Colors: Blue Color

Featuring the first Miraval Life in Balance Spa in the Caribbean, the resort officially opened on Wednesday 1st November on the island's southeast peninsula and brings a new level of luxury to St. Kitts' expanding tourism product.

"The debut of Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour is a historical occasion for the island," said Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant. "This elegant and sophisticated property brings the unparalleled Park Hyatt experience to St. Kitts as the brand's first hotel in the Caribbean, which is a welcome addition to our existing accommodations product and to our overall island community."

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added: "We are very pleased that the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour has opened as it increases the island's appeal among those discerning destination travellers seeking experiential getaways who represent a key segment of our visitor market."

Spanning the secluded beach of Banana Bay at the foot of the island's lush rolling hills, the 126-room resort will enable guests to discover St. Kitts through sophisticated design, art, culinary experiences and immersive excursions.

Home to three signature restaurants, two pools, a destination resort spa and wellness sanctuary, and indoor and outdoor event spaces, the resort introduces the Park Hyatt experience to the Caribbean.

All 78 rooms and 48 suites overlook the golden sandy beach and exceptional vistas greet guests at every turn. Each room showcases views of the Caribbean Sea and islands beyond, with luxurious touches such as private balconies and terraces, local artwork, rain-showers and deep soaking tubs. Premium suites feature private rooftop swimming pools and sundecks. For the ultimate indulgence for discerning guests, the three-bedroom Presidential Villa is equipped with a private infinity pool, wellness area, personal butler and private chef.

From the living walls of the distinctive entryway and throughout, all features of the resort have been thoughtfully and sustainably designed by Range Developments with local materials and unique water features to create an oasis in harmony with the surrounding environment.

The Ports of the Virgin Islands have confirmed that between November 3 and 30, 2017, thousands of cruise passengers are expected to arrive in the Territory.
Ships planning to dock in the Charlotte Amalie Harbor include Seabourn Odyssey, Norwegian Gem, Princess Cruises' Royal Princess, Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas, and Celebrity Cruises' Silhouette.
"Welcoming cruise visitors back to the U.S. Virgin Islands is a key element of our plan to boost economic activity, generate employment and stimulate recovery efforts," stated Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Commissioner of Tourism, underscoring that as the recovery and construction economy kicks into higher gear, including important work to enhance the islands' hotel product over the next year, it was important to get the cruise component of the economy moving forward.
Together with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies and organizations, the Territory has been working since the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September to ready itself for the phased return of tourism to the destination.
The arrival of the Seabourn Odyssey in St. Thomas on Friday, November 3 marks the first non-relief vessel to berth in the Territory since September 17, when Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas arrived at the Ann E. Abramson Pier in Frederiksted, St. Croix. The ship brought passengers to the island just days before Hurricane Maria struck.
Commissioner Nicholson-Doty once again thanked Royal Caribbean International for committing resources to assist with the restoration of Magens Bay, one of St. Thomas'  favorite attractions.
She also reported that the Territory is putting plans in place for traffic flow management on days of heavy cruise ship arrivals.

On Wednesday 1st November 2017, the world first Japanese Tea Ceremony was held at the summit of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, 134 metres above the sparkling Harbour, in a salute to Japan's Culture Day on 3rd November.

The special event was a celebration for the annual Japanese holiday that honours arts, culture, and academic pursuits, and was put on by BridgeClimb; a bucket-list tourism experience taking groups on guided tours safely to the top of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

BridgeClimb invited Wendy Lin, who has studied tea for 10 years to lead the traditional ceremony, assisted by Julian McVittie who has studied tea for more than 35. The two tea aficionados served traditional Macha; powdered green tea, and Okashi; traditional Japanese sweets, to three guests.

Wendy said, “Today at the top of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, we are honouring the traditions of Japanese Chado, The Way of Tea and the four principles of harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity, whilst promoting the culture and art of Japanese Tea to an international audience.

