Caribbean & Bermuda

Caribbean & Bermuda

The Reality of Virtual Travel

Virtual reality technology is popping up across all sectors of the travel industry, bringing your clients closer to far-flung destinations and you closer to closing that deal.

Report from JAPEX, Part 1: The Big Picture—Highways, Culture, and Even Cuba

How might the land of alright get alrighter? At the 26th annual JAPEX—Jamaican Product Exchange—Jamaican tourism leaders are offering answers.
The resort’s Awe-Spa offers a 1-hour Water Journey.

Onsite Review: Moon Palace Jamaica Grande

Two questions guided my recent stay at Palace Resorts’ first foothold in Jamaica, the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande: 1. How was Mexican-owned Palace Resorts adapting to the land of alright? 2. How could it stand out on an island that already has dozens of all-inclusive brands?
The Sunscape Puerto Vallarta opened in December.

Onsite Review: Puerto Vallarta’s Hotel Scene

This Mexican destination on the Pacific side isn’t just overflowing with vibrantly colorful bougainvillea, it’s also bursting at the seams with new hotel openings and revamps, ranging from all-inclusives to ultra-luxe and eco options. During my visit to the destination for Gala Vallarta-Nayarit, I learned that there are at least 11 properties in the area that either recently opened or underwent a revamping, giving you plenty of new booking options.
Bird’s-eye view of the Iberostar Playa Mita.

Onsite Review: Iberostar Playa Mita

It’s a gorgeous day in Riviera Nayarit. The sun isn’t being shy about how luminous it can get, and nature in general—from the beach to the lush mountains—is having one of its finest days. I’m at the Iberostar Playa Mita property in Riviera Nayarit, and although I’ve been to this area of Mexico a few times, I’m always blown away by how utterly gorgeous it is—nature really outdoes itself here. That striking scenery takes center stage at the 452-room Iberostar Playa Mita, which pays homage to the natural surroundings, creating a lovely, laid-back ambiance throughout the property.
Bali beds on the Heaven side offer stunning views of the surroundings.

Onsite Review: Rock Royalty Only

Experience a taste of the rock star lifestyle at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, no Grammy necessary.

ID Travel Unveils Cancellation Waiver Promotion

Luxury tour operator ID Travel Group has launched a complimentary cancellation waiver at select properties.

Just How Hot Is Dominican Tourism? – Part 2

Recommend’s Caribbean editor Ed Wetschler gives a second update from DATE, the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange.

Just How Hot Is Dominican Tourism? – Part 1

Here's the buzz from DATE, the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange, as reported by Recommend's Caribbean editor Ed Wetschler.

Getaways Made Just For Mom

This Mother’s Day, help your clients surprise their family’s matriarch with a getaway packed with mom-approved activities.

Savory Stays

We're sampling four savory stays around the globe where your clients can get a taste of the good life.

Saba Serves Up Invasive Lionfish

Saba, the smallest of the Dutch Caribbean islands, is turning an invasive species problem into a tasty opportunity to practice culinary conservation.

AMResorts Announces Round-the-Clock Dining Program

AMResorts, an Apple Leisure Group subsidiary, is offering round-the-clock food and beverage options across its six luxury resort brands that include 43 properties in 21 destinations.

Catering to Solo Travelers

Royalton Luxury Resorts is encouraging solo travelers to go it alone by waiving its single supplement fee and offering a 55 percent discount off stays from Aug. 24 to Oct. 31 at the adults-only CHIC Punta Cana and Hideaway at Royalton Riviera Cancun resorts.

How One Agency Is Expanding Its Cuba Bookings

House of Travel, a Signature Travel Network affiliate that has served high-end travelers for three decades, was ahead of the game in Cuba.

Experience Resort for A Day

Resort for a Day, an experience where cruisers get to relax and enjoy a resort's amenities while in port, is a good alternative to the traditional shore excursion.
The teppanyaki-style Kimonos restaurant at Sandals.

