Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-letter: March 27, 2007

WYNDHAM will enter the Puerto Rico market on May 10 when the hotel company assumes management of the 600-room Westin Rio Mar Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Rio Grand, Puerto Rico, and reflags it as the Wyndham Rio Mar-A Wyndham Grand Resort. The firm plans a multimillion-dollar overhaul of the 11-year-old property, including the casino, the two golf courses, the hotel lobby and all guest rooms. The work will bolster capital improvements completed during the last two years under Westin's rein, which included construction of the 7,000-square-foot Mandara Spa and fitness center, enhancements to the pool deck and the addition of private cabanas. Wyndham also will develop an adjacent 26-acre tract as a Wyndham Vacation Ownership timeshare resort over the next several years. The 500-acre resort, located an hour east of San Juan, is adjacent to El Yunque National Rain Forest and the Mameyes River. The property represents the largest single addition to the Wyndham brand since 2005, according to Steven Rudnitsky, Wyndham Hotel Group president and CEO. Wyndham's Caribbean portfolio currently includes five properties in the Dominican Republic, two in the Bahamas, and one in St. Thomas.

TAKEOFFS

" Cayman Airways will launch three weekly nonstop flights between New York (Kennedy) and Grand Cayman, effective June 24, subject to government approval. The flights will operate from New York at 9 a.m. on Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays; from Grand Cayman, the flights will depart at 4:10 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The service actually will mark the return of Cayman Airways to the New York area after a roughly 16-year absence. The carrier currently has nonstop 737 service to Grand Cayman from Boston, Chicago, Houston, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Miami as well as flights from Jamaica and Cuba to Grand Cayman and turboprop service on Cayman Airways Express between Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. For schedules and fares, visit www.caymanairways.com.

" Caribbean Airlines launched its codeshare service with British Airways between Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and London on March 25. Under the codeshare agreement signed late last year, Caribbean Airlines partnered with British Airways to offer daily flights from Barbados and Trinidad to London's Gatwick Airport. On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the Boeing 777 flights originate in Trinidad, stop in Barbados and continue on to Gatwick. On the remaining days, the flight originates in Barbados, but Caribbean Airlines operates a shuttle service to provide a seamless connection to the BA London flight. Caribbean Airlines' customers can redeem frequent flyer rewards on the London flights. The carrier hopes to extend the reward redemption to BA's global network later this year. For schedules, visit www.caribbean-airlines.com.

BEVERLY NICHOLSON DOTY was confirmed as commissioner of tourism of the U.S. Virgin Islands by the Virgin Islands Legislature on March 20, assuming the post held by Pamela Richards, former chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Nicholson Doty, whose career spans 25 years in the tourism and hospitality industry, most recently served as president of the U.S. Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association. She was nominated as commissioner of tourism by John deJongh, governor of the USVI who took office in January.

THE ANNUAL BEST OF BARBADOS promotion has returned again with savings of up to $800 per couple for travel from May 1 to July 5. Travel must be booked by April 21; the minimum-stay requirement is seven nights. Several tour operators offer the Best of Barbados packages, including Delta Vacations, Gogo Worldwide Vacations and Liberty Travel. This year's package features an air credit of $200 per person, the first night free at one of the 35 participating hotels, daily breakfast and a 25% discount per couple on select ground activities. For a list of participating hotels and attractions, visit www.visitbarbados.org.

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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