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Tourism Updates

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.




November 20, 2019


ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA CELEBRATES SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE WITH LAUNCH OF ‘COME HOME IN DECEMBER’ DIASPORA SWEEPSTAKES

 

'Come Home' campaign is geared

towards the Antigua and Barbuda diaspora)

(ST. JOHN’S ANTIGUA, NOVEMBER 20, 2019) - Following a dynamic year of award-winning marketing campaigns, new events, and hotel openings, The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is excited to be celebrating an even greater milestone. By December 2019, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism stayover arrivals would have reached over 300,000. And, with the launch of a new ‘Come home' sweepstakes, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is inviting the Antiguan and Barbudan diaspora to join in on the celebrations.

“The destination has received tremendous growth since 2018, and we are proud to know that by December 2019, we would have met and surpassed our target of 300,000 stay-over visitor arrivals,” said Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, The Honourable Charles Fernandez. “We have to recognise each and every one employed in the tourism industry, who have welcomed visitors to our shores and whose deliverance of quality customer care ensures our visitors have an amazing experience while they are here.”

“Reaching 300,000 stay-over tourism arrivals is a significant milestone,” said CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C. James. “We have incredible partnerships with stakeholders throughout the industry, who have been instrumental in bringing us to this milestone, and who are as committed as we are to driving tourism growth.”

As Antigua and Barbuda Tourism officials push to reach the 300,000 mark, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has launched a sweepstake specifically targeted to the global diaspora.

“The Antigua and Barbuda diaspora are travelers too. And we are inviting them to ‘Come home in December’ to reconnect with family and friends, and ring in the new decade in Antigua and Barbuda,” said James.

The ‘Come Home in December’ promotion entices Antiguans and Barbudans living abroad to come home during the month of December for a chance to win a free 3-night, 4-day trip back to Antigua during summer of 2020. The promotion officially kicks-off today, November 20, 2019.

The sweepstake is open to citizens of Antigua and Barbuda living abroad and persons of Antiguan and Barbudan heritage. Persons must enter on the www.visitantiguabarbuda.com website and be able to prove booking and travel between December 1 and December 31, 2019. One winner will be selected from each of Antigua and Barbuda’s main source markets in the USA, Canada, U.K. & Europe and the Caribbean. Winners will be selected by random drawing and will be expected to show proof of citizenship and heritage or lineage. Visit www.visitantiguabarbuda.com to enter and for full details and terms and conditions.


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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

[email protected]

Bevan Springer, Marketplace Excellence +1 201 861-2056

[email protected]


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.


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November 05, 2019


Global Tourism Resilience Centre provides relief for Bahamas 


LONDON, United Kingdom - November 4, 2019: Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett today handed over US$50 thousand to Director General of the Bahamas Tourism and Aviation Ministry, Mrs. Joy Jibrilu at the second Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCM) Board of Governors Meeting in London today.

The money, forms part of the overall relief fund established by the GTRCM to support tourism-ravaged economies impacted by disruptions such as natural disasters and pandemics.

Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm, hit the Bahamas last month as one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes to make landfall. The storm caused widespread flooding and destruction.

“This donation symbolizes the Centre’s commitment to assisting tourism dependent states that are vulnerable to disruptions to recover and rebound. Two islands of the Bahamas suffered much damage from the passage of hurricane Dorian and still needs support to rebuild and this contribution will go towards that,” said Minister Bartlett.

In collaboration with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), the GTRCM is providing US$100,000 in support of the tourism ravaged economies of the Bahamas and other areas in the Caribbean that may be impacted in the future. The JHTA has contributed US$20,000 to assist in relief efforts through the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the GTRCM.

In accepting the donation, Director General, Mrs. Jibrilu said “On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation and Government of the Bahamas, I am pleased to accept this contribution which will help with our recovery and rebuilding efforts. This show of support is deeply appreciated and shows the importance of collaboration on issues of disaster and crisis management.”

The fund will also go towards the commissioning of a baseline study to assess the vulnerabilities of the Caribbean to major disruptions such as hurricanes, pandemics and epidemics and building capacity to deal with them.

“Global trends show that given the dynamic and devastating nature of these disruptions, building resilience to predict, manage and recover from these disruptions has become even more critical and that is what the GTRCM has been established to do,” added Minister Bartlett.

The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre's mission includes assisting global tourism destinations with destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that affect tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.