5 Adults-Only All-Inclusives Where Dinner Is an Art

Not that long ago, people went to the Caribbean in spite of the food; not because of it. But along came the wellness movement, the Food Channel, celebrity chefs and dining as sport. Expectations rose, so resorts, including many all-inclusives, hired better chefs, opened new kinds of restaurants, offered more fresh produce, upgraded their wines, and trained the servers better. The result: Dining has become a selling point and a competitive edge, especially at adults-only resorts. So, I asked some savvy travel agents and tour operators which all-inclusives are the culinary stand-outs.
Jade Mountain schedules daily chocolate-related activities.

Saint Lucia ❤’s Chocoholics

Recommend’s December issue declared that “dark chocolate is the new black,” thanks to the trend of Caribbean hotels to offer more sophisticated chocolate desserts, chocolate-infused spa treatments, cacao plantation tours, and festivals. Leading the charge has been Saint Lucia, known for its scenic Pitons, beaches, and brides. But this island has other bragging rights, too: It’s been growing exceptional cacao for more than 300 years.

Starwood Receives Green Light to Operate in Cuba

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has become the first U.S. hospitality company in nearly 60 years to obtain government authorization to operate in Cuba.

Royal Genie, At Your Service

Royal Caribbean International's new Royal Suite Class proves that guests can enjoy the same benefits and luxury amenities on a ship that they would at an exclusive resort, personal butler and all.

Get Amplified With Hard Rock Hotels

Hard Rock Hotels has launched its Amplified package, available at all 23 properties worldwide, including domestic locations in Florida and California, and international destinations in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Caribbean.

Carnival “Eager to Set Sail” On First U.S.-Cuba Sailing in 50 Years

On May 1, 2016, Carnival’s newest brand, Fathom, will operate the cruise line’s inaugural sailing to Havana, Cuba from the Port of Miami.

Spring Steals and Summer Hotel Deals

You'll have to act fast to take advantage of these spring and summer hotel deals in Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana Opens for Bookings

Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana is now live and available for bookings through U.S. operators.

Classic Family Vacations With an Adventurous Twist 

Classic Journeys' family multi-sport journeys invite the whole gang to participate in river tubing, snorkeling, and other outdoor activities, as well as experience interactions with locals throughout their vacation.

Test Your Luck at Carnival Magic’s Spin N Sail Slot Tournament

Carnival Cruise Line and International Game Technology (IGT) are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the “Wheel of Fortune” slot machines being featured aboard all Carnival Cruise ships by offering guests the opportunity to win a free cruise and participate in a Spin N Sail Slot Tournament.

The Latest From the U.S. Virgin Islands

Recommend's Caribbean Editor Ed Wetschler sat down with USVI Department of Tourism commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty in a private meeting in Manhattan to talk tourism numbers, how the USVI is handling the Zika's threat and what's in store for 2016. 
The new Melia Braco Village in Jamaica.

The New All-Inclusives for Families

Could any trend be stronger than the posting of puppy videos on Facebook? Just one: the race to open name-brand, all-inclusive resorts, some for adults only and others that are family-friendly. Here’s how three successful companies are parenting new resorts targeting families.
The Butler Village Honeymoon Romeo & Juliet Sanctuary One Bedroom Villa Suite with Private Pool.

Onsite Review: Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

Almost every time a staffer in a golf cart passed me while I was walking to/from my butler suite at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, he or she offered me a lift. Why? (a) The resort covers a lot of ground. (b) The employees really know how to provide service. (c) I looked incapable of walking without adult supervision. Class, your job is to pick the two correct answers.

In a Tropical State of Mind

In celebration of its new website design and logo, Paradisus Resorts brought sun and sand to Union Square in New York City earlier this month via the Be Sunny Mobile pop up beach.

Discover Nature’s Little Secrets on a British Virgin Islands Vacation

Breathtaking landscapes, unspoiled beaches, family-friendly activities…there are plenty of reasons to book your clients a British Virgin Islands vacation, and here are a few more, luxury villa stays, fresh seafood, a fundraising triathlon…

The U.S. and Cuban Governments Ink a Deal to Resume Commercial Flights

The ink has dried on the U.S.-Cuba deal to re-establish scheduled air services between the two countries, and now the race has begun for U.S. air carriers trying to snag as many coveted runway time slots as possible.

Island Escapes Via Delta Vacations

Delta Vacations, the official vacation provider for Delta Air Lines, is expanding its portfolio in the Bahamas with the debut of two new packages to Marsh Harbor and Eleuthera.

