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Taste of Belize 2018 to feature the best of Belizean Cuisine

Belize City, Tuesday 10th July, 2018:   A dazzling display of Belizean culinary ingenuity and mixology will be the apogee of this year’s Taste of Belize, the BTB’s signature culinary competition, to be held this year on Saturday, July 21st at the Ramada Belize City Princess.

The event will feature Belize’s finest chefs and bartenders vying for trophies and cash prizes in four main categories, including Pastry Chef of the Year, Junior Chef of the Year, Bartender of the Year and the Master Chef of the Year.

Taste of Belize is organized by the BTB every two years with the aim to recognize and promote Belizean culinary creativity where chefs are able to entice a panel of judges with delicious cuisines. The last Taste of Belize was in 2016.

The winners of the various categories will represent Belize in next year’s Taste of the Caribbean, the region’s premier culinary competition, food & beverage educational exchange and Caribbean cultural showcase.

Speakers at the opening ceremony will include BTB’s Director of Tourism, Karen Bevans, among others.

Numerous chefs and bartenders from throughout Belize are expected to participate in this year’s event. For further information on Taste of Belize please visit the BTB website on the following link.


The BTB invites everyone to come out and cheer for your favorite contender and enjoy succulent and mouth-watering Belizean cuisine.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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Nominations Sought for International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame Local Honourees

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (7 July 2018) The Ministry and Department of Tourism announces the call for nominations for Honourees in the 2018 International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (ISDHF).

Honourees are categorised as persons who have made a significant contribution to scuba and watersports in the Cayman Islands.  New this year, an additional category titled the Emerging Honourees will be added to recognize persons in the industry under the age of 35.

“As a destination built on the foundations of our maritime heritage, we are exceedingly proud each year to recognise those in our community who have played a role in the Cayman Islands being recognised as one of the best dive locations in the world,” shared Hon. Minister of Tourism, Moses Kirkconnell.  “I encourage everyone in the community to put forward nominations for persons who have helped develop this unique building block of our tourism industry.”

Founded in 2000 by the Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism, the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame recognises international and local pioneers who have made outstanding contributions to the recreational scuba diving industry at the annual ceremony held in Grand Cayman.

“It is important to find those people who through visionary leadership helped create Cayman as a scuba diving hub. There are still many people in the Cayman Islands that have not received the recognition they are due. Being inducted as an honouree has rejuvenated my passion to teach young Caymanians the importance this industry has on the community,” said current honouree, Mr Stephen Broadbelt.

To be considered for the nominations, individuals should have made a significant contribution to the area of dive in the Cayman Islands through development, promotion, positive environmental impact or education, to name a few. To nominate an individual please visit the website www.nominatedive.com. The deadline for submissions is noon on Wednesday, 8 August 2018.

For more information on the nominations process, please visit the website www.nominatedive.com or email [email protected].  The ISDHF gala awards dinner takes place on Friday, 14 September 2018.

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Destination News

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New York – June 21st, 2018 | Norwegian, Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline and Value Airline of the Year 2018, announced 3 major news today; following successful winter seasons from the North East Coast  to Martinique, Norwegian is increasing its U.S. winter seasonal routes to Martinique:

  • The Fort Lauderdale to Martinique service will resume on October 31, 2018, with four flights weekly. It represents an increase from three flights per week during winter 2017/18.
  • The New York-JFK to Martinique service will resume on October 28, 2018, with six flights, two flights more than the previous seaon.

The award winning airline also announced a new four times weekly route from Martinique to Cayenne in French Guiana. The winter seasonal service from Martinique to Cayenne – Félix Eboué Airport Cayenne will launch on October 31, 2018, and operate four times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Another major news is that Norwegian Air is also opening a new route from Canada; the airline will launch seasonal service from Montréal, to Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport on November 1, 2018, and operate three times per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Launch fares start as low as $219 CAD one-way, including taxes and will operate during the winter season until end of March, 2019.

“We are very pleased with Norwegian’s increase of air service from the United States and with the new route between our island and French Guiana. The new service from Montreal to Fort-de-France is also excellent news. The additional offer provided by Norwegian will make Martinique more accessible than ever and increase traffic from and to this crucial Canadian market. This is an opportunity for us to expand our reach and showcase Martinique Magnifique, its multiple assets, its vibrant culture, its authenticity, along with the warmth of its people. We are looking forward to see more and more Quebecois making Martinique their own!” said Karine Mousseau, Martinique Tourism Commissioner.

“Norwegian is excited to return for its third season to the magnificent island of Martinique, this year expanding our service to Cayenne and Montreal. We were the first airline in more than 20 years to link Martinique to New York City and we will now be the only airline to connect the French Caribbean with both Canada and the United States, as well as French Guiana, » said Thomas Ramdahl, Chief Commercial Officer, Norwegian.

