DESPITE HURRICANE MICHELLE'S windy swath through
parts of the Caribbean Nov. 4 to 5, major damage was averted and
cleanup was quick. Here's the rundown:
• Cayman Islands' dive operators resumed normal schedules Nov. 7;
cruise ship terminals in George Town sustained damage, but repairs
were quickly completed on one terminal, and an alternative dock is
being used while repairs are completed on the second facility.
Storm surges flooded the tanks at the popular Turtle Farm
attraction on Grand Cayman, which is closed indefinitely; Cayman
Brac and Little Cayman had no damage.
• Bahamas' Ocean Club on Paradise Island expects cleanup to be
completed by Nov. 14. Until then, guests are being accommodated at
Atlantis' suites or rescheduling their vacations. Sheraton Grand
Resort Paradise Island will reopen in mid-January after lobby and
waterfront repairs are completed.
• Spirit Airlines will launch twice-daily year-round service Nov.
22 to San Juan from Detroit via a connection in Fort Lauderdale.
Promotional fares start at $109 for travel Dec. 1 to 17 and Jan. 8
to 31. Tickets must be booked by Nov. 15.
• Northwest launched daily round-trip service from Memphis, Tenn.
to Montego Bay Nov. 1, replacing service from Tampa, Fla. to
Montego Bay, which was discontinued Oct. 28.
• US Airways began daily nonstop service between Philadelphia and
Barbados Nov. 3.
• Air Jamaica postponed the start date of its Washington
(Dulles)-Montego Bay service from Nov. 15 to mid-2002.
VISITORS to the U.S. Virgin Islands will
receive a $200 American Express travelers check upon arrival and
the fourth night free when three nights are booked as part of the
Stay and Play, We'll Pay promotion. Travel must be booked through
one of six participating wholesalers between Nov. 10 and Dec. 15
for travel from Dec. 1 through March 31. The promotion is a
component of the $6.5 million Sea to Shining Sea campaign.
SANDALS RESORTS plans to reopen the 130-room
Beaches Inn Resort in Negril by Thanksgiving under a new name:
Beaches Club Resort. The resort was closed Aug. 31 for renovations.
Sandals' chairman Gordon "Butch" Stewart said the decision means
there will be only one property under the Inns brand: Sandals Inn
in Montego Bay. Sandals Inn, which is closed, will reopen Dec. 10
after a three-month renovation. Sandals does not plan to do away
with the Inns brand, according to Stewart. Meanwhile, Sandals
launched a new TV ad campaign featuring the song "What the World
Needs Now Is Love." The campaign will run on national cable
channels through Dec. 12 and resume after the holidays.
PUERTO RICO stepped up its multifaceted
promotion effort to spur arrivals from the mainland U.S. As part of
a six-week incentive program, agents who book Puerto Rico is Fun
packages between Jan. 13 and Feb. 23 for travel from Feb. 2 to
April 15 are eligible for cash prizes from $100 to a grand prize of
$10,000. Other efforts include Fly Free to Puerto Rico, which
offers visitors two free roundtrip tickets for every hotel room
booked for five nights or more through one of 10 participating
wholesalers. The promotion is a joint effort with American, ATA,
Continental, Delta and Spirit. The offer runs through Dec. 15 for
travel from New York, Newark, Chicago (Midway), Orlando, Miami and
BARBADOS' tourism initiatives include a $15
million budget for a revised TV and print campaign; increased
support for wholesalers, operators and airlines; a relief package
for the hotel industry, and more travel agent training. An expanded
fam schedule calls for five trips from New York, six from Miami and
two from Los Angeles by the end of the year.
THE CURACAO TOURIST BOARD closed its offices in
New York and Miami on Oct. 18 and no longer has tourist board
representation in the States. Tourism Solutions, a Miami-based
sales and marketing firm, now handles consumer and trade inquiries.
Curacao's toll-free number, (800) 3-CURACAO, and the Web site, www.curacao-tourism.com, remain the same.
VIVA RESORTS has joined the growing list of
hotels offering complimentary vacations to New York City rescue
workers. The inclusive hotel firm is offering 100 four-night stays
at any of its six resorts in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic and
Mexico. The deal is valid through Dec. 23 for up to two adults and
two kids (ages 12 and under) per room.
THE ARUBA MARRIOTT RESORT & Stellaris
Casino completed a $4.2 million renovation of its 413 guest rooms
and suites. View the redone rooms at www.offshoreresorts.com.
ST. LUCIA'S Rex Resorts announced dates for two
reopenings. The 140-room Papillon reopens Dec. 1, and the 96-suite
Royal St. Lucian welcomes guests Dec. 15.
ARUBA'S inclusive Bushiri Beach Resort is
renovating its 155 guest rooms and suites in time for the high
season. For reservations, visit www.bushiri.com.