of Independence on November 3, 2020.  This year, Festival patrons will have the opportunity to kick off Creole Week on the weekend prior to Creole Day and enjoy the various Creole celebrations in the week after the Festival.

The WCMF which is part of the wider celebrations for Dominica’s annual independence anniversary, and is preceded by a variety of cultural events, competition and fringe musical events, has become well known for attracting some of the region’s major acts in the creole musical genres like Cadence-lypso and Bouyon from Dominica, Zouk from the French Antilles, Compas from Haiti, as well as other genres with Caribbean and African roots, like Reggae and Dancehall from Jamaica, Soca and Calypso from Trinidad and other Caribbean islands and Afro-beat from the African continent.

As a result of the growing popularity of the festival and the demand for flights, accommodation and tickets for the festival period, visitors are especially encouraged to make early reservation for flights into the destination and for hotel rooms.

For information on hotel rates and other festival information please visit the DDA festival website at www.dominicafestivals.com

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

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The Bahamas Celebrates Highest Visitor Arrival Numbers in History

NASSAU – January 23, 2019 –The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation has exceeded a record-breaking seven million visitors in 2019. The Ministry attributes this historic success to data-driven, agile marketing, authentic storytelling, and aggressive PR, sales and airlift strategies. While the impacts of Hurricane Dorian are still felt, the hard work and dedication of Ministry partners have ensured that The Bahamas is still rockin’.

“It is with great pride and pleasure that I report The Bahamas’ strongest tourism numbers in history,” said Minister of Tourism & Aviation, Dionisio D’Aguilar. “We look forward to building upon the success of our marketing efforts and continuing the momentum in 2020 as we show the world that The Bahamas continues to be Open For Business and has so much to offer visitors.”

“This tremendous achievement would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the team behind the scenes at the Ministry of Tourism as well as our industry and agency partners,” said Director General, Joy Jibrilu.

RECORD ARRIVALS
The impact of Hurricane Dorian has not slowed The Bahamas’ tourism growth. Since 2009, the islands have continuously seen a steady increase in air and sea arrivals with an impressive 52% increase in just 10 years.

According to the Department of Immigration, Port Authority and Customs, 2019 was a record-breaking year for The Bahamas, with the highest number of arrivals by air and sea recorded in the country’s history. By the end of 2019, foreign air and sea arrivals had totaled more than 7.2 million, a 9.0% increase from 2018. Stopover visitors alone were the highest in recorded history at 1.78 million with American visitors accounting for 1.45 million.

AIRLIFT INCREASE
The Islands Of The Bahamas expect to see this trend of increasing arrivals by air continue as major airlines, including United Airlines, British Airways and Delta Airlines have increased their airlift to Nassau in 2020.

United Airlines has added Saturday-only non-stop service from Denver to Nassau. The service begins March 7, 2020 in time for the peak spring travel season and continues through August 15, 2020. Beginning March 29, 2020, British Airways will operate non-stop service between London Heathrow and Nassau every Tuesday. British Airways will now offer non-stop service between London and Nassau Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Delta Airlines has also expanded its airlift to Nassau this winter. Beginning December 21, 2019, the airline introduced daily nonstop flights from Boston Logan Airport to Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport. Flights will run through April 30, 2020.

AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
The Bahamas Awarded in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards – The Islands Of The Bahamas placed tenth in Condé Nast Travelers’ 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards for the Top 10 Islands in The Caribbean & Atlantic. Despite the trying hurricane season, The Islands continue to be a leader in Caribbean travel.

Bahamian Islands Recognized in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards The Exumas, Harbour Island and The Abacos were named some of the top islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda and The Bahamas in Travel + Leisure’s 2019 World’s Best Awards. The World’s Best Awards are among the most prestigious in the travel industry and are selected by the publication’s readers.

Caribbean Journal’s Travelers’ Choice Awards – Nassau / Paradise Island were recognized in two categories of Caribbean Journal’s Travelers’ Choice Awards. The Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant was named the Best Restaurant in the Caribbean while Nassau / Paradise Island was voted the Best Golf Destination. The Travelers’ Choice Awards celebrate the best in Caribbean travel as chosen by thousands of Caribbean Journal subscribers.

CHTA’s Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum Awards – The Islands Of The Bahamas took top honors at Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s annual CHIEF Awards. Small Hope Bay Lodge in Andros placed first in the Environmental Sustainability category for its solar power initiatives. Valentines Resort & Marina on Harbour Island placed first in the Sales and Marketing award category through its social media and email marketing efforts. Nassau Airport Development Company placed second in the Business Operations category for its new operation procedures to improve passenger experience.

Media Accolades – Following Hurricane Dorian, travel and lifestyle media rallied behind The Islands Of The Bahamas to encourage their readers to plan their travels now. The following awards round out a growing list of media accolades and consumer travel trend reports positioning The Bahamas as a must-visit destination in 2020:

CONTINUING THE MOMENTUM WITH FLY AWAY

THE BAHAMAS IS STILL ROCKIN’

Following Hurricane Dorian, the Ministry also revealed a multi-channel campaign which reveals the resilience of the Bahamian people. Through authentic storytelling, the campaign shows travelers why The Bahamas is still rockin’ and urges them to add the destination to their 2020 travel plans.

