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.
February 20, 2020
CARIBBEAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SET TO LAUNCH IN EUROPE
Source: Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Europe
BRUSSELS, Belgium (February 20, 2020) - The newly founded Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Europe (CCCE) is opening its doors soon, offering Caribbean-based companies an alternative gateway to the continent at a time Britain proceeds its exit from the European Union (EU).
CCCE will promote trade and commerce between the wider Caribbean and the United Kingdom/Europe and attract European investment to strengthen the Caribbean economy.
Joining the cluster of chambers of commerce based at Brussels Enterprises Commerce and Industry (BECI) expands the scope of CCCE's network and widens its base, enabling it to operate effectively from the capital of the EU.
The 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum, held in Frankfurt, Germany last September, identified the need for an independent, non-politically aligned, private sector body to provide market information and logistical support for business development in Europe.
As Anthony Bradshaw, Officer-in-Charge of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), said "it will strengthen business networks and foster a closer trade and investment relationship between the Caribbean and the EU."
The launch of CCCE is timely and with the UK's departure from the EU, the new chamber in Brussels offers an alternative springboard to London, in particular for Caribbean Community (CARICOM)-based ventures, into a more diverse European market.
In the build-up to its official launch, the Chamber is reaching out to other regional and trade organizations and is planning to work with major public and private stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic, who can build the partnerships needed to foster Euro-Caribbean trade and commerce.
About Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Europe
The Brussels-based Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Europe (CCCE) is a multilateral, nonprofit, business organisation, registered as an AISBL (Association Internationale Sans But Lucratif) under Belgian corporate law. CCCE has been created to promote trade and commerce between the greater Caribbean and the UK/Europe and to attract European investment to strengthen the Caribbean economy. Its offices will be based at Brussels Enterprises Commerce and Industry (BECI). For further information, visit www.caribbeanchamber.eu.
Marketplace Excellence Corporation, 1812 Front Street, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076
February 17, 2020
The Official Guyana Rum Route
Discovering the home of the world’s best rum
Georgetown, Guyana (February 17, 2020): The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has launched its official rum route in collaboration with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). Capitalising on Guyana’s rich agricultural traditions, local cultural heritage and cuisine, the Guyana Rum Route is a 200-kilometre journey which blends the past and present into one exhilarating experience. Guyana is the first Caribbean country to establish a heritage route as part of a regional product development thrust being championed by the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
“Set along the vibrant coast, the route offers a sensory experience of the role of rum and sugarcane in Guyana’s economy and its indelible mark on the landscape and people,” explained Brian T. Mullis, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority. “Rum flows throughout the Caribbean, connects us culturally, and is known to heighten the Caribbean experience.”
Neil Walters, Acting Secretary General & CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organization reiterated that “Guyana's official Rum Route is part of CTO's regional Heritage Routes programme. This programme is centered on creating thematic routes or trails that tell the story of a destination through indigenous and local goods including foodstuff like sugarcane, cocoa, spices and other tangible and intangible aspects of cultural heritage.”
Guyana’s Rum Route covers three areas that can be experienced individually as day or overnight tours, or combined into a multi-day tour. These areas include Georgetown, Berbice, and the East Coast Highway (Half-day, Full-day & Overnight Tour options); West Coast Berbice (Overnight Tour options) and West Coast of Demerara (Half-Day, Full-day & Overnight Tour options). Highlights for interested travellers include:
Immerse yourself in the history of rum and retrace the steps of the Dutch and British on former plantations like Uitvlugt Estate and Blairmont Estate;
Gain insights into the experiences of slaves and indentured labourers who sustained a sugar economy for over two centuries;
Experience local rum shops, tour the Demerara Distillers Limited Distillery and production plants; and
Sample local rum-infused recipes, and taste Guyana’s world-famous rums.
This is a new offering in Guyana of which the two licensed operators are offering certain sites or elements of the areas listed above. For more information, contact Dagron Tours at 223-7921 or [email protected] and Wilderness Explorers at 226-2085 or [email protected] Alternatively, visit the GTA’s website for an overview of the Guyana Rum Route.
call +(592) 219-0093
February 14, 2020
St Vincent’s Largest Ever Tourism Project – a Five-Star Luxury Resort – Breaks Ground
St Vincent and The Grenadines is embarking on its most ambitious tourism project to date – the Royal Mill Hotel Luxury Resort and Residences which is set to be a premier 5-Star private community and contender among luxury resorts in the region.