The Dawn of a New AMResorts Hotel

AMResorts, a subsidiary of Apple Leisure Group, opened its 15th Secrets Resorts & Spas property, Secrets Playa Bonita Panama, last month off the Pacific coast, a few minutes away from Panama City.

Innovation at Sea

Whether it's building a naturally powered ship with the largest guest capacity in the world or utilizing the latest technology to satisfy guests' needs, there's no shortage of innovations coming from the Genoa-based Costa Group, whose Costa Cruises line, interestingly enough, began as a party cruise—it's come a long way, baby.

Travel Industry Responds to Zika

New reports on Zika’s spread, potential effect and modes of transmission surface by the day, but is it, and how is it, affecting travel to destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America?
Spa treatment room at the Condado Vanderbilt in Puerto Rico.

Different Visions of Luxury for Fast Escapes

The following five resorts present different visions of vacations, but they all have these two things in common: An ambiance that bespeaks luxury and nonstop flights from the mainland.

What’s New in the Bahamas

As Joy Jibrilu, Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, noted at a Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Marketplace press conference, The Bahamas is about more than just Baha Mar.

Caribbean Tourism Business: The Big Picture

At the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Marketplace at Atlantis Resort & Casino on Paradise Island, Recommend's Caribbean Editor, Ed Wetschler, was impressed by STR's director of client services Newton Kam's, unbiased, tell-it-like-it-is summarization of STR's findings about Caribbean tourism.

Palace Resorts Introduces Palace EDGE Program

Palace Resorts has launched Palace EDGE (Exceptional Destination Groups & Events), a new program for U.S. tour operators that offers group and wedding benefits.

JetBlue Launches Barbados to Fort Lauderdale Service

Petra Roach, director of the U.S. Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) beamed as she announced the launch of JetBlue’s new service from Barbados to Fort Lauderdale, beginning April 28.

CeBlue Villas & Beach Resort Spring Break Promotion Ends Soon

CeBlue Villas & Beach Resort’s Spring Break promotion ends Jan. 31, giving you just a wee bit of wiggle room to book your clients on a tropical getaway to this boutique property on Crocus Bay Beach in Anguilla.

Karisma Hotels & Resorts Ups Commission to 21 Percent

Karisma Hotels & Resorts is upping its commission to 21 percent and adding a new loyalty travel club program.

Travel Bound Offers Incentives on Beach Collection

Travel Bound has launched its new Beach Collection 2016 and is offering vacation incentives to agents who make a booking from any of the featured destinations.

Getting to Guadeloupe: Easier Now Than Ever

Low cost airline Norwegian launched seven nonstop flights from the U.S. to Guadeloupe Islands last month, and American Airlines has added one weekly nonstop to Pointe-à-Pitre.

How Green Energy Will Impact Tourism in Nevis

"Nevis will soon become the greenest place on Planet Earth," said Hon. Mark A.G. Brantley, Minister of Tourism for Nevis (and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation for St. Kitts and Nevis) at lunch on a visit to Manhattan.

Cruise Savings & Agent Incentives

Agents, here are a few savings and incentives major cruise lines are extending to you and your clients.
Anguilla

The Rewards of Selling Anguilla

From award-winning accommodations and superb dining to breathtaking beaches and heritage sites, the Caribbean island of Anguilla is an inviting destination for a variety of travelers.
The pool at CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla. 

CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa’s Winter Getaway Packages

Your clients can shake off the winter blues with a trip to Anguilla’s Rendezvous Bay, where CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa is offering two packages and two promotions available through 2016.

Valentine’s Day Getaways To Remember

Your clients can surprise their sweetheart with a Valentine’s Day package to some of the world’s most romantic destinations.

USTOA: Positive Outlook for 2016

Listen closely to what USTOA members are saying, and you’ll be all smiles going into the holidays and into 2016. There’s a positive outlook for the coming year, with tour operator members showing strong growth this past year and going into 2016, and affirming that travel agents contribute significantly to USTOA members’ business. Let’s look at the numbers, shall we.
Learn all about what Trinidad & Tobago have to offer.

Get Educated on the True Caribbean

Recommend's Trinidad & Tobago Travel Agent Specialist Program is now available for you to find all the information you need to provide your clients with a unique vacation experience.
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