Archive for News’ Category

15

Mar
2016

New Developments to Add over 700 Rooms on Saint Lucia

St.-Lucia-Pitons

Saint Lucia (February 18, 2016) – Saint Lucia tourism officials are preparing to welcome over 700 new hotel rooms to the island’s accommodations in 2016, along with a new marketing campaign and push for new island investment.

Rex resorts has re-opened the 110 room Papillon Hotel after completing extensive renovations as an all-inclusive four-star property in February 2016 with Air Canada Vacations as the exclusive tour operator out of Canada. The Papillon Hotel is located adjacent to the St. Lucian and Royal by rex resorts hotels on Reduit Beach near Rodney Bay.

Also set to open this year, the Harbor Club on the Rodney Bay Marina will feature 115 four-star accommodations with a number of amenities that include two restaurants, lounges, a full-service spa, gym, pool recreational concept and 4,000 square feet of meeting and conference space. Adjacent to the Harbor Club is the recently completed Dive Saint Lucia, one of the premier scuba diving centers in the Eastern Caribbean featuring state of the art facilities at the complex just south of the Rodney Bay Marina.

In late 2016, Royalton Luxury Resorts will add to its rapidly expanding portfolio of vacation experiences with the upscale Royalton Saint Lucia near Cap Estate. The elegant resort features 361 luxurious rooms, eight restaurants and six bars, world class spa, onsite splash park, conference space and an exclusive 94-suite, adults-only hotel within a resort called Hideaway.

“This overdue hotel boom adds much-needed inventory to meet the demands of our key source markets” said Louis Lewis, Director Tourism. “Tourism growth is a priority, and Invest Saint Lucia and the newly opened Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Office will continue to seek new investment and development for the island.”

Lewis reported that the U.S., the island’s leading market with more than 44 percent of arrivals in 2015, realized a seven percent growth in visitors compared to 2014. Saint Lucia saw six record-breaking months in 2015 – January, February, March, April, June and October – for a total of nearly 345,000 visitors for the year and an overall increase in stay-over arrivals of two percent, following a six percent rise in arrivals in 2014.

“Partnership is key to the continued success of Saint Lucia’s marketing efforts,” said Lewis. “We work closely with our hotel and product partners, travel agent partners, tour operators and airlines, to harness ideas and resources for the benefit of the overall destination.” He added that the Saint Lucia Tourist Board will unveil a new marketing campaign in the second half of 2016 with plans to refresh the brand with new collateral and photography.

Saint Lucia was recognized as “Best Honeymoon Island in the World,” one of the “Top 20 Islands in the World,” and one of the “Most Romantic Islands in the World” by the Condé Nast Traveler 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards. Six of the island’s resorts were also distinguished as “Top 40 Resorts in the Caribbean” by Condé Nast Traveler readers. The growing reputation of the diverse hotels, and the island of Saint Lucia as a sought-after destination was further strengthened by the more than 50 awards and accolades received by resorts across the island, including recognition from Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best List and Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List to the coveted “Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination” by World Travel Awards.

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888 4STLUCIA or visit http://stlucianow.com/.

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 Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts 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 also is home to world class cruise and yachting facilities. The island is continually recognized as one of the Leading Wedding and Honeymoon destinations worldwide.

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1

Apr
2015

NEVIS SPREADS HER WINGS – New Air Service From Antigua And St. Barts

 

New York, NY, March 31, 2015… It was recently reported that the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) had forged a partnership with Caribbean Helicopters Ltd. (CHL).  The company is a flight service based in Antigua and the partnership will bring added airlift to the Vance W. Amory International Airport in Nevis.  Although the international airport is compact, it is armed with all the latest and modern technologies and amenities that include a brand new terminal, new control tower and an extended runway.

The agreement, signed on behalf of the Administration by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Colin Dore and Director of CHL, Neil Dickinson was a significant stepping-stone in Nevis’s grand plan of opening itself up to the world.

Mr. Dore commented in saying that, “…the island had struggled with the issue of airlift in and out of Nevis via Antigua for far too long.  This new partnership will set Nevis on a path that will provide a level of convenience not only for Nevisians but also for visitors to and from the island.”

There seems to be no short supply of ambition as demonstrated by the accord and this will be a trend that will continue. Mr. Dickinson shared, “Our two fixed wing airplanes are going to start to do the airlift between Antigua and Nevis very shortly.  The plan is that we increase that fleet by a further two aircrafts in the next six months.”

With the most recent announcement of the partnership between St. Bart’s based Tradewind Aviation and Nevis, the NIA and Nevis Tourism Authority (NTA) are letting out all the stops in their continued efforts of bringing Nevis closer to the world stage.  The Tradewind Aviation service operates on Wednesdays between the islands of St. Barts and Nevis, with departures in the mornings and afternoons to facilitate a day-trip in both directions.

The Honorable Mark Brantley, Nevis’ Minister of Tourism stated, “We hope to make Nevis’s grandeur readily available to the whole world and these are a few steps in the right direction to making that possible.”

