CTO News

2020 Saint Lucia Jazz Festival Announces Initial Lineup

Castries, Saint Lucia (January 14, 2020) –  At the 2020 Jazz Congress conference held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City on January 13, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and Jazz at Lincoln Center announced the official dates and artist lineup for the 2020 Saint Lucia Jazz Festival Produced in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The festival, to be held in Saint Lucia on Thursday, May 7 through Saturday, May 9, 2020, follows the success of the inaugural 2019 Saint Lucia Jazz Festival Produced in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center which Jazziz magazine called “the Caribbean’s premier jazz destination.”

The 2020 Saint Lucia Jazz Festival Produced in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center will feature the finest names in modern jazz performing in venues throughout Saint Lucia’s distinct Caribbean landscape, including The Ramp on Rodney Bay and Gros Islet Park. Details about performances and more can be found at www.stlucia.org.

The three-day festival will feature world renowned artists who have performed on Jazz at Lincoln Center’s season concerts, touring initiatives, and global outposts, as well as throughout Saint Lucia Jazz Festival’s 28-year history.

To date, the diverse lineup showcases artists spanning the Caribbean, the U.K. and the U.S. including:

  • Chick Corea’s Vigilette with Carlitos Del Puerto, Marcus Gilmore and Special Guest
  • Roy Hargrove Celebration with Willie Jones III featuring Renée Neufville and Special Guests
  • Alphonso Horne and The Gotham Kings
  • Ruben Fox’s London Brass featuring Theon Cross and Mark Kavuma
  • Maher Beauroy presents WASHA!

More performances, details about ticket sales and event information to be announced.

In addition to world-class performances, the 2020 Saint Lucia Jazz Festival will feature “Artists In Education” initiatives including master classes, professional development, and live performance collaborations with Saint Lucia School of Music students and local jazz artists.

“Building upon last year’s successful inaugural year of the partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, the 2020 Saint Lucia Jazz Festival is a combination of premier jazz with a picture-perfect destination,” said Hon. Minister of Tourism Dominic Fedee. “Saint Lucia is thrilled to once again bring world-class performances to jazz fans and music aficionados who will travel to Saint Lucia from around the globe.”

Saint Lucia has been hosting a vibrant jazz festival annually since 1992. For more than 28 years, the festival has attracted visitors from around the world for events and concerts celebrating multiple forms of international, Saint Lucian and Caribbean jazz music. For more information, go to www.stlucia.org.

The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for Jazz through performance, education and advocacy. With the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and guest artists spanning genres and generations, Jazz at Lincoln Center produces thousands of performance, education, and broadcast events each season in its home in New York City (Frederick P. Rose Hall, “The House of Swing”) and around the world, for people of all ages. Jazz at Lincoln Center is led by Chairman Robert J. Appel, Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, and Executive Director Greg Scholl. Please visit us at jazz.org; follow us on Twitter @jazzdotorg and Facebook; watch our free, global webcasts at new.livestream.com/jazz; and enjoy concerts, education programs, behind-the-scenes footage, programs and more at youtube.com/jazzatlincolncenter.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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MarryCaribbean.com and CTO Collaborate on the Ultimate Caribbean Honeymoon, Wedding and Romance Guide

New York, NY (January, 14th, 2019) – (www.MarryCaribbean.com) a subsidiary of the Global Bridal Group and the leading online resource for Romance, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons in the Caribbean in  collaboration with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is pleased to announce an exclusive and comprehensive up-to-date E-Zine/E-Book, which will be the categorical source for all information regarding the Caribbean Honeymoon, Weddings and Romance Market.  This will be published across all Social Media Platforms to engage and inform those who seek a destination wedding, honeymoon or just a romantic adventure.  The campaign will be extended through the Fall of 2020 and will live on the Home Pages of MarryCaribbean.com and OneCaribbean.org.

This Ultimate Caribbean Honeymoon, Weddings & Romance Guide, provides the perfect environment to drive the message home for the Romance/wedding and Honeymoon markets. This Guide carries pertinent information on the following destinations, including information on updated Marriage Laws, what to do and where to go on the respective islands of Antigua & Barbuda, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Jamaica, St.Lucia and the three Islands of the United States Virgin Islands – St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.  All with a strong Romance/Wedding/Honeymoon market and where hospitality reigns supreme.

