JOHN H. BELL, director general and CEO of the
Caribbean Hotel Association, will step down after 28 years with
CHA, effective Dec. 31. Bell joined CHA in 1974 as its first
executive director. Over the years, Bell helped create CHA
Marketplace, the annual tourism marketing conference; the Caribbean
Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference, and CHIC, the annual
Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference. In the marketing area, Bell
developed the Caribbean Gold Book of hotels; the regional
electronic reservations service known as CHARMS, and a
private-sector-led regional marketing thrust known as Great Places
in the Caribbean, scheduled for launch in the U.S. market in July.
Ralph Taylor, CHA president, appointed a committee to select
potential candidates for Bell's position.
CURACAO posted a 7.3% increase in U.S. visitors
for the first three months of the year, compared with the same
quarter in 2001, according to the Curacao Tourist Board. The number
of U.S. visitors totaled 11,233, and the largest jump (20%)
occurred in March. The U.S. continues to be the destination's No. 2
market, accounting for 22% of all arrivals. European travelers
represent the largest source at 27.5%. Contributing to the growth
in U.S. travelers is new service by Air Jamaica and the presence of
SuperClubs Breezes, said James Hepple, executive director of the
THE CAYMAN ISLANDS launched an aggressive
incentive awards program aimed at agents to bolster off-season
travel. McKeeva Bush, minister of tourism, told U.S. wholesalers at
the Cayman Islands Tourism Exchange in George Town, Grand Cayman,
that the hallmarks of the destination are "its safety, security and
serenity." Bush underscored the need for collaboration and
cooperation between public and private sectors "in the wake of
Sept. 11." Air arrivals declined 5.6% from January through March,
although cruise numbers rose 11% for the same time period.
MORE NEWS FROM CITE
• The Cayman Rewards program, geared toward individual agents and
their agencies, is valid on bookings through October for travel
through December and rewards top-volume agents and agencies with
$500 each per month. Agents report their bookings to a Web site at
www.caymanrewards.com, which tracks their
• H2GO!, a May-through-October incentive program with a four-night
minimum-stay requirement, contains a My Element discount card with
savings up to $1,100 per couple on attractions, restaurants, water
sports and shopping. Travel is valid through October. Details are
available at www.caymanislands.ky.
• The reorganized Cayman Islands Tourism Assn. now includes more
than 200 businesses and hotels in the Cayman Islands. Previously,
separate organizations represented these tourism sectors.
• New attractions include the BubbleSub, operated by SEAmobile
Submarine Tours at (345) 916-DIVE. The sub is a two-person,
glass-enclosed cabin piloted by a skilled diver to depths of 65
feet for unimpeded close-up views of reef, fish, coral and turtles.
Commission of 10% is paid on rates of $139 per person, double.
• The Westin's Casuarina's Hibiscus Spa opened last November; the
365-room Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman on Seven Mile Beach has set an
opening date of October 2003; and a calendar of events for the
yearlong 500th anniversary of the Cayman Islands next year can be
viewed at www.cayman500.ky.
• US Airways will begin Saturday nonstop service from Philadelphia
to St. Kitts Dec. 7 and has applied for DOT approval to launch up
to four weekly flights between Charlotte, N.C., and Belize in
November, using 120-passenger Airbus equipment.
• Pan Am will launch 727 service three times a week to Freeport,
Grand Bahama Island, from the Orlando-Sanford Airport in Florida
REGISTRATION for the sixth annual International
Travel Partners Conference at Radisson Cable Beach in Nassau, set
for May 21 to 24, is available on line. The 600 buyers and
suppliers who received invitations by e-mail received a
confidential user name and initial password to register on line at
www.bahamasitpc.com. Those interested in attending who
were not on the e-mail list can contact Henry Ross, conference
manager, at (305) 705-1206 or via e-mail at [email protected].
• Island Outpost's newest addition is Kamalame Cay, an 11-room
inclusive resort on a private island just off Andros in the Out
Islands of the Bahamas. Units include marina rooms, cottages and
villa suites with air-conditioning, ceiling fans, CD players,
minibars and patios. The resort fronts a three-mile private beach
sheltered by a barrier reef. For information, visit www.islandoutpost.com.
• Don and Kathie Johnson, husband and wife management duo at Nisbet
Plantation Beach Club in Nevis, were named 2002 Hotelier of the
Year at the annual St. Kitts & Nevis Hotel and Tourism Assn.
• Guests at the couples-only, 100-room Rendezvous, St. Lucia can
become PADI-certified divers in two days through participation in a
program called PADI Fastrack. Guests receive a manual and video or
CD-ROM prior to arrival, which they study at home and then complete
the written test and open-water qualifying dives at the resort.
Prices start at $279 for the course; inclusive resort rates start
at $170 person, per day through Dec. 21. Visit www.rendezvous.com.lc for details.
• The Coral Collection of Fine Hotels & Resorts has expanded
its portfolio to eight properties with the addition of its first
Caribbean hotel -- the year-old, 60-suite Royal West Indies Resort,
on Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. Nightly
rates start at $147 per couple, double and pay 10% commission.
• Hyatt Resorts' Kids Stay, Play and Eat Free package (for kids
under age 12) is offered at its properties in Aruba, Grand Cayman
and Puerto Rico (as well as the continental U.S. and Hawaii) from
June 1 through Aug. 31. The program also offers 50% off a second
room and free golf for kids under age 17 when teeing off with a
paying adult. Inclusions and minimum lengths of stay vary by
• Sun-care issues are addressed by the Westin St. John Resort &
Villas, U.S. Virgin Islands in its Savvy Sun program. The plan
features copies of the Savvy Sun Guide, which explains sunscreen
vs. sunblock, waterproof vs. water resistant and the benefits of
and uses for each. Guests also may borrow Sun Timers to monitor and
time their sun sessions.
THE CABINET POST of tourism minister for the
Bahamas is temporarily vacant while Perry Christie, the newly
elected prime minister of the Progressive Liberal Party, forms his
government. Christie defeated Tommy Turnquest, the former tourism
minister of the Free National Movement party. Vincent
Vanderpool-Wallace, director general of tourism, and Vernice
Walkine, deputy director of tourism, continue in their roles, which
THE LATEST Bahamas Getaway promotion offers
savings up to $150 for clients who use American Express to book any
of the air-inclusive programs of 10 participating tour operators.
Booking deadline is May 31; travel must be completed by Dec. 22.
For details, call (800) 4-BAHAMAS.
PENCIL IT IN
• Americas' Sail 2002, Montego Bay and Port Antonio, Jamaica, June
14 to 16.
• CTO's 29th annual Governments of the Caribbean State Ball, with
Byron Lee & The Dragonaires, Waldorf-Astoria, New York, May
• Provo Summer Festival and Pageant, Providenciales, Turks and
Caicos, July 22 to 28.
• Taste of the Caribbean, sponsored by the Caribbean Culinary
Foundation, Renaissance Jamaica Grande, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Oct. 16