CTO News

Antigua and Barbuda Ready to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Adventurous Team Antigua Island Girls

St. John’s, Antigua (January 16, 2018) – Antigua and Barbuda, with its strong heritage of yacht racing and moniker as the Sailing Capital of the Caribbean, is always keen for a good nautical adventure.  And with history about to be made, the destination is more than ready to roll out the red carpet to welcome adventurous Atlantic rowers “Team Antigua Island Girls”, when they row into the historic Nelson’s Dockyard and into the record books as the first all-black female team in the world to row across the Atlantic Ocean, completing the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge this Jan/Feb.

Dubbed the world’s toughest row, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a premier ocean rowing experience that begins in La Gomera in the Canary Islands.  On December 12 2018, the teams, twenty-eight in total, set off on their journey braving the Atlantic Ocean, crossing 3000 miles with over 1.5 million oar strokes and little sleep, to get to their destination in Antigua.  The first team to finish the Challenge, ‘Dutch Atlantic Four’ was welcomed into Antigua, with much fanfare on the evening of January 15, having spent 34 days out at sea.

The Team Antigua Island Girls rowers: Elvira Bell, Christal Clashing, Samara Emanuel and Captain Kevinia Francis are expected to arrive later this month, where family, friends and mammoth crowds of well-wishers will gather at the Nelson’s Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site to cheer them on as they row in and celebrate the successful end of their journey.  Junella King, the alternate and fifth member of Team Antigua Island Girls, will meet her teammates in Antigua.

“Antigua and Barbuda’s rich nautical heritage, and the unrivalled setting that competitors rowing into the Dockyard will encounter, makes Antigua and Barbuda the ideal location for this event. We are excited to welcome all the rowers, their families and friends to Antigua and Barbuda for this experience,” said Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, The Honourable Charles Fernandez.

“While this is the third time a team from Antigua and Barbuda has entered the Challenge, we are truly proud that the first all-black female team to row the Atlantic is comprised of four courageous Antiguan women. The entire nation is rooting for our girls and we are really looking forward to welcoming them home and celebrating the strength of women.  This is history in the making, and it will truly be a momentous occasion for Antigua and Barbuda.”

Team Antigua Island Girls have identified local charity, Cottage of Hope as one of the main reasons for their row. Cottage of Hope is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 that houses and/or serves girls who have been abused, neglected or orphaned. Cottage of Hope with the aid of funds raised by Team Antigua Island Girls will offer expanded services to young women who have come of age who are transitioning from a group home setting to living on their own. To donate to the charity and for more information about Team Antigua Island Girls go to: https://www.antiguabarbudaislandgirls.com/donate/=

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Belize: 2018 An Outstanding Year For Tourism Arrivals

Key strategic marketing initiatives by BTB to promote the country as one of the world’s best tourism destinations, propelled by the addition of new international flights are among some of the salient factors that have made 2018 an outstanding and record breaking year for both overnight and cruise tourism arrivals to Belize.

The latest statistics reveal that 2018 not only registered a 14.6% growth in overnight tourist arrivals, but it was one of the largest increases in the last decade. In addition, cruise arrivals again surpassed the 1 million mark for the third consecutive year, representing a 19.1% increase over 2017.

A SUCCESSFUL YEAR FOR OVERNIGHT TOURISM

2018 was a very successful year for overnight tourism in Belize. There was a 14.6% increase in overnight arrivals  in  2018,  which  translates  to  an  increase  of  over  62,000  overnight visitors.  The total overnight arrivals to Belize is now only about 10,000 short of reaching half million visitors for the year. In addition to this significant increase of 14.6%, the past three years have been all double digit increases. Furthermore, in the last 10 years, overnight arrivals have more than doubled in growth from 232,249 in 2009 to 489,261 in 2018.

Read more: https://www.ambergristoday.com/news/2019/01/09/2018-outstanding-record-breaking-year-tourism-arrivals-belize

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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The Shaken Not Stirred – Paris Meets the Caribbean in Delray Beach – Fashion Event

Delray Beach, FLA. – January 11, 2019 (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) The Shaken Not Stirred – Fashion for a Cause Charity Event will be produced by Jule Guaglardi, Delray Beach Fashion Week’s Co-Chair and Co-Founder, designer of Roxylulu, and partner of Zelman Style Interiors. The luxurious event, co-produced by The Victoria Desilvio Group, will take place during Delray Beach’s Fashion Week, featuring Paris’ hottest new resort wear designer, Trisha Paterson, adorned with dripping diamonds by Aurifame Jewelry, accompanied by the outstanding vocals of international soul artist, April Raquel. The evening will also host luxury fashion pop up boutiques, impressive travel-related raffle prizes, and Shaken Not Stirred Martinis by Belvedere Vodka. 

