THE CARIBBEAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION'S annual
conference, set for Oct. 15 to 18 in Freeport, Grand Bahamas, is
"still a go for the moment," according to Gene Holder, CTO
secretary general. CTO "is concerned about our travel partners,
many of whom are from the New York and Washington areas, and we
will continue to evaluate the situation and assist our partners
wherever possible." CTO's New York office in lower Manhattan was
safely evacuated on Sept. 11 but remained closed as did the entire
downtown area during search and rescue efforts.
CARIBBEAN HOTEL FIRMS adopted various measures
for their guests impacted by the air travel ban. Sandals &
Beaches Resorts extended complimentary accommodations for guests
scheduled to depart but unable to fly out. The six Marriott and
Renaissance Caribbean properties offered "distressed passenger
rates" through Sept. 18 . These rates are usually applied in times
of natural disasters such as hurricanes and represent a 50%
discount. Club Med guests are not charged for extra nights while
the flight ban is in effect. Guests who are set to arrive through
Sept. 23 will not be charged a fee if they cancel, as long as they
rebook for a later date.
A FIRE DESTROYED the Straw Market, the Bahamas
Ministry of Tourism headquarters, stores, restaurants and a bank
building in Nassau, Bahamas Sept. 4. More than 500 Straw Market
vendors have been located, many along the cruise piers. The British
Colonial Hilton, 200 yards from the market, was not damaged.
Tourism officials pledged to rebuild the market.
US AIRWAYS filed an application with the Dept.
of Transportation for weekly nonstop service to Grenada and St.
Kitts & Nevis from its Philadelphia hub. Pending government
approval, the proposed weekend flights would begin early next year
aboard 120-seat A-319 aircraft. The carrier begins nonstop service
between Philadelphia and Barbados on Nov. 3, LaGuardia and
Freeport, Grand Bahamas, Nov. 4; Charlotte and Aruba, Nov. 10;
Philadelphia and Antigua, Dec. 8, and Philadelphia and St. Lucia,
Dec. 15. Charlotte-Cozumel service begins Jan. 12 and
Charlotte-Freeport, Grand Bahamas service Feb. 2.