ivi Resorts has taken the plunge into the dive package market at all nine of its resorts on six Caribbean islands.

Programs will be available Dec. 22 through Dec. 21, 2004 and will include accommodations with daily breakfast, diving and use of dive equipment, transfers, tax and service charges.

Additional features will vary by resort. Divi has three properties in Aruba, two in Barbados and one each in Bonaire, Cayman Brac in the Cayman Islands, St. Croix and St. Maarten.

For details, visit www.diviresorts.com.

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Aruba's tourism numbers are up, according to the Aruba Tourism Authority.

Figures increased 3.6% to 270,123 visitors from January through July over the same period a year ago.

In June and July, U.S. visitors were 14% over the same two months last summer, due in part to new on-island events, new Continental service from Houston and additional seats on US Airways' flights, said Edison Briesen, minister of tourism and transportation.

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In response to the growing market for singles travel, Long Bay Beach Resort & Villas on Tortola, British Virgin Islands, named October Singles Month and launched a "Singles Sale" with a 50% rate discount.

Prices for solo travelers heading to Long Bay will start at $77.50 per night, single. For single friends traveling together in search of some R&R and a possible love connection, the rate is $155, double.

Long Bay's two restaurants will offer Singles Tables for those who would rather not dine solo, and a "Matchmaking Concierge" will help unattached guests partner up.

For details, visit www.longbay.com or call (877) 906-2525.

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A new Secret Rendezvous program, available through Sept. 30 at the three inclusive Couples Resorts in Jamaica, offers 40% discounts -- if travelers are willing to let Couples select which resort they visit.

Discounted nightly rates start at $130 per person.

Guests will be notified seven days before departure whether they will be at Couples Ocho Rios, Couple Swept Away or Couples Negril.

To book, call (800) COUPLES.

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The musical groups Crosby, Stills & Nash and Chicago will headline the second annual Aruba Music Festival Oct. 10 and 11 at the Aruba Entertainment Center.

General admission tickets are $35 for each night and can be purchased at the gate or through several tour operators.

For information or details, visit www.aruba.com or call (800) TO-ARUBA.

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Red Sail Sports unveiled a Web site at www.redsail.com that includes information on its three scuba and dive locations in Aruba, Grand Cayman and Hawaii.

Visitors to the site can download brochures, fact sheets, color images and scuba and dive tips. A special section on the site allows travel agents to research group booking discounts, arrange group activities in advance and obtain online quotes and bookings.

Users can ask questions online with answers provided by a Red Sail Sports specialist.

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Building on the success of last year's program, Puerto Rico has again designated September as Travel Agent Month -- and added lots more goodies to sweeten the pot.

"Our travel agent partners play a vital role in making Puerto Rico a leading vacation destination," said Jose Suarez, executive director of Puerto Rico Tourism Co. "We want to keep bringing them back to experience our activities and culture."

Incentives this year include discounted rates at lots more hotels and paradores (family-owned inns), special Hertz rates, reduced fares on Spirit Airlines, American and United and a chance to win a three-night stay at the Ritz Carlton San Juan Spa & Casino.

For details, visit www.gotopuertorico.com.

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Prices are falling up to 50% this autumn at the 65-room Bolongo Bay Beach Club on St. Thomas.

Rates range from $79 per room, per night, double, European Plan, to $299 on the all-inclusive plan. Prices are valid for new bookings made through Bolongo's reservations center at (800) 524-4746 or via e-mail at [email protected] through Oct. 1 for travel through Nov. 15.

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US Airways will introduce nonstop weekly service between Charlotte, N.C., and La Romana, its third destination in the Dominican Republic, beginning Dec. 13.

The carrier also serves Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. The carrier is offering an introductory special of double frequent flyer mileage on the new route between Dec. 13 and March 31.

Another new weekly nonstop route is Washington Dulles-San Juan, which begins Nov. 1.

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Costa Bonita Resort, the newest property in Culebra, Puerto Rico, will open in late fall.

The 164-unit waterfront resort, equally divided between studio rooms and one-bedroom suites, is located on Ensenada Hondo, five minutes from the capital (and only town) of Dewey.

Facilities include kitchenettes in each unit, ocean views, a pool with a swim-up bar, a main restaurant and cafe, and a souvenir shop.

Details and rates will be available shortly at www.costabonitaresort.com.

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Elsewhere in Puerto Rico, the year-old, 118-room Rincon Beach Resort on the island's west coast pays 15% commission on nightly rates that start at $118 per room, double, through mid-December.

Rincon Beach offers a variety of water sports and excursions and includes a restaurant, a bistro, a wine bar and a pool. For details, visit rinconbeachresort.com.

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The BodyHoliday at LeSport, St. Lucia, features five- and seven-night scuba plans that include boat dives, use of scuba equipment, a dive video, accommodations, all meals and drinks, spa treatments, taxes and tips.

Rates start at $1,475 per person, double, through Nov. 1 for five nights.

For more information or to book, call (800) 544-2883.

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Paradise Beach Resort on St. Kitts has officially changed its name to The Angelus.

Scott Ward, senior vice president of sales and marketing, said the name "comes from sailing folklore and refers to a mystical woman of the sea who guided tall ships to peace and good fortune."

The resort's first 72 suites opened in July and overlook the ocean or the Royal St. Kitts Golf Course.

When completed, the 144-room resort will include facilities such as a restaurant and pool.

For information, call (800) 466-6224 or visit www.angelusstkitts.com.

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

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