The single largest private sector tourism investment in the country is being undertaken by A&A Capital.
And Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves expects it to have huge spin-off potential.
“Upwards of 400 families island-wide are expected to benefit directly or indirectly from the hotel. I anticipate a major shift in our tourism economies and wealth creation through direct employment, taxes and National Insurance contributions,” he said.
“Though St Vincent and the Grenadines entered the mass tourism market late, it is evident through other hotels on the island that our country’s product is of excellent stature. Overall, I expect the Royal Mill to be an immense contribution to the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Currently, the staff base at the construction site is about 70 workers, and that is expected to increase considerably to more than 200 in the coming months. The local job creation from the project ranges from site engineers to foremen, masons, carpenters and other labourers.
The US$60 million Royal Mill Hotel Luxury Resort will comprise 15 independent and private residence homes, while the resort will provide 18 high-rise apartment units and two rooftop penthouse units. The property will house a business centre, a conference/meeting centre, a gym, an aqua centre, an exclusive spa, a pool area and bar, an urban lounge viewing the ocean, a rooftop bar and restaurant and parking for more than 60 vehicles.
The residence portion of the project has an expected completion date of December 2020, while the hotel section is due to be done by mid-2022.
Principal Investor and co-founder of A & A Capital, Alex Lodde said he was happy to see the pace of the new development, and the cooperation and assistance of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Government, and was looking forward to the completion of the project.
CEO and Co-Founder of A&A Capital, Adem Adem, added that he was excited about the Royal Mill Hotel project and looked forward to it benefitting the country.
“I have been visiting St Vincent and the Grenadines for the past 15 years and I never thought I would have seen this day and our dream has come true. I am grateful for the commitment of my team, the support of family and the warm welcome of the people and the leadership of St Vincent and the Grenadines,” he said.
“It is important to note that the most critical aspect of the project for us is ensuring that the people of the country benefit meaningfully from a trickle-down economy and are always safe and secure while employed at the hotel. We see the Royal Mill Hotel spanning generations of St Vincent and the Grenadines.”
He further assured that A&A Capital was strongly committed to and invested in the completion and longevity of the development.
“One of the major proofs of commitment is the levels of employment already realized as well as the importation and purchase of millions of dollars’ worth of major equipment and material, both for construction of the hotel and for use by St Vincent and the Grenadines. We realized the need for heavy-duty equipment on the island and felt that the country can benefit from our equipment resources as well. We have also purchased over 10 million dollars’ worth of integral material which would fulfil the completion of the hotel,” he said.
The Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG) has given its backing to the project. The bank, through its Managing Director Derry Williams, has acted as a principal collaborator.
“As a bank, we must provide assurances to investors coming into any unknown to take investment risks. From our end, it’s not just about conducting the investor’s transactions effectively but also providing feedback from the banking community, the trajectory of the economy and governing policies. The passion, thoughtfulness and commitment to developing St Vincent and the Grenadines were also very important. A&A Capital has proven, to date, their commitment to the project and seeing it to its absolute fruition and this is truly good news for our country,” Williams said.
Camillo Gonsalves, Minister of Finance and Parliamentary Representative for East St George – the constituency in which the project is located – this is the exact type of tourism that the country is interested in leveraging.
“One which brings people into the island and will realize an entire set of ancillary spin-offs which will benefit the economy. Already, the construction sectors are profiting from the construction phase of the project,” he said.
In addition to the Royal Mill Hotel Development, A&A Capital has acquired the family-owned Grand View Hotel. Renovation works have already started on the 20-room boutique hotel.
“This boutique property will be ideally positioned for tourists, regional travellers, businesses and organizations that wish to host conferences on the island. It will also play host to special events and weddings….Works are progressing rapidly to have the small property ready for guests in April 2020,” Lodde said.
February 14, 2020
ROYAL CARIBBEAN SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH ANTIGUA FOR FIRST ROYAL BEACH CLUB
New Destination Concept Customized for Cruise Guests
MIAMI, Feb. 13, 2020 – Royal Caribbean International and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, along with the assistance of the Consulate General of Antigua and Barbuda, have signed an agreement for the company’s first Royal Beach Club. The agreement marks the start of the planning and development for the Royal Beach Club scheduled to break ground later this year.
