It’s not hard to figure out which clients you should urge to visit Guadeloupe. Certainly, people who’ve already visited some of the Caribbean isles more touristed by Americans and who are ready for something new will love it. After all, Guadeloupe is a slice of France in the Western Hemisphere, with French laws and luxury goods and savoir-vivre—plus a genuine, unspoiled Caribbean environment within this safe and secure département de France framework. And these clients who are looking for something different are sure to be surprised and delighted when you tell them that new flights to the butterfly archipelago, which until now was so hard to reach, have made Guadeloupe just a hop and a skip away.
To make your job even easier, the Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board recently put together seven unique packages. Not only are these itineraries tempting and smartly designed—they feature terrific activities, hotels where staffers speak English, flights from the U.S.—but they help you zero in on exactly which kinds of travelers match up with Guadeloupe.
The opportunity to enjoy French cuisine, French-Creole specialties, and even French-Caribbean curries prepared with real French ingredients and/or local produce has long made Guadeloupe a mecca for food lovers. If you book the tourist board’s Culinary package, with accommodations at Auberge de la Vieille Tour, your clients will enjoy such perks as a tour of an organic farm (and a multi-course meal there) and a meet-up/munch-up with Cuisinieres, revered local women who maintain Guadeloupe’s culinary traditions.
No surprise that Guadeloupe amazes ecotourists, what with so much of its land (and water) unspoiled and protected from development. Moreover, the archipelago offers an astounding variety of environments—mountains and lowlands, rainforests and desert islands, beaches and mangrove swamps, shallow coral reefs and underwater canyons. Two new packages target ecotourists: Eco-Feel for the shorts-and-sandals crowd, with accommodations at Vert Intense-Les Bananes Vertes, and Eco-Chic for clients who want both wilderness and sophisticated colonial style, with a stay at Le Jardin Malanga Hotel.
The existence of so many environments is a godsend to outdoorsy types, whether their sport is hiking, snorkeling, surfing, kitesurfing, fishing, or—well, you name it. Among the many neat activities included in the new Multi-Sports itinerary, which includes a stay at Langley Resort Fort Royal, are kayaking and snorkeling in an aquarium-like mangrove environment, and a guided canyoning trip from the summit of La Soufrière.
Think of divers as a separate category of athletes—travelers with a passion they want to pursue almost every day. What’s nice about the new Deep Blue package is, not only does it give scuba diving aficionados an opportunity to explore Jacques Cousteau’s fabled Pigeon Islands, but it also includes a stay on Terre-de-Haut (at Le Petits Saints), which offers some of the least exploited dive sites in the entire Caribbean.
Can a destination favored by sophisticates and foodies, amateur foresters and sporting enthusiasts really be right for families? You bet. A lot of the Americans who are taking advantage of the new airline routes to discover Guadeloupe are doing so with their children, because they want them to experience real mountains, rainforests, forts, cascades, culture and coral reefs. (It doesn’t hurt that the beaches are great, too.) The Family package, with accommodations at La Creole Beach Hotel & Spa, features pedal boating amid the mangroves, ziplining, and a walk in the parc—which in the case of Guadeloupe means in the rainforest canopy.
The package’s official name is Honeymooners package, but with the romantic appeal of Guadeloupe’s misty mountains, lush forests, hot springs, splendid beaches, island-hopping ferries to places where you can find your own beach, and French ambiance (and wine), this destination is an aphrodisiac for any couple, no matter what their marital status. Couples will also be swooning over the accommodations, La Toubana Hotel & Spa, which offers panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea.
THE LONG-WEEKEND PARTY CROWD
Naturally, generalists drawn to Guadeloupe’s beauty, beaches, athletic options, and culture will want to do it all and see it all, and an All in One package, which includes a stay at La Creole Beach Hotel & Spa, addresses that need. But perhaps the package that most reveals how new airline routes can radically affect travel plans is the Beach Party package, a long weekend in paradise at La Toubana Hotel & Spa that would have been flat-out impossible just a few months ago. Change is good!
You can book all these packages through LA-based EuroBound, which works exclusively with travel agents. For more information, call (888) 672-7476 or visit eurobound.com. Imelda Bermudez is the Guadeloupe Islands Specialist; you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (310) 342-0660 x229.