Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-letter: Aug. 15, 2006

HEALTH OFFICIALS in the Bahamas have confirmed that there is no longer a threat of malaria to travelers visiting Great Exuma in the Out Islands, following an incubation period of 45 days with no new cases identified. At this time, officials feel there is no longer a need for special precautions when visiting Great Exuma. "We are confident that this minor outbreak has been halted and that malaria poses no further risk to residents or visitors," said Dr. Baldwin Carey of the Bahamas Ministry of Health. The outbreak, first reported on June 6, was limited to a "very defined area of the capital of Georgetown, and the 19 cases were contacted in late May by a pool of people who come from areas where malaria is endemic," according to Carey. The Ministry of Health, with assistance from the Pan American Health Organization, began an aggressive program on island to identify possible infections, treat where necessary and eradicate environmental sources of the disease. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not removed its advisory regarding preventive measures from its Web site, "the recommendations are temporary and we are confident that the CDC will withdraw this in the near future," Carey said.

IN ADDITION TO A $330 MILLION renovation of its international airports in Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica's preparations for World Cup Cricket in 2007 include an alliance between the government of Jamaica and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.'s Leadership Center to train more than 1,000 airport employees in the hotel firm's legendary service principles. "The Jamaican government and citizens warmly welcomed our hotel [the Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica] into their country. We are pleased to offer our support in taking the Jamaican tourist product to a new level of excellence," said Simon Cooper, president and COO. The six-phase training program will launch this month and run through November. Dennis Morrison, chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board, said that "the airport is the first point of tangible contact visitors have with the island, so we must ensure a warm welcome as soon as they arrive."

ROLODEX: Maria Fowell has been named new director of tourism for St. Lucia, replacing Peter Hilary Modeste, who served in director's post for the past nine years. Fowell formerly served as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and, prior to that, as deputy director of the St. Lucia Tourist Board.


" September Celebrations, Sept. 1 to 30, Belize. The annual festival will this year mark the island's 25th anniversary of independence. New events, competitions, theatrical productions and cultural exhibits have been added to this year's lineup. For details, visit

" Gogo Worldwide Vacations Learning Conference, Oct. 13 to 17, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, Oranjestad, Aruba. This is the second of two learning conferences -- the first conference, set for Oct. 12 to 16, has sold out. For details, visit

Caribbean Editor:

Gay Nagle Myers

Phone: (201) 902-1591

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].


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