Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

WTM London has announced that China Travel Online is the show’s newest buyer partner and media partner in China. China Travel Online is a leading China outbound travel portal that connects destinations, attractions, hotels and other travel suppliers around the world to Chinese operators and professionals.

The new partnership means that China Travel Online will invite up to 50 Chinese buyers to network and do business with suppliers and destinations across the globe during WTM Virtual on 8-9 November.

With the 2021 summer season underway, there is increasing evidence in the marketplace that pent-up demand is roaring back much earlier and at a much quicker pace than forecasters had predicted.

At the same time, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) is encouraged by the data from our member countries, who have worked tirelessly to contain the coronavirus and reopen their economies. Although on the surface, a 60 percent decline in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period last year, may not seem encouraging, a closer examination would suggest that the Caribbean is beginning to reverse the slide which began at the end of March 2020.

This is being demonstrated by a decrease in the levels of decline which the Caribbean has been recording for the past fifteen months. The first quarter of 2020 was the last period of regular levels of travel, when 7.3 million international overnight visitors (tourist arrivals) visited the region.

In January and February 2021, arrivals to the region declined by just over 71 per cent when compared to the same two months last year. However, the 16.5 per cent drop in March 2021 compared to March 2020 is an indication of a level of reversal of the trend of declining numbers of tourist arrivals. 

The data collected from twelve destinations reporting tourist arrivals for April 2021 shows that each of these destinations registered growth, when compared to April 2020, when tourism activity was curtailed globally.

Similarly, tourist arrivals bounced back in the destinations reporting data for May. It must be pointed out, however, that the number of stay-over visitors is still below the corresponding levels in 2019.

Recent statements made by key aviation players for whom the Caribbean is an important market, have been encouraging. During our recent series of online discussions, both the CEO of British Airways, Sean Doyle, and the VP of sales for the Caribbean at American Airlines, Christine Valls, spoke of the high levels of interest in travel to the region.

In fact, Ms. Valls indicated that the Caribbean has been booming for American Airlines, with an average 60 per cent load factor by late May 2021, and that the airline planned to have more daily flights to the region this summer than it did in 2019. American Airlines told the CTO this week that it added five new routes to the Caribbean this summer, with a sixth to be added in November – and will serve 35 destinations in the Caribbean.

Based on these indicators, the CTO is guardedly optimistic about the prospects for summer travel, and for the rest of the year into 2022. It is recognised that any optimism must be tempered by the fact that new COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly in both the UK and the US, two of the Caribbean's major source markets.

These are signs that the virus remains a major threat which can quickly reverse any progress we have made.

New research from Churchill Motor Insurance reveals the factors which make for the most stress-free driving experience during staycations this year.

With some 29 million people (55 per cent) planning a staycation this year, having as least stressful a journey as possible will be a priority for millions of families. As motorists predict their holiday will be around a 236-mile round trip, this means 9.9billion staycation miles will be driven this year.

Island Sea Fest has just announced a partnership with the world’s leading cruise line, Royal Caribbean International, for an eleven-night cruise that features a five-night stop at the magical celebration that is Trinidad’s famous Carnival in February 2023.

The cruise departs from beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico (Wednesday Feb 15th 2023) and in addition to five nights in Trinidad during the peak of the island’s Carnival celebrations, the itinerary also offers three additional exotic stops in Tobago, Barbados, and St. Lucia, returning to San Juan (Sunday Feb 26th 2023).

This unique island excursion to the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ features an all-inclusive onboard pricing structure which includes: base cruise fare, taxes, fees, gratuities, beverages, meals, onboard parties, WIFI, and basic travel insurance.

The upcoming Trinidad Carnival cruise experience encompasses two weekends resulting in less time away from work for guests i.e. only 7 vacation days needed for an 11night extravaganza.

Island Sea Fest Itinerary:


WED   San Juan, Puerto Rico                                               departs 8:30 pm

THU    Cruising

FRI      Port of Spain, Trinidad            arrives 4:00 am

SAT     Port of Spain, Trinidad           

SUN    Port of Spain, Trinidad

MON   Port of Spain, Trinidad

TUE     Port of Spain, Trinidad                                                departs 12:00 am

WED   Scarborough, Tobago             arrives 8:00 am           departs 7:00 pm

THU    Bridgetown Barbados             arrives 8:00 am           departs 7:00 pm

FRI      Castries, St. Lucia                  arrives 8:00 am           departs 7:00 pm

SAT     Cruising          

SUN    San Juan, Puerto Rico           arrives 6:00 am

Starting Jul. 19th, 2021, a Hold Your Spot special offer for two easy payments of $175US per person, will be available on the Island Sea Fest website. Once the full reservations system is launched on Sept 2nd, 2021, all Hold Your Spot guests will be granted priority access for first stateroom choices and fees will be converted into credits that guests can apply towards their full reservation cost.

