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.

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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.

Southern Palms Beach Club & Resort Hotel is located on the popular and touristy St. Lawrence Gap on the south coast of the island. The location within walking distance to numerous bars, restaurants, and entertainment is safe and convenient. A large property, Southern Palms has one of the best beachfronts in the area -- the stretch of sand is both scenic and spacious. Colonial-style buildings and lush gardens populate the property, and quirky perks, such as a mini-golf course and shuffleboard, give guests plenty to do. The rooms are basic and dated, but cheerful, with bright tropical colors. 


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May 23, 2019

Re-branding the Bahamas 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.”


May 07, 2019

U.S. Virgin Islands Celebrates Travel and Tourism Month / Author Alani Henneman-Todman

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS - Governor Albert Bryan, Jr., recently signed a proclamation marking May 2019 as Virgin Islands Travel and Tourism Month throughout the Territory. The proclamation calls upon U.S. Virgin Islands residents to observe the month by attending the scheduled cultural activities and cleanups arranged by the Department of Tourism across St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas.

virgin island klAccording to the proclamation, "the events planned by the Department of Tourism will connect the dots of Virgin Islands culture and heritage and offer fresh new insights in how residents and industry partners can nurture an enormous global industry that can continue to drive economic growth in [the] Territory."

Tourism is the largest industry in the Territory. In 2018, the Territory welcomed more than 1.4 million cruise passengers and nearly 500,000 air arrivals, totaling 1.9 million visitors. Spending by visitors Territory-wide last year generated an estimated $917,319,134; averaging $2.5 million per day, more than $104,000 spent each hour and $1,745.28 each minute.

"The tourism and hospitality industry in the United States Virgin Islands is vital to the Territory's growth and maintaining long-lasting economic stability in the region. As the melting pot of the Caribbean, interactions with visitors and the revenue that follows contribute substantially to the cultural and social dynamic of our people," stated the proclamation.

National Tourism Week takes place May 20 to 25. The Department of Tourism urges the public to participate on May 21 by wearing red to represent support of the department's endeavors, and on May 25 by meeting for a tourism cleanup. Cleanups will take place on St. Croix at STX Historic Towns; on St. John at Cruz Bay and Coral Bay; and on St. Thomas at Charlotte Amalie, Red Hook and Smith Bay.

Cleanups will take place from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a prize will be awarded in each district to the agency that collects the most trash bags.

"Without supportive and engaged stakeholders, direct and indirect, our tourism product would not be as successful as it is today," said Tourism Commissioner Designee Joseph Boschulte, who added that National Tourism Week allows the department to lock arms with the community "as we celebrate our culture and share in our common values."

Other events include a coal pot competition at Emancipation Garden on St. Thomas; a Little Library launch at the Department of Tourism Park on St. John; and a Little Library launch at Frederiksted Health Clinic on St. Croix. The Department of Tourism will also conduct school visits throughout the Territory.

To participate in the cleanups, contact Neelia Ross on St. Croix at 340-772-0357, [email protected]; Francilia Williams on St. John, 340-776-6450, [email protected]; or Keezi Pinney on St. Thomas, 340-774-8784, [email protected]


May 03, 2019

Millennials new Tourism target – says Barbados' Tourism Director

Article by

Katrina King /Barbados Today

Millennials are being targeted in “a very big way” as the nation’s tourism promoter banks on the 22-37-year-olds’ lust for experiences to boost visitor numbers.

Director of US operations for the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., Petra Roach, announced that in keeping with industry trends, Barbados will not only be focused on ‘legacy’ or return visitors but also millennials who are seeking an “experiential travel experience”, as the BTMI sought to showcase more than sun sand and sea”.

“[Millennials] have money to spend [and] they also are the future. We have an aging demographic traditionally in Barbados and we are making sure that in 2020 we are not going to be looking around and saying ‘where are our visitors?’” Roach said.

The BTMI has been participating in millennial travel forums, talking to adventure tour operators and focusing more on the US market, she said.

There is also renewed focus on multi-generational travel and on enhancing the experience for legacy visitors, she added.

“Hoteliers are becoming much more aware that that is a market that is becoming very profitable and they are adapting their product to make sure we keep in line with where that trend is going.

“We are not just looking for a customer who comes in one time and then they never come back again we are looking at building a legacy visitor so therefore we are focused on all the niches that Barbados has.

“When you talk to people on an emotional level you are talking about the heritage, the culture [and] the historical affinity.”

Roach stressed that the island’s tourism product was fuelled by service and a multifaceted culture.

“Tourism is the driving force behind the economic viability of Barbados and we need to make sure that we do it in a responsible way and that we build an industry that will be lasting for generations to come,” she said.

But the BTMI’s director of US operations was adamant that the new, hefty tourism levies would not deter visitors once the experience beat their expectations.

“In every country, there is going to be taxation and I think that rather than sitting down thinking about what the barriers are and the challenges, we have got to sit up and take responsibility for our future from a very proactive perspective.

“Okay, we have taxes, so then make sure that the product that we have is exceptional and when they come here the service that they get is going to be exceptional.

She continued: “Don’t think about what the overall cost of the holiday is going to think of how exceptional we can make that holiday.

“If you go to Florida there is a tax for golf, there is a resort tax, taxes are everywhere because that is how people make money.”


May 01, 2019

Barbados Travel Agents and Media Get to Know Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean

Author Jennifer Johnson

ST.GEORGE’S, GRENADA W.I. – The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), hosted a successful destination marketing reception in Barbados for the first time since 2016. A large contingent of travel agents and media turned out for the Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean promotion at the Savannah Beach Hotel on Thursday April 25, 2019. The GTA along with hotel partners and tour operators were on hand for an evening of food, drink and entertainment by Grenadian born Leigh Phillips followed by an in depth presentation on the unique selling points of the destination.

Barbados BBSenator Rudy Grant, CEO of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), William Griffith, CEO of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), Soni Kessuram, Chairman of Intimate Hotels of Barbados and Johnson Johnrose, Communications Specialist of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) came out in support of their neighbouring tourism colleagues.

Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Patricia Maher, started the evening off by saying to the gathering, “We are blessed to be representing the naturally beautiful, Caribbean region where we have so many similarities in culture, heritage, food and music.” She said the evening would be a showcase of what makes the tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique unique as a destination.

Ms. Maher also highlighted to the media, the importance of Barbados to regional tourism as it was the second largest Caribbean source market for Grenada in 2018. Grenada’s overall double-digit growth performance of the destination in total visitor arrivals for cruise, yachting and stayover in 2018 (528,077) was also highlighted. In addition Maher confirmed that the first quarter stayover visitor numbers from January to March 2019 (45,151) were 5.11% ahead of the previous year’s strong performance.

Marketing Manager, Francine Stewart delved into the details of the tri island destination’s unique traits from Carriacou’s boat building tradition to the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park. With 2019 being the CTO’s official year of festivals, she highlighted the annual calendar of events that draw visitors from Barbados including the Billfish Tournament in January, the Chocolate Festival in May and the annual SpiceMas carnival in August. Ms. Stewart also announced the line-up of artists for the newly formed Grenada Music Festival in Quarantine Point from June 7 – 9, 2019 which includes headliners Keri Hilson, Freddie Jackson and Ky-mani Marley.

GTA Marketing Executive, Shanai St. Bernard, drew business cards to select winners for prizes at True Blue Bay Resort, Kalinago, Point Salines Hotel, Sandals Grenada and St. James Travel & Tours. Both Ms. Stewart and Ms. St. Bernard made appearances at Television and radio stations on Thursday.

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