“As the bridge is an important symbol from Australia's history, Japanese tea is an important symbol for Japan's history, and I can't think of a more beautiful view or a more interesting place to tell this story for Japan's Culture Day, than from the summit”.

The five were guided to the top of the Bridge by their Climb Leader, who told them about the rich history of the Bridge and the city its construction helped revive during Australia's great recession in the 1930s.

At the summit, they took place at an attached seat around an attached table set with the traditional utensils for the ceremony, all also carefully attached to meet BridgeClimb's stringent safety requirements.

The arrangement consisted of a tea container; 'Natsume', a wooden long tea spoon; 'Chashaku', a tea whisk; 'Chasen' a white linen Wiping Cloth; 'Chakin', three tea bowls; 'Chawan', a waste water container; 'Kensui', a tea pot; 'Tetsubin' and a red cloth for wiping the spoon; 'Fukusa'.

Once the high tea ceremony concluded, the guests resumed the journey of 1,332 steps along the impressive steel structure. Back on the BridgeClimb, they enjoyed unobstructed vistas spanning as far east as Bondi and as far west as The Blue Mountains.

BridgeClimb prides itself on creating fun experiences for locals and international visitors to Sydney. It offers a truly memorable experience, perfect for special occasions, family adventures, team building and corporate events.

BridgeClimbs hosts an array of one of special events and limited edition climbs to celebrate international cultures. These have included a Mandarin speaking climb experience with Karaoke at the summit for Chinese New Year. And a dance for Diwali, India's festival of light.

Secretary-General Patricia Scotland is urging the international community to keep devastated islands in the Caribbean high on its agenda as she heads to Antigua and Barbuda today.

“It has been two months since Hurricane Irma, one of the most catastrophic hurricanes on record left Barbuda and nearby islands in ruins. And on its heels Hurricane Maria fell with unbridled rage on Dominica, a nation still reeling from the impact of devastating Storm Erika that washed away 95 per cent of its GDP in 2015. Today the headlines have moved on, but the people of Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda are still waking every day to the stark, dark reality of the devastation that these natural disasters have inflicted,” the Secretary-General said.

She continued, “Loved ones are still missing, families are still mourning, people are still homeless and living without running water and electricity, and children are still traumatised. This tragedy is still unfolding. This is why I have decided to visit the region to discuss with leaders how the Commonwealth can continue its support.”

In the last two months the Secretary-General has been advocating for support for vulnerable Commonwealth countries affected by natural disasters. In addition to key interventions on the occasion of high-level international forums such as the United Nations General Assembly and the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Secretary-General has been looking within the Commonwealth for solutions to climate change and vulnerability challenges.

She said, “It is serendipitous that summits for our finance and law ministers occurred soon after Maria and Irma. What was evident at both meetings was the strong commitment to address the existential threat that climate change poses and to support the countries who are most vulnerable to its effects.

“Finance ministers examined how to free up access to funding for climate action – a challenge which the Commonwealth has responded with the opening of our Climate Finance Access Hub last year. We already have an expert in Antigua and Barbuda helping the government to create strong mitigation and adaption projects that will attract funding. We are working closely with Dominica to get an expert there as quickly as possible.”

Law ministers, she added, welcomed a package of Commonwealth initiatives to strengthen climate change and disaster response laws that will speed up recovery after disasters.

“This includes our new Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform, which has a treasure trove of online resources such as model laws, best practice, step by step reform guides and legislative drafting tools.”

During her visit the Secretary-General will explore how the Commonwealth can maximise and target its support to meet the specific needs of climate-vulnerable countries.

She will begin her mission with an independence day parade in Antigua and Barbuda as the country celebrates 36 years of self-governance. During the mission, she will visit areas and people affected by the recent disasters and meet leaders, including Prime Minister Gaston Browne, as well as other officials and representatives from aid agencies.

“This is very much a home coming for me. My father is Antiguan, and Dominica is the land of my birth. But it is not easy coming home to devastation and destruction. I am bracing myself for what I will see. But I know that the Commonwealth and Caribbean spirit of resilience is very much alive.

