Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-letter: Aug. 12, 2004

THE ST. LUCIA TOURIST BOARD added a vacation booking engine to its official Web site,, to handle airline, hotel, car rental and package bookings. The board developed the booking engine in conjunction with Expedia. The booking engine, located on the left side of the home page, joins other site features, including online ticket bookings for the annual St. Lucia jazz Festival and island photos. The board added another booking Web site, [], also serviced by Expedia, for the island's small hotels.

MEANWHILE, GRENADA'S updated Web site [] includes a new cruise section with ship schedules and details on the new cruise port opening in St. George's this fall. Annual events and festivals on Grenada the sister islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique also are covered.


" The Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman on Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, is breaking ground with an all-inclusive food and beverage option - the first hotel in the destination to do so. The option, available from Aug. 22 through Dec. 18, is priced at $159 per night, per adult and $89 per child (ages 3 to 15), including tips, in addition to the room rate. The Hyatt offers a choice of four restaurants and three lounges, and the price covers all meals and unlimited beverages, although a $40 charge is applied at Bamboo restaurant.

" The BodyHoliday at LeSport, St. Lucia opened the first phase of Coubaril Valley, a $1 million, eight-acre activities and meditation center for tennis, four-hole golf, archery, meditation, yoga and T'ai Chi. All activities with instruction are included in the resort's daily rate as are accommodations, meals, beverages, water sports, fitness classes, spa treatments, taxes and tips. For details, visit

US AIRWAYS will launch Saturday nonstop service between Charlotte, N.C. and Barbados on Feb. 12, will expand its Boston-Aruba service Nov. 7, adding nonstop flights each Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and will add a second Saturday flight between Charlotte and St. Thomas on Dec. 11.

BELIZE air arrivals increased 6.5% from January through June as compared to the same period a year ago while the cruise sector increased 72% in the first six months. In June alone, more than 57,000 cruise passengers arrived versus 33,623 in June 2003.


" Horace Hord, formerly president and CEO of the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association, joined Royal Caribbean Cruises as regional vice president of government and community relations for the eastern Caribbean. Prior to his Aruba post, Hord was American Airlines' director of marketing for the Atlantic/Caribbean region.

Michael Ronan, formerly associate vice president of destination development for Royal Caribbean, will oversee government and community relations in the western Caribbean.

" The past winners of the Caribbean Hotel Association's Caribbean Hotelier of the Year award named veteran industry leader Jim Pepperdine as honorary hotelier of the year. Pepperdine, who created the award in 1977 to honor excellence in hotel operations, also served as CHA president, executive director of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and was one of the two original founders of what is currently Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown and Russell marketing firm.


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