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October 31, 2019


Cruise Industry Shows It Is Open for Business with Destinations and Stakeholders at the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show


Cruise lines prove willingness to partner with destinations and stakeholders, with landmark agreements, historic delegations and the most-ever meetings taking center stage at the largest and only official cruise conference and trade show representing the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America.

Miramar, FL (October 28, 2019) - The cruise industry embarked in San Juan, Puerto Rico last week with a clear message: cruise lines are ready, willing and able to partner with and invest in destinations and stakeholders for long-term mutual success. That message rang throughout the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show - the largest and only official cruise conference and trade show representing the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America, which took place Oct. 21-25 - through symbols including both the most presidents and above from FCCA Member Lines, which make up more than 95 percent of the global ocean cruising capacity, and the most meetings in the event's 26-year history, leading to everything from landmark agreements to opportunities for all participants.

"We cannot be more honored by the success of the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show because it truly represents mutual success for stakeholders and cruise lines," said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. "This is the event's, and the FCCA's, main mission and reason for creation, and it was on display by everything from 'historic' agreements for Saint Lucia to every attendee having an opportunity to meet with cruise executives that can benefit their business."

Nearly 150 high-level cruise executives, including 13 presidents and above, from FCCA Member Lines took part in the Conference's series of meetings, workshops and networking functions, as well as the Trade Show, which featured a revamped format offering exhibiting opportunities along with a host of private receptions and the most meetings in event history - with 467 pre-scheduled meetings for Trade Show Pavilion holders, including private meetings with presidents and above, as well as the first dedicated session with Shorex executives.

While every Delegate had opportunities to learn from and build business with the influential audience - including one-on-one meetings that were available with cruise executives who decide where ships call, what is sold and used onboard, and how to invest in destination products and developments - landmark agreements took center stage and served as an example of what the executives discussed during their speeches and workshops: cruise lines are looking to partner with and invest in destinations and stakeholders.

During the event, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of Saint Lucia, a signing that Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Honourable Allen Chastanet called "historic" and "a major step towards enhancing Saint Lucia's tourism product."

As part of the MOU, the cruise companies and the government of Saint Lucia will establish a long-term concession agreement to formalize the terms and responsibilities for the joint venture to manage and operate the current cruise pier and terminal facilities at the Port of Castries. Additionally, the joint venture will design, finance, construct and operate a new cruise port in Vieux Fort on the southern part of the island that will be able to accommodate the latest and most innovative ships in the cruise industry.


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October 25, 2019


BTMI /Barbados Tourism CEO- Mr William Griffith tendered his resignation today.


Johnson JohnRose | Communications Specialist | Caribbean Tourism Organization

7th Floor | Baobab Tower | Warrens l St. Michael | BB22026 | Barbados


The Board of Directors of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) has announced that its CEO, William ‘Billy’ Griffith, tendered his resignation today, effective December 31, 2019, to give the organisation an opportunity to recruit a new leader and ensure a smooth transition as his contract comes to an end.

Chairman of the Board, Sunil Chatrani, thanked Griffith for his significant contribution to the organisation since its inception in 2014 and wished him the best in his future endeavours. Chatrani added that the search for a new CEO will commence immediately as the organisation transitions into a public / private sector partnership (PPP).

Speaking on his departure, Griffith said that “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have given back to my country by contributing to its most valued sector. I am also extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve in the past five years. Barbados is a truly unique destination with so much to offer, and it is with pride that we have worked as a team to showcase that to the world.”

During his tenure, Griffith spearheaded a 30 percent increase in visitor arrivals to Barbados to an all-time record of 682,000 in 2018, as air capacity to the island also grew by 22 percent. Total Visitor expenditure also increased by 34 percent during the period to USD $1.2 billion in 2018. Griffith oversaw high profile partnerships on behalf of the BTMI that led to the introduction of new flights to the island including Copa Airlines direct from Panama which began in 2018, and the Lufthansa direct service from Frankfurt, Germany, which commences Monday. His leadership of the organization also resulted in the destination receiving several major awards during his tenure as well as his personal achievement of being awarded ‘Caribbean Tourism Director of the Year 2019’ by Carib Journal earlier this year.

Wishing the BTMI continued success and lauding its talented and hard working staff, Griffith said he’s looking forward to his new professional journey.


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October 18, 2019 


ROYAL CARIBBEAN PREDICTS 50 PER CENT RISE IN CRUISE PASSENGER ARRIVALS BY 2030


MEDIA CONTACT

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.


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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.


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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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