“I thank the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the other organisations that have been working tirelessly to bring these countries to full recovery. I am confident that, with this and Commonwealth support, we can rebuild better and stronger.”

Disneyland Paris’ 25th Anniversary festivities have been shining brightly over the past few months with a dazzling array of new experiences. They will draw to a close with a spectacular finale befitting a truly sparkling celebration. Experience two new, dazzling seasons with the Princesses & Pirates Festival at Disneyland Park in spring 2018, then, the Marvel Super Heroes will make a spectacular arrival during the Marvel Summer of Super Heroes at Walt Disney Studios Park.

Princesses & Pirates Festival – 31 March – 31 May 2018 A new season at Disneyland Paris. Which side will you choose? Will you dive into a swashbuckling Pirates adventure, or will you prefer to live an enchanting fairy tale alongside your favourite Disney princesses, from the classic ones like Cinderella to the most recent ones like Moana? An interactive experience for an all-new adventure in the Disneyland Park! So get your cutlass and crown ready for the Princesses & Pirates Festival next spring

Marvel Summer of Super Heroes – 10 June – 30 September 2018 A first for Europe and THE big event of 2018, a season dedicated to Marvel Super Heroes at Walt Disney Studios Park. Prepare to save the world with the amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man, Star-Lord, Black Widow and more, together for the first time at Disneyland Paris. Interactive encounters with the heroes of the Marvel Universe and epic shows will take your breath away. Prepare to Hero Up!

The Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary celebrations, which run until September 2018, are unmissable – with a new parade, new shows and reimagined attractions and a spectacular finale with two brand-news seasons for spring and summer 2018! Save the date!

A resident octopus at Birmingham’s National Sea Life Centre has developed an unusual attachment to the infamous Halloween decoration – a large orange pumpkin.

Carved and placed in her tank as part of an enrichment activity, Beverley, the giant pacific octopus has become devoted to the orange vegetable with keepers struggling to tempt her away during feeding time.

“Whilst preparing the centre for Halloween, it seemed the perfect time to let Bev have her first taste of pumpkin.”, Jonny Rudd, aquarium curator explains. “Octopuses like Bev are very intelligent creatures so it’s important we encourage this behaviour through enrichment activity, such as introducing new elements into their environments.

“Octopuses experience taste and texture through their suckers and we were dubious at first whether she was a fan of pumpkin, as she was very tentative to touch it,” says Jonny. “Once she had a tentacle in contact with it though she couldn’t wait to climb inside and weave her way around the carved shapes – and now we face the challenge of tempting her away at dinner time. Just like kids at Halloween, she’s after her treat. She’s also good at playing tricks on us with her camouflage abilities, sometimes we can hardly tell her from the pumpkin!”

Beverley the octopus is located in the aquarium’s Octopus Hideout exhibit, which opened earlier this year. Across the attraction, creatures have this week been enjoying seasonal enrichment, as even the colony of Gentoo penguins have enjoyed pecking out their food from a specially carved Halloween pumpkin.

The aquarium is currently running a themed event for half term, Spooky Seas.

Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) President Karolin Troubetzkoy told Caribbean-American residents in South Florida that the response to the trade association's recently launched One Caribbean Family initiative has been extremely encouraging.
The initiative allows hotels across the region to help those who have been adversely impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, while also highlighting that more than 70 percent of Caribbean destinations have not been affected and are ready to welcome visitors as usual.
Speaking earlier this month to veteran Caribbean-American broadcaster Pat Montague on WAVS 1170 AM radio in South Florida, Troubetzkoy, who operates two hotels in St. Lucia (Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain), said the response to the initiative augurs well for the future of Caribbean unity and cooperation.
"We are very pleased with the response not just by the hotels, but also by large companies like tour operators, travel agents and travel advisors. Everybody wants to play a role and make a pledge. I love the fact that we are all coming together as a family ... because there's so much that needs to be done right now," she said, adding that in the long term, schools and training institutes will need to be rebuilt and jobs need to be created.
She explained that, in the past, when destinations were affected by storms, CHTA asked member hotels to provide auction packages, but with the enormity of devastation following the September storms, the association felt that more needed to be done.
"Those of us that are open for business are going to benefit from business that was meant for other islands ... so we should try to give back," she asserted. She encouraged hotels to make a pledge for new bookings, which will go towards the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund.
Following the hurricanes, she said, CHTA also realized that much of the world did not really understand the geography of the region, so the association launched to convey that more than 70 percent of the Caribbean was still open for business.
Troubetzkoy believes it is important to remind travelers many islands were not in the path of the hurricanes, and are absolutely welcoming tourists. "Visiting the Caribbean is one of the best ways to support our region's economy, especially when we have some countries and territories in the midst of hurricane recovery." The tourism leader wants assistance with helping the world understand that the Caribbean encompasses about a million square miles and more than 7,000 islands.
Troubetzkoy has also called on the Caribbean Diaspora to rally around the One Caribbean Family movement, and to continue making contributions to help the region rebound.

St. Kitts and Nevis Tourism officials and destination partners have concluded the fifth Destination St. Kitts and Nevis Roadshow in the UK with a Tour Operator Meetings and Networking Session at Hampton Court Palace on Thursday October 12.   The four day initiative from October 8 to 12, 2017, was led by The Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce, supported by Chairman of the Nevis Tourism Authority, Tim Thuell; CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Racquel Brown and CEO of the Nevis Tourism Authority, Greg Phillip.

Against a background of Caribbean rhythms and tastes, the four day event provided the platform for tourism officials and destination partners to network with UK travel agents, media, tour operators and specially invited guests with the aim of creating visibility and awareness, pursuing future opportunities and to build business for the crucial booking season.

CEO’s Racquel Brown and Greg Phillip, together with Tim Thuell, Chairman of the NTA Board, spoke in one voice in highlighting the destination’s appeal to UK consumers seeking authentic experiences complemented by a desire for luxury, romance, great food and adventure.  Travel Agents, Media, Tour Operators and other guests were also treated to a preview of the destination’s videos showcasing the history, culture, food, friendly people and scenic natural beauty of the island.

Minister Lindsay Grant acknowledged the support of the UK travel industry and the special partnership with British Airways.

“As St. Kitts strives to compete in the global marketplace, this week’s initiative is crucial to building partnerships with the UK travel industry, even more so in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  We emphasise that St. Kitts and Nevis is very much open for business and we ask your help in spreading that message. The Caribbean is in our prayers as we feel for those that were not fortunate enough to escape damage. “                

Rainforest Adventures has announced a November 2017 opening for the new St. Maarten Rockland Estate eco-park. The park will launch with two signature attractions, The Flying Dutchman -- the world’s steepest zip line -- and the Soualiga Sky Explorer chairlift, as well as the Emilio Wilson Museum and Emilio’s Restaurant. Additional attractions, including the Sentry Hill Zip Line and the Schooner Ride will open in early 2018.

In partnership with the St. Maarten delegation, representatives of Rockland Estate will be attending the 24th Annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show in Merida, Mexico, October 23 – October 27, 2017. They will be at booth B2 and welcome an opportunity to answer questions about, or introduce participants to, what is sure to be the eastern Caribbean’s must-do attraction.

According to Port St. Maarten’s management the eco-park will be a major new attraction and they are proud of the progress the team has made to open the park. They stress how important it is to have stakeholders like Rainforest Adventures and others to be present with them at the FCCA Conference to promote the destination and strongly emphasize the message that St. Maarten is back and open.

“We are very proud and thankful to our engineering and construction teams, their hard work and expertise certainly reduced the damage incurred as a consequence of the hurricane,” says Shaydar Edelmann, General Manager of Rockland Estate. “The people of St. Maarten have come together in strength to restore and rebuild, reestablish the tourism product and kick-start the recovery of our Friendly Island.”

