Colors: Yellow Color

Heritage Golf Club won the title of "Best Indian Ocean Golf Course" for the fourth consecutive year (2014,2015,2016,2017) at the 2017 World Golf Awards. This award highlights the constant efforts and hard work of the teams to stay on top. Whether it's management, course maintenance, Club House or the Academy, Heritage Golf Club is a course that is constantly questioning itself and which seeks to innovate in order to offer an ever improving experience to its clientele.

A pledge of quality and excellence that allows Heritage Resorts to organize and host the third edition of the prestigious AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, the world's first tournament jointly sanctioned by the European, Sunshine and Asian tours, at Heritage Golf Club. Appointment

World Golf Awards, excellence in golf tourism

The World Golf Awards ceremony celebrates and rewards excellence in golf tourism, including international standard courses and golf destinations. The goal is also to help improve and enrich the golfers' experience in order to stimulate the international market. The 2017 World Golf Awards focused on the 130 major countries that are shaping the future of this dynamic industry.

Votes were cast by professionals working in the golf travel and tourism industry, including senior executives, tour operators, travel agencies and media professionals. The public also has the right to vote. Votes are cast on a first past the post system to ensure impartiality and independence and are submitted online on the World Golf Awards website. The winners of each national category face the winners from other countries before the international winners are announced.

Carlisle golfer Mike Kelly put 11 years of frustration behind him to bag his first ace and join his son in the exclusive 'hole-in-one-club' after playing the popular Million Dollar Hole in One (MDHIO) competition in Portugal.

Kelly, 51, who plays off a seven handicap at Carlisle Golf Club, made his mark at Vale do Lobo's Royal Course, in the Algarve – one of MDHIO's 40 associated courses across Europe – to book his place in the grand final where competitors get the chance to shoot for a whopping $1m.

The MDHIO par-three challenge allows competitors to win a selection of golf-related prizes, from balls to pitch-mark repairers, for landing on the green.

If a competitor gets a hole-in-one they win an expenses-paid trip to the USA to play for a $1m prize if they can repeat the feat. And, from 2019, the winner also gets the choice of a trip to either the USA or Europe.

Kelly, a retired police officer who is now a British Red Cross volunteer coordinator, said: “My son Adam is 23 and had a hole-in-one when he was 12, so it's always been a goal of mine to match him. When I messaged him from Portugal, to tell him I had done it, he simply replied 'welcome to the hole-in-one club'.

“When Adam struck his hole-in-one, I was immensely proud but also very envious having never done it myself. It has taken a long time. I have been playing golf for 40 years, so it is fantastic to have finally done it. I was delighted.

“We are a competitive family. Over the years we've competed in our own Kelly Challenge competition, involving brothers and cousins – but not another hole-in-one from any of us. Adam would often remind us of that …”

Kelly was among a group of 24 golfers on the trip to play Vale do Lobo's two courses when he paid just €10 to enter the MDHIO game. His feat took place on the temporarily shortened 105-yard seventh hole on the Royal Course.

He added: “I hit it as sweet as I could; it landed six feet past the hole and slowly spun back. We all watched it go in and jumped for joy. It did cost a few bob as I was part of a large group, so there was a hefty bar bill.

“It was a great weekend, though. I have played MDHIO twice before. It is great fun and €10 well spent. You can also win prizes for landing on the green and I previously won a pair of sunglasses and a towel. I'm so pleased I paid my €10 … I mean why would you not? Imagine if you hadn't paid and you holed it!

“I'm now looking forward to the finals event in Las Vegas; yes, there's a chance to win $1m, but let's be realistic, it's taken me 40 years to get my first hole-in-one,” he smiled.

MDHIO, which has been running since 1990 in the USA and since 2000 in Europe, has steadily grown in popularity over the years with more than 50,000 people each year trying their luck at the various par-three holes at courses across Portugal, mainland Spain, Mallorca and the UK. Almost 50 golfers have achieved their ace while playing MDHIO in Europe, while more than twice that number missed out by not entering and acing the hole.

The annual final is held at a host of top venues in the USA and Europe, where finalists enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip and the chance to shoot for $1m, with this year's showdown held at the prestigious Golf & Spa Resort Grand Tirolia Kitzbühel, in Austria, which was attended by former England and Newcastle United football ace Alan Shearer.

