Stay up to date on current and upcoming tourist events! At Caribbean Biz in New York, New York, we keep you in the loop about the latest happenings, events, and trending tourist destinations.
See What People Are Saying
See What People Are Saying
Stay up to date on current properties and upcoming tourist events! At Caribbean Biz in New York, USA, we keep you in the loop about the latest happenings in the region. The 28 Islands referred to as the melting pot, because of the high cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity has approximately 40 million individuals, thousands of properties, each of which possess their own unique brand, culture and economic characteristics.
Featuring 3 outdoor pools, a miniature golf course, and the Baian Breeze Restaurant, this resort is on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. In tropical gardens, it is a 10-minute drive from downtown Bridgetown.
Each brightly colored suite at the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort is furnished with a complete kitchen and a furnished balcony. The living area includes a TV and a sofa bed. Wi-Fi is available.
The Pure Ocean restaurant is on the beachfront, serving fresh local cuisine. Joslyn’s Café is open for lunch and located next to the beach.
Offering direct access to half a mile of sandy beach, the resort is ideal for surfing, scuba diving, and windsurfing. Guests can work out in the on-site gym or play on the tennis courts.
Grantley Adams International Airport is within a 15-minute drive of Southwinds Divi Beach Resort. The Garrison Savannah Horseracing Track is 5 minutes away by car.
Saint Lawrence is a great choice for travelers interested in nightlife, restaurants and sandy beaches.
Couples in particular like the location – they rated it 8.9 for a two-person trip.
October 18, 2019
ROYAL CARIBBEAN PREDICTS 50 PER CENT RISE IN CRUISE PASSENGER ARRIVALS BY 2030
Johnson JohnRose – CTO
Email: [email protected]
~ President and CEO Michael Bayley says there’s great demand for innovative experiences, which the cruise line is willing to help develop ~
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (18 Oct. 2019) - Royal Caribbean International is predicting that its Caribbean cruise tourism business will grow by 50 per cent by 2030, with overall economic benefit of cruise reaching $6 billion.
President and chief executive officer, Michael Bayley, told a recent Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) outlook forum that with the region continuing to grow in popularity among cruisers – eight of the top 10 cruise destinations worldwide are in the Caribbean, he said – now is the time prepare for further increases in cruise passenger numbers.
“The Caribbean was, is, will always be, the number one cruise destination in the world,” Bayley told the gathering of ministers, chief executives, policymakers and other senior Caribbean tourism professionals at the gathering in Antigua and Barbuda.
“There are considerations that we need to take into account in terms of some of the destinations’ ability to absorb the growth that is coming - in some places the growth is perhaps already at a critical mass - but we need to find a way to accommodate the growth that is inevitably coming to cruise tourism in the Caribbean,” he stressed.
The Royal Caribbean CEO noted the success of the cruise line’s recent US$250 million private island destination experience in the Bahamas known as Perfect Day® at CocoCay®, saying it’s a perfect example of collaboration that benefits both the destination and the cruise line.
Perfect Day at CocoCay is a unique stop on what was once called Little Stirrup Cay, but is now a privately owned island destination by Royal Caribbean, and a tropical paradise for cruisers. It offers a number of attractions, including a record-setting water slide – the tallest in the region - and a massive wave pool described by the cruise line as the largest freshwater pool in the Bahamas.
“Once we put this product into the market in the US and globally, our phones went crazy. The demand we have seen for our ships and our products that go to CocoCay has been amazing,” said Bayley.
“There is a lot of demand for these products and if we can figure out how to collaborate together to create these experiences, they don’t always have to have this shape and form, they can be other types of experiences”.
“As we evolve in terms of our ship design and experiences and what we are creating for our customers we really believe there is a huge opportunity to take all that knowledge...and transfer it into the destinations in a very meaningful way,” he added.
The Caribbean tourism outlook forum was the first organised by the CTO as a platform for discussion between member governments and leaders from the tourism industry that generate business to the region. It was attended by ministers and commissioners of tourism, directors of tourism, chief executives of destination management organisations, permanent secretaries, advisors and specialists and technical officers from 12 member countries.