Princess Juliana International Airport has opened to commercial flights and Port St. Maarten is ready to welcome its first commercial cruise vessel on November 5th. Restaurant and attraction businesses are reopening daily and are ready to receive guests.

Opening November 2017 at Rainforest Adventures’ Rockland Estate Eco-Park  

  • The Soualiga Sky Explorer, a four-passenger chairlift, transports guests to the Upper Deck. These decks encircle the mountaintop, one of St. Maarten’s highest points at 1,115 feet, where they will be immersed in spectacular 360-degree views of St. Maarten and its neighboring islands.
  • The Flying Dutchman, the world’s steepest zipline, where guests will experience the thrill of a lifetime as they launch down Sentry Hill on a flight line at 56 mph dropping 1050 feet in elevation over 2630 feet.

·         Each adventure begins in the Emilio Wilson Museum housed in a restored plantation house originally built in the 1700s. Guests will see depictions of what life was like on a plantation and learn about the customs, traditions, lifestyle, and stories that earned Sint Maarten the nickname ‘The Friendly Island’.

·         Emilio’s Restaurant, St. Maarten’s newest restaurant and entertainment hot spot.

Innovation will be at the centre of ways to tackle shared challenges facing Commonwealth countries when finance ministers, central bank governors, and senior finance officials meet this week in Washington DC.

Member states will be discussing ways to address climate change, financial exclusion, unemployment and the vulnerability of small and developing states.

“Significant and innovative public policies will likely be required to reduce fossil fuel production and consumption to achieve the Paris Agreement,” said Dr Daniel Wilde, economic adviser in the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Oceans and Natural Resources division. “If effective policies aren’t put in place, then climate change could result in severe economic and ecological damage.”

Small states are disproportionately exposed to economic and climate shocks. They face further challenges caused by inadequate resources in building up their resilience.

“Now is the time to re-examine international rules governing external financing. We need to explore the innovative mechanisms of linking vulnerability to development finance, such as disaster and climate finance,” said the Secretariat’s economic adviser small states, Motselisi Matsela.

Technological innovation will also be key to tackling unemployment across the Commonwealth. Ministers will be discussing how member states can help one another when it comes to research and development, bridging any gaps in knowledge.

Research officer for the Secretariat’s economic, social and sustainable development directorate (ESSD), Zoheir Ebrahim said, “Innovation could be the catalyst for stimulating economic growth, creating new industries and supporting a growing Commonwealth labour force. To do this we need to enhance the enabling environment for private sector investment through new Commonwealth development partnerships.”

An issue facing all Commonwealth members is the implication of disruptive change brought about by innovative technologies in the financial sector, more commonly known as Fintech.

“Fintech has the potential to address financial exclusion, which affects predominantly women, by bringing financial services to them,” said Sanjana Zaman, ESSD research officer. “Central bank governors will be encouraged to collaborate with the Fintech sector to take this agenda forward.”

The finance ministers meeting will be preceded by the annual dialogue between the Commonwealth, La Francophonie and the G20 group of countries. It will provide a unique opportunity for member states from both intergovernmental organisations to engage with senior officials from the current German G20 Presidency and the incoming Argentinian G20 Presidency to discuss the current agenda and policy options for a future agenda.

The Commonwealth represents a third of the world across six regions, including small states and vulnerable states, developed and developing states, and five of the countries making up the Group of 20 (G20), namely Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and the UK.

The Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands is welcoming the return of Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas to the Territory on Friday, November 10.
U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth E. Mapp and Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty reported today that the cruise company will be the first to return to St. Thomas following back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes that impacted the Territory last month.
The news follows last week's visit by Royal Caribbean executives to meet with the Territory's public and private sector stakeholders and see firsthand the island's port facilities, infrastructure, shopping areas and attractions.
"As we move forward from September's historic storms, we are laser-focused on improving and enhancing the overall tourism product, and creating an environment that stimulates economic growth and employment for our residents," commented Governor Mapp as he thanked the executive team at Royal Caribbean for its confidence in the Government and people of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The line, which operated two mercy missions to the Territory to assist with the evacuation of affected visitors and residents and to bring much needed humanitarian supplies, has been providing significant resources to help with the restoration of world-famous Magens Bay - one of St. Thomas' popular beaches. The cleanup effort is being made possible with the support of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the Department of Public Works, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, the Virgin Islands National Guard and several private sector organizations.
"We are very excited to get back home to our friends in St. Thomas. The Caribbean is our family, having cruised there for nearly 50 years, and the long-standing relationships created in all this time are unwavering," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "We are committed to doing everything we can to help, and proud to support the restoration of the iconic Magens Bay."
"Welcoming cruise visitors back to the U.S. Virgin Islands is key to our economic recovery," Commissioner Nicholson-Doty underscored, disclosing that cruise guests represent a significant share of overall visitors, supporting jobs both within and outside the tourism sector. The Commissioner said preparations for Royal Caribbean's arrival were ongoing and additional meetings with the business community were being planned.

On 21 October 2017, London-based Flight Centre travel consultants Reece Gilkes and Matt Bishop will embark on the first ever circumnavigation of the globe on a scooter with a sidecar.

Matt and Reece will kick off the expedition with a London to Paris Launch Rally. They will be accompanied by a large convoy of scooters, sidecars and other vehicles, leaving the Ace Café, London at 07:00am. The rally aims to raise awareness of Unseen UK who operate the UK's Modern Slavery Helpline. Around 70 people have already signed up to join the rally for just £25, which includes a return ticket via Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, thanks to support for the cause from Eurotunnel. A few remaining places are available for those wishing to join the rally.

The pair will then scoot over five continents, through over 50 countries and cover around 40,000 miles on the most inappropriate mode of transport imaginable – a scooter with a sidecar. The trip itself, sponsored by Flight Centre UK, will take up to 18 months and will involve travelling on a mixture of tarmac, mud, gravel, ice and sand, with temperatures reaching highs of 40 and potentially touching minus 20.

Matt and Reece are taking on this huge Guinness World Record breaking challenge to raise awareness and funds for the fight against modern day slavery. There are currently 45.8 million people enslaved in every country globally, including the UK. That's enough people to fill Wembley Stadium over 500 times and more than double what there was at the peak of the transatlantic slave trade.

Matt said “The decisions we make back home often don't reflect our intentions and that's because we're not personally connected to the people we're affecting. Think about it – would you buy that cheap t-shirt if it was going to make life worse for somebody you know? By telling the personal stories of the people we meet during our journey and sharing details of their everyday life, we're hoping to help people in the UK feel more connected with them. We believe that by championing our shared similarities we can help people realise the everyday decisions we make at home affect real people, just like them, all around the world.”

Reece said: “The way we learn about people who are from somewhere different to us is wrong. Huge groups of people are often defined by a single story. This story is usually impossible to relate to and instead of connecting with people personally we often end up pitying or fearing them. That's why we're going on this mission: to find similarities between different people from different places and tell different stories that truly reflect the people we meet. Hopefully this way we can fight the stereotyping and create a more personally connected world.”

In preparation for their epic adventure, and to get some experience of living by the road, riding in the cold and sharing stories, Matt and Reece have completed an epic UK tour. They travelled from London to Lands' End, to John O'Groats, to London again on 125cc learner bikes in the middle of December 2016. On the 2,200-mile route, they had to endure 12 days of rain, extreme cold and up to 14 hours riding each day. When they were not riding, Matt and Reece were either attempting fix the bikes or in local schools talking about the expedition and the reasons behind it. They've also undertaken emergency survival training, with Survival Wisdom in Cornwall, to ensure they're fully prepared for every scenario.