MDHIO also offered golfers another chance to scoop $1m this year, after teaming up with American Golf. The retailer ran a simulator challenge at participating stores across the country with anyone who netted an ace – or the 10 nearest to the pin – going through to a final shootout at the Belfry.

If more proof were needed that the Rockies are in great shape, the Lake Louise Audi FIS Ski World Cup reached a positive snow control with FIS confirming the men's downhill and super-G races on November 25 and 26, 2017. The ladies will follow on December 1st.

Early season visitors will also be able to enjoy the Banff Craft Beer Festival which takes place November 23 - 25, 2017 in the Cave & Basin. Visitors to Marmot will have to wait until February 2nd when the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge will host the first ever Craft Beer and Barley Summit.

Jasper in January runs this year from January 13th-28th at which time there are deals on lift tickets and lots of extra activities such as fun races, a Dark Sky snowshoe and live entertainment.

Boasting extensive five-star facilities and a world-class golfing pedigree, Spain's La Manga Club has everything needed for a luxury golf getaway, and guests can take advantage of outstanding value when booking a stay-and-play break this winter. Boasting extensive five-star facilities and a world-class golfing pedigree, Spain's La Manga Club has everything needed for a luxury golf getaway, and guests can take advantage of outstanding value when booking a stay-and-play break this winter.

Recently granted royal status and awarded the title 'Real Golf La Manga Club' in recognition of its key role in promoting Spanish golf, the Murcian resort is synonymous with golfers across Europe for its golfing excellence and is offering a choice of three, five and seven-night packages over the coming months.

Featuring three 18-hole golf courses, a nine-hole academy course and outstanding practice facilities, La Manga Club also offers an average of more than 300 days' sunshine a year and is the perfect solution for players eager to escape the clutches of winter.

Bookable until March 31, 2018, the eye-catching breaks include the opportunity to play all three of the resort's renowned 18-hole courses – the North, South and West, all ranked inside Spain's top 40.

Bed-and-breakfast accommodation is available in either La Manga Club's five-star Hotel Principe Felipe or four-star Las Lomas Village, while guests keen to hone their golfing techniques before taking to the course can do so at La Manga Club's recently-opened Golf Training Centre.

A ‘Bee City’ and a successful reintroduction scheme for the short-haired bumblebee are among the innovative projects highlighted today by Defra Minister Lord Gardiner as inspirational examples of action to protect our pollinators.
The annual Bees’ Needs Champions awards, hosted at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, celebrated 17 bee boosting projects from volunteers, schools, charities and councils across the country which are helping pollinators thrive both in the countryside and in our towns and cities.
From buzzing bumble bees to beautiful butterflies, the UK’s 1,500 species of pollinators play a crucial role, helping our flowers, fruit trees and crops to grow and contributing £400-680million per year due to improved productivity.
Speaking at the Bees’ Needs Champions Awards, Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity Lord Gardiner said: “We must all be thankful for our essential pollinators who do such vital work on our behalf, flying from crop to crop, tree to tree, helping us to grow our food. The champions I had the pleasure to meet today are doing exceptional things to return the favour and look after our pollinators.  We must not leave them to it. We can all play a part.
“Whether it is leaving grass uncut to give bees a home over winter, or inspiring young people to be the pollinator protectors of the future, our combined efforts make a real difference.”
Among the champion projects creating a buzz were the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s short-haired bumblebee re-introduction scheme and the Secret Garden project in Salisbury with their ‘Bee City’ and ‘Bee Trail’.
Goldthorpe Primary School in Barnsley and St Albans Primary School in Havant also featured for their pollinator-encouraging enterprises, including building bee hotels, creating wildlife meadows and campaigning in the local community. St Albans school has set up a ‘pollinator promise’ to get the local community involved, too.
Outdoor education teacher at St Albans Primary School, Julie Newman, said:
“By working together as a community, Pollinator Promise is about inspiring others to give hungry and homeless bees food and shelter. Each small individual change adds up to make a big difference to pollinators and people.”
Friends of the Earth Bee Cause campaigner, Paul de Zylva, said:
“This year’s Bees’ Needs Champions show how anyone anywhere can help our bees and other vital pollinators not just to survive but to thrive.
“The ten year National Pollinator Strategy is now in its fourth year and relies on action by businesses, community groups, farmers, land owners and local councils to improve conditions for pollinators. Doing so is essential to restore nature across the nation.”
With winter fast approaching, bees need our help more than ever to provide them with the food and shelter they need to survive the cold.
Everyone can follow our three top tips on how we can all help pollinators this winter. You do not have to be an expert gardener to make a difference: from installing urban window boxes to planting the right bulbs, everyone can play their part to ensure bees have food and a home.
  • Plant flowers, shrubs and trees that thrive in winter. The evergreen mahonia is excellent winter food for bees, while the pendant bells of winter flowering clematis can give pollinators a sugary energy boost. Ivy plants are also an ideal source of food for bees in late autumn - avoid cutting them down.
  • Leave suitable places for hibernation undisturbed. Letting areas of a lawn grow long until the spring can provide a hibernation home while cool, north-facing banks are ideal places for bees to burrow. The hollow tubes of dead stems of plants in borders can also serve as a great nesting spot.
  • Planting early flowering bulbs like crocus, primrose, snowdrop or coltsfoot that flower in February and March to help support bees and pollinators looking for an early feed. Winter is also the perfect time to plant bee-friendly trees, such as acacia, blackthorn and hazel.