 

The Caring House Project and the Caribbean Tourism Organization Foundation are two charities close to Guaglardi’s heart. Having dedicated over 22 years committed to improving the quality of life in the Caribbean through increased tourism traffic and awareness, Guaglardi’s inaugural fashion show seeks to raise funds for these two heart-warming charities. The Caring House Project, founded 15 years ago by Frank Mckinney, raises funds to build sustainable villages in Haiti. Each village includes 40 homes, a medical clinic and a community school. It takes $250,000.00 to build each village and an impressive 27 are up and running to-date. The Caribbean Tourism Organization Foundation is to raise scholarship and grant funding for Caribbean students who show academic excellence but require financial assistance to further their education. 

 

The event will take place at IL BACIO, Delray Beach on January 24, 2019 at 7:30PM. Runway Seats are priced at $35 and include a runway-side seat, a VIP Goodie Bag, live entertainment, shopping opportunities, and 2 complimentary cocktails. General Admission tickets are priced at $25 and include the runway show, live entertainment, shopping opportunities, and two complimentary cocktails. 100% of proceeds will go directly towards The Caring House Project and the Caribbean Tourism Foundation.

 

Platinum Sponsors for the event include those who collectively define luxury living, ZLMN • Zelman Style Interiors and The Presson Group. Gold Sponsors include Aurifame Jewelry, Victoria Desilvio Group, Prime / Il Bacio, Belvedere Vodka, VUP Media, and OrmondeProductions. Silver Sponsors include Luxuria Mobile Boutique, Peace Love Med Spa, Salon Copage, Neigal Center for Cosmetic and Laser Surgery, Tammy Benz Salon and The Trisha Patterson Collection. 

 

To purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/shaken-not-stirred-fashion-for-a-cause-fashion-show-tickets-53798638175?ref=eios&aff=eios.

 

 

About The Caring House Project

The Caring House Project started domestically in 1998 by purchasing rundown single-family homes, refurbishing them, then renting to elderly homeless people for $1 per month. Since then, the project has earned its non-profit status and expanded to Nicaragua, Haiti, Brazil Honduras, and Africa. They are as committed as ever to their domestic efforts, as they continue into 2019.

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization Scholarship Fund

The main aim of the CTO Foundation is to provide opportunities for Caribbean nationals to pursue studies in the areas of tourism, hospitality and language training. The Foundation selects individuals who demonstrate high levels of achievement and leadership both within and outside the classroom and who express a strong interest in making a positive contribution to Caribbean tourism.

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Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Scholarship Foundation

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Saint Lucia Moving Forward with International Airport Development

The redevelopment of Saint Lucia’s international airport will get underway very soon. On Tuesday, December 11, 2018, the Parliament of Saint Lucia voted to borrow US$100 million for the Hewanorra International Airport redevelopment project.

The plan, which is expected to be unveiled in the coming days, will include the construction of a new terminal building equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, restaurants, shops and executive lounges, and the conversion of the old terminal to accommodate fixed-based operators (FBOs).

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) is excited about this development as it will provide an added incentive for airlines to open up new routes to the destination.

Saint Lucia’s Tourism Minister, Honourable Dominic Fedee noted, “We have exhausted the current capacity of the Hewanorra International Airport, and the redevelopment project is part of our government’s broader plan to expand the island’s room stock by 50 percent in the next eight years.”

Currently, Saint Lucia has a room stock of just over 5,000 rooms spread across large and small hotels, villas, guest houses and apartments.

Acting CEO of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Mrs. Tiffany Howard says, “This is a welcome development and great news for the tourism industry. The SLTA continues to negotiate for more airlift into the island and having a new, modern airport to leverage with airline partners is a huge asset.”

At present, Saint Lucia welcomes close to 400,000 stayover visitors every year, with the largest number coming from the US market (45%), followed by the Caribbean (20%), the UK (18.5%) and Canada (10.5%). Tourism accounts for 65 per cent of the island’s economic activity.

Last year the government instituted a US $35 airport development charge (ADC) on each arrival to finance the US $100 million loan from the Taiwanese government. The Taiwanese are also providing much needed technical support on the project.

Construction of the new airport is slated to begin early in 2019 with the goal of having the facility fully operational by the end of 2020.

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888 4STLUCIA or visit http://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: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Buju Banton to Perform at St. Kitts Music Festival 2019

Continuing to add to the already star-studded line-up, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism announced that Buju Banton will be performing at the 23rd Annual St. Kitts Music Festival, which will take place on June 26-30, 2019. He joins previously announced popular artists Smokey Robinson, French Montana, Popcaan, and Davido.