“The new opening from Montreal and Cayenne, as well as the increase of the existing service from New York and Fort Lauderdale, are the concrete results of the efforts made by the Martinique Tourism Authority and all stakeholders, to position Martinique as a destination of choice on the market of the Americas adds Karine Mousseau. “This increase also represents a pledge of trust from Norwegian Air, which has become a proactive and efficient partner over the seasons, seeing our island as a must-visit destination for their passengers. “

Norwegian operates one of the world’s youngest fleets; Boeing 737-800s will serve the Island for the season.

All fares are now available for sale on Norwegian’s  American and Canadian websites.

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American Airlines Introduces Daily Flights to Barbados from Charlotte, NC

American Airlines has announced the addition of non-stop, daily service from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) to Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) beginning December 19, 2018. This announcement comes just weeks after the carrier unveiled its third daily flight from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Barbados, which is also set to launch December 19.

The island anticipates a demand for additional flight service given the growth in U.S. arrival numbers, which have risen year after year. In 2017, Barbados welcomed 188,970 U.S. visitors – a 30-year high – and the country is showing no signs of slowing down. “Our airline partners have been instrumental in the growth of visitation from the United States. This new service signals tremendous confidence in Barbados and constitutes a 100% increase in seat capacity into and out of the island.” said Barbados’ newly appointed Minister of Tourism and International Transport, the Honorable Kerrie Symmonds. “Increased service to these important cities will help to ensure another year of record passenger arrivals to our destination.”

High-level airline partnerships have been a cornerstone effort for the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI).  This strategy has led to increased airlift and the introduction of new gateways including Fort Lauderdale, Boston and Newark.

Alfredo Gonzalez, Managing Director – Caribbean, American Airlines described Barbados as a, destination in high demand and noted, “One month after announcing additional service to Barbados from our Miami hub, we’re thrilled to continue growing our presence in the island with new daily service from our Charlotte hub, both operating during the winter. As the demand continues to grow over the years, today we’re proud to serve as the leading U.S. airline in the island with up to 28 weekly flights.”

Tickets for the new route went on sale June 17.

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Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, June 18, 2018…Describing this as one of the most productive Caribbean Week events that she has ever attended, British Virgin Islands Director of Tourism Mrs. Sharon Flax Brutus, said that the Territory benefitted from fruitful discussion on tourism issues with their regional counterparts, connected with supporters of the BVI from the travel trade and was able to provide updates to the media on the state of tourism in the Territory.  The Director was part of a local delegation led by Junior Minister of Tourism, Hon. Archibald Christian, which attended the annual Caribbean Week New York event from June 3-9, 2018.   Deputy Director of Tourism Mr. Rhodni Skelton, was also part of the delegation.  They were joined by members of the BVI Tourist Board’s North American staff in attending the various activities for Caribbean Week New York.

The BVI delegation attended several high-level meetings including the OECS Ministers of Tourism Meeting, the OECS Caribbean Diaspora Forum, the 73rd Meeting of the CTO Board of Directors, the CTO Foundation Board Meeting, and the CTO Council of Ministers and Commissioners Meeting.  Key topics discussed at these meetings included, the emergence of cryptocurrency in Tourism, improving airlift, joint marketing initiatives, disaster recovery updates and the latest trends in travel.  A presentation was made on the development of CaribSky, an alliance of regional airlines, with the goal of establishing a much larger network to improve airlift within the Caribbean.  The Junior Minister of Tourism was selected as a panellist alongside other industry leaders, for the Caribbean Diaspora Forum, which addressed the theme, “Welcome, Reconnecting with the Caribbean”. Additionally, members of the local delegation were present at the CTO Breakfast Press Conference and the Caribbean Media Marketplace, which took place under the theme, “Getting Up Close and Personal with Top Journalists”.

In commenting on the BVI’s attendance at Caribbean Week, Junior Minister of Tourism Hon. Archibald Christian said, “We were pleased to take advantage of opportunities to meet with regional and international media and provide them with updates on our progress in rebuilding the Territory.  There were also opportunities to network with our regional counterparts and strategize programmes we can work on to our mutual benefit.  I was impressed with the Culinary exhibition put on by young Chef Brentfield Lettsome at Bloomindale’s. I was also happy to connect with the BVI Tourist Board Staff, agencies and BVI Industry partners based in New York.  Further, I was heartened and encouraged by the members of the BVI diaspora in the New York area, who spoke of the BVI with immense pride and pledged their continued commitment to supporting our destination renewal efforts.”

