CONGRATULATIONS TO Anguillian hotelier
Eustace Guish Guishard, general manager at Cap Juluca Resort in
Anguilla, who was named Caribbean hotelier of the year at the
awards ceremony that capped the Caribbean Hotel Associations recent
Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference in Miami. Guishard, the 28th
hotelier to receive the Golden Conch award, began his hospitality
career at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel in 1977, returned to his native
Anguilla in 1982, joined Cap Juluca in 1986 and was named gm in
1998. Named 2005 employee of the year was Dellarese Willimae
Frazer, assistant restaurant manager at the Bimini Restaurant at
the Radisson Cable Beach & Golf Resort in Nassau; supervisor of
the year was Urban Augustine, watersports supervisor at Windjammer
Landing Resort in St. Lucia.
" CHAs Green
Hotel of the Year award in the small-hotel category (under
75 rooms) went to 3 Rivers Lodge in Dominica, while Sunscape Casa
del Mar in the Dominican Republic took the award in the large-hotel
category. Named association executive of the year for small hotels
was Alice Thomas-Roberts, executive director of the Grenada Hotel
& Tourism Association; Frank Comito, executive vice president
of the Bahamas Hotel Association, took the honor in the large-hotel
category. The winning team in the Taste of the Caribbean culinary
competitions at CHIC was Team St. Maarten/St.Martin; the winning
chef was Carlos A. Portela from the Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel,
Spa and Casino in Puerto Rico. Geert Maarten Van Mil won the pastry
chef award, and bartender of the year was Rakeesh Madoo, Crews Inn
Odle, general manager of Mango Bay Hotel and Beach Club in
Holetown, Barbados, is the new president-elect of the Caribbean
Hotel Association for the 2006-2008 term. Odle will succeed Berthia
Parle, current CHA president and general manager of Bay Gardens
Hotel in St. Lucia, when she steps down next year.
DONT LOOK FOR
TRAVEL from the U.S. to Cuba to open up any time soon. An
amendment that would have relaxed current restrictions limiting
family travel to Cuba was rejected in the House of Representatives
on June 30 by a 211 to 208 vote. The vote came one day after
lawmakers tossed out a similar attempt in the Senate to ease family
travel to the island. Aside from banning
most travel to Cuba, under the Bush administrations current policy,
Cuban-Americans also are restricted to, among other things,
visiting family members on the island only once every three years.
Previously, they were able to visit family members once a
year. Also defeated (233 to 187) were a proposal to ease
restrictions on U.S. student travel to Cuba and an amendment
169) that would
have lifted the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba.
Jamaica will reinstate its Saturday flights from Montego
Bay to/from Bonaire on Sept. 3 [the carrier had announced in
mid-May that it would discontinue the flights, effective Aug. 27.]
Through Oct. 29, the flight will depart Jamaica at 11:30 a.m.,
arriving Bonaire at 2:30 p.m. The return flight will leave Bonaire
Saturdays at 3:10 p.m., arriving Jamaica at 4:05 p.m. From Nov. 5
through mid-April, the flights will depart an hour later from both
Montego Bay and Bonaire.
Airlines will launch a nonstop Saturday flight from
Washington to St. Maarten Dec. 17. The airline, which already
operates flights from Charlotte, N.C. and Philadelphia, will add
the Washington flight for the upcoming high season to May 6, 2006.
The introduction of this flight is part of United Airlines
increased schedule to the Caribbean, which includes Aruba, the
Bahamas and other destinations in the region.
HEMISPHERE TRAVEL INITIATIVE (WHTI),
which is set to take effect Dec. 31, will require U.S. travelers to
possess a U.S. passport for re-entry into the U.S. from the
Caribbean. The deadline for the
submission of petitions and position papers to the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security is July 31. The Caribbean Tourism Organization
and the Caribbean Hotel Association, among others, ask that the
playing field be leveled and the same introductory date of Dec, 31,
2006 that Mexico and Canada have been granted be extended to the
Caribbean region. To date, only a handful of the 35 CTO member
countries now require a valid U.S. passport for American visitors
[other countries request proof of citizenship, such as an expired
passport or valid drivers license]. The countries are: Barbados,
Belize, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, St. Eustatius (Statia), St.
Barts, St. Maarten, St. Martin, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Dominican Republic, meanwhile, strongly recommends that U.S.
visitors use a valid passport when traveling to the destination,
according to the U.S. State Dept. Exempt from the WHTI are the U.S.
Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.