WORLD CUP FEVER has gripped Trinidad and Tobago, the smallest country to qualify for the World Cup tournament in Germany since the World Cup began in 1930. The event marks the first time that the country’s team will compete on soccer’s grandest stage in front of a worldwide television audience. The Soca Warriors (the name comes from the country’s native soca music, a blend of calypso and reggae) arrived in Germany June 4 and will play their first match in the preliminary round in the 2006 World Cup on June 10 in Dortmund against Sweden. The team’s next two matches will pit them against teams from England (June 15) and Paraguay (June 20). Sales of large screen television sets have skyrocketed in Trinidad and Tobago, and many stores reported selling out of TVs and red commemorative Soca Warriors bracelets. Officials at the Airports Authority said 50-inch plasma TV sets have been installed at the departure lounges at both Piarco Airport in Trinidad and Crown Point Airport in Tobago. To follow the team, visit www.fifaworldcup.yahoo.com.
BAHIA BEACH RESORT & Golf Club, the second Caribbean venture and 12th overall for Starwood’s St. Regis Hotels & Resorts brand, is taking shape outside San Juan along a two-mile stretch of beach. The 150-suite resort, slated to open in 2008, will feature butler service, the Remede Spa, a Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed golf course, estate homes, golf villas and a seaside village of shops and restaurants. Once the site of a coconut plantation, Bahia Beach is located approximately 16 miles from the airport near Sol Melia’s all-inclusive Paradisus Puerto Rico resort. Terestella Gonzalez Denton, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., said that the Bahia resort “is going to be a new landmark for Puerto Rico and is providential to our destination. This will be Puerto Rico’s first five-star property and will offer a quality of service and surroundings our visitors will appreciate.” St. Regis Hotels & Resorts operates the three luxury villas that comprise St. Regis Temenos Villas in Anguilla; Temenos Anguilla, a St. Regis Resort is scheduled to open in late 2008 and also will feature villa accommodations. For details, visit www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis.
• Winair temporarily halted its flights between Antigua and Montserrat due to a pilot shortage and maintenance repairs on one of its aircraft. In the interim, Carib Aviation, a regional company that operates Twin Otter and Islander aircraft similar to Winair’s, is servicing the route. Winair, which resumed service to Montserrat in July 2005 after a 10-year hiatus due to the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano in 1995, will pick up the route again once additional pilots have been hired and the aircraft is back in service. Winair has a two-year contract with the government of Montserrat to fly the Antigua-Montserrat route on an exclusive basis. The contract ends in July 2007. The carrier also has stopped flying its St. Maarten-Antigua route, due to low loads and a shortage of personnel. Passengers have been rebooked on Caribbean Star and Liat airlines.
• JetBlue plans to begin daily A320 service to Aruba from New York (Kennedy) Sept. 15, pending Transportation Dept. and foreign government approval. JetBlue would be competing against American Airlines on the Aruba route.
ADDITIONAL HURRICANE COVERAGE has come to light since the six-month season began a week ago. The following firms offer hurricane insurance coverage: Sandals and Beaches Resorts (www.sandals.com or www.beaches.com); SuperClubs (www.superclubs.com); Club Med (www.clubmed.com); Travel Impressions (www.travelimpressions.com); Apple Vacations (www.applevacations.com/weather); CheapCaribbean (www.cheapcaribbean.com); MLT Vacations (www.worldagentdirect.com); TNT Vacations (www.tntvacations.com); Expedia (www.expedia.com); and Trisept Solutions (www.vaxvacationaccess.com).
Gay Nagle Myers
Phone: (201) 902-1591
For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].