Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-letter: Dec. 19, 2006

A NATIONAL ELECTION in St. Lucia not only swept a former premier back into office but also threw the chairmanship of the Caribbean Tourism Organization into a void. John Compton's election victory Dec. 11 as prime minister and head of the United Workers Party in St. Lucia ousted Kenny Anthony of the Labor Party from power. Out with Anthony went his entire slate of appointed ministers, including Tourism Minister Phillip Pierre, who was elected CTO chairman at the annual conference in October.

THE TERM of the CTO chairman is two years. However, it is the country, and not the individual, that the CTO's board of directors elects as CTO chairman. The incumbent tourism minister of that country then holds the title of chairman. The new minister of tourism, to be appointed by Compton once he is sworn in as prime minister, will then become the CTO chair. The replacement of a CTO chairman in this manner has happened twice in the past, once in the Bahamas and once in Barbados. And, on a separate occasion, the replacement chairman declined the position, which then automatically went to CTO's first vice chairman. CTO's current slate of officers, also elected in October, includes Harold Lovell, tourism minister of Antigua, as first vice chairman; Aloun n'Dombet Assamba of Jamaica, second vice chair; Ricky Skerritt of St. Kitts, third vice chair; and Brenda Hood of Grenada, fourth vice chair.

LODGEPODGE

" Biras Creek Resort on Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, unveiled its $1 million renovation that includes refurbishment of its 33 suites (now non-smoking units), a new private dining room, a fitness center, improved signage, new bikes and water sports equipment and the installation of Wi-Fi Internet access in the public areas. Owners David and Pam Johnson of Michigan-based Victor International Corp., who purchased the all-inclusive resort in October, also plan to add a new spa and high-end villa units on an adjacent an adjacent 50-acre lot of land. For details, visit www.biras.com.

" Work on Grenada's $555 million Port Louis Grenada resort, spa and maritime village development, spearheaded by British developer Peter de Savary, has begun with the demolition of the old Islander Hotel at Ballast Ground to make room for a 120-room, high-end resort. Other components will include the 350-slip Port Louis Marina for megayachts; 280 homes and villas; a spa; a 120-room, mid-price hotel; and a beach with watersports and recreational activities. For details, visit www.portlouisgrenada.com.

TAKEOFFS

" Air Jamaica will launch daily, nonstop A320 service from New York's Kennedy Airport to Barbados, effective Jan. 10. The flight will continue on to St. Lucia four days a week and to Grenada three days a week and also will offer daily direct service to Montego Bay, Jamaica, via St. Lucia or Grenada. Paul Pennicook, Air Jamaica's senior vice president of marketing and sales, said that the carrier agreed to provide the service in light of the decision by the new Caribbean Airlines (formerly British West Indies Airways) to discontinue operations on the route.

" Delta will up its service to St. Thomas with a weekly, nonstop flight from Kennedy, effective March 3. The carrier currently operates daily, nonstop service to St. Thomas from Atlanta and twice-weekly flights from Atlanta to St. Croix.

Caribbean Editor:

Gay Nagle Myers

Phone: (201) 902-1924

[email protected]

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

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