Created exclusively for Royal Caribbean guests, the Royal Beach Club at Antigua will sit along more than a half-mile of pristine beachfront and combine the island’s striking beaches with the cruise line’s signature service and amenities. The ultimate beach club experience will offer guests exceptional views from private cabanas and a stunning pool with a swim-up bar, complemented by locally inspired experiences. Featuring regional fare, island-style BBQs, live music, along with thrills such as jet skis, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and a family splash pad, the beach club will make for an unforgettable day at the beach.
“The Royal Beach Club will deliver a memorable beach day to our guests,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Together with the government of Antigua and Barbuda, we will bring to life an experience that will bring more visitors to these idyllic islands and create significant economic benefits and opportunities. In addition, we are looking at ways for the local community to also enjoy the beach club on days our ships are in other destinations.”
The cruise line has also committed to bringing Symphony of the Seas to the island nation with a call on November 3, 2020. Docking at the island capital of St. John’s, guests on board Symphony will have the opportunity to experience the rich culture and heritage of the island, delectable delicacies and some of the world’s best beaches.
The Honorable Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development and Investments, Government of Antigua and Barbuda, said: “The government of Antigua and Barbuda is truly grateful and appreciative that Royal Caribbean’s first Royal Beach Club will be in Antigua, which confirms confidence in our twin island state. We are also excited to share our beautiful island with guests sailing aboard Royal Caribbean ships when they begin calling to the island later this year.”
About Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International has been delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Each successive class of ships is an architectural marvel featuring the latest technology and guest experiences for today’s adventurous traveler. The cruise line continues to revolutionize vacations with itineraries to more than 270 destinations in 72 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first in the Perfect Day Island Collection. Royal Caribbean has also been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 17 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.
Media can stay up to date by following @RoyalCaribPR
Royal Caribbean PR (@RoyalCaribPR) | Twitter
January 29, 2020
NEW CEO APPOINTED FOR NEVIS TOURISM AUTHORITY
Nevis, W.I (January 29, 2020)- The Nevis Tourism Authority, (NTA) has a new CEO. The NTA Board of Directors conducted an exhaustive review of more than 40 applicants. These 40+ applicants were shortlisted based on their knowledge of the destination, background in tourism, industry experience and qualifications. The board conducted extensive interviews with the finalists which focused on their vision to grow the destination, relevant and creative traditional and digital marketing strategies, proposals for engaging domestic and international stakeholders, human resource competencies and the ability to manage limited resources.
Ms. Jadine Yarde has been selected as the new head of the NTA. She is an American born, and has Barbadian and Grenadian citizenship. Ms. Yarde has lived in the major US cities of Boston and New York for the majority of her life, before moving to Barbados and working in tourism, marketing and entertainment and later as a consultant in both Barbados and Grenada. She has worked with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc and has been involved in the development of Limitless Concierge Service, which is a Barbadian and Grenadian based concierge service. This has allowed her to immerse in the Caribbean lifestyle while understanding the traditional tourist and their needs and wants. With over 10 years of experience in marketing, tourism and entertainment, Ms. Yarde, who holds a BSc in Marketing, brings to the table a creative vision for the future of Nevis’ tourism industry, an analytic tourism outlook, a strong digital marketing mindset and clear understanding of how important a business’ digital footprint is.
Ms Yarde assumes office effectively on February 1st , 2020.
MEDIA CONTACT: Portfolio Marketing Group, Nana Delatour Tel: 212.490.2098 Email: [email protected]
January 22, 2020
SAINT LUCIA DOES IT YET AGAIN CAPTURING NUMEROUS ACCOLADES AT 27TH ANNUAL WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS
Castries- (January 22, 2020) Fresh off the heels of the announcement naming Saint Lucia as the World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination 2019, the inspirational Caribbean Island has done it yet again, this time capturing the title of Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination 2020, at the 27th Annual World Travel Awards (WTA) that took place on January 20, 2020 in Nassau, Bahamas. Saint Lucia has won this award a record 11 times, with the most recent honor coming in 2019. World Travel Awards is the pre-eminent leader in the travel and tourism industry recognizing and upholding excellence across all sectors.
Upon receiving the award, Tourism Minister, Honourable Dominic Fedee noted, “We are encouraged by this award and it demonstrates Saint Lucia’s commitment to excellence and our unmatched romance product offerings. The destination offers limitless inspiration that is second to none and it just doesn’t get more romantic than that.”
