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Performance Indicates Sustained Tourism Growth in the Cayman Islands

Stayover visitation continued to rise for the Cayman Islands in October with arrivals of 23,798 persons, a 5.76% increase, or 1,297 more visitors than October 2018.

For the period January through October 2019, the destination welcomed 410,088 stayover visitors, which represents a 10.00% growth over the same period of 2018, or an increase of 37,276 stayover visitors.  This figure surpasses all January through October arrivals statistics of previous years recorded, an accomplishment that supports one of the objectives of government’s tourism mission to stimulate the economy of the Cayman Islands.   It is estimated that total visitor spend increased by 7.4% to US$747.4 million throughout this period.

“It is reaffirming to hear first-hand the positive impact our stayover strategy is having on stimulating tourism businesses’ profit margin during what we consider traditional shoulder season,” commented the Minister of Tourism, the Hon Moses Kirkconnell.  “The Ministry has been steadfast in its commitment to our sector and the community at large to create more opportunities for entrepreneurship, training and development for those interested in tourism related endeavours, endeavours that largely rely on air arrivals to maintain a successful business model.  My government strongly supports the dedicated work of the Department of Tourism to increase visitation to, and awareness of, the Cayman Islands around the globe to ensure that we maximize opportunities that create positive impacts to our sector and the businesses with in this market.”

Presenting the statistical data each month is an integral role of the DOT, whose research mission is to support the overall strategic objectives of the destination by providing reliable data, useful information, and analysis for future planning, decision-making, and policy formulation.  This includes continuous elevation of the research related products available to the public.  Currently, the DOT provides online statistical data in an easy-to-use format for persons requiring tourism related figures. The latest addition to the research reports offered is a 2019 nine-month snapshot infographic also available online at the Official Cayman Islands website.

For more information and detailed arrival statistics, please visit www.visitcaymanislands.com/statistics.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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ABTA Trends Report Names Grenada “One to Watch” in 2020

Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean has been named ‘one to watch’ in the ABTA Travel Trends Report 2020, the only Caribbean destination to be included in the UK benchmark report since 2018. Independently selected by ABTA experts, inclusion is based on a range of factors such as accessibility, major events and celebrations, and areas that are experiencing a revival.

ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) has been a trusted travel brand for over 65 years and helps UK holidaymakers travel with confidence. The ABTA name stands for support, protection and expertise, giving consumers confidence in products they buy from ABTA members. ABTA has more than 4,300 travel brands in its Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined annual UK turnover of £39 billion.

The annual ABTA Travel Trends report aims to inspire consumers in their holiday choices and highlight destinations of note. Revealing the report to travel industry and media leaders, Victoria Bacon, ABTA Director of Brand and Business Development, confirmed Grenada was selected for the following reasons:

  • The beautiful Caribbean island is a feast for all the senses
  • Grenada is incredibly fertile, and its green hills are full of fruit, nut and spice bearing trees including damsel, almond and banana together with the fragrant nutmeg and some much more exotic local plants.
  • Chocolate also grows happily on the island and chocaholics can visit the Diamond Chocolate Factory watching the magical process of cocoa going from tree to bar.
  • Pack some sturdy boots to hike in Grand Etang National Park.
  • The capital, St. George’s, is a very attractive place with lively bars and restaurants; after lunch head off for the impressive views from its colonial-era forts.
  • Grenada has some very beautiful beaches which are less crowded than many other Caribbean islands, including Grand Anse and Levera beaches.
  • The Underwater Sculpture Park offers unforgettable memories of snorkelling over its collection of statues.
  • Finish the day watching the sun set with a drink or two at the Dodgy Dock bar.

Bacon said: “The 12 destinations in this year’s report are a great example of the wide range of experiences and destinations on offer around the world, all readily accessible from the UK. Historic cities, idyllic beaches, rugged landscapes, delicious cuisines and above all welcoming people characterise our choices and we hope they will provide inspiration for holidaymakers looking to travel somewhere a little different but also very special in 2020.”

