Travel Weeklys Caribbean E-letter: May 18, 2006

ATLANTIS, Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas and Johnsons, the baby care company, will launch the Gentle Travel program on June 1 to address the needs of families traveling with babies. The program will include the Gentle Travel Kit delivered with each crib request (last year there were 6,500 such requests at Atlantis), stocked with body creams, a lullaby CD and a nightlight. The program was created by Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg, a board-certified pediatrician in response to the growing concerns of parents traveling with very young children. Gentle Travel is evidence of our commitment to the guest experience at Atlantis, and that extends even to our tiniest visitors, said George Markantonis, president and managing director of Kerzner International, Bahamas, Atlantis parent company. In addition to the Gentle Travel program, Atlantis also created a Prompt Response line for parents requesting additional baby supplies or to schedule babysitters. For details on Atlantis, visit www.atlantis.com; for information on Johnsons, visit www.baby.com.

 

THE PUERTO RICO TOURISM CO. launched several initiatives to counter any negative perceptions generated by the recent 10-day fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico that shut down 43 government agencies and temporarily put 100,000 employees out of work. Although tourism was not impacted by the government situation -- hotel occupancies in the San Juan metropolitan area actually increased 8% over the same period a year ago, according to Letty Rivero, PRTCs deputy executive director of marketing -- tourism officials launched a promotion plan to showcase its destination offerings and marketplace visibility. The initiatives include a partnership with CheapCaribbean.com that offers discounted packages and rewards at 25 participating properties in San Juan, Ponce, Rincon, Culebra, and Vieques as well as a $200 Discover Network Travel Card that can be used at restaurants, golf courses and shopping centers. The five-night packages must be booked by May 27 for travel from June 1 through Nov. 15. To book, visit www.cheapcaribbean.com. In addition, Puerto Rico will participate in the annual Caribbean Week events in New York from June 11 to 17 with culinary presentations at several Manhattan locations. For an event schedule, contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization at www.onecaribbean.org.

LODGEPODGE

" Scheduled to open in September at the 354-room Radisson Aruba Resort & Casino is its new 13,000-square-foot, $5.2 million Larimer Spa, described as part of the resorts evolution as it continues to secure its position as Arubas most luxurious resort, according to Gary Jutz, newly named general manager. For details, visit www.radisson.com/aruba. In other Radisson news, the company will open its next resort in Caribbean in Curacao in 2007 as part of its ongoing expansion in the region.

" The 152-room Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands will close from Aug. 15 to Nov. 1 for a $35 million renovation project, reportedly the largest renovation in the hotels history. The project will add 24 luxury suites, six spa treatment rooms and a 20,000-square-foot lounge and will include a re-do of its three restaurants, according to Brad Jenks, general manager.

NAME CHANGES

" A name change has taken place at the Grand Bahama resort formerly known as The Westin and Sheraton at Our Lucaya. The new name, the Westin and Sheraton Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort, is designed to more effectively communicate the resorts location.

" The Water Club in San Juan officially changed its name to the San Juan Water & Beach Club Hotel. Prior to the name change, many perceived the beachfront boutique property as a members-only facility that was unavailable to outsiders.

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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