Earlier this year, the Ministry debuted a new, multi-channel creative campaign featuring Bahamian-American rock legend Lenny Kravitz which reveals the authentic spirit of The Bahamas as a destination of adventure and discovery. Set to the lyrics of Kravitz’s hit song Fly Away, the television commercial and supporting marketing campaign capture his deep personal connection to The Bahamas, as well as the pure adrenaline rush of exploring the archipelago’s 100,000 square miles by boat and plane. Behind-the-scenes video follows Kravitz around his home base of Eleuthera, where he records music and embraces island time.

Supporting digital content at www.bahamas.com/flyaway allows the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation to raise awareness of the destination’s many islands, which include The Exumas, Andros, Bimini, The Berry Islands, Cat Island, Harbour Island and Eleuthera, Long Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Mayaguana, Inagua, Acklins, Nassau-Paradise Island and Crooked Island. The new hub draws visitors into island-specific microsites delivering inspiring vertical market video content on a variety of cultural and travel topics. The campaign underscores The Bahamas’ powerful appeal as a destination and its proximity as a quick Fly Away destination.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Delta Air Lines Adds New Service from New York City to Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (January 21, 2020) – Delta Air Lines will add a new seasonal flight between Grand Cayman and New York, N.Y., starting June 13, 2020. The flight will operate on Saturdays through August 20, 2020, between John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Grand Cayman’s recently renovated Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM).

“We are excited to welcome increased airlift from New York City to Grand Cayman this summer, particularly with a long-time international partner like Delta Air Lines that has an extensive network of travellers in the tristate region,” said Hon. Minister of Tourism, Mr. Moses Kirkconnell. “With Delta’s new seasonal service and the Department of Tourism’s annual, destination-wide summer promotions, we are poised to provide even more New Yorkers with a memorable and easily-accessible Cayman Islands vacation this summer.”

“Delta is New York’s No. 1 airline, and this service to the Cayman Islands joins the ranks of our more than 200 daily departures to more than 80 destinations in 30 countries,” said Chuck Imhof, Delta Vice President — New York Sales. “Families and vacationers seeking escape from the big city this summer will find the perfect adventure in this culturally rich island getaway.”

The launch of the new flight on one of the world’s largest global carriers, coupled with the Cayman Islands’ unmatched summer offerings, allows visitors the ultimate opportunity to experience an unforgettable, hassle-free summer vacation. To book, go online to www.delta.com or contact your local travel professional.

New York-JFK to Grand Cayman

Flight                     DL 0489
Departure           10:55 a.m.
Arrival                   1:37 p.m.
Frequency          Saturdays

Grand Cayman to New York-JFK

Flight                     DL 0490
Departure           2:50 p.m.
Arrival                   7:28 p.m.
Frequency          Saturdays

“Each new flight introduced to Grand Cayman provides visitors with more options to explore our beautiful destination while creating additional tourism and business opportunities among our valued airline partners,” said Ms. Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism. “We thank Delta for continuing to serve and invest in the Cayman Islands, and look forward to bringing even more travelers from the tristate area to experience our sun, sand, sea and Caymankind vibes this summer.”

Available in 2020, the Cayman Islands’ “Summer Only in Cayman” promotion will be valid for travel bookings from May through September 2020 and includes discounted accommodations, activities, meals, car rentals, attractions and more. Not to mention, travellers arriving in Grand Cayman will experience destination’s new-and-improved Owen Roberts International Airport which underwent a massive expansion to allow the island to accommodate more passengers, including an expanded departure hall, food court, VIP lounge, restaurants, children’s play area and a variety of new concessions. To learn more and book your vacation in the Cayman Islands, go to www.visitcaymanislands.com.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Discover Dominica Authority Receives Platinum Award at HSMAI Adrian Awards for Excellence in PR

NEW YORK, N.Y. (January 22, 2020) – Discover Dominica Authority was awarded with the esteemed Platinum Award in Public Relations by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) last night at their annual Adrian Awards. The Adrian Awards recognize the best, and most innovative practices in advertising, marketing, and public relations within the travel and hospitality industry.

Discover Dominica Authority’s Platinum Award in Public Relations recognizes the strategic work put into rebuilding the narrative post 2017 Hurricane Maria, to secure the cover of the April 2019 edition of Travel + Leisure. The cover was paired with a three-page feature story titled “A New Day for Dominica,” which highlighted the resilience, recovery and perseverance of Dominica and its people.

The cover story represents 12-months of collaboration between Dominica’s US representative agency, MMGY Myriad, host property Secret Bay, and Travel + Leisure Editor in Chief, Jacqueline Gifford, writer Gina DeCaprio Vercesi and photographer Noe DeWitt. The April Issue celebrated not only Jacqueline’s EIC debut for the publication but also the first time that Travel + Leisure have executed two cover runs of one issue.

It is estimated that over four million traveling Americans were exposed to this piece, with the placement providing an ad investment equivalency of over three times Dominica’s annual US operating budget.

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