These air services opens a flurry of new and exciting possibilities for travelers to either island.  Day-trips from St. Barts and from Antigua to Nevis will now be available to Nevisians and visitors alike.

Whether you’re visiting St. Barts and taking in the Caribbean through its French culture, or enjoying the same water through British lenses in Nevis, you’re a mere 15 minute flight to experiencing a completely different culture while basking in the same radiant waters.

Antigua on the other hand, is a similar English influenced island with its origins being of Amerindian (Carib and Arawak) and West African and with a range of attractions unique to Antigua.  The rich cultural potential of both Nevis and Antigua are now within a brief 15-minute airlift away for travelers.

With expectations high and Nevis on a very aggressive and effective campaign, the vision of bringing Nevis to the traveler seeking an authentic Caribbean experience is becoming a reality sooner than later.

Bookings from and to Antigua/Nevis can be made via the CHL website: www.caribbeanhelicopters.com

Pricing to and from Nevis/St. Barts is $150 USD plus tax each way.  Booking is available with local travel agencies or through Tradewind at:  1-800-376-7922 ; +1-203-267-3305 ; charter@flytradewind.com

 

 

 

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24

Mar
2015

2015 Chocolate Festival of Belize

Chocolate-lovers, your bucket list starts in quaint Punta Gorda Town (Toledo District); get ready for the extravagant 3-day “2015 Chocolate Festival of Belize”! It all unfolds during May 22nd, 23rd, and 24th!

Gain insight into the true allurement of this annual festival as you mingle with the local chocolatiers of the south, and indulge in all things chocolate!

Discover the significance of the cacao/chocolate for Belize’s ancient Maya civilization… With numerous cultural performances and demonstrations, this festival is a sure way of connecting to the traditions of Belize, while enjoying the tastiest chocolates in the world!

Chocolate-Fun!

  • May 22nd: “Wine and Chocolate Night”, held at the “Garbutt’s Marina” on Front Street in Punta Gorda. This event brings together local chocolatiers who offer their products both for sale and for sample. A $50.00 (BZE) cover charge enables you to enjoy the free food and drinks available. Event time 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
  • May 23rd: “Taste of Toledo – Street Fair”, held on Front Street in Punta Gorda, this event is filled with cultural entertainment and endless chocolate options! Take a stroll along the stretch to purchase and indulge in all the local foods, drinks, and arts available! Event time 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • May 24th: “Finale”, held at the Julian Cho Technical High School (Toledo District). Be entertained by the live traditional Maya dances among other local performances. There’s plenty of food and drinks also on sale! (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.).
  • Be familiar with the rich cultures and traditions of the south; enjoy the local chocolate tours and fun! Visit the 2015 Chocolate Festival of Belize!

For more information on this and other events happening in Belize, or to get tips on planning your dream vacation, email us at: info@travelbelize.org, call us TOLL FREE at: 1-800-624-0686, or visit us online at www.travelbelize.org.

 

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20

Aug
2013

The Beach and Beyond: Selling Thrills and Chills in the Caribbean

St. Maarten: "Da Party Bus"

St. Maarten: “Da Party Bus”

When it comes to the quintessential beach vacation, the Caribbean does it right. Although the sun, sand and surf are vacation-perfect, adventure tours are the newest cool with a cornucopia of choices from zip lining and bird watching to riding the rails. “The ranks of visitors to the Caribbean who describe themselves as adventure seekers are increasing, “said Hugh Riley, secretary general, Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), “that’s not to say there aren’t those who still prefer a fly & flop vacation but we’re also been paying attention to what the research is saying about travelers who mix a healthy dose of adventure with Caribbean relaxation.”

A powerhouse of adrenalin-charged thrills and chills, the Caribbean is inviting agents to sell the islands away from the resort, at least for an afternoon. “More of our destinations are offering a variety of water-based activities that require a little more exertion than maneuvering an air mattress in a pool although frankly, that sounds great right now. We’re not kidding when we say ‘Life Needs the Caribbean’,” adds Hugh Riley, secretary general, CTO.

All Aboard

Dubbed the “Sugar Train”, St. Kitts Scenic Railway uses the same tracks that were built in 1912 to carry cane from the plantations to the factory in Basseterre. Today, the train passes Brimstone Hill and along the slopes of Mt. Liamuiga while a choir sings folk tunes and sugar cakes are served. “My personal favorite part is when the schoolchildren get so excited to see the passing train that they wave at the passengers, “ said Senator Ricky Skerritt, minister tourism,” this is the most authentic example of genuine Kittitian hospitality you can get.” www.stkittstourism.kn

Inspired by an old-fashioned steam locomotive, Grenada Discovery Train is a red trolley that makes its way through the narrow streets of St. George’s. Wrapping up at the cruise terminal, passengers are given admission tickets to several attractions they can explore on their own. www.grenadadiscoverytrain.com

Boats & Buses

At the Westin St. John Resort, “Island Hopper” is water-infused fun for the entire family. Under the watchful eye of an on-site Boating Butler, the vacation package tempts with travel aboard a comfy catamaran for smooth sailing between the three islands in the USVI. “Our guests create their own adventure hopping from St. John, the greenest island to the bustling mega resorts of St. Thomas and the off-the-beaten-path feel of St. Croix,” said Mike Ryan, general manager. For travel through December 17, the package offers a gratis night and $150.00 food and beverage credit when five nights are booked. www.westinresortstjohn.com/

