NOEL, the Atlantic hurricane season's 14th
named storm, churned through the Caribbean for five days before
becoming a Category 1 hurricane on Nov. 1 as it departed the
Bahamas on a track that took it well off the Florida coast. It
proved to be a devastating tropical storm in parts of Haiti, the
Dominican Republic and Cuba earlier in the week, triggering
mudslides, landslides, drownings and evacuations and a death toll
of 118, according to government officials. Although the government
of the Dominican Republic responded with more than $200 million in
emergency aid, the DR Ministry of Tourism reported that no major
tourist centers or hotels were damaged. Likewise, the Bahamas
reported no major damage in Nassau, Grand Bahama Island and the Out
Islands, despite a record 15 inches of rain in parts of the island
chain; the highest winds and tides were reported on Abaco. The
major airports in the Bahamas reopened within a day, and cruise
calls were not disrupted.
NEED for a single air space and a common civil aviation
regime culminated in the creation of the San Juan Accord, according
to Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, secretary general of the Caribbean
Tourism Organization. The San Juan Accord, so named because it came
out of the recent Caribbean Tourism Conference in San Juan,
envisions "a single Caribbean air space with many more efficient
hubs to enable travelers to move around the region with ease on a
two- or three-island vacation in a single trip," according to the
secretary general. The CTO also officially launched its new Web
site at www.caribbeantravel.com. The site contains a consumer
booking engine as well as links pointing consumers to Caribbean
Travel Specialists, or agents specializing in Caribbean
STAR, the regional private-sector-owned air carrier based
in Antigua, will cease operations Nov. 15 following its recent
acquisition by regional carrier Liat. The deal, which had been in
the works for months, calls for Liat to operate the combined
carriers' fleet of 17 Dash-8 aircraft, becoming the region's
largest intra-Caribbean carrier. Liat's major shareholders are the
three governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and St. Vincent
and the Grenadines. Jean Holder, chairman of Liat (and former
secretary general of CTO), described the agreement as "one of the
most significant business deals in the history of the Caribbean."
Skip Barnette, president and CEO of Caribbean Star and once-sister
carrier Caribbean Sun, said that "customers should experience no
interruption as a result of the transfer of aircraft and the
closure of Caribbean Star. The flight schedule will continue as
published, and Liat will operate the flights formerly flown by
Caribbean Star equipment and crews." For details on routes and
schedules, visit www.liat.com.
" [email protected], a satellite
branch of the Museo de Arte de Ponce
opens Nov. 15 at San Juan's Plaza Las Americas shopping mall. The
opening will feature an inaugural exhibit of 74 works by Auguste
Rodin entitled "The Age of Rodin: Sculpture in France from
Romanticism to Modernism". For exhibit schedules, visit www.museoarteponce.org.
" Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, Jan. 24 to 26,
Rose Hall Resort & Country Club, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Headliners include Diana Ross, Anita Baker, Billy Ocean, Hugh
Masekela, Beres Hammond, Marjorie Whylie, Ryan Shaw and Yerba
Buena. Festival packages will be available in various price ranges.
For festival details, visit www.airjamaicajazzandblues.com.
OOPS! An incorrect Web site address was
listed in the Oct. 23 Caribbean E-letter for the new Verandah
Resort & Spa in Antigua. The correct address is www.verandahresortandspa.com.
Editor: Gay Nagle Myers
Phone: (201) 902-1924
opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].