HUGH RILEY has been named the Caribbean Tourism
Organization's new director of marketing for the Americas,
replacing Michael Youngman who steps down from CTO at the end of
the month after heading its worldwide marketing operation for 11
years. Riley, who will be based in CTO's New York office, has spent
the past 20 years with the Barbados Tourism Authority and was its
director of marketing and sales, North America from 1997 to 2001.
HEINZ SIMONITSCH, managing director of Half
Moon Golf, Tennis & Beach Club in Montego Bay, Jamaica for the
past 39 years, will officially retire on June 30. During his
tenure, the resort grew from 30 rooms to 419 rooms and suites and
32 Royal Villas. Simonitsch rebuilt the resort after two
hurricanes, oversaw construction after a fire destroyed the main
buildings and added a 40,000-square-foot shopping village and
conference area. Simonitsch also founded an all-age school for 135
students and served as chairman of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist
Association for five years and of the Caribbean Hotel Assn. for
THE SHERATON GRAND RESORT Paradise Island,
Bahamas, will reopen May 1. The 340-room beachfront property has
been closed since Nov. 6 after being damaged by Hurricane Michelle.
Alfred Gorlick, general manager, said the closure enabled the
resort to upgrade the lobby, two of four restaurants and exterior
landscaping. "We are returning it to the way it was after we
completed our $10 million renovation less than two years ago,"
Gorlick said. Re-opening rates start at $69.50 per person per
night, double, through Dec. 21. Inclusive and honeymoon plans also
will be offered.
VACATION EXPRESS is adding St. Maarten/St.
Martin as a destination beginning May 17 and will offer charter
service on Mondays and Fridays from Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati,
Louisville, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando and Washington
(Dulles). The Atlanta-based operator will offer three-, four- and
• TNT Vacations pays a 1% commission bonus on top of its standard
10% commission for air-inclusive bookings made and paid between
March 20 and March 26. For details, call (800) 262-0123 or visit www.tntvacations.com.
• Funjet Vacations offers savings up to 35% on its air packages
booked by March 28 for travel from April 15 to Aug. 31. Rates cover
roundtrip air, transfers, room and hotel taxes. Call (800) 558-3050
or access through www.vacationaccess.com or major GDS systems, using the
• The auction date for the eight-suite Guana Beach Resort on Great
Guana Cay near Abaco in the Bahamas has been rescheduled from May
13 to May 25. For details, visit the Web site at www.guanabeach.com.
• The 31-unit Horned Dorset in Rincon, Puerto Rico, opens 22 new
suites at the end of May.
• Bonaire's newest hotel is the 20-unit Bellafonte Chateau de la
Mer oceanfront condo facility three miles from Kralendijk.
Accommodations include studios, one- and two-bedroom units, each
with a kitchen, balcony or patio, air conditioning and cable TV.
For information, visit www.belbonaire.com.
• Jamaica's inclusive Franklyn D. Resort and FDR Pebbles, both in
Runaway Bay, offer refunds on airline tickets between June 15 to
Aug. 30 and Oct. 18 to Dec. 19. Guests staying five or more nights
get a $500 refund; a four-night stay earns a $300 credit. For
information, call (800) 654-1FDR or visit www.fdrholidays.com.
• Long Bay Beach Resort & Villas on Tortola, British Virgin
Islands, pays 18% commission on all bookings through June 30. To
book, e-mail [email protected].
• The 150-room Sea Castles Beach Resort in Montego Bay closed its
doors March 2.
• Air Jamaica will increase its service from Orlando to Montego Bay
and Kingston from four flights a week to daily service June 20. On
the same date, the carrier will up its service between Boston and
Montego Bay from five weekly flights to daily.
• BWIA will launch its own tour operation April 15, featuring
hotels and destinations served by BWIA and LIAT, its regional
partner, in the Caribbean. Conrad Aleong, president and CEO of
BWIA, said the move is part of a plan to expand the carrier's
market to include more leisure sales.
PENCIL IT IN
• Belize's Lobsterfest, June 22 to 23, will include a fishing
tournament, a bike race, a Blessing of the Boats ceremony and lots
and lots of lobster. Call the Belize Tourism Board at (800)
624-0686 for info.
• Sandals Eighth Annual Ultra Awards will be held May 16 to 19 at
Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa. This event was
originally set for last fall but was postponed after Sept. 11. The
Ninth Annual Ultra Awards will be held later this year at the new
Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club in Ocho Rios, scheduled to
open June 1.