US AIRWAYS VACATIONS expanded its Distinctive
Vacations product line to include 16 destinations in the Caribbean,
plus Bermuda and Mexico (Cancun and Cozumel). Distinctive Caribbean
Vacations, which features first-class air on US Airways and upscale
accommodations "opens up a new avenue for discerning travelers,"
according to Kris Potter, vp and general manager, US Airways
Vacations. The Distinctive Vacations brand was rolled out for
travel to Europe in 2000.
THE WORLD TRAVEL and Tourism Council is
weighing in with its recovery predictions, saying that the
Caribbean will experience a period of high growth in 2003 following
this year's period of stabilization and recovery. The WTTC predicts
a worldwide rebound next year, with the Caribbean region leading
the pack with a 7.1% increase in tourism growth. Its research also
forecasts that the Cayman Islands' tourism economy will grow by
6.2% -- the fastest in the region -- during the next 10 years.
• Seaborne Airlines added a midday flight between St. Thomas and
San Juan, making a total of three roundtrips per day. Meanwhile, on
Oct. 4, the seaplane carrier will launch daily service between St.
Croix and Old San Juan's Pier 7, near the cruise ship pier. For
fares and flights, visit www.seaborneairlines.com or call (866)
• Delta will add service from Atlanta to Providenciales, Turks and
Caicos, and St. Maarten, effective Dec. 1. The airline also will
expand its Aruba service by upping its Atlanta departures and
adding a new nonstop flight from New York (Kennedy). From
Cincinnati, Delta will introduce daily nonstop service to Nassau,
• BWIA will inaugurate Thursday roundtrips Oct. 31 from Washington
(Dulles) to Tobago, with continuing service to Trinidad. An
introductory roundtrip fare of $350 is valid for flights booked by
Nov. 15 for travel through Dec. 12. For information, call (877)
AIR JAMAICA lost $70 million since the
terrorist attacks last year and will require bridge financing, said
Christopher Zacca, CEO and deputy chairman. Extra costs since last
September included $6 million in insurance and $25 million in
security upgrades. Chairman Gordon "Butch" Stewart said the carrier
would comply with a FAA requirement that bulletproof cockpit doors
be installed in all 20 of the carrier's aircraft by April. Each
door costs $60,000, Stewart said. Although yields declined, Allen
Chastanet, the airline's vp-marketing and sales, said Air Jamaica
carried more passengers in the year since Sept. 11 than in the
preceding year. Air Jamaica, meanwhile, will launch service to
Belize in November and double its daily flights to Montego Bay,
Jamaica, from Chicago and Los Angeles early next year.
COUPLES RESORTS relaunched its third-night-free
promotion at its two resorts in Negril and one in Ocho Rios,
Jamaica, applicable to bookings made by Oct. 15 for arrivals Sept.
28 to Dec. 20 and Jan. 1 to 24. The offer was first introduced in
March 2001 and reinstated last fall after Sept. 11. For
information, call (800) COUPLES or visit www.couples.com.
• The 21-suite Grace Bay Club in Providenciales plans a three-phase
upgrade, according to new owners John Fair and Mark Durliat, whose
portfolio includes the new Esperanza resort in Cabo San Lucas,
Mexico. Enhancements at Grace Bay will include new soft goods, 30
more units, a spa and a second pool.
• La Cabana All Suite Beach Resort, Aruba opened Las Ramblas
Terrace, an open- air tapas restaurant.
• The 12,000-square-foot Spa at Four Seasons Nevis will debut in
early December with 12 treatment rooms, some of which will be set
in outdoor gardens.
• Guests staying at the St. James's Club, Morgan Bay, St. Lucia,
and playing 18 holes at the nearby St. Lucia Golf and Country Club
receive complimentary greens fees. Roundtrip transfers to the club
are $10; a mandatory cart rental is $27.50 per cart or $13.75 per
golfer. For information, visit www.eliteislandresorts.com.
• Sandy Lane in Barbados became a member of Preferred Hotels &
• St. Barth Properties added 12 villas to its portfolio of 120
villas and hotels on St. Barts. To view the properties, visit www.stbarth.com.
• The 124-room Asta Beach Resort and the 48-room Allamanda Beach
Hotel, both in Barbados, merged management, sales and marketing
functions. Guests at Allamanda now have use of the recreational
facilities at Asta Beach on Palm Beach. Renovation plans for 2003
include 24 new units at Asta Beach and replacement of soft goods in
guestrooms at Allamanda.
PENCIL IT IN
• Florida Caribbean Cruise Assn. annual conference and trade show,
Sept. 24 to 27, Cancun.
• Curacao Travel Expo 2002, Oct. 10 to 13, Willemstad, Curacao.
Contact the Curacao Hospitality and Tourism Assn. at www.chata.org/travelexpo.html.
• Jamerican Film & Music Festival, Nov. 20 to 24, Montego
CORRECTION: JRS Tours is based in Miami, not
Pittsburgh. Its toll-free number is (800) JAMAICA.