Travel Weeklys Caribbean E-letter: April 13, 2006

THE WINTER SEASON in the Caribbean recorded a healthy pace of travel with several destinations reporting arrivals increases that ranged from 3.8% in Barbados in January to a 110% jump in the Cayman Islands. In 2005, the Caymans were deep in recovery mode from Hurricane Ivan, which hit the destination in September 2004, so the figures did not reflect the usual visitor count. Although all the numbers arent in, and were working with limited data at this time, the general perception is that the region had a fairly reasonable winter, said Arley Sobers, director of management research for the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

ANGUILLA, ARUBA, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico also registered increases in January. Arubas existing hotel product averaged occupancies above 80% through early April. Revenues and occupancies are strong, according to Myrna Jansen, managing director of the Aruba Tourism Authority. Were experiencing incredible growth in the tourism sector, with more than $274 million pouring into hotels, restaurants, the airport, cruise terminals and more through 2007. Jamaica had a 12% jump in stopover arrivals through February; preliminary figures for March show us to be up at least 10%, according to Paul Pennicook, director of tourism.

LODGEPODGE

" Bolongo Bay Beach Resort in St. Thomas offers a fifth and seventh night free on its Mothers Day packages, valid on new bookings through April 30 for travel May 1 to 31. Guests on the European Plan package get the fifth night free when four are booked; the seventh night is free when six are booked on the resorts all-inclusive plan. Bonuses on the all-inclusive program include two free passes for an all-day sail to St. John aboard the resorts Heavenly Daze with lunch and drinks (valued at $100 per person), and two tickets for a sunset cruise (valued at $45 per person). Book through Bolongo at (800) 291-6428 or e-mail [email protected].

" The spring sale at the all-inclusive Almond Beach Village in Barbados starts at $488 per person, double, for three nights. The rate must be booked by April 30; travel is valid from April 17 through June 30. For details, visit www.almondresorts.com.

PENCIL IT IN

" Cayman Carnival Batabano, May 11 to 14, Grand Cayman. This years theme is All Nations, One Celebration. For details, visit www.caymancarnival.com.

" Gospelfest 2006, May 20 to 28, Barbados. Alken Tours offers several packages with accommodations for three or seven nights, taxes, service charges, and transfers. Air and event tickets are not included in the hotel package prices, which start at $241 per person, double, for three nights at Amaryllis Beach Resort. For details, visit www.alkentours.com.

Caribbean Editor:

Gay Nagle Myers

Phone: (201) 902-1591

[email protected]

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

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