Caribbean Travel

Caribbean Travel

Tue, 02 Feb 2010 16:25:31 +0000: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO LAUNCHES TOURISM QUALITY SERVICE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMME - Caribbean Tourism Organization - News
PORT OF SPAIN: In a move to increase Trinidad and Tobago’s share of the lucrative global tourism market, the Tourism Development Company Limited (TDC) on Wednesday launched a National Tourism Quality Service Improvement Programme (NTQSIP).

 

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A three year multi-faceted programme with a projected cost of TT$9 million, the NTQSIP aims to train and develop tourism industry service providers to improve the quality of service delivery in the tourism industry.

“Merely developing sites and attractions or putting in place an aggressive marketing strategy will not be enough to achieve our long-term growth targets for our local tourism industry. We are putting in place an integrated plan and we are paying more attention to service excellence in particular, as ultimately, it is visitors’ experience in our country that will make them want to return or not,” said Trinidad and Tobago’s Tourism Minister the Honourable Joseph Ross at the launch of the programme.

The TDC has partnered with FreemanGroup Service Solutions to roll-out the programme which targets all hospitality employees, ports of entry personnel, academia and hospitality students with a comprehensive and integrated approach to building a sustainable culture of service excellence in Trinidad and Tobago.

“The National Tourism Quality Service Improvement Programme will be an ideal platform to visibly change the national culture emphasising excellence in customer service at all levels and on a continuous basis,” the Tourism Minister added.

Also speaking at the launch, which was attended by key business, Government and tourism industry stakeholders, was TDC Chairman Brian Awang.

“As the world economy recovers and we prepare for an upsurge in business opportunities following the successful hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and Fifth Summit of the Americas, there is no better time to embark on this critical cultural change,” said Awang.

In a 30 minute presentation, Bill Freeman, CEO of FreemanGroup Service Solutions, explained the scheduled roll-out of the programme, which will include a comprehensive diagnostic of the product, policy development and implementation of intensive training and mentorship programmes to ensure that a culture of quality service becomes ingrained in the national psyche.

“Industry and societal adaptation and adoption of an attitude towards a culture of service excellence, as will be fostered by the National Tourism Quality Service Improvement Programme, is not only for foreign visitors, but for ourselves. This initiative is first, and foremost, for an improved quality of life and enrichment of the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” noted TDC President and Director of Tourism Ernest Littles in his remarks.

The NTQSIP is the latest in a series of ongoing quality service initiatives which include customer service training for tour guides, tour operators, transport providers and personnel within our ports of entry and a “We Too Nice Not To Be Nice” public sensitisation campaign.

The TDC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Tobago House of Assembly, also continues to work closely with the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards in the implementation of national tourism standards and codes of practice covering a broad range of service providers in the tourism industry.


Mon, 30 Nov 2009 18:11:22 +0000: ANGUILLA EMERGES AS NEW DESTINATION FOR INCENTIVES & MEETINGS TRAVEL TO THE CARIBBEAN - Caribbean Tourism Organization - News

NEW YORK, NY - November, 2009 -- Anguilla, the serene island paradise in the Caribbean, known for its tranquility, beauty and famed upscale resorts is developing new initiatives with substantial reasons for incentive and meeting planners to take a closer look at this unspoiled, tropical island getaway.

In dealing with the Caribbean, incentive and meeting planners have grown accustomed to common destinations such as the Bahamas, Bermuda, Jamaica, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. But what industry planners truly value is finding something undiscovered -- with qualities that can deliver a special and rich experience for their clients or organization.

Anguilla is a small island with a huge reputation. It is a British overseas territory tucked away in the northern Caribbean, consisting of 35 square miles of magic, history and beauty. Some unique features include 33 pristine, powder-white sand beaches considered to be among the best in the world, exclusive luxury resorts, a gracious and welcoming people, and a plethora of dining and activity options for the discerning traveler.

Its character and relaxing atmosphere make Anguilla the perfect destination for top performers who want to escape rowdy crowds, big cruise ships and loud music. While there is no international airport, we accommodate luxury jet service without congestion.  Here too, we choose to celebrate the things we do not have; no commercial harbors, no mass cruise ships.

