CARIBBEAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION officials called a
strategy session at New York's Marriott Marquis Oct. 2 to
brainstorm with Caribbean tourist offices and hotels regarding
initiatives to jumpstart travel to the Caribbean. Proposals
included co-op events, discounting hotel rates and piggybacking
efforts of individual island destinations into regional promotions.
CTO and the Caribbean region plan to have a "large" presence at the
rescheduled ASTA congress, now set for Nov. 4 to 7 in New York,
according to a spokesman.
ONE HOTEL that introduced a special rate in the
aftermath of Sept. 11 is Bolongo Bay Beach Club in St. Thomas. Its
Red, White & Blue Sale features rates from $37.50 per person,
per night, double through Dec. 15. Aqua Action Dive Center, also in
St. Thomas, offers a $25 discount on all dives to Jan. 2.
PUERTO RICO TOURISM CO., stressing its
proximity to the mainland and its full compliance with new federal
safety regulations at airports, launched a newspaper campaign in 15
key U.S. markets under the banner "Puerto Rico, Open Arms. Puerto
Rico, We're right next door." The ads appear in Atlanta, Boston,
Chicago, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. over
the next three weeks, after which PRTC will launch its winter
TOURISM CORP. BONAIRE and several of the
island's hotels launched the "We Are Here For You" promotion
featuring hotel deals and travel incentives. Similar promotions are
planned by Barbados, the Netherlands Antilles, Antigua &
Barbuda and the Dominican Republic. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
already launched a consumer ad campaign in South Florida that
focuses on the ongoing American Express Getaway promotion, bookable
only through travel agents. Other Caribbean destinations are
expected to announce plans.
THE FIRST Caribbean Media Exchange on
Sustainable Tourism takes place Oct. 6 to 10 at Beaches Grande
Sport resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The event, which was planned
before the Sept. 11 attacks, now will focus on the impact of
terrorism on the region's economy, among other issues. Speakers
include Ralph Taylor, president of the Caribbean Hotel Association;
Gordon "Butch" Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts; Allen
Chastanet, Air Jamaica's senior vice president of marketing and
sales, and Peter Greenberg, travel editor of NBC's "Today"
AIR JAMAICA cut midweek roundtrip economy fares
up to 40% from Miami, New York/Newark, Baltimore and Washington
D.C. to Barbados, Grenada and St. Lucia for travel booked by Oct.
15 and completed by Dec. 15. Fares require a three-day minimum
stay. Service from Washington to Barbados begins Nov. 15.
PUERTO RICO'S newest hotel is the 174-unit
Embassy Suites Hotel Dorado del Mar Beach & Golf Resort in
Dorado on the north coast, about 30 miles west of Luis Munoz Marin
Airport in San Juan. The oceanfront all-suite property offers golf,
meeting space and in-room Internet access.
THE STRAW MARKET in Nassau, Bahamas, reopened
following a fire Sept. 4 that destroyed the market and the Bahamas
Ministry of Tourism offices. The temporary Straw Market quarters
are located one block from the former site; the government plans to
rebuild the original market.
WYNDHAM'S NEWEST Caribbean property is the
165-room Sapphire Beach Club in St. Maarten. The branding deal was
signed Sept. 27 and takes effect Dec. 1. The hotel chain currently
has two properties in Puerto Rico, one each in Aruba, Jamaica, St.
Lucia and St. Thomas.