At BlizzCon® 2017, more than 30,000 players gathered to experience the latest updates to their favorite Blizzard games and cheer on top esports competitors, with millions more joining online. Over two days packed with developer panels, friendly competition, and live entertainment, the Blizzard community learned about and went hands-on with new heroes, new gameplay updates, and new expansions coming to the company’s blockbuster franchises.

Attendees and viewers also witnessed the dramatic conclusions to three esports championships and three exhibition-style competitions:

StarCraft® II World Championship Series Global Finals

Winner: Rogue

With two championship titles already under his belt in 2017, Rogue arrived on the global stage at BlizzCon as a favorite to win the whole tournament. Once he got warmed up in the grand final against SoO, he showed the world he definitely deserves the title of WCS Global Champion with a 4­–2 series win.

Heroes of the Storm® Global Championship Finals

Winning team: MVP Black

MVP Black and Fnatic met in the final match of the HGC Finals after both teams moved past the semis with 3–0 wins. When the dust settled, it was MVP Black standing tall over the Swedish powerhouse with a 3–1 victory after a barnburner of a finale. MVP Black’s unwavering determination and dedication to their craft was enough to secure them their first trophy at BlizzCon.

World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship

Winning team:  ABC

The European streak continues as ABC sweeps Panda Global in the most decisive championship match in the history of the tournament. Working against a hostile crowd, ABC triumphed behind the Arcane Mage play of Alex ‘Alec’ Sheldrick to bring the WoW Arena trophy to Europe for the fourth straight year.

Overwatch® World Cup

Winning nation: South Korea

South Korea was always expected to be the “final boss” at BlizzCon—and runner-up Canada fought valiantly in taking a single map—but in the end the story finished as expected. Ryujehong and company’s sudden vulnerability didn’t make a difference as South Korea goes two-for-two in Overwatch World Cup Championships.

Hearthstone® Inn-vitational

Winning team: Grimestreet Grifters

After two days of frenetic and varied play among the 12 community personalities, the Grimestreet Grifters—comprised of Andrey 'Reynad' Yanyuk, Hakjun 'Kranich' Baek, and Pathra Cadness—emerged victorious. The best-of-11 finals saw the format of each game drawn from a sealed envelope, and players were individually eliminated from the stage until the Grifters claimed the trophy 6–5 over the Chillblade Crusaders.

StarCraft: Remastered Ultimate Title Fight

Winner: Bisu

Although Lee “Jaedong” Jae Dong and Kim “Bisu” Taek Yong’s lengthy careers largely overlapped, they hardly ever played each other outside of team leagues. That changed when the two StarCraft legends met in the Ultimate Title Fight, a best-of-five showmatch with $25,000 on the line. In the fifth and final game, Bisu seemed to get a read on Jaedong’s aggressive strategy, and managed to hold him off to take the series 3–2.

From brewers and knitters to smoothie-making firms, Tottenham businesses have come together to share ideas on helping our economy thrive.

A networking event was held at Five Miles bar, cafe, club and brewery – a new event space that has launched following a loan from Haringey and the Mayor of London’s Opportunity Investment Fund.

The fund supports a number of new and established businesses in Tottenham, aimed at boosting the local economy and community. To date we have loaned more than £1.8million between 13 Tottenham businesses, creating more than 230 jobs, and we have another £1.4million still available.

