Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-letter: July 15, 2004

PLEASANT HOLIDAYS, which entered the Caribbean market two years ago, will pull out of the region by the end of the year. Although the operator will continue to accept new bookings for travel through Dec. 15, Tim Irwin, president and CEO said the firm will refocus efforts on its more well-established destinations of Hawaii, Mexico, the South Pacific and Asia. The firm booked 8,000 clients last year to seven Caribbean countries and was on track for 14,000 more bookings this year, until it decided to shift resources to more established areas. All customers and commissions will be protected through the Dec. 15 cutoff.

APPLE VACATIONS' "$1 Sale," which can be booked through July 24 for travel on specific dates in August and September, offers a second passenger roundtrip air for $1 on select air and hotel packages to the Dominican Republic from 16 U.S. gateways. Rates cover roundtrip air, accommodations, meals and drinks, non-motorized watersports and transfers. For details, visit www.myappleonline.com.

LODGEPODGE
• Opening date for Raffles Resort Canouan Island in the Grenadines has been pushed back to July 29 from July 15. The 56-room, suite and villa resort, the former Carenage Bay Beach Hotel & Golf Club, is Raffles International's first Caribbean venture. Special introductory rates range from $345 to $755, single/double, through Nov. 12. Rates do not include 17% tax and service. For details, visit www.raffles.com.
• SuperClubs' "Lidosine" transfers for its Grand Lido guests arriving in Montego Bay, Jamaica include access to its airport reception lounge and transfers to Grand Lido Negril in Negril and Grand Lido Braco in Runaway Bay in nine-passenger Mercedes Benz' motorcoaches. For details, visit www.superclubs.com.

ST. JEAN AIRPORT on St. Barts will close from Sept. 6 through Oct. 18 for runway and lighting repairs. Twice-daily ferry service to and from Marigot, St. Martin; and Simpson Bay and Philipsburg, St. Maarten will offer the only access to St. Barts.

TOURISM PIONEER and former Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) executive Marcella Martinez died July 11 in New York. She was 64. Martinez, Jamaican by birth, recently was honored by JTB, which unveiled a marketing award in her name. Jamaica's Gov. General Sir Howard Cooke conferred the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander upon Martinez in a ceremony in Jamaica in April. She headed the New York-based public relations and marketing firm, Marcella Martinez Associates, since 1988. Earlier, she served with JTB in the 1970s, worked in international relations and tourism marketing, and served as a United Nations delegate, a teacher and broadcaster. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. July 17 at St. Thomas More Cathlic Church, 65 E. 89th St. in New York City.

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