With approximately over 2.2 million marriages per year in the US with expenditure totaling almost US$5 billion, The Caribbean region is the most desirable romance resort destination, and with the wedding/honeymoon/romance market being the ideal generator of emotions, the time is right to position and sell the Caribbean region as a location where “Gossamer Dreams Floating on a Gentle Breeze” can be fully realized.

MarryCaribbean.com is considered the foremost authority on getting married/romance in the Caribbean and was recognized as “The World’s Best Wedding Website” in China.

Posted in: 2020 News, Allied News, Blog, Corporate News

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Belize Reaches Half Million in Overnight Tourism Arrivals

Belize City,  January 13, 2020 – It is with great pleasure that the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announces that 2019 was a year of milestone achievement for overnight tourism arrivals.

For the first time in the history of our Tourism development, Belize has surpassed the half-million mark in overnight arrivals. In 2019, a total of 503,177 overnight visitors were welcomed to Belize, an increase of 2.8 percent from 489,261 in 2018. The National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (NSTMP) endorsed in 2012, has a goal of achieving overnight arrivals of 556,000 by 2030. However, with 10 years remaining, the 2019 figure is representative of already attaining more than 90% of this 2030 vision.

This milestone achievement and ongoing positive growth trend in overnight arrivals can be attributed to many factors including, strategic marketing initiatives promoting Belize globally, enhanced collaboration with local and international partners, significant increase in international direct flights to Belize and the development of tourism resources and destinations across the country.

“This is a significant accomplishment which is testament to the fact that Belize’s tourism industry continues on an upward trend. In fact, over the past decade, Belize experienced over 100 percent growth in the overnight sector, up from 241,119 arrivals in 2010. We now look forward to building on this achievement in 2020, as we continue to work with our valued industry partners and stakeholders, to further develop and enhance Belize’s tourism product” states Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr.

To download the Minister’s full remarks please click the following link:


If prompted, enter this password: 500k

The BTB takes this opportunity to thank tourism stakeholders for their commitment to the continued growth and development of the industry. This milestone achievement is a reaffirmation that because of our combined efforts, Belize remains a rapidly growing destination of choice in the Region.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Chronixx Joins the Lineup for St. Kitts Music Festival 2020

Basseterre, St. Kitts (January 6, 2020) – St. Kitts is pleased to announce that Chronixx will take the stage at the 24th annual St. Kitts Music Festival taking place June 24 – 28, 2020, joining previously announced artists Jimmy Cliff, Koffee and Wizkid on the expanding roster of performers set to delight the crowd.

“Following a record-breaking St. Kitts Music Festival in 2019, our goal is to exceed expectations once again in 2020,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “Chronixx is an exciting addition to the line-up of artists already confirmed and we look forward to yet another three nights of outstanding performances for the event’s 24th year.”

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, “We have been breaking June air passenger arrivals records for the past two years in a row now as we have been growing the our music festival as a key driver of inbound tourism at the start of summer. Therefore, we remain committed to continuing to add top local, regional and international artists to the event as we strive to achieve even greater results this year.”

Chairman of the St. Kitts Music Festival Damion Hobson commented, “The St. Kitts Music Festival is known for having a diverse range of international and local artists and the addition of Chronixx only adds to the event’s appeal. We look forward to the energy and vibe he will bring to the stage in 2020.”

Jamaican musician Chronixx has ignited a torch in people’s hearts the world over and is confidently lighting the path for an entire generation of youths to rediscover roots and culture. Born Jamar Rolando McNaughton on October 10, 1992, Chronixx was musically nurtured from an early age by his father, dancehall artist Chronicle, and grew up surrounded by the likes of Burro Banton and Gregory Isaacs. His remarkable ascension in the music industry began in the background; harmonizing for artists such as Lutan Fyah and providing production assistance for tracks sung by Popcaan, Konshens and others. Today, Chronixx is a respected artist in his own right who is building an impressive musical catalogue with such popular songs as “Behind Curtain,” Tell Mi Now,” “Here Comes Trouble,” “African Heritage,” “Likes,” and his patriotic hit anthem, “Smile Jamaica.” His debut album, Chronology, was released in July 2017 and received a nomination for Best Reggae Album in the 60th Grammy Awards. Chronixx last performed at St. Kitts Music Festival in 2014.

