Sure, delegates here in Barbados are talking about the Caribbean in general (see News on SOTIC), but at this huge annual Caribbean Tourism Organization event, the news from specific islands got my attention, too. Here’s a peek:
British Virgin Islands
“By mid- or late-autumn we expect nonstops from Miami,” said Sharon Flax-Brutus, director of the BVI Tourist Board. “This,” she added, “will be a game-changer.” The carrier is British Virgin Islands Airways, and the formal announcement should come soon. Mind you, this is in addition to the new websites and initiatives for travel agents announced in Recommend just a few months ago. Check out this story for more info—The BVI’s New Program for Travel Agents.
Flax-Brutus noted that the BVI is “close to approaching that million visitors mark,” and it is negotiating with some branded companies. However, she promised at a news conference, “The BVI’s focus will remain on luxury and ultra-luxury operators. Our properties will be small in size, not exceeding 150 rooms. And no high-rises.”
My favorite line at the press conferences came courtesy of Rudy W. Grant, CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority. This came during an update on the three-island nation’s marriage laws, which allow non-citizens to get married just 24 hours after arriving on island. He reminded the media that Grenada’s tour operators and wedding coordinators can arrange non-traditional as well as traditional ceremonies. In fact, added this elegant and well-spoken official, “Even if you don’t have a partner, come to Grenada, and it will be facilitated for you.” For better or for worse, he was joking.
It isn’t just Alexander Hamilton; Nevisian history is full of firsts—the first hotel in the Caribbean (1778), the region’s oldest Anglican church (1643) and oldest wooden house (the Great House at Hermitage Plantation, 1670), and much more. Today, explained Devon Liburd, director of sales and marketing for the Nevis Tourism Authority, much of the focus is on new villas, condos, and townhouses, in keeping with a trend explored in the September issue of Recommend in the story, Villas and Condos with Real Resort Facilities.
“At Tamarind Cove, a marina development, the marina itself has not been started, but work is underway on 140 residences,” he said. “The new villas at the Four Seasons Nevis will add 30 rooms, and work will soon be completed at a new condo development on the north coast, Candy Cove.” Sweet. For more info on the new Four Seasons Nevis, check out Earn Bonus Commission on Villas of Distinction’s New Nevis Portfolio.