The other destinations included are (in alphabetical order): Basilicata, Chicago and Lake Michigan, Georgia, Madrid and its neighbouring cities, Morocco, Namibia, Singapore, South Korea, The Netherlands, Uruguay and Vienna. View the full report here: abta.com/traveltrends2020

Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) CEO, Ms Patricia Maher, said: “The ABTA Travel Trends report pinpoints the natural beauty and uncrowded beaches of Grenada as some of the reasons why our islands of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique stand out, in addition to our remarkable attractions and the special warmth of our hospitality.”

Maher added: “Our inclusion in ABTA Travel Trends 2020 shows once again that the tri-island destination of Grenada is on the front foot in the highly competitive UK holiday market. Our strategy is to inspire travellers through our work with travel industry partners in addition to selected high calibre media and social media creators, and this touchstone report provides a springboard to an even higher profile globally.”

About Grenada

he tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique is located in the eastern Caribbean just south of Barbados. Grenada is best known as the “Spice Island of the Caribbean” for its cinnamon and nutmeg production, but the lush destination draws visitors for so much more. The Pure Grenada experience beckons visitors to its 40 white sandy beaches such as the world famous Grand Anse Beach, 15 breathtaking waterfalls, five chocolate producers, three rum distilleries and more than 50 unforgettable dive sites, including the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean ‘Bianca C’ and the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park. Grenada’s approach to hospitality is infused with a warm charm which is apparent from its luxury resorts to barefoot chic boutique hotels and villas. There are direct flights to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport from the US, Caribbean, Canada, UK and Germany making the island accessible to visitors from around the world that wish to experience Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean.

 Media Contact

Ria Murray, Communications Officer, Grenada Tourism Authority: [email protected]

473 440 2001/2279 / 473 420 2557 (mobile)

For all our recent news releases go to www.puregrenada.com/news

 

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation Hosts Top-Tier Media and Influencers Post-Hurricane Dorian

Nassau, Bahamas, November 25, 2019 – In the months following Hurricane Dorian, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA) has mobilized and set up a steady stream of group and individual familiarization trips to continue telling the world that The Bahamas is “Open For Business.” From November 2019 into the New Year, top-tier media and social influencers are coming to The Islands Of The Bahamas to discover the country’s culture, cuisine and communities and help spread the message that most of the islands are welcoming visitors.

The trips will drive positive and educational coverage of the destination, in print, online and social media, during the critical travel-booking season.

“With more than 700 islands and cays, there is so much to discover in The Bahamas,” said Mrs. Joy Jibrilu, Director General at The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation. “Hosting influential media and storytellers to deliver our ’Open For Business’ message in a way that resonates with their readers and followers is a key part of our multi-phased post-hurricane campaign. The coverage we receive from these visits will be crucial in inspiring travel to our country, speaking to all the important reasons why now is the time to visit.”

In November, the BMOTA hosted its first group press trip following Hurricane Dorian. Top-tier travel and lifestyle journalists, contributing to Delta Sky, the Daily Beast, TravelPulse, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler and others, visited Nassau Paradise Island, Eleuthera and Harbour Island to discover the ease of island hopping in The Bahamas and get a first-hand account of the Bahamian people’s resilience despite the devastating hurricane season. Stories will not only highlight BMOTA’s “Open For Business” messaging, but will position the islands as must-visit travel destinations this season and beyond.

The BMOTA also hosted South Florida travel and lifestyle influencer, The Style Bungalow, in Harbour Island, in November. She experienced the quiet island lifestyle while also visiting some of the world’s most Instagram-worthy spots, including The Pink Sands Beach, the pastel-hued homes, Bahama House and much more. The Style Bungalow shared that The Bahamas is “Open For Business” with her 211K+ Instagram followers and highlighted the quick flight from Florida as another reason why everyone, including Floridians, should visit.

