Eye on Caribbean: May news round-up


CTO holds industry talks

Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s secretary general Hugh Riley visited Martinque and Guadeloupe this week to discuss critical tourism matters with stakeholders and investors.

Riley met with tourism authorities on both islands as well as the private sector on his tour around the Caribbean islands. Discussions included those around the Caribbean Tourism Development Company (CTDC) which is joint owned by the CEO and Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).

“These are long standing and active members of the CTO, and as the region’s tourism development agency, we welcome the opportunity to present to the leadership of these territories, as well as leading tourism stakeholders, an update of our services, and to discuss how we can assist in developing their tourism for the benefit of their people and the people of the Caribbean,” said Riley. “CTO is focused on ensuring that its members receive current details on the services of the CTO and the direction which the marketing of the Caribbean brand will take”.


Maritim predicts Mauritius growth for 2012

Forward bookings at Maritim Hotels’ Mauritius property are up 12% compared to last year, sparking confidence in the hotel chain this summer. The upturn in bookings has been attributed to tour operators, with an undisclosed company recording three times as many room nights in 2012’s Q1 than the whole of 2011. The good news follows a £22m renovation and expansion of the hotel, which saw all 215 of its rooms and suites upgraded. A spa, restaurant and new ‘Family Villa’ category have been added as a result. “We have invested heavily in our Mauritian hotel and the property is a stunning resort that is becoming more and more popular withUKholidaymakers.  We are delighted that our recent upgrade has been so well received, evidenced by this increase in forward bookings,” said LeRoy Sheppard, director of sales UK & Ireland at Maritim.


Barceló launches voucher giveaway

Barceló is giving away Love2Shop vouchers for members of its agent loyalty programme BPartners. In the scheme, agents will earn vouchers worth £20 and £50 by registering bookings to any Barceló hotel in the Caribbean and Latin America by 17 July. Bookings must cover stays from now until 30 September 2012, with participating hotels in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.


 AITO All Stars head to Mustique

ITC Classics and Complete Caribbean sponsored the AITO All Stars trip to Mustique last week. The top  selling agents from the All Stars incentive attended. Pictured here is Peter Holmes, Classic Travel; Chris  Edwards, ITC Classics / Complete Caribbean; Caroline Peacock, Deva Travel; Gemma Antrobus,  Haslemere Travel; Oliver Broad, Robert Broad Travel & AITO Agents Chairman; Graham Knight, The  Travel Bureau; Sarah Rayner, ITC Classics; Rosie Doran, Edwin Doran Travel; Carolyn Lodge, Carolyn  Lodge Travel and Bryony Hordern, Tickets Anywhere.



New all-inclusive hotel opens in Barbados

Tropical Sky has announced its part-funded new all-inclusive hotel in Barbados will open this summer after seeing an increase in demand for the product. The SoCo Hotel is exclusively available through the Caribbean specialists and is a three-star plus Art Deco-inspired property in Bridgetown. It will open on 15 August this year with 24 rooms looking over the Caribbean Sea. Despite concerns over the all-inclusive model on communities, Mike Collins, managing director of Tropical Sky has predicted a demand for holidays in Barbados as its hotel product develops with the cost conscious traveller in mind. “Customers are increasingly demanding higher quality as well as exceptional value and the island has needed to respond to this,” he explained. Click here for full story


Ochos Rios announced as JAPEX host

Ochos Rios has been announced as the host region for this year’s Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX). The trade show will take place at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort & Spa from 30 September to 2 October with the chance for the island’s tourism product to meet wholesalers, tour operators and travel agents from Europe and the Americas. The show is appointment based prior to the event, with either a ‘perfect-match’ or buyer requested appointment.


Antigua hotels post high occupancy

Hotels in Antigua registered their highest occupancy levels last month since 2008, new figures from the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association has found. Properties on the island saw average occupancy levels of 63.8% in April, although it said some hotels are ‘struggling to find their clientele’. Last month hotels in the luxury sector with 50-150 rooms performed the best, while occupancy at budget properties was around a third.




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