Martinique's tourism product is heating up
this winter with the Dec. 16 launch of Delta's weekly Saturday
service from Atlanta to Fort de France, supplemented by American
Eagle's flights from San Juan, which go daily from Feb. 1.
According to Glen
Huenstein, executive vice president at Delta, the airline will be
the only U.S. carrier to serve a destination in the French West
Indies with nonstop service from the North American
And what can
first-time U.S. visitors expect from the "Isle of
"We have more
than 5,000 rooms in 160 properties in all price ranges, including
the 293-room Club Med Buccaneer's Creek, [which] opened a year ago
after a $60 million renovation, and the 50-suite Cap Est Lagoon
Resort & Spa, one of just four Relais & Chateaux properties
in the Caribbean," said Madeleine de Grandmaison, chairwoman of the
Martinique Tourism Authority.
include the 198-room Sofitel Bakoua near Fort de France; the Les
Amandiers Resort, a hotel in the Karibea chain; and the
all-inclusive Baie du Galion property, which is geared to U.S.
Maison d'Hotes Plein Soleil, a 30-minute drive from Le Lamentin
Airport, will reopen Dec. 16 following renovations. Another small
property is the 12-room Domaine Saint Aubin in Trinite on the north
"We can offer our
U.S. visitors a wide range of accommodations, and we're prepared to
do that now," Grandmaison said. "Our flight situation has been
difficult until now, but with the strong increase from the U.S this
winter in ... flights and bookings, we are projecting an excellent
operators selling Martinique benefit from a pricing system in which
$1 equals 1 euro, the currency on the island, a department of
France. (The actual exchange was $1 equals 0.76 euros at press
continue to climb, with more than 55% since 2004 coming from the
U.S. To better tap into the U.S. market, the Martinique Promotion
Bureau launched a $2 million ad and marketing campaign with the tag
line "Color Me Martinique."
include a new promotional video and the first edition of the
"Tourist Professional Guide," produced by the Martinique Hotel and
written in English, includes an accommodations directory, car
rental information, sightseeing excursions, sports activities and
general travel facts.
Also new this
season is a sightseeing route called La Route des Rhums, or the Rum
Route, which follows the sugarcane fields and 11 distilleries
around the island.
rum festivals in June and mid-December, which this year features a
traditional Creole village, rum tastings and music. Carnival
celebrations are on tap from Feb. 17 through 21.
information or details, visit www.martinique.org.
To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].