Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-Letter: June 6, 2002

LIFE NEEDS THE CARIBBEAN, an $8 million ad blitz, will debut on national cable TV stations July 29. Some 2,000 commercials will run through Oct. 31 and offer four versions of the same message, which juxtaposes urban hustle and bustle with the soothing influences of the Caribbean. The campaign is a component of a $16 million initiative sponsored by public and private entities.

US AIRWAYS will launch its GoCaribbean initiative on July 15 under a code-share agreement with Nevis Express, linking San Juan with St. Kitts and Nevis. Caribbean Star Airlines, based in Antigua, and WINAIR, based in St. Maarten, will join the GoCaribbean program later this year. The three regional carriers will offer additional services to 14 island destinations, supplementing US Airways' current service to 16 Caribbean spots from its hubs in Charlotte, N.C.; Philadelphia; and Pittsburgh. The initiative includes affiliations with US Airways' Dividend Miles frequent travel program and US Airways Vacations.

LODGEPODGE
• Plans are in the works for a 120-room, Italian seaside-themed expansion at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, according to Jeremy Jones, general manager. The project is slated to begin this fall on five acres east of the resort.
• Also in Provo, the 21-suite Grace Bay Club has been sold to a group of businessmen who also own the new Esperanza Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. Martin Van Wegenberg remains as general manager and the property is open for business as usual.
• Island Destinations added Anguilla's Malliouhana Hotel & Spa to its luxury resort product line.

AIR BYTES
• Northwest Airlines will launch year-round daily A320 service from Detroit to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, via Memphis Oct. 27. The carrier previously offered winter-only service to Grand Cayman from its Minneapolis/St. Paul hubs.
• U.S. Airways will offer service four times a week from Charlotte, N.C., to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, beginning Nov. 2, and from Charlotte to Belize Nov. 9. Pending foreign government approval, the carrier will add Grenada to its network with the start of Saturday nonstop service from Philadelphia Dec. 21.

STEVE GORGA, president of Travel Impressions, and Bob Lawrence, vp-Caribbean marketing for GoGo Tours, will address CHIC 2002 delegates on adapting to new marketing and distribution strategies in the North American market following Sept. 11. CHIC 2002 is set for June 16 to 19 at Wyndham El Conquistador Resort & Country Club in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

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