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Pure Grenada Bans the Importation of Polystyrene ‘Styrofoam’

St. George’s, Grenada – September 18, 2018 – Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean, has made a major shift to ensure that its natural environment is protected and preserved for future generations. The Government of Grenada has implemented a far-reaching Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act, which began with the complete ban on the importation of polystyrene commonly referred to as ‘Styrofoam’ effective September 1, 2018.

The importation ban will be followed by sale sanctions on ‘Styrofoam’ effective March 1, 2019 and a complete embargo on its use a month later. The Act will also bar all single use plastics such as shopping bags, cutlery, plates, straws and cups by February 1, 2019.

Grenada’s Minister for the Environment, Simon Stiell, described the Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act as a “progressive legislation which seeks to regulate the use of non-biodegradable products, with a view to reducing the negative environmental impacts and improving the health of Grenadians.”

Environment America’s Wildlife Over Waste campaign is one of the many environmental campaigns that believe banning Styrofoam needs to occur. According to their campaign, scientists have found plastic fragments including Styrofoam in 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species. When animals ingest Styrofoam it can harm the animal’s health and people as well if the animal makes its way up the food chain.

The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) fully supports this move by the Government. CEO of the GTA, Patricia Maher said, “Our brand is Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean. This legislation will greatly assist us in keeping our tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique clean and beautiful for citizens as well as visitors.”

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen has always championed the ban on ‘Styrofoam’ and plastics. She said, “Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean is renowned for its naturally beautiful landscape. I am elated that my Government has taken action to contribute to the preservation of our environment for future generations.”

The legislation comes on the heels of robust advocacy by the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) and the Grenada Green Group (G3) for a ban on Styrofoam and plastic. Already in Grenada, many hotels, restaurants and stores have transitioned to the use of alternative biodegradable products.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Dominica Update – One Year Post Hurricane Maria

ROSEAU, Dominica, Sept. 18, 2018 – One year after Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica, the island nation is rebounding.

“A growing share of affected residents can say their lives are back on track or almost back to normal after the hurricane,” said Colin Piper, Director of Tourism. “The progress made this past year represents a milestone in the recovery process during which the people of Dominica – and the natural environment itself – have shown their resilience and indomitable spirits.”

Island updates include:

Access
Dominica’s airports – Douglas-Charles and Canefield – are fully open for commercial operations with same-day connectivity with international carriers to and from Douglas-Charles. The ferry service operated by L’Express des Iles is also available. A new ferry service, Val Ferry, began operating between Dominica and Guadeloupe in August 2018. Val Ferry runs a weekly schedule with seating capacity of 400.

Cruise tourism continues to generate significant economic activity. Dominica hosted 33 cruise ships for the 2017-2018 season (out of 219 expected cruise visits prior to Hurricane Maria).

Since July 2018, Carnival Fascination began making bi-weekly stops to Dominica and will continue until November 2018. A total of 181 cruise calls – or 304,031 passengers – are projected for the 2018-2019 cruise season.

Roadways are also open for all vehicles across the island, yet travellers are advised to be cautious as road repair work is still ongoing in some areas. Public transportation, taxi services and car rentals are all available on the island.

Hotels/Accommodations
A majority of Dominica’s properties are open, with more than 540 hotel rooms available. Since last fall, many lodging properties have made an amazing rebound and have used this as an opportunity to do intense renovation to improve and enhance their existing location. Two hotels will be reopening soon – Secret Bay (November 2018) and Jungle Bay (February 2019) Fort Young Hotel, Dominica’s premier hotel, is currently operating with 40 rooms and is undergoing a massive renovation to include 60 additional rooms to be fully operational by October 2019 with a total of 100 new and refurbished rooms.

Two new luxury hotels will soon be available – Cabrits Resort Kempinski Dominica (October 2019) and Anichi Resort, part of the Marriott Autograph Collection (late 2019).

Health Services
Princess Margaret Hospital, the island’s main health system, has been fully functional and all of the 49 community health centers are operational (39 operate from their original locations and 10 have been relocated due to the devastation).

Tourist Attractions
The top tourism sites and attractions are open to the public. Restoration and maintenance work are still ongoing in some areas, including roads, facilities and signage. All major beaches have been cleaned and are open to visitors.

Restaurants
The restaurant and food industries have shown significant rebound, and many of the food establishments have received renewed operation permits from the Environmental Health Department. The island’s food scene will be highlighted in the upcoming Taste of Dominica event (October 15 to November 30, 2018).

Utilities
Electricity has been restored to the national power grid in most areas across the island. Full connectivity to individual homes is ongoing in conjunction with certified home renovations. Ninety-seven percent (97%) of customers have access to reconnect to the national grid.