One of the firms that has received an OIF loan is Redemption brewery, which launched in Northumberland Park in 2009 and is now an award-winning craft beer hotspot.

Brewer Andy Moffat says Redemption chose Tottenham for its affordable rents and vibe. He says:

Tottenham felt like a raw, exciting, place – a proper urban landscape where you wouldn’t expect to find a small brewery. We grew our business from a one-man band serving a handful of London pubs to a business employing 10 people and supplying pubs up and down the country and further afield.

Andy says getting to this stage involved a great deal of hard work, a bit of luck and lots of support. He says:

We always had a good relationship with the council as I think they have recognised the value of attracting small growing businesses like Redemption. You always hear stories from around the country that the local council seems to be there to make life difficult for businesses, but we’ve always found Haringey keen to work with us and listen to us. As a business we want to be a positive part of our community and we want to be socially responsible – that seems to be what the OIF is keen to try and do.

Redemption’s OIF loan helped them to move to a larger site, modernise, grow and employ more people, including apprentices and youngsters on work experience.

Cllr Joe Goldberg, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Social Inclusion and Sustainability, said:

Ensuring Tottenham is home to a growing, healthy and diverse group of businesses is vital to our borough. As well as encouraging aspiring new entrepreneurs, we also want to help existing independent businesses expand and thrive. The Opportunity Investment Fund is already helping to bring more than 200 jobs to Haringey, and with funds still available, we encourage ambitious businesses to join us in driving Tottenham’s economy forward.

Tottenham Green Leisure Centre will be the setting for a disability awareness day launching a new programme of fitness sessions for people living with learning disabilities.

Fusion Lifestyle Leisure Centres in Haringey will provide weekly autism and learning disability-friendly classes to help people with special needs take part in physical activities. For a small fee people can take part in swimming or use the facilities in the gym.

A qualified fitness coach and volunteers will be on hand throughout the sessions to provide guidance and support. The new programme of sessions is available at the Tottenham Green, Park Road and Broadwater Farm Leisure Centres.

The Disability Awareness Day takes place on Thursday 26 October and runs from 11am to 3pm. Activities on the day include tai chi, tag rugby and badminton. Information stalls will be available with local organisations on hand including Haringey Shed, Dementia Hub and One You Haringey.

Cllr Joseph Ejiofor, cabinet member for Customer Services said:

People with learning disabilities are all too often forgotten when it comes to physical activities and wellbeing. This new programme of sports activities will address gaps in the service and shows Haringey is an inclusive borough that supports all of its residents regardless of the level of their learning capabilities.”

Hannah Bennett, Sports and Community Development Officer at Fusion lifestyle said:

We are really excited to be launching this programme and believe that this weekly programme will be able to instil a healthier and more active lifestyle for people with disabilities.”

Fusion Lifestyle who run Haringey leisure centres are looking for volunteers to support the programme.

Spain's five-star La Manga Club is celebrating its 45th anniversary in style after joining a select group of courses in Spain to have been granted royal status by the Spanish royal household, the 'Casa Real – Royal House'.

Having received the Spanish Royal Golf Federation's coveted 'Merit in Golf' award last December, the resort's golf club has been awarded the title 'Real Golf La Manga Club' in recognition of its royal connections and key part in promoting Spanish golf since opening in 1972.

A five-time host of the Spanish Open, La Manga Club's five-star hotel, the Hotel Principe Felipe, is named after Spain's present king, who stayed at the resort in 1992. In addition, his parents are among the numerous famous VIPs and celebrities that the top sports and lifestyle venue has hosted since its inception.

The accolade, which is only given to golf venues that are at least 25 years old, comes nearly a year after the resort – in conjunction with the national and regional golf federations – first approached the royal house to be considered for the honour to help mark its anniversary.

La Manga Club joins some of the most prestigious names in Spanish golf to have been awarded the royal title including Real Club de Sotogrande and Real Club Valderrama, a regular host of the European Tour and venue for the 1997 Ryder Cup.

José Asenjo, general manager of La Manga Club, said: “La Manga Club has been at the forefront of promoting Spanish golf, both home and abroad, and to be acknowledged in this way means a huge amount and makes us very proud.

“It has been our pleasure and privilege over the last 45 years to have played host to some of the most famous people in the world, including the Spanish royal family on more than one occasion.

