CITING "a difficult economic environment and low
booking levels," Club Med is closing 15 villages in 10 countries,
including the 264-room Club Med Columbus Isle on San Salvador,
Bahamas, and the 256-room Club Med St. Lucia near Castries. Club
Med Columbus Isle closes Oct. 28 and has set a reopening date for
winter 2002-03, although it could open sooner, a spokesman said.
The St. Lucia resort, which has been closed since summer 2000 for
renovations, was originally slated to reopen this month and now
will reopen for the winter 2002-03 season. Affected clients have
three options: Rebook at another Club Med village; cancel outright
but apply the cost toward a future package, or cancel entirely with
no penalty (agents' commissions are not protected on the third
option). Club Med also has villages in Martinique, Guadeloupe,
Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Turks & Caicos.
• The Caribbean Hotel Association's Marketplace 2002 will take
place as scheduled at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico,
from Jan. 13 to 15.
• The Caribbean Tourism Organization's postponed Tourism Summit now
is set for Dec. 8 and 9 in Nassau.
• Dates still are not finalized for the Caribbean Tourism
Conference, originally set for this month. However, the original
venue of Our Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas remains
• The CTO will host a Media Marketplace on Nov. 5 at the Radisson
Crowne Plaza in New York City during the ASTA Congress. Tourism
ministers and directors will be present.
A NEW CTO Web site at www.OneCaribbean.org, is being used by CTO members to
post information on special packages and other tourism activity in
the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. The site is linked to CTO
members' individual Web sites.
• American Eagle will launch new services from San Juan to Herrara
and Barahona in the Dominican Republic Dec. 15. The airline will
offer two daily roundtrips to Herrera near the capital of Santo
Domingo and a daily roundtrip flight to Barahona on the southwest
• Air Jamaica postponed the start date of its Washington
(Dulles)-Montego Bay service from Nov. 15 to mid-2002. Service from
Montego Bay to Curacao begins Nov. 22.
• Air Jamaica extended its Freedom Fares offer through Oct. 31.
Fares are valid for travel through March 14 and a two-day minimum
stay is required. All U.S. gateways are eligible for Freedom
PUERTO RICO Tourism Co. launched a $15 million
ad campaign, the first new campaign in more than three years.
"You're Not Dreaming, You're in Puerto Rico" debuted Oct. 21 in
print and on radio and TV. PRTC also launched its new Web site at
www.gotopuertorico.com. The site replaces
CLASSIC CUSTOM VACATIONS is paying 20%
commission on the land portion of new bookings departing through
Dec. 15. The commission rate applies to all Classic products,
including Caribbean programs.
BIRAS CREEK RESORT on Virgin Gorda in the
British Virgin Islands reopens Oct. 28 after a two-month renovation
of its 33 suites, public areas, water sports facilities and food
operations. The resort is the only Relais & Chateaux property
in the Caribbean.
BEGINNING NOV. 1, guests who stay six nights or
more at Beaches Royal Plantation Golf Resort & Spa in Ocho
Rios, Jamaica receive free roundtrip air transfers between Montego
Bay, Jamaica and Ocho Rios on Air Jamaica Express.
BREEZES CURACAO is scheduled to open Dec. 14.
Formerly the Princess Beach Resort & Casino, the property is
SuperClubs' first resort in the Dutch Caribbean. To spur business,
all bookings made by Nov. 17 are discounted by up to 50% for travel
between Jan. 1 and Dec. 20.
CUBA'S visitor figures reflect the downward
trend seen elsewhere. H.E. Ibrahim Ferradaz, minister of tourism,
reported a 5% decrease in September vs. a year ago and a 13%
decline from Oct. 1 to 18 compared with the same period last
October. Prior to Sept. 11, the Ministry of Tourism had projected
visitor arrivals for 2001 at 2 million, up 12.5% from last year.
Revised projections now forecast 1.9 million visitors, a 7%
increase. Hotel occupancy, which hovered at 50% before Sept. 11,
dipped to 30% since. No substantial change is expected through