As well as aiming to inspire genuine change, the project has a fundraising target of £50,000 which will go towards the organisations fighting modern day slavery and other human rights abuses – including Unseen UK and the local organisations visited en-route – as well as helping fund the costs of the trip.

Flight Centre is supporting the campaign because the company's success comes down to its people; experienced Travel Experts who are passionate about finding their customers the holiday they want, for the price they want.

The team at Flight Centre are experts when it comes to travel and are committed to providing customers with a great experience. The Flight Centre team can organise anything from flights to tailor-made holidays, hotels, car hire, tours, travel insurance, visas and more. They also have dedicated First and Business Class flight teams and Business Travel teams to help with any specialised travel needs.

Karen Tracey, Staffordshire business woman and Chair of the Birmingham chapter of the Women Presidents’ Organisation, scooped the 2017 Adrienne Hall Award for Breaking Down Barriers at the WPO 20th anniversary annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

The award goes to a member, Chapter Chair, organisation or sponsor who has gone out of their way to collaborate with the WPO, to forge an alliance that has proved helpful to the organization, as well as to break down barriers for female entrepreneurs. Karen is the first UK recipient in its 20-year history.

“Karen has demonstrated enthusiastic support for the WPO. She embodies its mission, to help accomplished women entrepreneurs drive second-stage businesses to the next level of success by tackling a multitude of strategic and operational issues,” said WPO President & Founder Dr. Marsha Firestone.

Karen, owner of a Lichfield-based Coaching company which helps high growth businesses and senior executives, was delighted to receive the award. She said “ I am completely shocked and overwhelmed to receive this award. The WPO is a significant force of female entrepreneurs across the world and to be recognised in this way is amazing. To bring this award back to the UK and the Midlands is naturally not only great for me, of course, but also for my Birmingham UK members. I am so proud to receive it.”

Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) Chief Executive Officer  Patricia Maher, has completed a successful mission to the UK to further raise the profile of Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean. The schedule of several days was packed with consumer, media and travel industry events that showcased Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

Ms. Maher led the GTA delegation at the UK’s foremost bridal event, the National Wedding Show in London on Sunday 24 September, reaching an audience of potential wedding couples and honeymooners. She undertook positive meetings with senior management at British Airways and Virgin Holidays both of which are significant providers of visitors and Visiting Friends and Relations (VFR) traffic from the UK.

Meetings with leading ‘partner’ tour operators including Trailfinders, Lotus/Dial A Flight, Kenwood Travel and the Sandals Store enabled Ms. Maher to hear first-hand how Pure Grenada continues to be positioned and promoted as an authentic destination for discerning travellers.

Ms. Maher attended the annual Association of National Tourist Office Representatives (ANTOR) media networking event attended by over 60 leading UK press and social media influencers. The following evening she hosted an informal briefing session with key consumer media including BBC Radio London and The Huffington Post correspondents, where rum and chocolate - two special ingredients from Pure Grenada – provided an authentic taste of the tri-island state.

In addition, Ms Maher was interviewed by trade and consumer media about Pure Grenada and tourism news including the March 2018 opening of Silversands Grenada, next year’s Pure Grenada Music Festival and Grenada Chocolate Fest, and the island hosting the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) this week.

Ms Maher said: “The UK remains a vital market for Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean and we’re investing wisely in partnerships and promotions to ensure we remain front of mind with the travel trade and consumers. Given recent events in the region that have affected some of our neighbours it is imperative that we remain proactive to ensure we Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique are seen to be ‘open for business’ and offering exciting, memorable and exceptional experiences to our visitors.”

She added: “We return to London in November for World Travel Market, the global travel industry and media networking exhibition, and in the meantime the UK team will be showcasing Pure Grenada at premier consumer events including The Chocolate Show and The Birmingham Dive Show 2017.”

Untangling the hair grip problem. It goes by many names - it might be called the hairpin, the bobby pin or the hair grip.

