Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-Letter: January 3, 2002

BREEZES CURACAO, SuperClubs' first property in the Dutch Caribbean, the eighth in the Breezes' portfolio and the first inclusive resort in Curacao, opened Dec. 28 after a six-month, $6 million renovation. The 339-room beachfront resort, two miles from downtown Willemstad, is the former Princess Beach Resort. General manager for the property is Richard Wayne Bourke, who served most recently as hotel manager at SuperClubs' Grand Lido Sans Souci in Jamaica. Breezes Curacao has a 1,500-foot beach, three pools, Jacuzzis, several restaurants, a nightclub, a casino, a fitness center, tennis courts and the trademark Breezes' feature -- a professional circus workshop with a flying trapeze. Not to be overlooked are the 30-foot climbing wall and Curacao's first ice-skating rink.

CURACAO's CARNIVAL celebrations take place through Feb. 12 and include costumes, floats, parades and Tumba marches with dance steps that date back to 19th century African, European and Caribbean rhythms. For a schedule of events, check the Web site at www.curacao-tourism.com.

LODGEPODGE:
• Antigua's 180-room Allegro Resort Pineapple Beach in Long Bay reopened last month, following a five-month closure for sprucing up.
• Belize will welcome the 25-cottage Kanantik Reef & Jungle Resort Feb. 1. The 300-acre property is located in Belize's South Stann Creek area on the south coast. Rates from $300 per person will cover meals, drinks, sports equipment and excursions.

CLUB MED launched a new North American ad and marketing campaign called "Wanna Play?" which focuses on the firm's philosophy of active vacations. Real Club Med guests and staff appear in the ads, which run in major newspapers, lifestyle and travel trade publications and on cable channels.

VACATION EXPRESS launched charter services to five Caribbean destinations from Orlando Sanford airport. The flights, which operate via Pace Airlines 737s, feed into Orlando from Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville and Washington D.C. Destinations served are Aruba, Cancun, Jamaica, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.

GOGO Worldwide Vacations introduced its "Earn More Money" promotion which features a $40 agent bonus for each booking made through Feb. 10 for travel through Dec. 12. The bonus applies not only to Gogo's Caribbean packages, but also to its programs in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica.

PUERTO RICO extended its Fly Free to Puerto Rico program on five-night bookings made by Feb. 22 for travel through April 14. The package includes two free airline tickets for midweek travel from Chicago, New York (JFK, La Guardia and Newark), Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Travel from other cities requires an add-on charge at the passenger's expense. Visit www.prtourism.com for a list of participating properties.

CARIBBEAN STAR AIRLINES (CSA) is seeking Transportation Department approval to start U.S. service to underserved Caribbean destinations. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based CSA is affiliated with Caribbean Star Airlines Ltd., an Antiguan carrier with scheduled and charter services within the Caribbean. CSA's first hub would be San Juan; service would begin July 1 from San Juan to Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and Tortola.

MORE DATES are set for tourism conferences:
• Sixth Annual Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference, Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort, Puerto Rico, April 23 to 25.
• Sint Maarten/St. Martin Annual Regional Tradeshow (SMART), Maho Beach Resort & Casino, April 25 to 27.
• Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx), Nassau, early May.

NEW FERRY service now links Bonaire and Curacao with two round trips a day in both directions. The ride takes approximately an hour and 45 minutes and is priced at $34 one way, $54 roundtrip. For a schedule, contact (011) 599-717-7001.

ISLAND VILLAGE, a four-acre entertainment and retail attraction, debuts Feb. 2 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The site will feature Jamaican music, cuisine and culture.

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