Travel Weeklys Caribbean E-letter: June 22, 2006

CARIBBEAN WEEK in New York wrapped up June 16 with a push by tourism officials to postpone to June 2009 the first phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, currently set to take effect Jan. 1, 2007. Phase 1 would require all citizens to possess a valid passport when entering the country from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Mexico, Latin and South America and Canada by air or sea. A postponement would help bolster awareness of the new requirement and give travelers more time to get passports, said Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Association.

MEANWHILE, government and tourism officials are alarmed that the number of applications for new U.S. passports has been nowhere near the numbers we wanted, Vanderpool-Wallace said. I will not be comfortable until at least 90% of the U.S. market has passports. In other news, CTOs and the Caribbean Hotel Associations merged Web site will be launched at CTOs Caribbean Tourism Conference Oct. 22 to 26 on Grand Bahama Island. The site will offer a consumer engine, to be followed by an agent booking engine, linked to Caribbean specialized travel agents currently in CTOs database.

SO LONG, SOCA: Trinidad and Tobagos charismatic and gutsy Soca Warriors went down 0-2 to Paraguays team June 20 in Kaiserslautern, Germany, thus eliminating any hope of advancing to the second round of the 2006 World Cup. In their first two games, the Warriors held Sweden to a draw and took a 0-2 loss to England. No matter. The smallest country to qualify for World Cup play since the sporting event began in 1930 captured the hearts and souls of fans the world over; and the 6,000-plus ardent followers -- plus a few hundred of their steel drums -- from Trinidad and Tobago who trekked to Germany, ensured the teams place in history. For a recap of the teams World Cup debut, visit www.socawarriorstt.com.

ROLODEX:

" Patrick Delatour has been named minister of tourism by Haitis newly elected president Rene Preval. Delatour is an architect who contributed to Haitis Master Plan for Tourism several years ago under then-minister of tourism Maryse Penette.

" On Montserrat, Lowell Lewis, chief minister, will oversee the Montserrat Tourist Boards marketing and product development initiatives in his role as tourism minister. He has held numerous posts in the Montserrat government, including deputy minister.

SPECIAL NOTE: Beginning in July, the Caribbean E-letter will be published every other Tuesday, beginning with the July 4 edition.

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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