Ninety-eight percent (98%) connectivity has been restored to the national water supply network.

Internet service and Wi-Fi hot spots are widely available within town and urban settlements, including Roseau. Cellular phone service on the island is widely available.

Events
Earlier this year, Dominica celebrated Carnival and the Jazz ‘n Creole Festival. Both events attracted many local and visiting patrons. Upcoming events include the World Creole Music Festival (October 2018) and Dominica’s 40th Year of Independence (November 3, 2018). This year is also a reunion year, an opportunity for Dominicans living abroad to return to celebrate their culture. Most of the reunion activities will take place during the independence celebration (starting September 29, 2018).

About Dominica

For more information about Dominica, contact Lise Cuffy at the Discover Dominica Authority at 767-448-2045 or [email protected] Visit www.DiscoverDominica.com. Follow Dominica on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. A playlist of videos highlighting the recovery and unique experiences in Dominica is available on the Discover Dominica YouTube channel.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Saint Lucia Assures Visitors of a Holiday Guarantee

CASTRIES – September 18, 2018 – Saint Lucia continues to prove why she is a destination that inspires travelers to visit and explore her beauty and splendor.

Visitors can now enjoy a stress-free vacation while they play and stay at 22 properties on the island that are offering guests a holiday guarantee if their vacation were to be interrupted by adverse weather.

Though Saint Lucia is seldom affected by hurricanes, hotel operators associated with the Saint Lucia Hotel Association and Tourism Association created the holiday guarantee, so visitors could book their vacations with confidence at any time of the year. This unique Holiday Guarantee programme covers cancellations made prior to arrival and if the vacation is cut short because of a hurricane.

The guarantee becomes effective when a hurricane warning is issued by the Saint Lucia Meteorological Service and offers a waiver of cancellation penalties and an opportunity to rebook the vacation.

Acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Mrs. Tiffany Howard said, “Given the impact of the 2017 hurricane season on the region, it is utterly important that this guarantee remains in effect to assure visitors that Saint Lucia takes pride in its tourism product. While Saint Lucia is rarely affected by hurricanes, this guarantee provide another security blanket to our visitors.”

Hotels offering holiday guarantees include Coco Palm Resort; Rex Resorts; Harmony Marina Suites; Hotel Chocolat; Ti Kaye Resort & Spa; Villa Beach Cottages; Bay Gardens Resorts; Cleopatra Villas;  Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort;  Stonefield Villa Resort; Sugar Beach- A Viceroy Resort; Villa C’est La Vie;  Marigot Beach Club; Dive Harmony Marina Suites; St. James Club; Calabash Cove, and Castles in Paradise.

Additional information on the Holiday Travel Guarantee can be obtained via our Saint Lucia Expert Agents or by visiting http://stlucia.org/summer-of-discovery/images/HolidayGuaranteeTerms. Terms and conditions will apply.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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First Vice President of St Martin Meets Newly Appointed GM of Belmond La Samanna

14 September 2018 (St. Martin, WI) – Valérie Damaseau, the first Vice President of St. Martin’s Territorial Council and President of St. Martin Office de Tourism met with the newly appointed General Manager of Belmond La Samanna, Eleonore Astier-Petin, to discuss and finalize the marketing plan for the re-opening of the luxury resort.

Scheduled for December 10, 2018, Belmond’s La Samanna will open her doors to again  offer guests the best of the best in hospitality. The 55-acre property is perched beside one of the most spectacular private beaches in the Caribbean, offering 83 rooms and suites, 8 villas, 3 restaurants, 2 bars, 2 pools, tennis courts, watersports center, fitness center, spa and an events center.

Leading up to the winter season, La Samanna will participate in the travel industry familiarization trip that is being arranged by St. Martin Tourism Director, Aida Weinum with representatives of American Airlines, Expedia and several wholesalers in attendance. The visit is scheduled to take place between November 1st and 5th. The Belmond team will also attend IFTM Top Résa later this month to promote the re-opening of La Samanna and the new offerings the resort will offer.

Vice President Damaseau shared with the Belmond La Samanna team the work the tourism office is doing to attract new visitors and bring back those persons that have visited before. She spoke of the first joint partnership between the French and Dutch tourism offices that was announced earlier this year and charged to synergize on the promotion of the destination.

On behalf of the St. Martin government, she also extended an invitation to the Belmond La Samanna management team to join stakeholder meetings and to participate in the upcoming destination press conferences that will be held Brazil and Argentina.