The red-carpet World Travel Awards Gala Ceremony also bestowed honors on several distinguished industry partners. Marigot Bay Resort Spa & Marina has been named Saint Lucia’s Leading Beach Resort 2020, Boucan by Hotel Chocolat – Saint Lucia’s Leading Hotel 2020 and Hertz Car Rental - Saint Lucia’s Leading Car Rental Company 2020. Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa and Beach Resort was named in two categories, namely Saint Lucia’s Leading resort 2020 and Caribbean's Leading Honeymoon Resort 2020.
Apart from winning the highly coveted award, Saint Lucia was also nominated in three other categories, namely Caribbean's Leading Cruise Destination 2020, Caribbean's Leading Destination 2020 and Caribbean's Leading Luxury Island Destination 2020.
The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) remains resolute in its mandate to market Saint Lucia globally as the experiential destination of top choice and the island where the greatest love stories unfold and where romance is unsurpassed. In that vein, the Authority will continue to target the weddings & honeymoon market - a major niche in its marketing agenda.
For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888 4STLUCIA or visit http://stlucia.org/
January 13, 2020
BELIZE REACHES HALF MILLION IN OVERNIGHT TOURISM ARRIVALS
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.
December 30, 2019
Barbados Named Top Place To Travel In 2020
Travel + Leisure magazine has released its list of 50 Best Places to Travel in 2020, and Barbados has made the cut.
The annual anticipated list of cities and countries put Barbados in the company of top tourism destinations such as Hawaii, Dubai and France.
A world leader in travel and tourism, the magazine touted Barbados as “largely famous for its powder-white beaches, British-colonial roots, manifold rum shops, and native daughter Rihanna”.
In compiling the list, Travel + Leisure said: “For definitive answers on the best vacation spots of the moment, we hit the books scouring tourism statistics; scoping out major events; charting new flight routes and logging hotel debuts.”
Perhaps the most unique highlight of the destination in the article was next year’s national initiative, We Gatherin’.
“The country’s first female Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley sent out a rallying cry for anyone with Bajan roots to return to the island in 2020 to partake in a year-long calendar of events celebrating Bajan heritage and culture,” the article cited.
The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) is working to promote We Gatherin’ in its top source markets, especially engaging the diaspora to get involved in the 52 weeks of events and investment opportunities which kick off on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, with a free picnic at River Bay, St. Lucy. For more on We Gatherin’ visit https://www.wegatherinbarbados.com
The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) is working to promote We Gatherin’ in its top source markets, especially engaging the diaspora to get involved in the 52 weeks of events and investment opportunities which kick off on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, with a free picnic at River Bay, St. Lucy.
For more on We Gatherin’ visit https://www.wegatherinbarbados.com (BGIS)
November 12, 2019
St. Thomas has been named the number one cruise destination in the Caribbean.
Alani Henneman-Todman, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism +1 340 774-8784
Bevan Springer, Marketplace Excellence +1 201 861-2056
The "Best Caribbean Cruise Destination" honor was bestowed upon the island by Porthole Cruise Magazine's readers in its 21st Annual Readers' Choice Awards, the results of which are published in the November/December 2019 issue.
Award winners were determined by thousands of readers and online fans of the magazine, who voted for their favorites in 51 cruise-related categories.
"We are encouraged by this accolade, which tells us that even as we work on improving our visitor experience, we have an excellent foundation upon which to build," said Joseph Boschulte, Commissioner of Tourism.
At the recent Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association's Cruise Conference and Trade Show in Puerto Rico, Governor of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) Albert Bryan Jr. shared essential developments within the sector. These include dredging projects, the addition of a new port in the Charlotte Amalie harbor, improvements on Main Street and upland plans for Crown Bay.
"I always look forward to seeing the results of our Readers' Choice Awards because our readers are discerning travelers who have stunningly high standards for every part of the cruise experience," said Bill Panoff, publisher and editor-in-chief of Porthole Cruise Magazine.
"For St. Thomas to be voted the Best Caribbean Cruise Destination in the 2019 Readers' Choice Awards truly illustrates St. Thomas' stature as the gateway to the Caribbean and the absolutely stunning way that all the island has to offer - the landscape, the music, the food, the hospitality - really exceeds our readers' expectations," he added.
Commissioner Boschulte said the cruise industry is a critical pillar of the tourism sector and he was motivated by Governor Bryan's declaration to position the USVI as the number one tourism destination in the Caribbean by employing robust public-private partnerships.
Porthole Cruise Magazine is a leading cruise-travel magazine, available on newsstands and online.
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.
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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