The pre-eminent tourism gathering in the Caribbean, State of the Industry (SOTIC), organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in collaboration with Curacao’s Ministry of Economic Development and the Curacao Tourism Board brought together tourism decision-makers, hotel and airline executives and travel agents. At the World Trade Center in Willemstad; capital city of Curacao, the conference theme Caribbean Tourism: Growth through Innovation was an attention-grabber with a host of seminars and keynotes that excited an enthusiastic crowd. www.OneCaribbean.org
Selling fun in the sun as the winter winds start blowing at home is a no-brainer. Although many resorts front their own beach, savvy travelers these days are looking to shake up the vacation mix by exploring a variety of beaches. Sure, they all have stately coconut palms, bone-white sand and baby blue waves, but only a handful come with uncrowded stretches and vistas prettier
“Irie?” Ms. Nicola Madden-Greig, President of the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA) asked the audience at the official welcome reception for JAPEX 2015. A robust “Irie!” filled the room.
JetBlue flight 950 took off promptly at 7:25am through a shower of celebratory water jets. The occasion was the inaugural flight from New York’s JFK Airport direct to the famous Spice Island of Grenada in the Caribbean. At the departure gate, songs and dance rhythms, coffee and tea service, an island of cupcakes and a spread of fresh fruit and pastries were followed by congratulations and acknowledgements by JetBlue and Grenadian dignitaries.
Steeped in British tradition and tinged with Caribbean charm, Bermuda is a fish-hook shaped string of 181 islands, islets and rocks; most of them uninhabited and some so small there is only room for the birds to build their nests in the trees. Anchored in the Atlantic Ocean 650 miles east of North Carolina, temperatures rarely reach the nineties and high season is from April to November.
Clients seeking a less expensive way to visit Cuba without being forced to join a group should know about CubaCruise. Aboard the Celestyal Crystal, a 1,200-passenger Malta-flagged vessel leased by a Canadian company, anyone who can reach Montego Bay on a Friday between December 15, 2015 and April 8, 2016 can start a very reasonably priced, high quality, seven-day
For some, a round of golf is vacation nirvana, yet for others - not so much. Traveling with a partner who likes to practice their putting can also be great fun for the non-golfer, as long as there is plenty to do away from the driving range. Ditch the golf guilt and discover that selling a golf vacation to players and those who travel with them is a breeze.
With air tickets that won’t cost a (tanned) arm and a leg, no shortage of beach chairs, reservations at the best restaurants easy to get, and hotels dishing up a myriad of booking incentives for travel agents, selling the Caribbean in low season is as rosy as a crimson sunset. A great way to audition an island before spending the big bucks for a Thanksgiving or Christmas vacation, Caribbean in the summer is a world away from buggy backyard barbecues and humid city nights at home.
Shopping is a vacation rite of passage for every traveler worth his or her sea salt. For something extra special for the folks at home, ditch the crowded malls and airport souvenir shops and look for locally-made. Whether you celebrate Mother’s Day on May 10, Father’s Day on June 21 or, lest we forget, National Chocolate Chip Day on May 15 (yes, a real holiday) or National Flip Flop Day on June 19 (always the third Friday in June for those keeping track), our cornucopia of creative gift ideas aims to please.
Few vacation experiences appeal to the entire family like an afternoon cavorting with the critters who call the Caribbean home. From swimming with the sharks in The Bahamas to staking out rare birds in St. Lucia and taking photos with the monkeys in St. Kitts, there is an animal-friendly island for everyone and an easy sell for travel agents.