“La Manga Club is one of the most famous golf, sports and lifestyle destinations in Europe, and to be given this prestigious accolade is a fantastic achievement in what is a special year for the resort.”

Boosted by continued investment on and off the course, La Manga Club has enjoyed a 2017 to remember. Other notable achievements include being named 'Europe's Leading Luxury Resort & Villas 2017' at the World Travel Awards Europe, receiving a Golf Digest 'Editors' Choice Award for Best International Resorts 2017', and being shortlisted to be named as Spain's Best Spa Resort at the 2017 World Spa Awards.

Gonzaga Escuriaza, president of the Spanish Royal Golf Federation, said: “We are delighted that La Manga Club has received this recognition. The resort, among many other things, has always worked tirelessly to promote golf in Spain and, having hosted many national and internationl championships, the award is very much deserved.”

The royal announcement marks the start of a busy period for La Manga Club that will see the resort stage a number of promotions and events to commemorate its 45th anniversary.

Three 18-hole golf courses, a nine-hole academy course and outstanding practice facilities have helped to establish La Manga Club as a firm favourite with golfers worldwide, with its temperate climate and outstanding other sports and leisure facilities making it the perfect venue for professional and amateur tournaments, or a sunshine golfing break.

Set in an area three times the size of Monaco, the resort's unrivalled facilities as a sports and leisure destination also include a 28-court tennis centre, a 2,000sqm spa and fitness centre and new European Cricket Performance Centre – the first of its kind. In addition, it also features the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses and more than 20 bars and restaurants.

New tennis coaching courses for adults and children of all abilities will be launching at WV Active Aldersley shortly.

The City of Wolverhampton Council-run leisure centre is working in partnership with Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis and Squash Club to offer the courses, with the first taster session on Tuesday 31 October free of charge.

The courses will last for eight weeks and cost £20 per person, with the option of taking part in sessions on a Tuesday evening or Friday evening.

The programme, available on both Tuesdays and Fridays, includes Mini Tennis for children aged six to 11 years old from 4.15pm–5pm, Touch Tennis for anyone over the age of 12 from 5pm–5.55pm and Cardio Tennis for people aged 16 and over between 6pm and 6.45pm.

Councillor Steve Evans, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: “We’re delighted to be teaming up with Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis and Squash Club to offer these new sessions for people of all ages and abilities at WV Active Aldersley.

“Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis and Squash Club is affiliated to the Lawn Tennis Association, which is one of a number of governing bodies we partner with through WV Active to provide opportunities to local people, including England Badminton, England Hockey and England Netball to name but a few.”

Pupils from local schools helped Show Racism the Red Card at a special event at Molineux Stadium last week.

Over 100 young people, including pupils from St Luke's CE and Eastfield Primary Schools in Wolverhampton, took park in an anti-racism workshop, watched a Show Racism the Red Card educational film and enjoyed a question and answer session with a panel of guests including Wolverhampton Wanderers FC players and representatives of the City of Wolverhampton Council.

The event was organised by Show Racism the Red Card, the UK's leading anti-racism educational charity which uses the high-profile status of football and football players to publicise its message.

Councillor Claire Darke, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education, said: “Show Racism the Red Card educates 50,000 young people every year, helping to make Britain a safer, more inclusive place to live, and I am delighted that so many local pupils were able to take part in this session and find out more about the issues around racism.”

Free children’s activities, fitness classes and sports activities are on offer at WV Active’s next Super Saturday.

The last Super Saturday of the year will take place at WV Active Aldersley between 10am and 2pm on Saturday 21 October, 2017.

Visitors will be able to have a go at a range of sports, including basketball, badminton and table tennis, while tennis and netball courts will be available to use free of charge.

Four fitness class tasters – Group Cycle, Body Pump, Tabata and HIIT Abs – will also be taking place for those who fancy tackling a fitness challenge.

Families can enjoy Kids Club and Tots Play sessions as well as free face painting throughout the day, while children can also enjoy an energetic bounce party or get stuck into arts crafts activities being held by representatives from Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

The City of Wolverhampton Council’s Healthy Lifestyles Team will be offering free mini health checks which cover BMI, weight, height and blood pressure, while the Fostering for Wolverhampton team, local brewer Ale Bar Box and WV Catering will also have stands at the event.

Councillor Steve Evans, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: “Super Saturdays are a great opportunity for people to find out more about what is on offer at our three WV Active leisure centres, and to have a go at a new sport or activity for free.