Anguilla, by design has deliberately shied away from over-development and mass tourism. The island exudes warmth and is genuinely welcoming, small and secluded, it encompasses tranquility at it's best.

“If you are an incentive or meeting planner searching for a distinctive retreat or incentive program, an Anguillian welcome awaits you. You will discover that Anguilla is the ideal destination offering an exquisite, unparalleled experience for your group,” says Marie Walker, Director of North America, for the Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB). “The intimacy of the island, our old-fashioned hospitality, and our high levels of service make Anguilla the idyllic setting for small, high-level, executive board or group meetings and top-tier incentive programs.”

An improved Web site (www.anguilla-vacation.com) now offers a meetings and incentives section that provides planners with a downloadable brochure, listings of hotels with group capabilities, sample itineraries, ways to download requests for proposals for Anguillan properties and information on site inspection programs.

Getting to Anguilla is easy. American Eagle has non-stop daily flights from San Juan, Puerto Rico. And the neighboring island of St. Maarten offers another possible route to Anguilla via a seven-minute flight or a twenty-minute ferry from Marigot Bay. Private executive jet charter can also be arranged from San Juan to Anguilla via Anguilla Air Express on Rainbow International Airlines.

Why Anguilla for Incentives and Meetings:

ACCOMMODATIONS -- In keeping with its idyllic, understated elegant atmosphere, the island has wisely limited its development to discreet upscale hotels and elegant resorts. This has given Anguilla an enviable reputation for world-class accommodations. The island also offers luxury villas, guest houses, self-catering apartments, and cottages to suit a variety of different tastes and budgets.

EXQUISITE DINING -- With some 100 fine dining and local restaurants, Anguilla has become an epicurean’s delight. … thus, making it a breeze to create unique/highly personalized dine around programs for the most discerning planner.

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES -- Anguilla’s cultural activities, annual events and festivals can enhance any group programs. From its annual music festivals to its traditional boat racing and yacht regatta races to its annual summer festivals, Anguilla stirs the senses and delights visitors from day to night.

LEISURE AND BEST-OF-CLASS AMENITIES -- Anguilla offers a plethora of choices to entertain, relax and rejuvenate attendees; including a Greg Norman signature 18-hole golf course, spa and wellness treatments, horseback riding, chic art galleries and evening entertainment.

CUSTOM ARRANGEMENTS -- Destination Management Companies can provide: Group itineraries, themed dinners at exquisite private villas, fun in the sea, catamaran cruises, snorkel safaris, and exquisite scuba diving, as well as custom golf, tennis and volleyball tournaments. Event specialists within the resorts or tourist board representatives can further support all these initiatives. 

To learn more about Anguilla, call the Anguilla Tourist Board at 1-877-4 ANGUILLA or visit www.anguilla-vacation.com/meetings-incentives.

Media Contact:
Angela Sinto
212-593-6415


Wed, 18 Nov 2009 16:37:34 +0000: THREE BARBADIAN MUSIC SENSATIONS, SHONTELLE, HAL LINTON AND VITA CHAMBERS TO PERFORM IN 2009 UNITED WAY THANKSGIVING DAY HALFTIME SHOW: A MOTOWN 50TH ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE - Caribbean Tourism Organization - News

Bridgetown, BARBADOS (November 18, 2009) – The American tradition of combining Thanksgiving and football is adding another element to Thanksgiving Day: three Barbados-born performers – Shontelle, Hal Linton, and Vita Chambers, singing the classic songs of Motown.

The 2009 United Way Thanksgiving Day Halftime Show: “A Motown 50th Anniversary Tribute,” will take place during the first game of the NFL’s Thanksgiving tripleheader when the Detroit Lions host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, November 26 at 12:30 PM ET on FOX.    

