Newsletter 35 -

4th September 2015

Antiguan Dream

With lush views and clear water, Antigua is a prototypical island paradise. However, it also has a unique culture all its own

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Seaborne Announces New Service Between Puerto Rico and Antigua and Barbuda
Seaborne Airlines, the fastest growing airline in the Caribbean, announced that it will introduce non-stop service between the carrier's hub in San Juan's Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and Antigua and Barbuda newly inaugurated V.C. Bird International Airport, effective December 13, 2015.  The service will represent the only non-stop connection between Puerto Rico and Antigua and Barbuda.
The flights will provide convenient connecting opportunities to Seaborne's sizable portfolio of airline connecting partners at San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.  In tandem with connections to other Seaborne flights in the Caribbean, and connecting partner airlines
Full story here
Private Sector meets with Minister Benjamin following Tropical Storm Erilka.
A group consisting of representatives from the Antigua Hotels & Tourist Association, the Antigua and Barbuda Chamber of Commerce, the Antigua and Barbuda Employers' Federation and a representative from the Trade Union Congress met with Attorney General, the Hon. Steadroy "Cutie" Benjamin on Tuesday.
The meeting was held to discuss members' concerns, such as the need for the development of a National Tourism Disaster Plan.
This will ensure that during a national disaster, the country whose main industry and economy mainstay is tourism, will be able to continue providing services that are required to that sector.
The members are of the view that during a disaster, essential services must be identified to maintain services to the tourism sector. 
In this regard, areas such as the hotel sector, the airport and its related services should be deemed essential for that purpose. 
The members also noted that the involvement of the main stake holders in the discussions prior to issuing any instruction for non work days would be important for consideration.
Members of the Antigua Hotels & Tourist Association stated that hotels have to give reports to overseas based tour operators prior to any storm, giving assurances of the safety and well-being of their guests and therefore not having staff to provide an acceptable level of service during these disasters, is a cause for concern.
After listening to the discussions, Attorney General the Hon. Steadroy  Benjamin charged the National Labour Board, NLB to initiate discussions on all the topics with the various stakeholders to include NODS and the Met Office. 
Chairman of the NLB Mr. Pedro Corbin accepted the Minister’s mandate.
AHTA Tourism Development Fund to help the people of Dominica
The hotels that participate in the AHTA's Dollar-a-Day programme have collectively agreed to support the relief effort to help get the people of Dominica back on their feet. All  funds collected during the month of August will be used to purchased much needed items in the United states in collaboration with Elite Island Resorts and then these will be shipped directly to Dominica.
Guests staying in the participating properties are asked to make a US$1 per day voluntary contribution to the fund. Currently eight properties contribute on a monthly basis to the AHTA's Tourism Development Fund, these being Galley Bay, Jumby Bay, Blue Waters. Curtain Bluff, Siboney Beach Club, Sugar Ridge, Buccaneer beach Club and Catamaran Hotel. If your property is not yet part of this programme and you would like to be part of these outreach activities please contact the AHTA office.
Sandals Foundation launches Dominica Fundraising Campaign
Sandals Foundation, the non-profit arm of Sandals Resorts International has launched a fundraising campaign to aid the recovery effort in Dominica after the Caribbean nation was recently devastated by Tropical Storm Erika.
The campaign will include fundraising efforts involving the tens of thousands of guests staying at Sandals and Beaches resorts as well as online donations through the Sandals Foundation webpage.
President of the Sandals Foundation and CEO of Sandals Resorts International Adam Stewart commented, “Thankfully, the nine islands in which we operate our resorts were unscathed by Tropical Storm Erika but tragically the same was not true of our Caribbean neighbours in Dominica who have suffered great loss; both of life and infrastructure. We know firsthand how badly natural disasters can affect a nation and we will be doing all we can to help the people of Dominica to recover as quickly as possible and we urge our corporate partners to play their part too.” Full story here
Ondeck supporting Dominica relief effort
Ondeck's yacht Spirit of Juno will be sailing to Dominica today full of food, baby milk and more kindly donated by individuals or from Antigua's official disaster response team.
We have recently added the following to the statistics page of our website. these can viewed here.
1) Hotel Occupancies figures for August 2015
2) Air Arrival figures for June & July by country and by US State
Sandals Foundation supports local football development

The Sandals Foundation is again demonstrating its commitment to youth and sports in the community, this time covering the tuition fees for 15 children to attend the Swalings Soccer Club year-long programme. The latest initiative comes on the heels of the successful Sandals Foundation Cricket Academy which wrapped up mid-August.
The scholarship recipients were chosen from various communities around Antigua with a special emphasis placed on finding those who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to attend a structured and certified sports programme.
Full story here

Sugar Ridge Debuts New Website
Cool, sophisticated site offers a wealth of images and easy-to use links
Finding out about Sugar Ridge is now a lot easier and more enjoyable with the new website recently launched at
Among the major improvements is that the site is now responsive on all platforms, meaning you'll be able to view it more easily on your phone or tablet and more easily use the dynamic booking engine.
The new site also features gorgeous new photo arrays and comprehensive information on All Inclusive, Boutique and Fitness packages as well as more details on rooms, dining and activities and a News section to let people know the latest specials and offerings.
Caribbean Resort Owners, managers queue up for CHTA's Hotel Idea Exchange Forum Oct. 2-4, Offers Engagement with Region's Innovative Hoteliers
The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association’s (CHTA) inaugural Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) has drawn attention of innovative hoteliers from across the region as well as top speakers from a variety of industry segments. This long-needed networking and educational conference will take place Oct. 2-4 in Puerto Rico.
“The objective of this not-to-miss event is to bring together all segments of the marketplace designed to help industry professionals save money, earn more money and create operating efficiencies at small, midsize and large properties,” said Emil Lee, president of CHTA. “The concepts that will be presented are practical and executable ideas that will help to improve profitability,” Lee added.
“There has been nothing like CHIEF in the Caribbean for the past two decades and we are excited that the event is working as planned to bring together the industry,” said Lee. “We are finding that CHIEF is filling a void in the conference agenda via sessions targeted to sales, operations and sustainability as evidenced by hoteliers’ inclination to register multiple individuals from each departmental area,” Lee added. Full story here
If you missed this week's Webinar above you can view the video recording of the webinar by clicking here .
For the Period June 9, 2015 to September 1, 2015 - In This Report….
President Lee’s Year One Observations
Message from the CEO - CHIEF: What’s In It for You?
Advocacy: Cuba, CBTI, Expedia-Orbitz, AirBnb….
National Hotel and Tourism Associations: Strengthening Connections
Building and Redefining Alliances and Partnerships
Improving Communications
The CHTA Calendar: CHIEF, SOTIC, CHICOS, Marketplace
Recognizing Our Best
Data Center: Intelligence You Can Use
Sustainability: Saving, Protecting and Enhancing
Marketing Initiatives
New Members
Education and Professional Development
Internal Activities
Copyright © 2015 Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association, All rights reserved.

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Island House. Newgate Street
PO Box 454
St John's
Tel: (268) 462.0374 Fax: (268) 462.3702

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