Travel Weeklys Caribbean E-letter: April 27, 2006

THE 8TH ANNUAL Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development, which opened April 24 at the Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino in San Juan for 170 delegates from throughout the Caribbean, began with a special focus on disaster management and prevention. Although the Caribbean is highly vulnerable to tsunamis, the region has begun working on a tsunami readiness plan, according to Christa von Hillenbrandt-Andrade, director of the Puerto Rico Seismic Network in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. She pointed out that the word tsunami does create waves of panic within the tourism industry, much more so since the tsunami in southeast Asia in December 2004. We have been working for years toward the development of a tsunami plan in the Caribbean. We can no longer ignore this potential danger.

PLANS ARE SLOWLY taking shape to set up centers on each island where tsunami warnings could be issued to residents and visitors. In Mayaguez, the Caribbeans first Tsunami Warning System will go into effect next month, thanks to a $100,000 funding commitment from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. However, we estimate that it will take $41 million to fund the Tsunami-Ready program for the entire Caribbean region, Hillebrandt-Andrade said. Other conference highlights included workshops on national approaches to risk management, sustainable tourism policies and case studies on recovery planning, as well as study tours to El Yunque Rainforest, Old San Juan and the Humacao Nature Preserve. 

UNITED VACATIONS, in cooperation with the Aruba Gastronomic Association, offers an Aruba Dine Around program with 20 participating restaurants. Travelers can choose a three-, five- or seven-dinner plan, and each dinner includes an appetizer, entree, dessert, coffee or tea and a service charge, where applicable. The Aruba Dine Around is priced at three dinners for two adults, $109; five dinners for two, $177; or seven dinners for two, $245. A three-night package with roundtrip air fare on United, accommodations at the Brickell Bay Beach Club and transfers is priced at $524 per person, double. To book, visit www.vaxvacationaccess.com using the vendor code UAV or call United Vacations at (800) 328-6877.

LODGEPODGE

" Almond Morgan Bay Resort, St. Lucia offers single parents and their kids special rates on bookings through Oct. 31; applicable travel periods are May 1 to June 30 and Sept. 1 through Oct. 31. All-inclusive rates for a single parent and one child start at $200 per night. The rates include use of the Kids Club, an area for children of all age groups, from a nursery for newborns to a teen center for those 13 years of age and up. For details, call (800) 4-ALMOND or visit www.almondresorts.com.

" Rosewood Resorts Jumby Bay, located off the coast of Antigua, features sorbet service on the beach at 11 a.m. each morning when a straw-hatted Sorbet Butler appears on the beach, toting complimentary sorbet. Guests can choose their favorite flavor, which is served in a cup or a waffle cone. Through May 31, nightly all-inclusive rates range from $850 for an oceanview room to $2,250 for a two-bedroom suite. For hotel details, call (268) 462-6000 or visit www.jumbybayresort.com.

PENCIL IT IN

" 6th Annual Soul Beach Music Festival, May 24 to 29, Aruba. Five days of R&B music and comedy performances by such acts as Alicia Keys and Brian McKnight. Tickets are priced from $65 per night. For details, visit www.aruba.com or www.soulbeach.net.

" Belize Tourism Expo, Marketplace & Exposition (BETEX 2006), Sept. 12 to 17, Princess Hotel & Casino, Belize City. To register, visit www.betex.bz.

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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