In St. Maarten, “Da Party Bus” is a spirited affair for the pretty party people who like to stay up late. Tours include a “2 for 1 Tuesdays” that pours two for the price of one at bars along the way and a “Day in Philipsburg” that adds shopping to the mix. “ We offer something for everyone in a fun, relaxed and safe environment that offers vacationers the chance to experience all that St. Maarten has to offer,” said Anastacio Baker, owner. Compliments of Da Party Bus, revelers on each tour can win a return trip to the island. www.thestmaartenpartybus.com

A Natural High

Every day, the scarlet ibis flies to nearby Venezuela to feed and then heads back to Trinidad in the afternoon. Watching the national bird return to roost in the mangroves with their red plumage blazing is a sight to behold. Where the Caroni River meets the Gulf of Paria, bird watchers flock to the Caroni Bird Sanctuary where aboard a jetty , couples can say ‘I Do’ at a wedding ceremony in the heart of the swamp. www.nananecotours.com

At speeds of up to fifty kilometres per hour, flying high on a Zipline Canopy is as Jamaican as a plate of lip-searing jerk or a reggae band getting down on a street corner. For travelers staying in Montego Bay, one of Island Routes most popular tours is an intricate system of harnesses and pulleys on horizontal traverses high above breathtaking vistas of the island. www.islandroutes.com.

Up Up & Away – Zipping Tidbits (courtesy: www.usatoday.com/travel/ )

  • Closed-toe shoes with secure backs will keep your feet protected during the tour.
  • Bring hiking shoes since most tours include a walk through the jungle.
  • Skirts and high-cut shorts do not work well with the harnesses, nor do shirts that expose the belly.
  • Leave long jewelry at the hotel because it can get tangled in the harness.
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20

Aug
2013

A Hole in One: Selling Golf in the Caribbean

Golfing in the Caribbean

Golfing in the Caribbean

“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon, “observed esteemed writer Henry James, “to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” All about lazy summer afternoons, the Caribbean is also a mecca for golfers who flock to the many green courses for a sunny afternoon of play. Even if you can’t tell a 9-iron from a waffle iron or a birdie from a bogey, teeing up with a calm breeze at your back and sinking a putt from twenty-five feet is what golfing bragging rights are all about.

Leaders of the Tee World

In St. Kitts, tourism minister Richard (Ricky) Skerritt knows a good course when he plays one. A member of the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club, the Senator is also an avid golfer. “I like competitive activities so my ideal vacation has to have a golf course, the sea and plenty of sunshine. “ In addition to the Royal St. Kitts managed by the Marriott and the Four Seasons Golf Club across the channel in Nevis, plans are underway for a course at Kittitian Hill and at Christophe Harbour. “Golf tourism is a key niche market that St. Kitts has targeted for growth,” added Richard (Ricky) Skerritt, minister tourism. Referring to the 54-hole St. Kitts-Nevis Admiral’s Cup Pro-Am Tournament slated for Feb 2-6, 2014, he added “this hallmark tournament continues to help us attract visitors from the golfing community as we ramp up marketing efforts internationally to support all the courses.” With holes facing the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, The Royal St. Kitts was the first Caribbean golf course to earn Audubon Certification for its environmental practices and is a coveted haven for native and migratory birds. www.royalstkittsgolfclub.com, www.stkittsmarriott.com, www.fourseasons.com.

At the Ritz-Carlton in Montego Bay, ‘Golf All-Inclusive & 54 Holes In Rose Hall ‘- for travel through December 31 – tempts with unlimited play on The White Witch course, one round at Cinnamon Hill where the Bond movie “Live and Let Die’ was filmed, cart, caddy and club storage . www.ritzcarlton.com. http://cinnamonhilljamaica.com.

No Holes Barred

Inviting with a trio of meticulous courses and GPS-equipped golf carts, Sandy Lane in Barbados is golfing nirvana. With five lakes and a Tom Fazio design, The Country Club is a 72 par, 7,060-yard course with postcard-perfect views of the Caribbean Sea. Also Fazio-designed, The Green Monkey is an ultra-exclusive 72 par; 7,343-yard course carved from an old limestone quarry and the Old Nine meanders through the Sandy Lane estate with 3,345 yards, par 36 and snug fairways. www.sandylane.com.

In Jamaica near the town of Mandeville, the Manchester Club is the oldest course in the Caribbean. Founded in 1865, the course is still in operation with sand traps and bunkers at 2, 0000 feet above sea level. http://visitjamaica.com.

Golf 101 –The Bucket List

  1. Birdie: A score of 1 under par.
  2. Bogey: A score of 2 over par.
  3. Eagle: A score of 2 under par.
  4. Par: The number of strokes it should take to get the ball into a particular hole.
  5. The Rough: The longer grass on each side of manicured fairways.
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