“This is the last Super Saturday of 2017, so I would encourage people to get themselves down to WV Active Aldersley and join in the fun on 21 October.”

Ever fancied doing a Triathlon, but feel you are just not fit enough to complete it in one go? Or do you simply want to develop new fitness habits? David Lloyd Clubs, Europe’s leading health and fitness group, is offering everyone the opportunity to take part in MySwimRideRun - a Triathlon which is completed in chunks, spread over the month of October. Opening its doors on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month to non-members wanting to take part, it is holding the initiative to raise vital funds for the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) life saving research into heart disease.

Whether it’s their first triathlon challenge or whether they’re a seasoned pro, members and non-members alike have the month to complete it whenever they want, and a level to suit them. There are four levels of triathlons available – sprint, olympic, half and full triathlons.

Sign up is easy. Participants simply need to register at and register. Here they will find a range of fundraising and training tips. Non-members will then receive information about how to access their day passes.

Money raised from sponsorship will go towards funding pioneering BHF research, which will help us better understand how to prevent, diagnose and treat heart and circulatory disease, which is the cause of more than a quarter (26%) of all deaths in the UK.

Andrea Dearden from David Lloyd Clubs commented, said: “The autumn is the ideal time to get back into a new routine after the excesses of the laid-back summer holidays.  MySwimRideRun is offers everyone opportunity to take part, and is the perfect way to get back on track to achieving their health and fitness goals.”

MySwimRideRun is completely flexible and includes a challenge to suit every fitness level, whether you are new to fitness or regularly take part in sporting events. As well as being a great fitness motivator, it’s a fantastic way to support the BHF’s work in making heart disease a thing of the past.”

Jane Aldous, Head of Corporate Partnerships at the BHF, said: “MySwimRideRun is a challenge like no other and we’re delighted to be partnering with David Lloyd Clubs with this new and exciting initiative.  By taking on this fantastic challenge, every mile you complete will bring us closer to beating heart disease for good. Our research has already helped halve death rates from heart and circulatory disease over the past 50 years, but there is still so much more to be done.

“An estimated seven million people live with heart and circulatory disease in the UK today, so everyone taking part in MySwimRideRun will be helping us stop heart disease in its tracks and  support us in our search for more lifesaving breakthroughs.”

With the 2017 State of the Tourism Industry Conference (#SOTIC2017), scheduled to official open tonight 10 October at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort, in #PureGrenada, a number of member countries of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) have been speaking with the media in a specially arranged day of destinations briefings yesterday.

Overall, they spoke in detail about the impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria, at and the recovery process.

Each affected destination recounted its losses, acknowledging the countries that have extended support and also explaining how they are forging ahead with the much costly rebuilding process.


Chief executive officer of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) Patricia Maher highlighted some of the major achievements of the tourism sector in Grenada during the past year, including a significant surge in visitor arrival, because of an increase in the number of cruise calls and flights to the Spice Island.

Ms. Maher also alluded to bright prospects for the Grenada tourism sector, with an increase in room stock, through the construction of the first luxury resort, Silversands, on Grand Anse Beach; the Kimpton Kawana Bay Resort to be constructed in the near future, and the refurbishment of the Spice Island Beach Resort, among other projects, aimed at boosting the tourism product.


Devon Liburd, the director of tourism for Nevis, said the island escaped the worse of the storms and was open for business. Mr. Liburd also indicated that St. Kitts and Nevis had contributed US$1.5 million to some of the affected countries.


In his address, William “Billy” Griffith, the chief executive officer of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) spoke of the state of the Barbados all-time high cruise arrivals of more than 800, 000 visitors in 2017 and increased development of the hotel product, such as the opening of a new Sandals Royal Hotel in December, 2017, doubling the hotel’s capacity, and the US$200 million-dollar Sam Lord’s Castle Resort – expected to be the biggest hotel project on the island - which will add 400 new rooms in 2020. He noted that air capacity has been growing due to increased demand for the destination.

St. Maarten

Rolando Brison, the director of tourism for Dutch Sint Maarten, who joined remotely, said his country lost at least 70 per cent of the hotel inventory, leaving much work to be done to restore the tourism industry there.

He announced that the Princess Juliana International Airport would resume operations today (10 October), and that Royal Caribbean cruise lines is return to the destianation in November, 2017, when the cruise port reopens for cruise arrivals.