October 14, 2019
Bahamas continued support
The Cruise Industry Remains Committed to Both the Recovery of Grand Bahama and Abaco and Bringing More Guests to the Unaffected Majority of The Bahamas
Miramar, FL (October 14, 2019) - While the world mourns the destruction of Abaco and Grand Bahama and seeks ways to help the destinations build back better, the cruise industry continues to prove its commitment. Just a month after the historic event, Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), the trade association that represents the mutual interests between the cruise industry and Caribbean and Latin American destinations and stakeholders, and its Member Lines, which operate more than 95 percent of the global ocean cruising capacity, have already provided and/or raised $8 million in donation pledges, more than 10 million pounds of food and supplies, 20,000 meals a day, hundreds of millions of dollars in accelerated investment plans and hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars focused on educating that most of The Bahamas is open, including 14 of its most-visited islands that are welcoming guests every day, and the best way consumers can help is to visit.
"Though we still mourn for all those impacted in Abaco and Grand Bahama, it is humbling and heartwarming to see our Member Lines' enormous effort to not only provide the necessary relief, but also work with those in the destination toward sustainable recovery," said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. "On behalf of FCCA, we are honored to help support that recovery in any way we can, and currently one of the best things any of us can do is visit The Bahamas, as nearly half of its GDP relies on tourism, and broadcast the message that most of its islands are open and welcoming guests every day."
FCCA Member Lines have already donated and/or raised $8 million in relief efforts for The Bahamas, while also launching efforts to collect and provide support, resulting in more than 10 million pounds of food and supplies - filling over 250 shipping containers - by Carnival Corporation; 20,000 meals per day, as well as water, medical supplies, generators, and a team of specially trained employees and volunteers to assist with logistics and food and beverage efforts by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; 400 pallets of humanitarian aid - along with 300 qualified volunteer and 150 Bahamians - on a single relief mission by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line; MSC Group using its cargo and cruise resources to help, with a focus on providing semi-permanent prefabricated modular housing; and Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings also using their cruise ships to deliver supplies and support.*
Additionally, FCCA Member Lines have sent high-level delegations to work directly toward both providing the most impactful relief and building toward sustainable recovery, while also reaffirming and accelerating investment projects that represent $455 million by Carnival Corporation and RCCL.
FCCA Member Lines also worked with the destination to relaunch cruise tourism and re-inject its economic benefit as soon as possible, with cruise tourism calculated to have generated $405.75 million, in addition to 9,004 jobs paying $155.71 million in wage income, in The Bahamas during the 2017-18 cruise season and one average cruise call to the destination representing more than $650,000 in local economic benefits.
FCCA included The Bahamas in its award-winning, multi-faceted marketing campaign, Caribbean Is Open / Caribbean for Everyone, which began in September 2017 following Hurricanes Irma and Maria and generated more than 5.77 billion impressions, while showing a measurable improvement in Caribbean cruise bookings, between Oct. 2, 2017 - Oct. 28, 2018.
For initiatives tied to The Bahamas, focused on educating that most of The Bahamas is open, including 14 of its most-visited islands that are welcoming guests every day, and the best way consumers can help is to visit, as of Oct. 11, the efforts have already generated an audience of 78,656,435; 490 media placements; and promoted content with 13,873 clicks, 17,987 engagements and 150,527 video views with 59,357 minutes viewed, on track for more than 200,000 views by the end of October on social media alone - and other planned initiatives including the cover story in Travel & Cruise, the official magazine of the cruise industry, and sponsored e-mail content in partnership with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Additionally, FCCA has remained in constant contact with The Bahamas, while leveraging its resources throughout the industry to help the destination and its people in any way possible, including assisting to coordinate relief efforts and meetings, as well as providing numerous ways for Bahamian locals to further capitalize on the cruise industry's economic potential.
Many of those opportunities and discussions will be engaged at the upcoming FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, the largest and only official cruise conference and trade show in the Caribbean. With more than 150 high-level executives, including a record number of chairmen and above, from FCCA Member Lines on hand for the series of meetings, workshops and networking opportunities from Oct. 21-25, the #BahamasStrong delegation will have the chance to work directly with the cruise industry, and FCCA has coordinated specialized meetings and events for the delegation.
*For more information about individual FCCA Member Line relief efforts, please visit www.f-cca.com/relief.
October 08, 2019
SAINT LUCIA RECOGNIZED WITH MULTIPLE CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER 2019 READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS,
INCLUDING “#8 ISLAND IN THE CARIBBEAN & ATLANTIC” AND
SEVEN RESORTS NAMED TO “TOP 50 RESORTS IN THE CARIBBEAN ISLANDS”
John Emmanuel/Geraine Georges
(CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA) October 8, 2019 – Condé Nast Traveler today announced the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards with Saint Lucia recognized as the #8 Island in the Caribbean & Atlantic, while seven resorts in the destination were named in the Top 50 Resorts in the Caribbean Islands list.
