Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-Letter: April 11, 2002

DUTCH CARIBBEAN AIRLINES, a new carrier paying 6% commission and headquartered in Curacao with a U.S. base in Miami, offers MD-80 daily flights between Miami and Curacao. Hubert La Croes, formerly with American Airlines, is general manager, U.S. and Canada. DCA was formed last September and is wholly owned by Curacao. The airline has five nonstops a week to Curacao, a weekly Miami-Haiti flight, two flights a week that continue from Haiti to Curacao and one flight a week that stops en route in Bonaire. From Curacao, the line also serves Amsterdam, Trinidad and Jamaica. Additional destinations planned from Miami include Aruba, St. Maarten, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

THE BARBADOS TOURISM AUTHORITY'S tentative plan to modify its annual Barbados Super Saver package promotion calls for a new honeymoon extension with free breakfast, champagne and a merchandise gift certificate. Details are expected to be announced shortly, according to Bill Silvermintz, vp-marketing, Americas.

LODGEPODGE
• The Starfish Trelawny, which opened Feb. 14 in Trelawny on Jamaica's north coast, offers a special land-only rate of $80 per person, per night, double for bookings of five nights or more through May 23. To book, call (800) 659-5436.
• Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas offers a bed-and-breakfast plan year round, but rates are lowest from June 1 to Nov. 26. Plan covers room, full breakfast for two and unlimited use of the fitness center, tennis facility and nonmotorized water sports. Nightly rates start at $296 per room, double. To book, call (800) 241-3333.
• Radisson Cable Beach Resort, Nassau, Bahamas, provides free wedding services for couples staying three or more nights. Services include a wedding consultant, choice of location, marriage license, corsage and boutonniere, clergy and a bottle of champagne. For info, call (800) 777-7800.
• Dominica's 50-cottage White River Wilderness Resort, which opens next winter, has already changed its name to Jungle Bay Resort & Spa. The eco-resort borders the island's Trois Piton National Park, the Caribbean's first World Heritage Site. For info, e-mail [email protected].
• Carenage Bay Beach & Golf Club on Canouan in the Grenadines will temporarily close its doors May 7. The 172-villa property, which opened in late 1999, parted company with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts on Feb. 20. The resort plans to reopen in 2003 "with facilities and services restored, including the completion of the redesigned 18-hole Jim Fazio golf course," according to Bruce Hearn, managing director. The Tamarind Beach Hotel, sister resort to Carenage on Canouan, is accepting reservations for Carenage clients after May 7. Agent commissions are protected, Hearn said.
• Long Bay Beach Resort & Villas in Tortola, B.V.I., offers a 20% discount for holiday stays of five or more nights from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4 if bookings are made by June 30. Visit www.longbay.com or call (877) 818-2525.

PLEASANT HOLIDAYS is adding the Caribbean to its product lineup next year and will begin taking bookings in October for travel in January. New product line will include inclusive resorts in Aruba, Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and St. Lucia.

WEB WATCH
• The Cayman Turtle Farm on Grand Cayman launched its redesigned Web site at www.turtle.ky.
• Cobblers Cove in Barbados launched an online booking service at www.cobblerscove.com. Agents who book via this site and provide their IATA number at time of booking receive 10% commission.

CUBA NEWS includes a recent visit by ASTA officials who plan to introduce a destination specialist course to train and educate U.S. travel agents to sell Cuba. The group toured Cuban resorts and Havana and met with Fidel Castro.

AIR BYTES
• Pending government approval, Continental Airlines will launch daily nonstop service Dec. 12 between Newark and Montego Bay with continuing service to Kingston.
• American Airlines added 40 seats to its nonstop weekly service beginning June 15 between New York (JFK) and Grand Cayman. The additional seats are on the weekend 757 flights.

ADDITIONS to the annual Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference include a Caribbean Hotels Showcase for agents and a Small Hotels mini-meeting with working sessions and panel discussions. CHIC 2002 is set for June 16 to 19 at Wyndham El Conquistador Resort & Country Club in Puerto Rico. Theme of this year's conference is "Winning in a Changing Marketplace." For info, call (787) 725-9139 or e-mail [email protected].

PENCIL IT IN
• International Travel Planners Conference, Nassau, May 21 to 24.
• St. Kitts sixth annual Music Festival, June 27 to 30, Fort Thomas Hotel in Basseterre, St. Kitts.

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