St. Martin

Valarie Damaseau, president of the St. Martin Tourist Office, in French St. Martin, who also address the media via Google Hangout, said her country’s focus will be on preparing for the 2018-2019 tourist season.

Ms. Damaseau said roads and beaches had been cleared and cleaned; grocery stores and petrol stations are well provisioned; many bars and restaurants have reopened; electricity has been restored to 88 per cent of the households and a full recovery, including restoration of water and telecommunications, is expected by the end of October 2017.


Joy Jibrilu, director general of the Bahamas ministry of tourism, spoke of the growth in that country’s tourism industry and also some of the challenges being faced. The growth, however, was largely attributed to the massive Baha Mar resort. She also noted an increase in airlift to the Bahamas, independently initiated by carriers.


Karine Mosseau, Martinique’s commissioner of tourism, commenced her country’s presentation by expressing her deep regret at the damage caused by the recent hurricanes, and shared a message of support and togetherness. She also was thankful that Martinique had been spared.

Valerie Vulcan, deputy director of the Martinique Promotion Bureau, noted that Martinique was voted as one of the safest islands in the Caribbean in 2016. She detailed Martinique’s growth as a tourism destination, particularly as a cruise destination, while stating that stayover guest arrivals were increasing, in areas such as the yachting sector.


Cardigan Connor, Anguilla’s parliamentary secretary with responsibility for tourism, sports and culture, noted that up until the passage of Hurricane Irma, on September 6, 2017, Anguilla had recorded strong growth in the tourism sector for the year.

Mr.Connor said the island had been ranked as the top island in the Caribbean by Travel and Leisure Magazine for 2017. He said despite hurricane damage, which could exceed the annual budget of EC $200 million, cleanup across the island was progressing well. Basic utility services are being restored, the airport in Anguilla has reopened, with restored access to the Princess Juliana Airport on neighbouring St. Maarten, as of October 10, 2017, and that many hotel properties were planning to reopen for Christmas.

Hotels that have already reopened have been mainly accommodating hurricane relief workers. However, Anguilla is now officially open for business, with plans for significant development of their current airport facilities in the near future.

British Virgin Islands

Sharon Flax-Brutus, director of tourism for the British Virgin Islands (BVI), also joined remotely and said that pre-Hurricane Irma the BVI was poised to have a record-breaking year.

She said progress was being made in restoring communication, basic utilities and airport services.

Ms. Flax-Brutus said most luxury properties may take up to two years to complete refurbishment, properties like the Nanny Cay - a top resort and marina – will be the first to reopen to guests, with other smaller hotels and places of accommodation soon to follow.

The BVI will not be open for business during the month of October 2017, during which time assessments will be completed; yachts repaired; accommodations, beaches and tourist attractions restored and the integrity of access ports repaired.  Like Anguilla, available room stock is currently being utilized by hurricane relief workers. The BVI will begin to welcome guests to the islands on November 1, 2017.

St. Eustatius

Charles Lindo, director of tourism at the St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation, made a brief presentation about his island, which is a short flight from St. Maarten. The island currently has a room stock of approximately 175 rooms, which is expected to increase to 250 by 2018. The island, known for its diving and nature, boasts a tranquil, environment, he said. Lindo said the island is actively seeking suitable investors.

SOTIC, which has as its theme Supercharging the Caribbean Brand: Meeting the Needs of the New Explorers, is the preeminent educational forum for Caribbean hospitality and tourism professionals. This year’s conference is being organised by the CTO in collaboration with the Grenada Tourism Authority and Grenada’s ministry of tourism, and will be held from 10-13 October at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort. The conference will be preceded by business meetings on 9 and 10 October.

Key conference sessions include Infusing Dynamism in Caribbean Tourism, Who are the New Explorers, Business Models that Rock, Turning Our Waters Into Goldmines - Investing in the Blue Economy, and Spicing Up the Caribbean Brand.

The highly anticipated tourism youth congress and a Stakeholders Speak Out session are also part of the programme.

More wheelchair users across the Midlands could get the chance to discover touchtennis and play year-round following the success of a programme at the University of Wolverhampton’s Walsall campus and an LTA initiative designed to improve grassroots tennis facilities.

Wheelchair athlete David Sinclair, from Walsall, discovered touchtennis through playing wheelchair basketball at the University of Wolverhampton. The programme is run throughout the region by Walsall-based tennis coach Clayton Edge, who originally held sessions on the grass at the Arboretum.