Now entering its 24th 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, Lionel Richie, Jason Derulo, Buju Banton, The Goo Goo Dolls, Trey Songz, T-Pain, Michael Bolton, R. City, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Wyclef Jean, Ne-Yo, Air Supply, Patti LaBelle, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Shaggy, Kelly Rowland, Tarrus Riley, 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 http://www.stkittsmusicfestival.com/ or the event’s Facebook page.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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Saint Lucia Introduces a Tourist Accommodation Fee

Following consultations with stakeholders in the industry, Government will be introducing a tourist accommodation fee to be used for destination marketing and development.  As of April 1, 2020, stayover visitors to Saint Lucia will be required to pay an accommodation fee on their nightly stay on the island.  All accommodation providers on the island (hotels, guest houses, villas, apartments etc.) will be required to collect from their stay over guests US$3.00 and US$6.00 respectively on a nightly rate below or above US$120.  The fees will be paid by the stayover visitor and collected by accommodation providers who will remit the fees collected to Government via the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority.  Guests at accommodation services sourced through sharing platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO will be subject to an accommodation fee of 7% on the full cost of stay.

The tourist accommodation fee will be used to finance the destination marketing activities undertaken by the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) as it promotes Saint Lucia’s tourism product worldwide and particularly in key markets within the US, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and Europe.  The fee will also be used to support village tourism development, and destination management and development of the local product in Saint Lucia.  The intention is to strengthen the SLTA’s ability to increase its marketing of the destination and to support tourism development in Saint Lucia with the collection of a fee that correlates to visitor arrivals.

Saint Lucia attracts up to 350,000 stay-over visitors to its shores every year.  SLTA has set a target of 541,000 stay-over visitors by 2022.  SLTA wants to increase airlift seat capacity and load factor on all flights into Saint Lucia to 85%.  SLTA is also working towards increased awareness of brand Saint Lucia.  The SLTA’s annual budget for marketing and promotion is approximately $35 million.

The business of promoting a tourism destination is becoming increasingly challenging and highly competitive as countries worldwide try to capture a greater share of the growing tourist market.  Given this, it is now a common practice for countries to finance the marketing of their tourism product through an accommodation fee or levy paid for by stayover visitors to the destination.

More established destinations with far greater resources than Saint Lucia such as Canada, the US and Italy all make use of accommodation fees for destination marketing purposes.  In addition, many Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, Barbados and Belize and those within the OECS including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, have implemented accommodation levies.  These levies are often applied on a per room, per night basis and are sometimes scaled (tiered) based on the type of property.  As configured, Saint Lucia’s Tourist Accommodation Fee is among the lowest in the OECS and CARICOM, and other well-established tourist destinations globally.  Saint Lucia’s fee structure is similar to the Maldives.

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority is establishing a process to allow accommodation providers on island, international tour operators and booking websites to easily remit the fees they collect from stayover guests.  The system has built-in mechanisms to verify that the information being provided is accurate.  Given that an automated system for remitting the fees collected from guests will be utilised, the cost to accommodation providers will be negligible.

Tourism Minister Hon. Dominic Fedee says destination marketing benefits all players in the industry – accommodation providers, airlines, tour operators, travel agents, ground handlers, sites and attractions. He further commented, “It’s always a challenge for small countries to allocate much needed resources towards tourism marketing. The accommodation fee allows tourism to pay for itself, as the tax will be levied to tourist to the island. It frees up much needed funds for healthcare, education and national security.”

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

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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What’s New in the Islands Of The Bahamas This January

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, January 6, 2020 – The Islands Of The Bahamas are kicking off the New Year with increased airlift, exciting events and major award nominations. Additional airlift options in Boston, Denver and Houston will bring visitors to The Bahamas during peak travel season this spring, just in time for Baha Mar’s inaugural Culinary & Arts Festival. The Bahamas has been nominated as a top destination for romance, luxury, cruising, diving and more in multiple awards so far this year, proving that The Bahamas is better than ever.


