Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-letter: Jan. 8, 2004

THE CARIBBEAN HOTEL ASSN. launched several initiatives to garner a greater share of the meetings and incentives markets for the region. These include the formation of a CHA Groups, Meetings & Incentives subcommittee; plans for member education and industry road shows; and the inaugural edition of Gold Book Publishing's Caribbean Meetings & Events Guide. Emanuel Schreibmaier, vp-sales and marketing for Sol Melia, Americas division, was named committee chairman; Tim Grace, CHA's acting marketing director, will provide staff support. According to the Meetings & Conventions 2002 market report, total spending on meetings and conventions in the region in 2001 was $100 billion. "The meetings and conventions market is clearly a prime market and a viable revenue producer for the Caribbean," Schreibmaier said. The new guidebook is part of a program that includes a Web site and monthly electronic newsletter to promote meetings and events in the Caribbean. DELTA WILL LAUNCH NONSTOP SERVICE between Atlanta and St. Lucia April 4. The flights will operate on Sundays and Mondays. Special fares in effect through Jan. 12 for travel April 4 to May 23 start at $610 from New York to St. Lucia via Atlanta.

LODGEPODGE
• In recognition of Leap Year, Montpelier Plantation Inn in Nevis will offer an extra night on stays of seven nights that include Feb. 29. Also complimentary on the free night will be dinner for two with champagne and wine. The seven-night stay is priced at $2,580 for two, plus tax and service. To book, visit www.montpeliernevis.com.
• Curacao's Hotel Kura Hulanda offers a winter rate of $179 per room, per night, double through April 11. The price represents a $40 savings. The 80-room urban resort is in Willemstad within an eight-block restored village complex. To book, visit www.kurahulanda.com.
• Travelers purchasing a $199 per-person midweek ferry service and two-night package at the Crowne Plaza at Royal Oasis on Grand Bahama Island through Jan. 31 will receive a Welcome Back 2 for 1 travel coupon for their next trip on the Cat. The Cat is the daily high-speed ferry operated by Bahamas Florida Express between Fort Lauderdale and GBI. The free coupon can be used for a return visit from May 1 though Nov. 15. To book, visit www.ferrybahamas.com.
• SuperClubs and Pleasant Holidays offer reduced rates at certain properties through Dec. 31. Participating Jamaican resorts are Breezes Runaway Bay, Ocho Rios; Breezes Montego Bay; Hedonism II and III; and Starfish Trelawny. Bookings must be made by March 31; a four-night stay is required at the Hedonism properties. To book, visit www.pleasantagent.com.
• The seven-night package at Long Bay Beach Resort & Villas in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, priced from $1,798 per couple, is offered when the moon is full [Feb. 6, March 6, April 5, May 4, June 3, July 2 and 31, Aug. 29, Sept. 28, Oct. 27, Nov. 26 and Dec. 26]. The plan includes accommodations, transfers, daily breakfast, four dinners, transportation to Bomba Shack's Full Moon Party--famous throughout the Caribbean--a three-day car rental, a day sail and a day trip to a neighboring island. To book, call (877) 906-2525.

ROLODEX
• Lania Rittenhouse, director of tourism for the Cayman Islands for the past two years, will resign her post at the end of March to become vp-hotel operations for Norwegian Cruise Line in Miami. Cayman Islands will have an acting director in place after Rittenhouse's departure; a permanent director will be appointed when the new fiscal year begins July 1.
• John Bell, former director general and CEO of the Caribbean Hotel Assn., was appointed president of the Int'l Hotel & Restaurant Assn. for a one-year term. IH&RA members include national hotel and restaurant associations in 100 countries and international hotel and restaurant chains representing 50 brands.
• Debbie Lewis has been named director of sales, northeast, for luxury tour operator Island Destinations. Lewis held a similar post at CuisinArt Resort & Spa, Anguilla.

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