This proved a huge barrier for David who, as a youngster, was a keen tennis player before an accident in his teens left him in a wheelchair and unsure he would play again. However, with the support of the University, Clayton was able to begin sessions indoors at the Walsall campus, which enabled David to return to a sport he loves.

One of the key differences to David's experience is the access to indoor facilities – playing indoors means it is far easier for him to move around the court and has really enabled him to excel at the sport.

David said: “I’ve always been sporty and I was so happy to discover touchtennis and begin playing again. I loved the sport as a kid and didn’t want being in a wheelchair to affect that. One of the biggest differences for me is having access to well-surfaced or indoor facilities, because it’s almost impossible to move around on grass in a wheelchair.

“Having access to these sessions with Clayton here at the Walsall campus has enabled me to play to a high standard and I know access to more indoor facilities and well-surfaced courts would allow more wheelchair athletes to take up the sport.”

David has progressed enormously as a wheelchair touchtennis player, and now plays regularly in tournaments. Recently, he became the first wheelchair athlete to take part in the main draw of the Black Country Open.

Van Willerton, Regional Participation Manager for the LTA in the Midlands, said: “We’re very proud to work with Clayton in delivering programmes like touchtennis, which is a form of tennis that is absolutely suitable for everyone. The fact that David can play with able-bodied athletes here at the University of Wolverhampton is a fantastic example of how these programmes can be enjoyed by all.

“The key to increasing opportunities for people to play is through facilities like these here at the University’s Walsall campus and, with the recent record level of funding for grassroots facilities available through Transforming British Tennis Together, there has never been a better time for clubs, universities and local authorities to tell the LTA what is needed in their local areas to get more people playing the game.”

Transforming British Tennis Together aims to reduce the barriers to playing tennis by doubling the number of floodlit and covered courts across the UK over the next ten years, increasing available playing hours. The initiative will also see the LTA work with local communities across the region to:

·       Install online booking and entry systems so everyone can book a tennis court easily from their mobile phone, computer or tablet;

·       Refurbish courts, clubhouses and other social spaces to ensure players have a great experience every time they visit;

·       Support other innovative and creative ideas that meet local demand.

Kate Williams, Senior Officer for Sports Development at Walsall Council, said: “It’s great to see University facilities here in Walsall being used by tennis clubs and wider community programmes. We work closely with the LTA and other tennis partners in the area to develop local tennis projects and support clubs and coaches in delivering community tennis.

We have introduced touchtennis at Walsall Arboretum and we are happy to look at all initiatives which might get more people active. The exciting new investment programme in Transforming British Tennis Together is something we hope will help us continue to deliver sustainable and accessible opportunities for all”.

Deputy Director of the University of Wolverhampton’s Institute of Sport, Bess Evans, said: “We’re very excited to see how the LTA’s multi-million pound investment could benefit us here at the University of Wolverhampton. With Birmingham’s bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games it is a really significant time for sport in the West Midlands.

“Walsall as an area is not physically active enough and the possibility to improve and develop facilities with tennis at its heart is a fantastic chance for us to increase participation in the region.

“We’ve seen today how the university can partner with community initiatives like the touchtennis programme and we’d love to be a part of more initiatives with the help of the LTA to get people more active and playing tennis.”

Families can find out more about WV Active's Swim Academy by diving into free pool parties which are being held next weekend.

Parents and children are invited to visit WV Active Central from 11am–1pm on Saturday 14 October and WV Active Bilston–Bert Williams from 11am-1pm on Sunday 15 October to discover the swimming programmes offered at the two City of Wolverhampton Council-run leisure centres.

Instructors from the WV Active Swim Academy will be on hand at both centres to lead free taster swimming lessons and assess people's swimming abilities. And there will also be a free pool party for families with toys and inflatables taking place from noon-1pm on both days.

The WV Active Swim Academy works in partnership with Swim England to offer swimming lessons for children aged between four and 16, and for adults.

The City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for City Environment, Councillor Steve Evans, said: “This is a great opportunity for families to find out more about the learn to swim programmes on offer through the Swim Academy at WV Active Central and WV Active Bilston-Bert Williams.

“Swimming is a hugely important skill to have, and our Swim Academy delivers lessons to thousands of children and adults every year.”