Resorts earning a spot on the Top 50 Resorts in the Caribbean Islands list include Jade Mountain (#15); Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort (#17); Cap Maison (#20); Anse Chastanet Resort (#27); Ladera Resort (#33); The Landings Resort and Spa (#34); and Rendezvous Resort (#49).
More than 600,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers across the globe submitted a recording-breaking number of responses rating their travel experiences to provide a full snapshot of where and how we travel today.
The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.” The full list of winners can be found here.
“It is a true honor to be recognized by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler not only as a destination overall but also for seven of our resorts, “said Hon. Dominic Fedee, Minister of Tourism for Saint Lucia. “Saint Lucians work diligently to provide impeccable tourism experiences to our visitors from around the world, from exploring the natural splendor of our island to our world-class hotels and culinary experiences, and this accolade is a celebration of everything Saint Lucia has to offer guests.”
Saint Lucia is experiencing a record year for tourism arrivals and has several new tourism developments in the pipeline. The Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club horse racing and entertainment complex will debut this December; several hotels and resorts are unveiling major refurbishments; new local restaurants are expanding visitors’ dining options; and infrastructure improvements such as a new airport are underway.
The 2019 Readers' Choice Awards are published on Condé Nast Traveler's website at www.cntraveler.com/rca and celebrated in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler US and UK print editions.
October 04, 2019
TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS’ ‘JUNIOR TOURISM MINISTER’ WINS CTO TOURISM YOUTH CONGRESS
Johnson JohnRose – CTO
Theresa M. Oakes
~ 15-year-old Danae Dennie emerged victorious in a tight exchange of ideas on the tourism sector~
Danae Dennie receives her prize from CTO’s acting secretary general, Neil Walters
Antigua (4 Oct. 2019) –The representative of the Turks & Caicos Islands emerged the winner of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Tourism Youth Congress held in the Antigua and Barbuda parliament building on Friday 4 October.
Fifteen-year-old Helena Jones Robinson High student Danae Dennie was among 14 ‘junior ministers of tourism’ from
CTO member countries who exchanged thought-provoking and spirited presentations on topics related to the future of the industry.
Dennie presented a compelling presentation and offered suggestions to enhance the national tourism product of
the Turks & Caicos Islands through a national tourism service programme, a visitor satisfaction review app dubbed “My Absolute Truth”, and a STAR awards programme.
The junior ministers each spoke on one of the topics of: ‘Towards Smart Travel Experiences Within The Caribbean
Region”, “Equipping Our Youth To Thrive In A Changing Tourism Environment”, and “Making Excellence A Habit In Caribbean Tourism”. The youth delegates were also each given a ‘mystery’ topic on which to speak.
In second place was Hailey Mahy, 15, of the Ursuline Convent School in Barbados, while Tobago’s Kayleigh Lewis,
16, of Scarborough Secondary placed third.
Dennie received a cruise for two compliments of Royal Caribbean International, while Mahy received two return
tickets compliments of JetBlue, and Lewis received a cash prize of US$500 compliments of the CTO Scholarship Foundation.
The other junior ministers and commissioners of tourism who took part were: Jody-Ann Parker, 15, of Antigua &
Barbuda; Akeya Herbert, 17, of the British Virgin Islands; Leanna Allen of the Cayman Islands; Jenna Thomas, 16, of Jamaica, Meïssane Carpin, 15, of Martinique; Brianne Chapman, 14, of Nevis; Anastasia Korstanje, 16, of St. Eustatius; Aneeda Hardat, 14, of
St. Martin and Kenisha Castello, 15, of St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
The youth congress, which simulates a CTO council of ministers and commissions meeting, was chaired by the last
year’s winner, Bryanna Hylton, 18, of Jamaica. It brought to an end two days of activities by the CTO - including business meetings and a Caribbean tourism sector outlook forum – held in collaboration with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and the
Ministry of Tourism.
September 28. 2019
CTO TOURISM SECTOR OUTLOOK FORUM PREVIEW:
HOW JETBLUE WORKS WITH CARIBBEAN DESTINATIONS
“Your destination must be not only present but ‘come alive’ in mobile placements across the web, with links to simple and fast booking options once a customer shows interest.” – Mike Pezzicola, JetBlue.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – (28 Sept. 2019) - Member governments of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and leaders from entities that generate business to the region meet in Antigua and Barbuda on Friday 4 October for the first CTO Caribbean Tourism Sector Outlook Forum.
