Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-Letter: June 13, 2002

THE VISITOR NUMBERS are in for the first quarter, and it's a mixed bag, according to data supplied to CTO from 16 Caribbean countries. Percentage gains were achieved by Grenada, up 16% with 12,331 stayover visitors; Curacao, up 10.5% with 57,317 visitors; Montserrat, up 12.4% with 1,443; and St. Vincent & The Grenadines, up 2.7% to 11,100. Bermuda, a CTO member, was up 2.9% with 41,322 visitors.

DECREASES at 11 destinations ranged from 3.2% in Puerto Rico in January and February to a 40.6% downswing in St. Lucia for the same time period. Numbers from Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, St. Maarten, Turks and Caicos and the U.S. Virgin Islands were also down.

CRUISE DATA were less complete. Of the 13 destinations that supplied CTO with figures, only Belize, the Cayman Islands, Curacao and St. Vincent & The Grenadines increased their passenger arrivals over the same period a year ago. Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica, St. Lucia and the U.S. Virgin Islands were down. No cruise figures were available for Aruba, Puerto Rico and Turks and Caicos. For more information, visit www.onecaribbean.org/information.

AIR BYTES
• Delta will launch a daily nonstop flight from Atlanta to Montego Bay Nov. 1 to supplement the three daily flights it operates as a code share with Air Jamaica to Montego Bay.
• US Airways filed for DOT approval to launch service from Washington National to Nassau in November.
• Pan Am will begin San Juan-Newark one-stop service, via Orlando-Sanford Airport, June 28 on 727 aircraft.

LODGEPODGE
• Club Med's new Vacation On Us promotion offers agents a free seven-night stay at its villages in Paradise Island, Bahamas; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Turkoise, Turks and Caicos; Sandpiper, Fla., and Cancun and Ixtapa, Mexico, for travel through Oct. 31. Guests in same room with agents pay $35 per night. To book, call (800) 536-2965.
• Viva Resorts, with six inclusive properties in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Mexico, extended the hours of operation at its Miami reservations center. The center now takes calls from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. The number is (800) 898-9968. Commissions are 12% at five of Viva's six resorts and 15% at Viva Fortuna Beach on Grand Bahama Island for bookings through Dec. 23.

PENCIL IT IN
• Annual St. John Fourth of July Festival, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, through July 5.
• Tobago Heritage Festival, Tobago, July 12 to Aug. 1.

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