Agents attending the 27th annual Caribbean Tourism Conference in Aruba Oct. 17 to 21 can earn Aruba Certification Credits (ACE) by taking part in a free ACE training program.

Special niche market workshops for agents on incentive travel and special needs travelers also will be offered as well as pre- and post-tours, site inspections and discounted air and hotel rates.

Registration rates start at $295 per person, double, and $425, single. A $50 discount is available to agents who register by Aug. 13. Forms can be downloaded at www.onecaribbean.org.

Renee Webb, Bermudas minister of tourism, resigned from her post last month. Alex Scott, premier of Bermuda, added the tourism duties to Deputy Premier Ewart Browns responsibilities as minister of transport.

Webb joined the cabinet in 1998 as minister of telecommunications and e-commerce and was named tourism minister in 2002 following the death of David Allen.

Elite Island Resorts assumed the global marketing and reservations services for the former Rex Papillon Resort on St. Kitts and renamed it Sugar Bay Club, effective Aug. 1.

The 100-room property will undergo a soft refurbishment but will remain open during the upgrade, which is cosmetic in nature and will not disturb guests.

Jamaica Inns Pampered Pregnancy package, designed for mothers-to-be, features seven treatments at KiYara Ocean Spa.

The treatments include fresh-fruit facials, low-impact pregnancy yoga and massages to help reduce stretch marks.

The seven treatments are $540; daily room rates start at $220, double, with tax and service through Dec. 14. For details, call (800) 837-4608.

Viva Wyndham Resorts added the Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, marking the seventh property in the firms portfolio and its fourth in the D.R.

The 204-room, all-inclusive resort, which will open in January, will include 120 junior suites, a full-service spa, a range of dining options, various sports activities, a childrens pool and a fitness center.

For details, visit www.vivawyndhamresorts.com.

Coral by Hiltons four all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic reported a 17% first-quarter increase in occupancy over 2003s first-quarter figures. Average occupancy from January through March this year was more than 82%.

For the first time, North America surpassed Europe as the main source of visitors to the resorts. Simon Suarez, executive vice president, attributed the spike in occupancy levels to our brand standards, recent upgrades and service levels.

Apple Vacations new Freedom of Choice amenities promotion, which must be booked by Aug. 22, is valid for stays of three, four or seven nights at Secrets Excellence Punta Cana and Sunscape Punta Cana Grand, both in the Dominican Republic.

Guests can select three of five amenities, which include a personalized welcome gift or farewell souvenir, free baby-sitting (two times per room, four-hour sessions, at Sunscape Punta Grand), $20 match play (one per room, valid at Secrets Excellence), a 10% spa discount and a bottle of red or white wine with dinner (one per room, per stay).

For details, visit www.applevacations.com.

Rik Blyth has been named general manager of Caneel Bay resort on St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands.

Blyth replaced Brian Young, who was named Rosewood Hotels and Resorts vice president of operations.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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