CARIBBEAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION (CTO) selected Vincent
Vanderpool-Wallace, director general of tourism in the Bahamas
Ministry of Tourism, as its new secretary general, a post that has
been vacant since Jean Holder retired last fall.
Vanderpool-Wallace, who has held the Bahamas tourism post for the
past 12 years, will assume his duties this month and will move from
the Bahamas to CTO's headquarters in Bridgetown, Barbados. The
selection of Vanderpool-Wallace is widely viewed as a strong
endorsement by the CTO members of the Bahamas' strong tourism
management principles. Announcements are expected shortly from the
Bahamas regarding Vanderpool-Wallace's replacement. CTO said its
search committee will shortly begin the process of selecting a
deputy secretary general. CTO's annual Caribbean Tourism Conference
[CTC-28] will be held in the U.S. Virgin Islands from Oct. 22 to
Hotels will debut in the Caribbean with the W
Vieques-Martineau Bay in Vieques, Puerto Rico in the fall of 2006.
Although Wyndham Hotels and Resorts will terminate its management
contract at the 156-room resort on July 8, the property will remain
open while W Hotels renovates, trains staff and adds 20 villas and
concierge services. W's moniker will go up on the hotel when it
formally opens for business next year. The island of Vieques is
eight miles off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico.
Resorts, with two inclusive properties on the west coast
of Barbados, doubled its holdings with the acquisition of the
267-room Casuarina Beach Resort on Barbados and the 338-room Morgan
Bay Beach Resort [formerly St. James's Club Morgan Bay] on St.
Lucia. Both properties will be all-inclusive family resorts and
will carry the Almond name. The resorts close this week for
extensive renovations and refurbishments. Almond Morgan Bay Beach
Resort will open on Nov. 15, and Almond Casuarina plans to open in
early 2006. For details, visit www.almondresorts.com.
THE BEST OF
BARBADOS program will return this fall with savings on
flights, accommodations, dining and car rentals from Aug. 20
through Dec. 20. Included in each package of seven or more nights
is one free night, a $250 airfare credit per person, complimentary
daily breakfast, discounts on island activities, a free one-day car
rental when three days are paid, and a 15% shopping discount on
purchases of $25 or more, adding up to a total savings of more than
$900 per couple. Ten attractions and restaurants are participating
as well as 26 hotels. The Best of Barbados program, first launched
in July 2002, "has proven to be the most successful travel
promotion in the Caribbean," according to Bill Silvermintz, vice
president of marketing for the Americas at the Barbados Tourism
Authority. "It addresses the real needs of the long-stay
visitor---airfare, accommodations and appetite." For details, call
the Barbados Tourism Authority at (800) 221-9831 or visit www.visitbarbados.org.
" The U.S.
Virgin Islands' annual Summer Super Saver program offers a
$200 air fare credit per booking, a coupon booklet for free gifts,
on-island discounts and savings up to $500 for bookings of five or
more nights made by Aug. 15 for travel by Aug. 31 to 23
participating properties in St. Croix, St. John and St.
Thomas. Participating tour operators
include American Airlines Vacations, American Express Vacations,
Changes in L'Attitudes, Delta Vacations, Future Vacations, Happy
Vacations, Inter-Island Tours, Island Resort Tours, Liberty
Travel/Gogo Worldwide Vacations, National Leisure Group, Orbitz,
TNT Vacations, Travel Impressions and US Airways Vacations. For
details, call (800) 372-USVI or visit www.usvitourism.vi.
Islands' Summer Splash travel package, available through
Nov. 15, offers free air fare, accommodations, meals and activities
for kids, including the Cayman Islands Sea School program with
SpongeBob SquarePants. Highlights include one free night when five
are booked, free air for kids on Cayman Airways, a 50% discount on
a pre-purchased family dive package, free eats on the kids' menus
at participating restaurants, and a $150 American Express Gift
Cheque when the Summer Splash five-night package is purchased with
an American Express card. The package also can be booked as a
land-only program or with other carriers' special packages,
including American, Continental, Delta and US Airways. For details,
visit www.caymanislands.ky or www.divecayman.ky.
VACATIONS' new fall sale offers savings of $200 to $460
per couple on air-inclusive vacation packages to more than 50
hotels and resorts in Jamaica. Bookings must be made by June 24,
2005 for travel from Sept. 1 to Dec. 9 with blackouts at
Thanksgiving. Agents earn a base commission of 13%. Book Air
Jamaica Vacations through www.vaxvacationaccess.com; select AJV on Tourlink,
Tour Source, LeisureShopper, or AgentNet; or call Air Jamaica
Vacations at 800-622-3009.