Martinique named the world’s top emerging destination by TripAdvisor for 2021

New York (January 27, 2021) – TripAdvisor has announced that the French Caribbean Island of Martinique was named the world’s top emerging destination in 2021. The well-known travel review site just published the winners of its annual Travelers’ Choice ®Best of the Best Awards for Destinations, and Martinique has won the first place in their prestigious Emerging Destinations category.

Followed respectively by Panama City Beach in Florida, US and Armacao dos Buzios, Brazil; Martinique is the only Caribbean island listed among the Top 10 in the list.

This distinction is a real recognition for the island since the Emerging Destinations list is based on spots around the world that travelers are saving on TripAdvisor.

Due to the global pandemic which has heavily impacted the travel industry in 2020, traveling to the Island of Flowers has beensame as mainland France—closed to non-EU visitors. But the best-kept secret French Island is more than ever on the radar of the US travelers, as their next choice of destination.

“Martinique being named the world’s top emerging destination by TripAdvisor for 2021 reflects the many wonders of the island along with the richness of its culture and the warmth of its people, said François Baltus-Languedoc, CEO of the Martinique Tourism Authority.  Along with all the stakeholders from the public and private sector, we are strongly committed to pursuing our strategic efforts in the US. This exciting news couldn’t have come at a better time, and we look forward to welcoming our American friends.”

For travelers who wants an unforgettable experience, the French Caribbean Island of Martinique has so many things to offer: from strolling along the Bay of Fort-de-France (a member of the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World) taking a dive in its crystal clear waters, discovering the traditional Yole Boat recently listed among the UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage, or tasting the most prestigious A.O.C. rum in the world, to name just a few.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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Jamaica increases testing capacity

KINGSTON – January 26, 2021 – Jamaica has announced an increase in destination-wide COVID-19 testing capacity, bringing the island into readiness with the new rules and testing requirements for both United States and Canada-bound travelers. Jamaica’s aggressive effort to expand testing capacity is part of a continued destination-wide prioritization of safe and seamless travel experiences for international visitors.

A number of hotels and resorts are providing on-site COVID-19 testing for their guests. For travelers staying at other locations, the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Ministry of Tourism are working together to establish mobile testing facilities within the Resilient Corridors. Testing resources will also be added at the Sangster International Airport and the Norman Manley International Airport. Antigen and PCR tests will also be conducted at 10 private laboratories approved by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The list of approved laboratories can be found online at www.visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization/testing-labs.

“We can confidently assure travelers that Jamaica’s testing capacity will adequately meet the requirements for travel to the United States and Canada,” said Donovan White, Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board. “Jamaica is resilient. As we keep an eye toward other potential changes for international travelers, we are pleased with our destination-wide preparedness and the progress we have made to make COVID-19 testing even more accessible.”

For more information about Jamaica, please visit www.visitjamaica.com.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Destination News

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Trinidad Accommodation Properties Awarded HST Stamp

Port of Spain, Trinidad – Thursday January 14, 2021 – Three (3) accommodation properties in Trinidad have successfully been awarded the Healthier Safer Stamp (HST) by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). The HST Stamp is a measurable and verifiable assurance to travellers of a healthier and safer travel and tourism option.

The three (3) accommodation properties are:

  • Chez Jeanne Bed and Breakfast
  • Inna Citi Place
  • Pax Guest House

Officially approved by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the region’s leading tourism organizations, the Healthier Safer Tourism Stamp is granted to touristic entities and destinations that are implementing the recommended proactive Covid-19 health monitoring and safety measures.

As part of their certification process, the three (3) accommodation facilities are actively utilising the Tourism and Health Information System (THiS), which is a CARPHA web-based early warning and response information system. This system aids in the early capture and trends of illnesses in real time, thus reducing spread and any possible reputational damage of the Destination. Some of the best practices implemented by these awarded facilities include temperature scans, testing, physical distancing, enhanced frequency of cleaning and the provision of hygiene kits for safe air travel, hospitality services and safe events.

The three (3) accommodation properties are now also listed on the Caribbean Traveller’s Health Mobile App as preferred, safe options for travellers. The awardees will also be listed on the websites of CARPHA and Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), with links to regional and international health and tourism stakeholders.

Announcing this news, the Chief Executive Officer (Ag.) of Tourism Trinidad Limited, Mrs. Heidi Alert, remarked that “with more of our tourism facilities obtaining the CARPHA health assurance stamp, we will succeed in building travellers’ confidence and accelerate the recovery of our local tourism industry. The building of confidence applies to both domestic tourists as well as international visitors when that time comes. We encourage all our tourism partners to implement the new approach to safe travel in the COVID-19 world. 

