BELIZE will benefit from a surge in airlift this
winter, according to Mark Espat, minister of tourism. US Airways
launched nonstop service four times a week Nov. 9 between its
Charlotte, N.C., hub and Belize City; on Nov. 21, Air Jamaica will
introduce nonstop Montego Bay-Belize City flights four times a week
with connecting service from its U.S. gateways; Continental begins
weekly Saturday service from its Newark hub to Belize City, with
continuing service to Honduras, Dec. 14. Continental currently has
two daily flights from Houston, and American serves Belize daily
from both Dallas and Miami.
THE TELEVISION component of "Life Needs the
Caribbean," the $16 million regional advertising campaign, resumed
Nov. 6 on 17 nationwide cable networks and will run through Nov.
24. Ralph Taylor, chairman of the Caribbean Hotel Association
Charitable Trust, the public/private sector organization that has
been mandated to market the Caribbean as a single destination,
anticipated the ads would generate strong results for the upcoming
Thanksgiving and Christmas travel seasons. The ads will return to
the airwaves in early 2003; 18 Caribbean countries are
participating in the campaign.
• Kanantik Reef & Jungle Resort in the South Stann Creek area
of Belize reopens for the season Nov. 15 after a two-month
low-season closure. The 25-cabana oceanfront eco-resort, 18 miles
south of Dangriga, is served by Maya Island Air. Daily inclusive
rates are $300 per person while the EP rate is $265; commission is
10%. For reservations, call (800) 965-9689 or visit the Web site at
• Bolongo Bay Beach Club on St. Thomas will up its commission to
12% on direct bookings made through the resort's on-island
reservations department at (800) 524-4746 or by e-mail to [email protected]. The increase takes effect Jan. 1
and will be in effect year-round on all rates and packages.
• US Airways Vacations offers discounts up to 25% on its Sunshine
Savings Sale for air-inclusive bookings made through Dec. 2 for
travel Dec. 13 to April 15. Discounts apply to US Airways'
Caribbean and Mexico destinations from its six U.S. gateways. Some
blackout dates apply. Book through VAX Vacation
Access or the major GDSs.
• Club Med joined with Match.com, a subscription-based online dating service,
to offer vacations for single people. Dubbed "Singles Mingle," the
vacations will be promoted on www.match.com and held at Club Med villages in
Cancun and Turks and Caicos.
• The 402-suite Sandals Royal Hicacos Resort & Spa has opened
in Varadero, Cuba, near a 350-room Beaches Resort that opened there
in March 1999.
• Elite Island Resorts offers 35% off its inclusive and EP rates
for travel booked through Dec. 2 for travel Dec. 13 to April 20.
The resort chain has properties in Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Lucia,
and Palm Island in the Grenadines. For details, call (800) 345-0356
or visit www.eliteislandresorts.com.
• Four Seasons Resort Nevis will open a 12,000-square-foot
full-service spa in early December. The facility will be equipped
with 12 treatment rooms.
AMERICAN EAGLE Airlines signed a letter of intent to proceed
with the sale of Executive Airlines, which operates as American
Eagle out of hubs in Miami and San Juan with service to
destinations in Florida and the Caribbean. The buyer is Joaquin
Bolivar, chairman of the Water Club and Excelsior hotels in San
Juan and the founder of Executive Airlines. The transaction will
include a marketing partnership under which Executive Air will
continue to provide feed traffic to American, using the designator
code of AmericanConnection.
• US Airways will launch nonstop weekly service to St. Kitts from
Philadelphia Dec. 7, staking claim as the only carrier offering jet
service to St. Kitts from the U.S. Weekly service to Grenada from
Philadelphia begins Dec. 21; daily nonstop service from
Philadelphia to Grand Bahama Island starts Feb. 15.
• A new air alliance will offer connections linking the 14
destinations served by Caribbean Star Airlines, based in Antigua,
with the eight islands served by St. Maarten-based Windward Islands
Airways International (Winair). Discussions are underway to
coordinate flight schedules, marketing, sales, code-share
agreements and tour programs.
• Discover Air, an Orlando-based carrier, launched scheduled
charter service three times a week between Key West and Nassau
using a 19-seat Jetstream aircraft. Service is offered Thursdays,
Fridays and Sundays. The airline pays 5% commission, uncapped.
PENCIL IT IN
• Garifuna Settlement Day, Nov. 19, parades and cultural activities
• Moods of Pan Festival, Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, various venues in
Antigua, including Jolly Beach Resort Nov. 28.
• Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange, April 10 to 12, Punta Cana,