“It is very exciting to have Buju Banton join the roster for the 2019 St. Kitts Music Festival,” said Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant. “Having such a renowned dancehall artist only enhances the mix of top international acts, local performers and regional talent across a broad range of musical styles that helps the event appeal to a diverse audience.”

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, “Our annual Music Festival has become a verified driver for travel to St. Kitts specifically to attend the event, boosting arrivals from key source markets during our off-peak season. The addition of Buju Banton to the roster this year will only increase the Festival’s already strong appeal.”

For many years, the name Buju Banton (a.k.a. Gargamel) has become synonymous with modern reggae. Having metamorphosed from a brash teenage phenomenon into a self-assured deejay and singer, Buju’s fusion of traditional roots rock, contemporary R&B and dancehall DJ’ing have earned him a prophet-like status in his Jamaican homeland. Having hit the charts there suddenly in 1992 with a string of hits including “Bogle,” “Love Me Browning” and “Love Black Woman,” Banton soon thereafter released one of the more controversial songs in his musical catalogue, “Boom Boom Bye Bye.” His 2010 album, Before the Dawn, won Best Reggae Album of the year at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.

Now entering its 23rd year, the St. Kitts Music Festival attracts both locals and visitors alike. It features a wide range of musical styles on the popular market, including R&B, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Gospel and Contemporary music. Past artists have included such prominent acts as John Legend, The Goo Goo Dolls, Lionel Richie, Jason Derulo, Trey Songz, Patti LaBelle, Michael Bolton, R. City, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Wyclef Jean, Ne-Yo, Air Supply, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Shaggy, Kelly Rowland, Tarrus Riley, Jah Cure, Tessanne Chin, Toni Braxton, Sean Paul, Boyz II Men, King Konris, Stephen Marley, Maxi Priest, Beres Hammond, and Biggie Irie. For more information about the St. Kitts Music Festival, visit www.stkittsmusicfestival.com.

About St. Kitts:

Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. Located in the northern Leeward Islands, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history.  The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are watersports including catamaran cruises, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on the beach.  For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

 

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Cayman Islands on Track to Surpass 2017 Stayover Visitation

The Cayman Islands welcomed a total of 410,984 stayover visitors in the first eleven months of 2018. This represents an 11.26 percent increase over the first eleven months of 2017 and is the highest number of stayover visitors in recorded history. Total visitation for the year 2017 was 418,403. 

“The incredible growth in arrivals we have seen in 2018 is a testament to the resilience of the Cayman Islands through strong stakeholder partnerships, high investor confidence and a national commitment to the development of our infrastructure,” commented Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism, the Honourable Moses Kirkconnell. “The strategic efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and Department of Tourism must be continued, to ensure our islands take a holistic approach at addressing the needs of every visitor that graces our shore. I look forward to ending the year with record-breaking arrivals and continuing this momentum through 2019.”

November air arrivals into the Cayman Islands were the best November in record history with a total of 38,172 visitors, a 9.07 percent increase over 2017. Visitation from the United States increased by 10.43 percent. Of significant note is the Southeast region which recorded a 19.44 percent increase over 2017. These figures were aided by the addition of JetBlue’s daily service from Fort Lauderdale in October. The Northeast region increased by 6.42 percent and was complemented by an increase in flight capacity from JetBlue and our national airline, Cayman Airways. The Southwest region recorded a 16.3 percent increase over 2017; while the West Coast and Midwest region recorded a 15.97 and 4.55 percent respectively. Canadian arrivals showed strong performance as well, with increased visitation at 13.27 percent growth over November 2017. Continued efforts to grow the Latin American market are fruitful as visitation grew by 10.3 percent.

Sustained growth is expected in the first quarter of 2019 with several key events happening in the destination. The 11th annual Cayman Cookout, which unites award-winning chefs and winemakers with worldwide purveyors of gourmet food, returns to the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean January 16 – 20, 2019. Taste of Cayman, a celebration of the Cayman Islands’ culinary heritage, returns to the Festival Green, Camana Bay January 26, 2019. To top it all off, the Cayman Islands is proud to be the host destination for KAABOO Cayman, set for February 15 – 16, 2019. The event will welcome a wide spectrum of internationally renowned musicians such as The Chainsmokers, Duran Duran, ZEDD, Jason Derulo; comedians such as Wanda Sykes, David Spade, Jenny Slate, Darrell Hammond and chefs such as Michael Mina, Richard Blais, Michell Bernstein and Nina Compton.

 

To learn more about Cayman Cookout, please visit www.caymancookout.com.

To learn more about Taste of Cayman, please visit www.tasteofcayman.org.

To learn more about KAABOO Cayman, please visit www.kaaboocayman.com.

For more information and detailed arrival statistics, please visit www.caymanislands.ky/statistics.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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