There are weddings and then there are really great weddings and although taking the plunge in the Caribbean is reliably great, creative nuptials beyond barefoot on the beach come with pretty good odds that you’ll never forget your anniversary. Whether it’s the first time down the aisle, three times lucky or vow renewals, Valentine’s Day, or any day as the winter winds blow at home, it is the perfect time for a heart-pumping new beginning that comes with a laundry list of conversation starters once you get back home.
When you hear “Cayman Islands,” the words “offshore tax haven” probably come to mind. But the Cayman Islands are so much more than the shelter of unreported income it has come to be recognized for (although, as of last year, the country has eliminated tax loopholes for individuals; this does not apply to corporations - yet).
The single most important business generator for Jamaica’s tourism industry, Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) is an annual meet and greet between the island’s tourism suppliers and the wholesalers and travel agents who sell the destination. Sponsored by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), the show is much-anticipated moving into high season. “As a signature marketing event combining business appointments and social functions, JAPEX offers the opportunity to buyers and suppliers to reaffirm existing partnerships and to also establish new ones,“ said Nicola Madden-Grieg, president of JAPEX.
Held this year in St. Thomas, USVI, the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) is the Caribbean’s leading tourism conference, bringing together movers and shakers from the public and private sectors. With the theme “Realizing the Vision: Positioning Caribbean Tourism for Major Change,” the annual event was organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in collaboration with USVI’s Department of Tourism and was held at Marriott Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort. “The theme dovetails nicely with the organization’s own vision for Caribbean tourism, which is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination,” said Hugh Riley, secretary general of the CTO. “If we seriously put our resources together, we could certainly achieve the 30 million visitor goal that we have our eye on.” Last year, the Caribbean received 25 million stay-over visitors with arrivals up by 4.3 percent during the first half of this year. If the pace of growth continues at the current rate, the region would reach the target of 30 million visitors by 2017. www.OneCaribbean.org