Should a guest not wish to proceed with a reservation, the Hold Your Spot fee is fully refundable, less a $120US administration fee, until Sept. 1st, 2021. Affordable stateroom payment plans start at $181US per month, and should guests require more time to pay after the cruise, a payment plan partner will offer a variety of flexible options.

Island Sea Fest will offer basic travel insurance, and for a small upgrade fee, guests will have the option to enhance the plan to a “cancel for any reason” coverage directly through the insurance carrier.           

St. Kitts and Nevis is welcoming the return of cruise tourism Thursday with the arrival of the Seabourn Odyssey.

The Seabourn Cruise Line ship will make a port call every week during the period July to October 2021. The twin-island federation planned a symbolic ship-to-ship salute, live steelpan performances, and the renowned drummers to greet the Odyssey as it docked at South Friars Bay.

That marks a number of ships increasing arrivals to St. Kitts over the summer, beginning with Celebrity Summit on July 29. Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas will arrive August 11, followed by Celebrity Summit on August 12, Celebrity Equinox on Aug. 24, and Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas on August 26. 

Currently, the minimum protocols for any cruise ship visiting in St. Kitts & Nevis include vaccination for all crew and passengers over the age of 18; all passengers, crew, and children under the age of 18 must present a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours of home-port embarkation; and passengers and crew are not permitted to interact with the general population.

Additionally, only bubble-vaccinated tours and attractions will be offered to cruise passengers. All tours will leave the dispatch area within the secure perimeter and return. In conjunction with the Ministry of Health, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority has worked with stakeholders to develop fully vaccinated ‘Travel Approved’ bubble tours to showcase the island’s one-of-a-kind attractions such as UNESCO World Heritage recognized Brimstone Hill Fortress, the St. Kitts Scenic Railway, and Caribelle Batik.

St. Kitts became a Marquee Port after reaching the one million passenger mark in two cruise seasons in a row, 2017-2019 and 2018-2019. The Federation was anticipating a third consecutive year of a million arrivals before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On July 21, 2021, Comfort Suites Paradise Island celebrated 30 years of operation. Since welcoming its first guests in 1991, the family-friendly property has witnessed much change in The Bahamas’ tourism landscape, but the hotel has remained faithful to its vision to offer excellence in service, value and product to its guests, many of whom have returned faithfully again and again.

Comfort Suites Paradise Island is marking its Pearl Anniversary by offering its attractive “4th Night Free” promotion through November 15, 2021. In addition, there are daily specials at Crusoe’s Restaurant, the property’s poolside eatery which serves signature dishes featuring local seafood as well as international favorites. For the month of July 2021, patrons can enjoy lunch and dinner specials for $30.30, excluding VAT and gratuity, which have been created to celebrate this milestone. A specialty 30th anniversary cocktail crafted by an outstanding local mixologist is available all month at the hotel’s bars.

In addition to cementing its reputation for delivering exceptional service and remarkable value to travelers over the past three decades, the hotel, located adjacent to Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, is also noteworthy for the longevity of its ownership.

William Naughton, Senior V.P. and Managing Partner of Comfort Suites Paradise Island, is especially proud of the anniversary. “When we opened our doors in 1991 we envisioned becoming a landmark in the inventory of Paradise Island hotels by giving our guests an unforgettable experience at an affordable price point, and we have achieved that and so much more,” he noted.

“By maintaining our commitment to continuous improvement, we have been recognized repeatedly as one of the most popular and family-friendly accommodations options on Paradise Island,” said Naughton.

Naughton also attributes Comfort Suites Paradise Island’s success to an outstanding management team, comprising all Bahamians, and its stellar employees who routinely go above and beyond to anticipate and meet guests’ expectations.

Anniversary celebrations at the property have included a t-shirt day for staff where long-term employees were celebrated for 10, 20 or 30 years of dedicated service to Comfort Suites Paradise Island. Special 30-year memorabilia items are being distributed to guests staying at the hotel in July in keeping with current COVID-19 safety protocols.

Jermaine Wright, General Manager of Comfort Suites Paradise Island, echoed Mr. Naughton’s sentiments about the hotel’s staff and shared his excitement over the anniversary: “Every member of our team truly cares about the well-being and experience of each guest, and as we mark this significant milestone in our history, we look forward to welcoming many of our loyal, long-time returning guests who have become a part of our Comfort Suites Paradise Island family as well as welcoming new family members.”