Among the senior executives who will speak about their plans, programmes and activities is Mike Pezzicola, the head of commercial for JetBlue Travel, who went to JetBlue from Google where he spent the previous five years building out the Google shopping product.
Ahead of the forum, we quizzed him on a number of issues, including the Caribbean tourism product and how the region’s tourism sector should make better use of technology.
CTO: What makes JetBlue the number one carrier to the Caribbean?
MP: For our entire 19-year history, the Caribbean has always been a major focus of JetBlue. JetBlue operates over 1000 flights daily with a third of its route network in the Caribbean. Also, we are proud to have one of our focus cities located in the region at San Juan. We have continually grown our destinations and flights in the Caribbean over time as well as enhanced our service offerings with the addition and expansion of Mint service.
CTO: When you work with member countries to introduce service, what are some of the things you look for?
MP: Our customers are always our first focus. How can we expand our service in a way that excites our existing customers and introduces JetBlue to customers in new markets? Along with our customers, we are of course always looking to form strong partnerships with member countries to determine how we can introduce service in a way that is sustainable and poised for growth for both JetBlue and the member country.
CTO: Do you collaborate with the destinations on marketing? If so, how?
MP: Marketing our awesome destinations is a favourite part of my job. If you explore the JetBlue and JetBlue Vacations websites, you’ll notice how we strive to emphasise not only key attractions but also the unique aspects and culture of Caribbean destinations. We partner with destinations on cooperative marketing efforts for both large campaigns (month long out of home marketing efforts) and even smaller events (such as highlighting local regional sporting or cultural events).
CTO: Based on your experience at Google building out the Google sopping product, and combining Google’s search experience with seamless e-commerce shopping, how must the Caribbean use technology to facilitate travel?
MP: Most customers at the very least begin their inspiration and education for travel using their thumb (searching, scrolling, and exploring on their phone). Your destination must be not only present but ‘come alive’ in mobile placements across the web, with links to simple and fast booking options once a customer shows interest. How can you get customers not only to explore and learn on their phone, but then quickly BOOK as well?
CTO: What are your thoughts on the Caribbean tourism product as it currently stands?
MP: The Caribbean market provides such a wide variety of unique options for customers – which is both an opportunity and a challenge. We together must ensure customers consider the Caribbean as they begin planning their travel but at the same time ensure we leverage your variety of offerings.
CTO: Without going into too many details, please summarise what you intend to share with our member governments at the CTO’s outlook forum?
MP: I look forward to providing some details about the growth of JetBlue Travel over the next few years.
Please note the CTO Caribbean Tourism Sector Outlook Forum is for government members only, including, but not limited to, ministers and commissioners of tourism, directors of tourism, chief executives of destination management organisations, permanent secretaries, advisors and specialists and technical officers.
For further details on the tourism outlook forum, including how to register, please visit/
September 15, 2019
BARBADOS IS TOP CHOICE FOR CRUISERS
Communications & PR Manager
Barbados is in winner’s row once again, this time as ‘Favourite Cruise Destination’, according to the 2019 Cruise International’s British Cruise Awards.
The destination beat out Jamaica, Dubrovnik, Norway and Singapore to win the prestigious accolade in UK cruising; an honour which was determined by public vote.
The glamorous event took place at the House of Lords in London on Monday evening and the industry’s finest were in attendance to see destination Barbados shine. Barbados High Commissioner, H.E. Milton Inniss, as well as Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s (BTMI) UK Director, Cheryl Carter, and Senior Business Development Officer, Marc McCollin, accepted the distinguished prize.
As the popularity of cruising increases each year, Barbados remains a firm favourite on the Caribbean cruising circuit, appearing on itineraries from a mixture of cruise lines such as Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, MSC, P&O, TUI, Marella, Star Clipper, Silversea, Seabourn, and Fred Olsen.
- more -
Earlier this year, the destination was also named one of the Top 5 in the category ‘Best Cruise Destination in the Southern Caribbean’ in Cruise Critic’s Annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards.
Cheryl Franklin, Director of Cruise at the BTMI, credited the win to the collaborative efforts of local operators. “I personally want to thank all of the dedicated and persevering provider partners in Barbados. Their support is unwavering and representing them is a tremendous privilege. I also want to thank Cheryl Carter, Director for the UK, and her London-based team for their unwavering in-market support, and for the outstanding developmental work with respect to the building and positioning of the Barbados brand over the years which continues to grow from strength to strength,” she said.