We cannot over emphasise the importance of demonstrating self-regulation and increasing compliance to regional and international standards to ensure our readiness as a Destination. This is a great first achievement, and we trust that other establishments will follow suit”.

Tourism Trinidad’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Heidi Alert, also reaffirmed “the organisation’s commitment to continue its partnership with CARPHA as certifications such as the Healthier and Safer Tourism Stamp are crucial during these unprecedented times to give guests a safe and enjoyable experience, free of worry”.

In 2020 Tourism Trinidad conducted an extensive and complimentary series of COVID-19 training for the industry, utilising the services of COSTAAT and CARPHA, for a wide range of tourism stakeholders to provide a comprehensive understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the prerequisite protection and safety measures.

Over five hundred (500) persons accessed this training that is a crucial step in the overall preparation for eventual reopening of Destination Trinidad to international travellers.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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Saint Lucia Offers Multiple Options for Departing Travelers 

CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA (January 15, 2021) – In response to the U.S., UK and Canadian governments’ requirements of a negative pre-departure Covid-19 test for airline passengers, Saint Lucia is set to meet the demand for on-island Covid-19 testing and processing. And this brings positive news for Saint Lucia vacationers, as select hotels are offering complimentary testing for guests who qualify.

Saint Lucia has multiple Covid-19 PCR and antigen (rapid) testing options for departing visitors, citizens and residents. Travelers can obtain a Covid-19 test conveniently at select hotels or at local testing facilities, with test results returned within the requisite 72-hour time frame. There are additional options in development to expand testing locations. Travelers can make appointments for tests once they arrive on island or through their Covid-certified hotel. Pricing varies based on location and the type of test administered.

Saint Lucia and its accommodation providers aim to ease the stress and cost of vacation planning. As an added perk, select hotels are offering complimentary antigen (rapid) tests to guests who qualify.

As of January 15, the hotels and villas offering complimentary Covid-19 antigen (rapid) testing to qualified guests include: Anse Chastanet; all five Bay Gardens properties; Calabash Cove Resort & Spa; Caille Blanc Villa & Hotel; Cap Maison Resort & Spa; Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa; Jade Mountain; Ladera Resort; Marigot Bay Resort and Marina; Rabot Hotel from Hotel Chocolat; Sandals Resorts in Saint Lucia; Serenity at Coconut Bay; Sugar Beach – A Viceroy Resort; Stonefield Villa Resort; Tet Rouge and Ti Kaye Resort & Spa. Additional properties in Saint Lucia are anticipated to roll out complimentary testing in the coming weeks. Restrictions may apply and visitors should check with their accommodation provider for details; select hotels are offering PCR tests to guests who meet qualifications.

Detailed information about testing options will soon be available at the Saint Lucia Covid-19 Travel Advisory page at www.StLucia.org/covid-19. Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association, along with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Tourism, continue to work in concert to provide swift responses to global Covid-19 developments.

Since the first international flights returned to Saint Lucia in July 2020, the country has implemented consistent responsible Covid-19 protocols, providing increased safety for both visitors and local citizens. For information about the It’s Time For Saint Lucia winter travel promotion with hotels, resorts and villas with rates up to 65% go to www.SaintLuciaTime.com for special offers.

*List of hotels offering free testing as of January 15, 2021; guests must qualify and restrictions apply; visitors are advised to check with their hotel provider. 

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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Grenada Launches New Travel Hotline

St. George’s, Grenada W.I. – 15th January, 2021 – The Ministry of Tourism and the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) have launched a new hotline which will specifically deal with travel related inquiries. This hotline is considered necessary by Tourism officials to assist travel agents, tour operators, visitors or returning nationals with general inquiries about entry protocols, guidance on where to stay or where to go during a visit to Grenada, Carriacou & Petit Martinique. The following are the hotline numbers:

Toll free USA only – 1 888 251 1732 – 8am to 10pm (Atlantic Standard Time)

Worldwide – 1 213 283 0754 – 8am to 10pm (Atlantic Standard Time)

Callers on island – 440-0670 – 8am to 4pm

Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Climate Resilience and the Environment Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen says the hotline is aimed at, ‘making the process of obtaining information much easier as travelers make the decision to come to Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean. We are happy to extend the hotline hours to ensure that we maintain as much coverage as possible.”

For further information on travel requirements, visit covid19.gov.gd or puregrenada.com.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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