The Motor City will be filled with the Thanksgiving spirit, as Shontelle, Hal Linton, Vita Chambers and the other Motown halftime performers, Melanie Fiona, Forever The Sickest Kids, and Kem join United Way the week of their performance to volunteer at the Detroit Boys & Girls Club’s “I Am Thankful” Dinner on Tuesday, November 24 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Shontelle, Linton and Chambers are all proud of their Bajan roots. “It’s a really proud time for us,” Linton said as he spoke about the rising success of Barbadian musicians. “Barbados is a real musical town and that shows by the amount of artist coming out from there.”

After Linton’s first single “Cardiac Arrest” was released in 2007, he was likened to musical legends Marvin Gaye, Prince and D’Angelo. In 2009, Shontelle won the Barbados Music Award for “Song of the Year” for her single “T-Shirt,” and Chambers has recently signed with Universal Motown Records.

Shontelle adds, “Barbados, the most easterly island in the Caribbean is small, completely accessible and a friendly wonderland, booming with life, wonderful people, vibrant culture and art; the best beaches; top rated hotels and resorts; award-winning restaurants and the best local food on the planet! If you are a nature lover, it doesn't get much more beautiful than Barbados.”

Shontelle, Hal Linton and Vita Chambers fans can visitwww.nfl.com/thanksgiving to find out how to download a copy of the halftime performance, as well as music from the other Motown halftime performers. Proceeds will benefit United Way.

For more information on travel to Barbados, contact the Barbados Tourism Authority at (866) 566-0956 or www.visitbarbados.org.    

About Barbados

The island of Barbados offers the most authentic Caribbean experience with its exceptionally rich culture and history rooted in remarkable landscapes, including The Crane beach, St. Philips, voted one of the world’s sexiest beaches for 2008 by Concierge.com.  Barbados is the first and only Zagat-rated Caribbean island with numerous internationally renowned chefs who masterfully put signature spins on local delicacies and traditions. Barbados is also an ideal stage for world-class events and has hosted numerous athletic championships, including the ICC Cricket World Cup Final 2007 and the 2006 PGA World Golf Championship-The Barbados World Cup. Accommodations range from picturesque plantation houses and villas to quaint bed and breakfasts to award-winning five-star resorts. The newly renovated Grantley Adams International Airport offers even more non-stop and direct service from a growing number of U.S. cities via newly-launched Jet Blue, Air Jamaica, American Airlines, Delta and US Airways, making Barbados the true gateway to the Eastern Caribbean.  Barbados was voted #8 in the World by Trip Advisor’s ‘2008 Travelers Choice Destination Awards’ in its Top 100 Destinations category.  Follow the Barbados beat and catch up on the latest news via the Barbados Facebook page atwww.tinyurl.com/barbadosbeat and Twitter atwww.twitter.com/barbadostourism.  For more information on travel to Barbados, visit www.visitbarbados.org, or contact the Barbados Tourism Authority at 1.800.221.9831.
 

Media Contacts:

Kara Hoffman / Stephanie Borris
The Brandman Agency
(212) 683-2442
kara@brandmanpr.com / Stephanie@brandmanpr.com


Wed, 04 Nov 2009 19:23:36 +0000: THE CARIBBEAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION JOINS FORCES WITH VOLLEYBALL VACATIONS TO BRING CHAMPIONSHIP VOLLEYBALL AND CELEBRITY ATHLETES TO TURKS & CAICOS, NOVEMBER 7-21, 2009 - Caribbean Tourism Organization - News

NEW YORK, November 4, 2009 – For the third consecutive year, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), will bring championship volleyball to the Caribbean, showcasing the skills of Olympic and pro players and coaches during GObeachfest 2009. Organized by Volleyball Vacations, GObeachfest will take place at Club Med Turkoise located in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, from November 7-21. The star-studded matches will feature Olympic champions including 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Phil Dalhausser and 2008 Olympian Sean Rosenthal. 

“Beach volleyball is a popular sport in the Caribbean and we are ecstatic to host such high caliber volleyball players in our Region,” said Sylma Brown, Director of Marketing (Ag.) of the Caribbean Tourism Organization. “The sports tourism industry has been a driving factor in boosting arrivals to the Caribbean, so we’d like to continue to host key events such as this to support the interests of these travelers.”