Franklin added that this is “a truly proud moment for Barbados and all of the operators who make up the diverse sector,” and went on to thank the Barbados Port Inc. for their ongoing support.
Barbados is forecasted to welcome 840,000 cruise arrivals this year and the BTMI has embarked on a number of strategic initiatives to ensure this winning streak continues. One such initiative is the weekly Festive Fridays marketplace at the Pelican Craft Centre, just a stone’s throw from the cruise port, which gives cruise passengers the opportunity to purchase local food and craft, and mingle with Bajans late into the night
May 23, 2019
Re-branding the Bahamas
Caribbeantoday.com/ Author Dawn A. Davis
When planning a vacation to The Bahamas most holiday makers automatically think of Nassau, the bustling modern capital, Freeport, the second city on Grand Bahamas island, or Bimini, known for its pristine beaches. But, there is so much more to the Bahamas than these three well-known destinations. Thus, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is on a mission to change all that.
Ellison Tommy Thompson“We are promoting The Bahamas with a 16-island strategy. We are introducing the individual names of the islands of The Bahamas, with each island being branded according to what the island can deliver,” explained Ellison ‘Tommy’ Thompson, the Tourism Ministry’s Deputy Director General.
Caribbean Today caught up with Thompson recently at a Bahamas marketing event held on the Seafair mega yacht in the Miami bay.
A mere ‘shouting’ distance from Miami, Florida, The Bahamas is an archipelago of islands that stretches over 100,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean dotted with large and small islands, and many cays, all with different characteristics. It is these differences the Deputy Director General is promoting.
Said Thompson: “If you go to Crooked island, that’s a bone fishing paradise. And the neighbouring island, Acklins, least known of all the islands and a pristine natural wonder, will showcase its unique beauty with the first annual Cascarilla Festival this June.”
The Cascarilla herb, known for magical powers of protection and cleansing, is also a major ingredient in the Italian liqueur Campari.
“Cascarilla is a huge business,” he added. “So, we’re trying to make it as sustainable as possible. The aim of the festival is to get the younger people involved in it, so we’re working with the schools. We have acres of farmland, and we will give some of that to the schools so that they can get students involved in sustainability of the crop and also teaching them the financial benefits of the business.”
Another festival which takes place in March each year is the Mutton Festival on Long Island. The two days of festivities highlights the creativity of Long Islanders in the creation of mutton dishes.
“Part of what we’re doing is to look at how do we create economic benefits from tourism. Our branded festivals are a great way to draw attention to these islands and also to bring business to the islands,” Thompson emphasised.
Rockstar Lenny Kravitz
Giving a boost to the marketing strategy, the Tourism Ministry has Partnered with rockstar Lenny Kravitz to bring a dash of celebrity status to the islands. Indeed, the famous singer/songwriter’s Bahamian heritage and his occasional presence on the islands, even before he became a household name, lends authenticity to the advertising and marketing rollout.
A well-produced television commercial featuring Kravitz walking on an expansive beach, talking to locals, and driving along the coastline with his hit song “Fly Away” playing in the background skillfully beckons visitors to The Bahamas.
“So, we have superstar Lenny, but also you have the nice, real authentic, unfiltered Bahamian telling the story of their particular island. We try to infuse more of the culture of The Bahamas in a very authentic way,” said a beaming Thompson.
Thompson added: “We’ve created a Tourism Development Corporation that is looking at ways to get Bahamians involved in the ownership of tourism. If you have a bed and breakfast, give tours, or sell souvenirs, we are trying to get more diversification in tourism.”
In fact, according to the Deputy Director General, 2018 was a record breaking year for The Bahamas with more than 6.6 million visitors, a significant 486,176 increase over figures recorded in 2017. He also revealed that forward bookings (measured March to May) are looking extremely healthy, with international arrivals running 9 percent ahead of last year. And, with its new rebranding strategy, the Lenny Kravitz expected ‘effect’, and a strong repeat customer base, visitor numbers are again expected to beat the previous year.
Part of the ‘effect’ is expected to reach potential visitors further afield, evident in the Ministry’s recent trips to Canada, Germany, and New York to promote The Bahamas. However, Thompson acknowledged that about 80 percent of the tourism business to The Bahamas comes from North America (the US and Canada). And, just 50 miles off the Bahamian coast, Florida is dubbed number one for visitors to the islands.
“We see ourselves as a global brand. We know where our major market is, but part of the tourism marketing strategy is also reaching potential visitors from across the globe.”
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