The Ministry is working diligently to keep this momentum of top-tier media and influencers visiting The Bahamas alive. Aligning with the Hero World Challenge in December, the BMTOA will be hosting five quality sports, travel and lifestyle media to promote Nassau and Exuma as premier golf destinations. Journalists from Forbes, GOLF.com, BroBible and GOLF Monthly will experience top golf courses in Nassau, including Royal Blue Golf Course at Baha Mar, Ocean Club Golf Course at Atlantis and Exuma’s Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course.

The Ministry’s visiting journalist program continues to be an unqualified success. Through the People-To-People Experience, visiting journalists are able to connect with the Bahamian people and get an experience like no other while sharing meals and conversations. An additional slate of individual trips took place on a rolling basis. Reporters with The Washington Post and Jamaque Paradis Magazine visited in the past two months while travel influencer, Get Lost With Jackie, a journalist from The Zoe Report and two of The Boston Globe writers are scheduled to come early in 2020 to cover an array of topics from Junkanoo to fly-fishing. 

ABOUT THE BAHAMAS

With over 700 islands and cays, and 15 of the 16 unique island destinations currently open for business, The Bahamas lies just 55 miles off the coast of Florida, offering an easy fly away escape that transports travelers away from their everyday. The Islands Of The Bahamas have world-class fishing, diving, boating and thousands of miles of the earth’s most spectacular water and beaches waiting for families, couples and adventurers. Explore all the islands have to offer at www.bahamas.com or on FacebookYouTube or Instagram to see why It’s Better in The Bahamas. 

PRESS INQUIRIES

Anita Johnson-Patty

General Manager, Global Communications

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation

[email protected]

Weber Shandwick

Public Relations

[email protected]

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Nature Island Open for Business After Dominica’s General Elections

Roseau, Dominica – (December 9, 2019) The Electoral Office has published that the Dominica Labour Party won a resounding victory over the opposition in Dominica’s General Elections held on December 6, 2019.

Leading up to the elections, there were pockets of civil disobedience primarily in the villages of Marigot in the Northeast and Salisbury in the West of the island. These disturbances resulted in some road blockages, which caused delays and inconveniences for people travelling to the Airport, however the airport remained opened for flights and operated as usual.

The disturbances were isolated and not expected to impact cruise activities, however cruise calls into Dominica through Sunday December 8, 2019 were cancelled.

On December 6, 2019, the citizens of Dominica went to the polls to elect 21 persons to the House of Assembly. The elections were conducted peacefully and without any disturbance.  Now that the elections are over the citizens have accepted the results and have once again settled to undertake normal business.

Dominica reaffirms that it is open to conduct business and we welcome all our visitors to enjoy all that the nature island has to offer.

The normal cruise schedule will recommence starting Monday December 9th, 2019 with the MV Marella Celebration docked at the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth today.

Seaborne Airlines, which had cancelled two flights and rescheduled others will now recommence their normal schedule as of Monday December 9th, 2019; that is departing San Juan at 3:15pm and departing Dominica at 7:15am.

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.

About Dominica: Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a haven for adventure travelers seeking a unique vacation that includes: hiking and adventure, cultural events/festivals, diving and water sports, whale/dolphin watching and canyoning adventures. Dominica lies south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean. Air travelers can connect to Dominica on Air Antilles, Air Sunshine, Coastal Air Transport, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, or WINAIR from the surrounding hubs of Antigua, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  If travelling by sea, travelers can connect to Dominica on L’Express Des Iles ferry service from Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia and on Valferry from Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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MSC Meraviglia: World’s 7th Largest Ship Makes Golden Voyage to Belize

Belize City, Wednesday, November 13th, 2019:   MSC Meraviglia, the 7th largest cruise ship in the world, made its golden voyage to Belize today carrying nearly 4,500 guests (at double occupancy) on board.

MSC Meraviglia, is owned and operated by MSC Cruises and  entered service in June 2017. It is the world’s 7th largest ship.  It was built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France by STX France. MSC Meraviglia was MSC Cruises first ship in the innovative Meraviglia class of next-generation ships, designed to be able to call in most of the world’s international cruise ports.