Back Row L – R, Ricardo Bethel, Special Projects Coordinator, St. Martin Tourist Office, Eleonore Astier-Petin, General Manager, Belmond La Samanna, Stephane Le Junter, Belmond La Samanna. Front L – R, Valérie Damaseau, 1st Vice President, St. Martin’s Territorial & President, St. Martin Office de Tourism Council, Stéphanie Bessière, Director of Tourism, The Collectivity of St-Martin Tourism, Aida Weinum, Director of Tourism, St. Martin Tourist Office, Suzanne Scantlebery, U.S. Promotional agent, St. Martin Tourist Office.

Looking forward, Damaseau spoke of the SMART Conference that is planned to take place in May 2019. The annual conference is organized by the L’Association des Hoteliers de St. Martin, Saint Martin Tourism Office and in conjunction with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association, attracts Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Travel Writers, and Event Planners from the US, Canada, Europe, and Latin America. The tradeshow provides a unique opportunity for local and regional hoteliers and activities providers to present their tourism product, network and negotiate prospective business opportunities.

The 1st Vice President used the occasion to update the team on the reopening of the ground floor of the Princess Julianna International Airport, scheduled for the beginning of November 2018, and disclosed that already several North American legacy carriers will reintroduce service to the island for the winter season.

“We are very excited about the forward momentum and growth that is taking place for our island this year. The confirmed reopening of Belmond La Samanna is a significant step in reasserting our position as the destination of choice in the Caribbean. Working closely together with our partners and stakeholders, we are able to leverage our strength and increase our impact in the marketplace and look forward to working with Belmond La Samanna to ensure the successful debut of this new and improved legendary resort” concluded 1st Vice President Damaseau.

 

ABOUT ST. MAARTEN/ST. MARTIN: With duty-free shops, an eclectic array of restaurants, properties and loads of water sports, St. Maarten is for action-oriented vacationers. With its blend of warm hospitality and European style, St. Maarten is one of the Caribbean’s more attention-grabbing spots. The destination offers visitors the opportunity to explore two sides and personalities in one island. It highlights the best between its two sides: Dutch St. Maarten to the south, French St. Martin to the north. Find information on St. Maarten/St. Martin please visit: http://www.stmartinisland.org/ and http://www.vacationstmaarten.com/ or follow us on Facebook facebook.com/stmaartentourism/ Instagram: @stmaartentourism Twitter @ilesaintmartin

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Portfolio Marketing Group, Nana Delatour Tel:212.490.2098 Email: [email protected].

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Immersive Technology-driven Experience Slated for SOTIC

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (11 Sept. 2018) – The opening day of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) centres on the “Recreate” theme with discussions focused on innovation, business development and building better. The conversation will transcend physical infrastructure to examine an entire immersive experience that is driven by technology among other factors.

“The Caribbean must examine and utilize new technologies designed to upgrade and enhance the region’s tourism product in order to be competitive on a global scale,” said Sylma Brown, the head of the CTO’s New York office, which oversees the conference. “The first day of the State of the Tourism Industry Conference will challenge previous notions with innovative ideas for redesigning business operations and infrastructure to optimize the guest experience within each destination, resort, guesthouse, attraction and cultural event,” she added.

Scheduled for 2-5 Oct. 2018 at Atlantis, Paradise Island in The Bahamas, general SOTIC sessions start on 3 Oct. and will be anchored by Puerto Rico-born Santana Rodriguez, television producer and former news personality at Crown City News in Pasadena who also served as entertainment host and morning news reporter at KLEO Television in Hollywood, California.

The first general session, “Building Better,” aims to guide the development of regional infrastructure and product evolution while influencing the enhancement of the Caribbean’s unmistakably infectious brand. There will be a sharp focus on the critical priority areas that are necessary to build better, including financing, design and execution, and best practices that take into consideration the practical realities of physical infrastructure.

Panellists include Hugh Riley, the CTO’s secretary general; Tom Hook, the North American director of planning and landscape at B+H Architects; General Russel Honore, a retired U.S. military officer who led the department of defense response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana; and Jena Tesse Fox, a writer and editor for Questex Media’s Hotel Management and Hotel Design magazines.

Moderated by Dr. Deborah Hickling-Gordon, Principal Consultant, Ink and Vision, Ltd., the second general session, “Commoditization Without Exploitation,” will examine the critical factors which catalyze the misuse and overuse of the Caribbean’s intrinsic resources for tourist consumption, as well as explore feasible opportunities to maximize the Caribbean’s marine, cultural and heritage treasures to enhance the tourism product without exploiting the region’s inherent wealth. The panel will feature Gregory Bethel, senior economist at the department of marine resources of The Bahamas; Dr. Marcia Burrowes, lecturer in cultural studies at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus; and Senator Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson, president of the Caribbean Congress of Labour.

