THE CAYMAN ISLANDS Department of Tourism closed
its Los Angeles sales office, eliminated 17 positions and downsized
its Miami office in preparation for the relocation of U.S.
headquarters to New York early next year. Sales offices remain open
in Chicago and Houston. McKeeva Bush, minister of tourism, said the
destination will launch a new ad and marketing campaign in 2002 and
hopes to soon fill the post of director of tourism, vacated by
Angela Martins earlier this year.
THE CELEBRATION OF THE SEAS dive festival in
the Cayman Islands, planned for Jan. 19 to 26, has been canceled
due to lower than expected registration numbers. The induction
ceremony planned at the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame in
George Town, Grand Cayman will take place as scheduled on Jan.
THE LAUNCH of a $16 million regional ad
campaign to boost tourism throughout the Caribbean now is planned
for February, according to tourism officials who attended the
Tourism Summit Dec. 8-10 in Nassau. The campaign, which marks the
first such regional effort in more than 10 years, was originally
planned for a Nov. 15 start but funding was not in place. Tommy
Turnquest, Bahamas' minister of tourism, said the four-month
campaign will run on major cable channels in the U.S and Europe.
Costs will be shared by public and private sectors.
THE BAHAMAS has continued to receive large
numbers of cruise passengers since Sept. 11, despite an overall
drop in cruise passengers throughout the region. Turnquest said
cruise numbers for 2001 will be higher than the 2.4 million
recorded in 2000. Officials at the Tourism Summit will set up a
committee to oversee cruise industry development in the Caribbean.
The group will be headed by a hotel representative and a member of
the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association.
VACATION EXPRESS launched the first of its
fleet of dedicated charter aircraft from its home base in Atlanta.
The firm is expanding its Caribbean charter service to Aruba and
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and has added Jamaica as a new
PENCIL IN THE NEW tentative dates for the
oft-rescheduled Caribbean Tourism Conference, now set for May at
Our Lucaya in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. CTC-25, originally set
for last October, surfaced briefly as a February event but faded
off radar screens just as fast. This time, officials say May is
definite, and the firm dates will be announced shortly. Stay
WIMCO, the Caribbean villa rental company, pays
12% commission on reservations booked by Jan. 31 for stays through
November. To view the villas, visit the Web site at www.wimco.com.
• Cayman Airways' Jump Start 2002 fare sale offers roundtrip prices
from $177 for midweek travel from Miami to Grand Cayman.
Reservations must be made and paid by Dec. 28; travel is valid
through May 19.
• Air Jamaica Express launched nonstop service Dec. 10 from Montego
Bay to Port au Prince, Haiti. The service operates Mondays,
Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
• American Airlines will add one more flight a week between New
York (Kennedy) and Turks and Caicos Dec. 15 and two more a week
beginning Jan. 31 to bring the total to four a week. The line adds
a third daily nonstop flight from Miami to Turks and Caicos Dec.
• Nevis' new airport terminal opens in February at Newcastle
Airport, three miles from the capital of Charlestown on the north
side of the island. Nevis is served by regional carriers from San
Juan, Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Kitts.
• Beaches Sandy Bay in Negril, Jamaica, (formerly Beaches Inn
Resort) reopened last month after being closed for a three-month
• St. Martin's 370-suite Hotel Mont Vernon reopened Dec. 6 near
Orient Beach. The former Blue Bay Club's $1 million renovation
included upgrades to guest rooms, beachfront bar, restaurant and
• Antigua's Jolly Beach resort now offers a toll-free reservations
number at (800) 905-6559.
• Bequia Beach Club in the Grenadines launched a "2 for 1" program
which gives a free 10-night stay in the low season to couples who
stay two weeks or more in the peak season from Dec. 15 to April 15.
The deal applies to stays through 2004.
• At Rosewood's Carenage Bay Resort on Canouan in the Grenadines, a
golf course expansion to 18 holes will be completed by March and
will cover 250 acres when done.
• The Mandara Spa at Atlantis on Paradise Island, Bahamas, debuted
Dec. 12 as the first stage of the $2 million Atlantis Sports Center
featuring a fitness facility, tennis courts, a lap pool and an
18-hole putting course.
• Colony Club Hotel in Barbados has adopted an adults-only policy
through June and again from Sept 16 onwards. From June 1 to Sept.
15, the 96-room resort will welcome kids with an activity program
and baby-sitting services. Colony Club is a member of Elegant
Hotels Group, with five properties in Barbados and one in
• Point Grace on Providenciales in Turks and Caicos opens its new
Thalassotherapy Spa this month.
THE WATER CLUB in San Juan, which opened in
October, has slashed rates by 50% for the high season. Rates at the
84-room beachfront boutique hotel are $199 per night, single or
double through April 30.
ANTIGUA RESORTS' three properties are paying
26% commission on new bookings for inclusive plans on stays of five
nights or more through Jan. 31. The resorts are Galley Bay, Royal
Antiguan and St. James's Club.
THE NEW PRESIDENT of the St. Thomas/St. John
Hotel & Tourism Association is Jayne Hillner, general manager
of Marriott's Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resorts in
St. Thomas. Hillner replaced Richard Doumeng, general manager of
Bolongo Bay Beach Club on St. Thomas, who served for four
SCENT OF A RESORT: Club Med is teaming up with
Coty Inc. to market the inclusive resort firm's fragrance called My
Ocean, touted as "an evocative version of the Club Med experience
with an ocean-crisp scent that symbolizes refreshing leisure
vacations." My Ocean will be available nationwide in March.