GObeachfest is designed as a full athletic retreat and destination vacation targeting sports enthusiasts who want to train and network with pro athletes. The event will offer all of the amenities of a beach resort vacation with the addition of world-class athletic training and socializing with people of similar interests. Pro athletes from many disciplines and backgrounds will offer daily training sessions to attendees in addition to participating in the volleyball tournaments.

“The goal is to provide our participants with the opportunity to meet new friends from all over the world in a beautiful setting,” said Albert Hannemann, founder and CEO of Volleyball Vacations and GObeachfest. “This itinerary is not just for volleyball enthusiasts, but also for anyone who wants to learn sports from the best coaches in the world and enjoy theme parties, world class DJ's and listen to live bands during the action-packed nightly entertainment.”

The 2009 GObeachfest will feature the following pro athletes and trainers:

Albert Hannemann - Director of the 2009 AVP VIP Fan Experience, Director of the AVP Juniors Camps and Clinics, Olympic Festival Gold Medalist and founder and CEO of Volleyball Vacations and GObeachfest

Kim Lyons – Celebrity Trainer, Fitness Pro, Celebrity Trainer on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” Author Your Body, Your Life

Matt Olson – Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Pro, winner of the 2008 Belmar, NJ AVP Open, 2x National Club Champion at UofA, Ranked 4th on the AVP tour.

Sean Rosenthal, 2008 Olympian - AVP Tour Champion, AVP Best Defensive Player, FIVB Top Rookie, AVP Best Server.

Gunter Schlierkamp – Mr. Universe, Bodybuilding Pro, Professional bodybuilder, Actor and Fitness Celebrity.

Francisco Escudero - Sky Banditz Kite-boarding Pro, Founder SkyBAnditz Kite-boarding Center, Florida Kitesurfing Association North Miami Beach.

Eric ‘T-Bones’ Masson – Beach Volleyball Pro, Level 3 Certified Coach in Canada, Level 2-3 Master Leaning Facilitation, Olympic team Canada Coach on the FIVB World Tour.

Sin Jin Smith – AVP Legend, Beach Volleyball Pro, original “King of the Beach”, 11 international & World Championships, 1st Player to reach 100 career open victories, 1st US team to qualify for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, UCLA Sports Hall of Fame.

Tarin Keith - Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Pro, Owner of Visionary Essence.

TY Loomis - Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Pro, 2009 AVP Crocs Tour Champion, Australian Pro Tour Champion.

Turks & Caicos is an easily accessible Caribbean destination.  Flights are offered from major cities including Atlanta, Boston, Miami, Newark, and New York City.  For additional information, please visitwww.Gobeachfest.com.  For more information about the Caribbean Tourism Organization, please visit www.onecaribbean.org.

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with the headquarters in Barbados and marketing operations in New York, London and Toronto, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency and comprises membership of over 30 governments and a myriad of private sector entities.

The CTO’s mission is to provide to and through its members, the services and information needed for the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people.

The organization provides specialized support and technical assistance to member countries in the areas of marketing, human resource development, research and statistics, information technology and sustainable tourism development.  The CTO disseminates information on behalf of its member governments to consumers and the travel trade.

The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., 32nd Floor, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail:ctony@caribtourism.com; CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: ctolondon@caribtourism.com; CTO Canada is located at 2 Bloor Street West, Suite 2601, Toronto, Ont. M4W 3E2, Canada. Tel: (416) 935 0767; Fax: (416) 935-0939; E-mail: ctotoronto@caribtourism.com. CTO Headquarters is located at One Financial Place, Collymore Rock, St, Michael, Barbados; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail:ctobarbados@caribtourism.com. For more information, please visitwww.caribbeantravel.com or www.onecaribbean.org. Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism. Connect with CTO on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization.

Media can also visit www.louhammond.com for latest press releases and images. Follow on Twitter at LouHammondPR.