Major Airlift Growth in The Bahamas – A number of top airlines are increasing airlift to The Bahamas in 2020. JetBlue is adding a second daily flight from Boston to Nassau in the peak spring break travel months of March and April. United Airlines is introducing a new non-stop Saturday-only flight from Denver to Nassau in March 2020. Southwest is also adding a seasonal Saturday-only route from Houston to Nassau in June 2020.

Baha Mar Announces Inaugural ‘Bahamas Culinary & Arts Festival’ – Baha Mar announced the first-ever Bahamas Culinary & Arts Festival in collaboration with Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure. Taking place April 30 – May 3, 2020, the festival will showcase world-renowned chefs, master sommeliers and respected artists and offer festival guests the opportunity to experience an unforgettable culinary experience.

The Bahamas Launches First Digital Currency – The Central Bank launched The Bahamas’ first digital currency, called Sand Dollar, in Exuma last month. The new currency allows all residents of The Bahamas to have access to the same level of convenience and financial services. This is a major step forward in the long-term goal of launching a fully-fledged Central Bank digital currency.


The Bahamas Secures Nomination in USA Today’s 2020 Caribbean Reader’s Choice Awards – The Bahamas has been nominated in seven categories in USA Today’s annual Caribbean Reader’s Choice Awards. The categories include Best Caribbean Beach, Best Caribbean Beach Bar, Best Restaurant in the Caribbean, Best Caribbean Rum Distillery, Best Caribbean Golf Course and Best Caribbean Resort. Voting is open now through Monday, February 3rd at 10Best.com/Awards/Travel.

The Bahamas Nominated in the 2020 World Travel Awards – On the heels of being named the World’s Leading Wedding Destination in 2019, The Bahamas has been nominated for nine awards in the 2020 World Travel Awards. The islands have been nominated for The Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination, Cruise Destination, Cruise Port Destination, Dive Destination, Honeymoon Destination, Luxury Island Destination and Romantic Destination. Additionally, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation was nominated for the Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board. Vote now at WorldTravelAwards.com/Nominees/2020/Bahamas.

Carnival Cruise Line Awards Bahamas’ UNEXSO as Leading Tour Operator – UNEXSO, the scuba tour agency based on Grand Bahama Island, has been named the Caribbean’s Leading Tour Operator by Carnival Cruise Lines. The award recognizes the company that receives the highest ratings from both passengers and onboard shore excursion staff for shore excursion conducted the previous season.


For a complete, up-to-date listing of deals and packages for The Bahamas, visit www.bahamas.com/deals-packages.

Valentines Resort Island Hopping Offer – Pre-book an air/ferry-inclusive vacation package for four to six consecutive nights at Valentines Resort & Marina and receive a $75 inbound and outbound flight credit. Offer is valid for flights originating and ending in Nassau or Freeport.


Stay up-to-date with the latest events and happenings in The Bahamas: www.bahamas.com/events

Marathon Bahamas (January 19) – Run alongside stunning views of turquoise waters and white sand beaches, listen to local Junkanoo bands and be cheered on by vibrant cultural celebrations during the 11th Annual Marathon Bahamas in Nassau and Paradise Island.

Ride & Run For Hope Bahamas (March 14) – Discover the beauty that is Eleuthera by foot or bike with Ride & Run For Hope Bahamas. On March 14, 2020, cyclists can take on distances from 10 to 100 miles while runners can challenge themselves on 5K to full-marathon races to support the Treatment Assistance Fun and Family Island Mammogram Screenings.

Bahamas Culinary & Arts Festival (April 30 – May 3) – Baha Mar inaugural Bahamas Culinary & Arts Festival in collaboration with Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure will showcase world-renowned chefs, master sommeliers and respected artists and offer festival guests the opportunity to experience an unforgettable culinary experience.


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 Facebook, YouTube or Instagram to see why It’s Better in The Bahamas.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Destination News

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