One of the highlights for the Territory at Caribbean Week, was the Caribbean Celebrity Chef Cooking Demonstration on Wednesday, 6th June, at the luxurious Bloomindale’s shopping emporium on 59th Street.  At this event, BVI Chef Brentfield Lettsome, using the store’s mock kitchen and its latest selection of culinary ware, wowed his audience with skillful demonstrations including a delicious spin on the BVI’s red snapper.  The Territory received exceptional exposure at this event as there were not only several persons attending the demonstration, including members of the BVI New York area diaspora, but the demonstration was also on every television screen on each of the store’s nine floors.  The young chef’s performance underscored the BVI’s reputation as a great destination for culinary tourism, and gave patrons a foretaste of BVI’s major culinary showcase, the BVI Food Fete, a monthlong celebration of enticing culinary events held at various venues during the month of November.

The BVI delegation had one-on-one meetings with editors and other representatives from key travel trade and consumer media.  This interaction is projected to result in significant media coverage for the Territory in the coming months, which will also see the reopening of more tourism businesses.

The US-based representatives of the BVI Tourist Board attended other events including, the special faith-based revival event, the Trade Show and Education Forum and Dinner, and the Caribbean Marketing Conference, which was themed, “New Markets, New Products, New Opportunities”.

Celebrating the theme of Caribbean Wellness, Caribbean Week New York is the largest regional, annual tourism event in the New York area, where regional tourism executives, international media, travel agents, cultural ambassadors converge to promote, network and enjoy a stunning display of the rich and diverse culture of the Caribbean.  Caribbean Week is organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the regional tourism development organisation comprised of 24 Caribbean Government members along with several private sector entities.


About the British Virgin Islands

Known as a treasured destination, rich in undiscovered experiences, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is an alluring archipelago comprised of 60 islands and cays located 80 kilometers (60 miles) east of Puerto Rico, in the northwestern region of the Caribbean Sea. The main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke have attracted travelers globally with its cultural Caribbean authenticity. Located in Tortola, Road Town is the British Virgin Islands’ capital.

Recently ranked #1 Best Place to Visit in the Caribbean for 2017-2018 by U.S. News, the BVI is where nature’s best secrets are kept with an abundance of pristine beaches, azure seas, towering sage mountains and burnt-orange sunsets. It’s no wonder the BVI’s Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke were featured on the “Top Islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas” list in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2017.

Despite its status as a United Kingdom territory, the BVI uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency.

The BVI Tourist Board invites everyone to experience the tropical mystique of the country’s unparalleled and enriching offerings. For more information about the BVI, visit www.bvitourism.com.

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Belizean Delegation Attends Taste of the Caribbean

Belize City, Tuesday, June 19th, 2018: A Belizean delegation, comprised of senior members of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), five professional chefs and a bartender, will depart the country on Thursday, June 21 to participate in the Taste of the Caribbean, to be held from June 22nd to 26th, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Miami.

The team will include Chef Robertus “Rob” Pronk, as the team manager, two senior chefs, Eva Longsworth and Sean Kuylen, pastry chef, Maria Urbina, bartender, Mark Jacobs and junior chef and winner of BTB’s 2016 Culinary Scholarship, Einar Marin.  All except Marin are former winners/judges of BTB’s Taste of Belize in 2016, a flavorsome event that features the best of Belizean cuisine creations through different categories of competitions.

Taste of the Caribbean is the region’s premier culinary competition, food & beverage educational exchange and Caribbean cultural showcase. Since 1993, the Caribbean’s best chefs and culinary teams unite at Taste of the Caribbean to compete, demonstrate their skills, learn from each other and offer the general public a scintillating exhibition of the most delectable culinary treats.

One of the main objectives for the Taste of the Caribbean is to provide a platform for the development of food and beverage professionals. Educational sessions will be provided and participants from Belize will use the opportunity to learn and enhance their skills and knowledge. They will also compete against the Caribbean’s finest chefs. The event is also a great opportunity to promote Belize, its culture and excellent cuisine.

Competitions will be held in the following categories:

Caribbean National Team of the Year; Caribbean Chef of the Year; Caribbean Junior Chef; Caribbean Pastry Chef and Caribbean Bartender.

Our dynamic Belize team is thrilled and ready to represent the Destination! In this light, they conducted their final practice session on Sunday, 10th June at the ITVET Kitchen where 40 three-course meals, similar in concept to the ones they will be presenting at Taste of the Caribbean, were prepared.

In addition to Taste of the Caribbean, there will be a Caribbean 305 event on June 23rd at Jungle Island also in Miami, where all the flavors of the Caribbean will be on full display. Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy the gastronomic delights of top chefs, bartenders and Hall of Fame mixologists from over 17 Caribbean countries and dance the night away with contagious Caribbean music.

Belize’s participation in Taste of the Caribbean is part of BTB’s and our tourism stakeholder’s joint and ongoing marketing efforts to promote Belize as a unique, Curious Destination.

For Further information on Taste of the Caribbean please visit the following website: www.chtataste.com 

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