Media Contact:

Terence Gallagher/Michelle Horn                                    
Lou Hammond & Associates                                          
(212) 308-8880                                                              
terryg@lhammond.com / michelleh@lhammond.com


Thu, 29 Oct 2009 21:47:18 +0000: CBS’ DAVE PRICE RECEIVES SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD AT ST. KITTS’ 9TH ANNUAL TOURISM AWARDS BANQUET - Caribbean Tourism Organization - News

Basseterre, St. Kitts – October 29th, 2009: On Saturday, October 24, 2009, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority welcomed Dave Price, weather anchor for the CBS Early Show, as a special guest at the island’s 9th Annual Tourism Awards Banquet held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, where he was presented with a Special Recognition Award for his advocacy of St. Kitts and the wider Caribbean region.

“It is an honor that Dave Price agreed to join us at our Tourism Awards Banquet this year and accept his Award in person,” said Senator Ricky Skerritt, Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism Sports & Culture.  “His continued support of St. Kitts and the the region over the years has shown him to be a true friend of Caribbean tourism.  We used this opportunity to show him our sincerest appreciation as well as some of our renowned Kittitian hospitality, fine accommodations and scenic natural beauty.”

The Award was presented to Dave by Minister Skerritt himself in front of a large appreciative audience of local tourism stakeholders.  In his acceptance speech, Dave remarked on the genuine warmth of the Kittitian people, stating, “From when we got to the restaurant to the moment we met people on the street and on the golf course, everybody was an effusive ambassador to this great island destination… With each turn we were able to explore, with each look at the ocean we were able to feel not only the ocean’s breeze, but the affection of everyone around us.  I will always remember this first visit, this first of many visits, to St. Kitts.” 

Dave Price is CBS Television’s The Early Show weather anchor and covers major weather events for the CBS Evening News.  In addition to reporting duties associated with weather, Dave travels throughout the USA and the globe, bringing compelling human interest stories to millions of CBS viewers, including conducting special Caribbean tourism promotions which have featured the special warmth of our Caribbean islands. Dave has also served as Master of Ceremonies and Event Host for 3 consecutive years at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Annual Governments of the Caribbean State Ball.   

Following nearly a decade working as a Human Resources executive for Pepsi-Cola, Texaco and Taco Bell, Dave decided to change his life in 1995.  He quit his job and began to aggressively pursue his passion, moving from the office chair to the anchor chair.  After a year at WSEE-TV in Erie, Pennsylvania, he joined WBBM-TV in Chicago as its morning weather anchor.  In September of 1998, he joined FOX-TV’s Good Day Philadelphia and anchored there before moving to New York and Fox’s flagship station to do weather and host WNYW-TV’s Good Day New York.  He later joined CBS-TV and then CBS News.  Dave has won 5 Emmy Awards and a Gracie Award for his work.

When not reporting for The Early Show, Dave is involved in numerous local and national charity organizations including Stars for Stripes, the Near and Far Foundation and the ASPCA.  Dave is a certified scuba diver, licensed pilot and an avid photographer.  Dave holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations (1987) from Cornell University and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University (1993).

St. Kitts’ Tourism Month is a series of special events and activities held each October with the purpose of increasing public awareness of the importance of tourism to St. Kitts and the various empowerment opportunities it affords residents.  The Tourism Awards Banquet is one of the highlights of St. Kitts’ Tourism Month, bringing together industry leaders and professionals to recognize outstanding efforts of various island businesses and individuals from both the public and private sectors.  Tourism Month has grown in importance recently as the island has shifted its focus from sugar production to tourism and other service-oriented business as the main economic driver.

Located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, St. Kitts offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history.  The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s sugar plantations, touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean, and the more traditional vacation pastimes such as watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, gourmet dining, gaming at one of St. Kitts’ two casinos or simply relaxing on one of the island’s sandy beaches.  Guests can select from accommodations ranging from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels or resorts. 

For more information about St. Kitts, please contact the St. Kitts Tourism Authority toll free from the US at 1-800-582-6208 or from Canada 1-888-395-4887, e-mail info@stkittstourism.kn or visit the website atwww.stkittstourism.kn. Follow St. Kitts on Facebook and Twitter.

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