The ship initially operated in the western Mediterranean and has also cruised in Northern Europe as of summer 2019. In October 2019, MSC Meraviglia repositioned to the United States for the first time. Designed to sail in all seasons and climates, the glamorous MSC Meraviglia began her North American journey with three sailings from New York City (NYC), including two itineraries to New England and Canada and one repositioning to her new homeport in Miami. From November 10, 2019 through April 5, 2020,  MSC Meraviglia will sail two different 7-night western Caribbean itineraries, including stops in Belize.

With a name meaning wonder, MSC Meraviglia’s design is inspired by the wonders of the world. The ship’s Mediterranean-style promenade includes a variety of shops and restaurants – including partnership with two Michelin-starred Spanish chef Ramón Freixa for HOLA! Tapas – and features the longest LED sky at sea, displaying unique vistas day and night. Activities on board include a winter-themed aqua park; a Himalayan bridge; a XD cinema; and several kids clubs. In an industry-first, MSC Meraviglia’s on board entertainment includes a partnership with world leader in live entertainment Cirque du Soleil, creating two unique Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows VIAGGIO and SONOR exclusive for MSC Meraviglia.

Since its early beginning in 2003 with 315 port calls and 575,196 visits, the Belize cruise ship industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade and is poised for further growth. 2018 was a record breaking year for tourism arrivals to Belize with the cruise industry alone registering 1,208,137 million visitors through 392 port calls.

The BTB’s latest Travel & Tourism Mid-Year Performance Statistics Report indicate that cave tubing, visits to Mayan temples, the Belize City tour and snorkeling are the most popular activities among cruise ship visitors.

    

Currently seven major cruise lines make port calls on Belize. The addition of MSC Meraviglia is not only expected to boost the number of cruise ship visits, but it is also a strong indication that Belize is now a popular tourism destination in the region.  It underscores the efficacious strategy by the BTB and its partners to market and promote Belize as one of the world’s leading immersive tourism vacation destinations. Belize, a Curious Place.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Cayman Islands Celebrates 7,000 Room Stock Milestone

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (13 November 2019) The Cayman Islands tourism industry recently achieved a major milestone in the accommodations sector through the significant growth of over 7,000 rooms licensed and available to visitors.  This includes over 1,000 new rooms added within the past three years alone, with the condominiums and villas categories accounting for 73% of this increase.

Now standing at 7,027 rooms available across the three-island nation–Grand Cayman has 6,646 rooms, followed by 220 in Cayman Brac and 161 in Little Cayman–the condos and villas category represents the majority share of accommodation types now available with 4,310 rooms versus 2,717 rooms in the hotel category.

“We have seen continued interest from the community to embrace entrepreneurship opportunities in tourism through homesharing, which accounts for 32.2% of the total rooms now available,” stated Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism, the Honourable Moses Kirkconnell. “Through the Ministry and Department of Tourism’s commitment to facilitating annual training and educational forums led by international partners such as Airbnb, as well as meeting regularly with potential developers to provide business solutions, we are extremely proud to now offer the largest and most diverse room stock numbers available to our visitors.”  In total, as of 31 October 2019, there are currently 799 licensed properties representing 9,958 beds.

Ongoing aviation strategies led by the Ministry and Department will continue to provide travellers even greater access to the destination through new key hubs in North America and beyond with their preferred airlines.  Maintaining and growing air access remains a top priority to ensure that the accommodations sector will continue to benefit from tourism, a key pillar of the economy.

Looking forward, the Hon Minister of Tourism shared: “As the Cayman Islands gears up for what is anticipated to be another active winter season around the globe, we encourage our tourism partners—whether new to the industry or long-established—to continue providing our world-renowned warmth through our Caymankind hospitality and our rich cultural experiences. The efforts we make today will secure friends of Cayman for a lifetime and allow others to share in the essence of “Dreaming in Cayman”. We congratulate all tourism partners as we continue to work together to maximize our destination achievements.”

For more information and detailed arrival statistics, please visit www.visitcaymanislands.com/statistics.  For information about current air access, please visit: https://www.visitcaymanislands.com/en-us/plan-your-trip/getting-here/travel-by-air/

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