Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-Letter: September 27, 2001

THE CARIBBEAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION reversed course and postponed its annual tourism conference. After originally holding firm to its Oct. 15 to 18 schedule in the days following the terrorist attacks, the CTO said it will reschedule the event for sometime early next year. The conference was to have been held at Our Lucaya in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.

AIR JAMAICA will suspend its service from Phoenix to Montego Bay, Jamaica, effective Oct. 13, citing "events of the Sept. 11 tragedy and the state of the airline industry," according to Allen Chastanet, vice president of marketing and sales. The airline will continue with planned launches of Washington-Montego Bay service starting Nov. 15 and Montego Bay-Curacao service starting Nov. 22.

PUERTO RICO TOURISM CO. postponed plans to launch its new destination campaign in key U.S. markets. The campaign had been scheduled to start on Oct. 15; no new date has been set.

GOOD NEWS DEPARTMENT:
• Sonesta Beach Resorts in Key Biscayne, Fla.; Anguilla; Aruba, and Bermuda boosted agent commissions to 20% for all bookings made between Sept. 24 and Dec. 15.
• The Water Club, San Juan's only beachfront boutique property, will officially open Oct. 15, following a top-to-bottom redesign, according to David Kurland, manager and owner. The 84-room hotel, formerly the Colonial San Juan Hotel & Beach Resort, sits on a private gated street fronting the beach in the Isla Verde section of San Juan.
• St. Croix's Divi Carina Bay Casino, adjacent to the 126-room Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort on the island's east end, rolls the dice on expansion plans for the 10,000-square-foot casino with a plan to add 5,400 square feet. Construction is set to begin in mid-October with the opening scheduled for mid-February.
• Bahamas Ministry of Tourism launched a consumer ad campaign in South Florida Sept. 24 promoting an ongoing American Express Getaway deal that must be booked by agents. The push began in South Florida Sept. 24; New York and Atlanta will follow in the next two weeks.

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