2004 tourist arrivals totaled 1.4 million, a jump of 4.8%
over 2003 and 11.7% over 2002, according to final year-end tallies
released by the Jamaica Tourist Board. The increases took place
despite the negative effects of hurricane Ivan last September,
which temporarily paralyzed tourism numbers for a short time,
officials said. US arrivals increased 3% to 996,131 visitors;
Canada and Europe were in second and third places with increases of
10.9% and 10.7%, respectively. Paul Pennicook, director of tourism,
predicted strong tourism numbers this year, which coincides with
the 50th anniversary of the Jamaica Tourist Board. The JTB has
planned a number of special events to celebrate its 50 years.
Details can be found at www.visitjamaica.com.
PALMS, the $85 million, five-star boutique resort opened
on Grace Bay
Beach in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, with 72 suites, a
15,000-square-foot spa, a tai chi studio overlooking a water garden
and a multi-million-dollar infinity edge pool. Targeted at the well-heeled
traveler, the 1,888-square-foot suites have vaulted ceilings,
marble floors, flatscreen TVs, Roman baths and rates to match.
Daily rates with continental breakfast range from $750 for a luxury
room to $7,000 for a three-bedroom penthouse suite with butler and
chauffeur service. For details, call (866) 877-PALM.
SOUTHWINDS Beach Resort in Barbados will launch an
all-inclusive plan April 17 that includes accommodations, three
meals, drinks, use of snorkeling gear and boogie boards, weekly
entertainment and taxes and service charges. Rates through Dec. 21
start at $150 per adult, per day, double in a one-bedroom
gardenview suite and from $172 in a one-bedroom deluxe oceanview
suite. The 130-suite property will continue to offer EP and MAP
plans as well. Barbados currently has 13 resorts that offer
all-inclusive plans. For Divi details, visit www.diviresorts.com.
" US Airways new nonstop daily flight between Fort
Lauderdale and Kingston marks the carriers fourth route to Jamaica.
Other U.S. gateways include Boston; Charlotte, N.C., and
Philadelphia to Montego Bay.
" Delta launched nonstop, twice-weekly service from Atlanta to St.
Croix on March 5. The 148-passenger, year-round flights depart
Wednesdays and Saturdays. Delta Vacations packages in conjunction
with the new route include free hotel nights, food and beverage
credits and other value-added options.
" Cayman Carnival, May 5 to 8, Grand Cayman. For details, visit www.caymanislands.ky.
" Tour Operator Symposium, May 12 to 15, St. Kitts. Open to all
qualified tour operators on a first-come, first-served basis.
Reserve by April 30; contact Ardis Bell at the St. Kitts Tourism
Authority at ar[email protected] or fax (869)