But whatever you call it, The UK's waste management agency have called for these hair essentials to be made exclusively from recycled materials. argue that the much-used hair grip is used and lost so frequently by women around the world that they risk becoming an unnecessary blight on the environment, as well as a huge waste of materials.

Spokesperson Mark Hall from said: “While boys might not know exactly what they’re looking at when they see one, girls can’t do without that small piece of metal that somehow gets absolutely everywhere.

“Sometimes they might only be used once and then thrown away or lost, which is why you see them littering everywhere from gyms to pavements, workplaces, pubs and anywhere else ladies with hair might go.

“Because we know how frequently they’re discarded, it’s only right that they should be made from recycled materials, otherwise we’re just wasting resources on something that is effectively disposable.”

A survey was conducted by which involved over 3000 people. When asked where they’d seen hair grips discarded, people had some strange and interesting responses. 53% of people said they’d seen hair grips in public bathrooms, even down the loo in some cases, although it’s not clear whether they ended up there on purpose or by accident.

86% of people had found them in their own homes with no idea how they got there. The most common places where

Under the bed

Down the side of sofa

Bathroom floor


And some odder finds including

In the dishwasher

In the toilet

9% of men surveyed by said they’d been put in a tricky situation at some point in their lives, with a girlfriend finding a stray hair grip that wasn’t hers in their home or car.

Steve, 33, Leeds said: “I was seeing a couple of girls at once when I was at uni, one didn’t go to my university and one did so their paths never crossed. I thought I was being really smart and careful, but then the uni girlfriend, Sarah, found a hair grip in my bathroom left by the other girl, Laura, I was rumbled. I tried to convince Sarah it was her own hair grip but she had really short hair and never used them - and neither did I.

“The irony is that Laura later found Sarah’s earring under my bed so she dumped me too. Lads need to know what these things are otherwise we’re going to slip up, that weird little bit of metal can ruin your life.”

It’s estimated that tens of millions of hair grips are sold in the UK each year, with many coming in multipacks of 50 or more. On average, each one of these hair grips lasts up to two weeks before it’s lost or broken, inevitably ending up in landfill. say that switching to recycled materials would be a much more environmentally-friendly and sensible way to make hair grips, and would have a considerable impact on our planet considering how many are bought each year.

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), in collaboration with tourism industry stakeholders, will launch a Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund campaign during the entire month of October to assist victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which severely devastated many of our Caribbean sister countries earlier in September.

The Belize Tourism Board will donate a $1 for every tourist arrival for the month of October and the initiative is that each stakeholder donates a $1 for every guest; therefore, creating a multiplier effect. The BTB initiative is being supported by participating agencies and tourism stakeholders such as the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Hotel Association (BHA), Tour Operators, water taxis, hoteliers and local airlines amongst many others.

During the first week of September, category 5 Hurricane Irma pummeled a number of Caribbean countries in the northern Leeward Islands and the northern Caribbean leaving a long trail of devastation. Many residents of these countries were left homeless, without food, power, water and basic essentials.  Two weeks later, Hurricane Maria followed the same path further exacerbating the level of destruction throwing many of these countries in a severe state of desperation and despair. Many of these countries depend on tourism as their chief means of survival and the devastation by both hurricanes has stalled their economies, which may take several months or perhaps years to recover.

The BTB, therefore, hereby appeals to all stakeholders to donate $1 for every passenger/ guest engaged for the month of October towards the Caribbean Relief Fund in order to ease the road to recovery for our Caribbean sister countries.

The funds will be donated to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, in addition to their existing Go fund me Hurricane Relief fund for the Caribbean. Hugh Riley, Secretary General & CEO of CTO, stated "It's through this Fund that the CTO channels monetary assistance to our impacted member states. Assessments are being conducted of needs through the Ministries of Tourism and the monies collected will be disbursed directly to the people in need in form of food, medication, water, or material for rebuilding. The CTO appreciates all donations to assist in the recovery efforts of these countries."

Further information on the A Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund campaign and transparency for disbursements of funds can be found