A general session on “Modernizing the Experience: Using Technology to Enhance the Visitor Experience” will analyze how rapidly developing technology is forcing every sector of the industry to shift their approach and define their own experience utilizing mobile technologies and virtual reality to set themselves apart. From airports becoming more memorable and enjoyable with facilities to shop without checkout systems to hotels adopting customer-centric models, this session will feature some of the best examples of how governments and brands are using technology to move beyond the ordinary.

Travel industry veteran Noreen Henry, who has over 25 years leveraging innovative technologies and who served as chief executive officer of WayBlazer, an artificial intelligence travel technology start-up, is a speaker on the panel. She will be joined by Kristie Powell, a former senior technical advisor at Google and the co-founder and chief executive Founder, Coral, a software development startup transforming the B2B market in the Caribbean; and Ed Limon, a Toronto-based filmmaker, producer and virtual reality expert.

Caribbean tourism practitioners, policymakers, travel professionals and strategic partners from the public and private sectors throughout the region and internationally participate each year in SOTIC, organized this year by the CTO in collaboration with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. The conference will be preceded by business meetings on 1 – 2 Oct.

Sponsorship opportunities and details are available from CTO at 212-635-9530 or via http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/sponsor.

For further details on the conference, including how to register, please visit http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/.

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St. Kitts Presents CFBC Student with a Hospitality Scholarship Award from Range Developments & Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spa

Basseterre, St. Kitts (September 6, 2018) – St. Kitts is pleased to announce that Range Developments and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas have kept their promise to the CFBC hospitality students and awarded one of its most promising students a chance to work at the Six Senses Zil Pasyon in the Seychelles. On 29 August 2018, the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Lindsay Grant, awarded the scholarship to Wycliffe Clarke. Wycliffe will spend the next six months at the Six Senses Zil Pasyon so he can continue his practical education at what is undoubtedly one of the finest resorts in the world.

“We are extremely pleased that Range Developments and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas have committed to this scholarship and to the development of hospitality training for our youths, who are the future of St. Kitts’ tourism industry,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “This partnership will not only help one student; it benefits the entire destination as we strive to employ only the highest standards and best practices in hospitality to ensure that our target visitors continue to want to return to our shores and stay at the new Six Senses St. Kitts when it opens in 2021.”

Hospitality training is key to ensuring St Kitts cements its position as the leading five-star tourism destination in the Caribbean.

“At Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, we take great pride in bringing on board hotel school interns and graduates assign projects to student groups from around the world. We are thrilled to have agreed with Range Development to include CFBC in the institutions we shall from now on closely cooperate with. This first scholarship and our regular lectures and interactions with the school are only the beginning. We look forward to working very closely with CFBC in gearing up for the opening of Six Senses St. Kitts and its future,” Said Mr. Bernhard Bohnenberger, the president of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.

Six Senses Hotels Resort Spas’ senior management, including Mr. Bohnenberger, has been lecturing hospitality students monthly via a video link. Mr. Bohnenberger has a wealth of experience in the industry and is a member of the board of EHL (Lausanne hospitality school).

“We wish this young man all the best with the advancement of his career and am sure he will return to St Kitts enriched by the experience,” said Mr. Mohammed Asaria, the founder of Range Developments. “We expect him to share his experiences with his peers and this way the island’s tourism industry will learn best practices from other leading resort destinations. Hospitality training is a key component to a successful tourism industry. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas shares our ethos and appreciate their commitment to St Kitts.”

During the signing ceremony for the launch of the Six Senses St. Kitts in February this year, Mr. Mohammed Asaria, the founder of Range Developments and Mr. Bernhard Bohnenberger, the president of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, made a long-term commitment to hospitality training in St Kitts. One of the key pledges made to CFBC by Range and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas was the award of a hospitality scholarship one of the top performing CFBC hospitality students.

Range Developments is the developer of the award-winning Park Hyatt St Kitts, Kempinski Dominica and Six Senses St Kitts, and is fully committed to tourism in the Eastern Caribbean. Construction on the Six Senses St Kitts will begin in the coming weeks and project managers have already been appointed.

In addition to collaborating with Range Developments and Six Senses, St. Kitts is fully dedicated to its Tourism Education program in schools designed to teach the principles of the tourism business to the island’s youth who are the future of its tourism industry. Having begun with three pilot schools, the program has expanded to include over 360 students in six schools – four primary schools, one secondary school and one technical and vocational school. Tourism officers from the St. Kitts Tourism Authority work alongside teachers combining class work and field trips to various sites and attractions on island. A Hospitality School of Excellence is in development and an awards ceremony was held for those students who have excelled in the program.

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