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Newsletter 09 - 22nd September 2014
 

Last weekend saw another successful beach clean up. It was most gratifying to see so many different groups coming out to partner with us to help remove unwanted garbage from the island's beaches. Let's hope that they stay clean for some time to come. We hope that the awareness created over the last week will help change the mentality of beach users.
A packed newsletter this week with a lot of important information. We are pleased to start seeing more members supplying us with articles to include.
AHTA News
AHTA hosts most successful Annual International Coastal Clean-up Day
Hundreds of volunteers, numerous volunteer organizations and umpteen pounds of garbage removed from Antigua & Barbuda’s beaches signalled another successful Annual International Coastal Clean-up Day, led by the Antigua Hotels & Tourist Association (AHTA) on Saturday (Sept. 20).

AHTA General Manager, Neil Forrester, said this year’s turnout proves that residents, businesses and civic organization are dedicated to ensuring trash free beaches and oceans for future generations.

“More groups participated and adopted beaches to clean than any previous year. We are proud of that. Mobilisation efforts exceeded our expectations and we are thankful to all who sacrificed their day for the betterment of the nation,” Forrester said.

Read more...
More photos can be found on our Facebook page
Veteran Hotelier Terrence Linton joins Sugar Ridge as General Manager
 
Sugar Ridge is thrilled to announce the appointment of Terrence Andrew Linton to the position of General Manager, effective immediately. Joining our resort from the Lighthouse Bay Resort in Barbuda, Terrence is well positioned to take the helm of Antigua’s most popular boutique property. Situated in the prestigious neighborhood of Jolly Harbour, Sugar Ridge is home to The Sugar Club, Carmichael’s and the Caribbean’s only Aveda Concept Spa.
Terrence comes to us with 20 years experience, and brings a unique management style and business experience to his new role. He as held
management positions with various Caribbean resorts, developing a very well-rounded knowledge of what it takes to build a successful property.
Originally from Jamaica, Terrence comes to Sugar Ridge by way of the British Virgin Islands and Barbuda. He received his education in Jamaica. In his spare time, he enjoys sports, particularly swimming, as well as reading and dancing.
We look forward to great things from Terrence, and wish him the best of luck in continuing the Sugar Ridge reputation for outstanding hospitality.

 
Antigua & Barbuda's Minister of Tourism touched down in the UK to meet with tour operators and Hotel partners


Honourable Asot A. Michael, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development Investment & Energy, touched down in the UK on Monday 22 September for a packed itinerary during his 48 hour trip. Also joining the Tourism Minister was the Hon. Paul Chet Greene, Minister of Trade, Commerce, Industry, Sports, Culture and National Festivals. CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C. James and the UK based tourism staff were also in attendance at the meetings with members of the travel trade, tour operators and Hotel Partners. The objective of the meetings was to update them on the developments in the industry and solicit their feedback on creative ways to continue to grow and develop Antigua and Barbuda’s vital tourism sector.

Minister Asot Michael touched upon the “strong cultural ties” that the two nations share over the years and announced that  “the destination had enjoyed a robust growth of visitors from the United Kingdom this year, with the UK being “the best performing market for overseas air arrivals recording a 10% year-on-year growth rate”.

13 hotel partners representing most of the properties on island attended an early afternoon sessions while 21 of the major UK tour operators accepted an invitation to dinner for a face to face update on tourism developments in the twin island nation.
Full story here

Save the date - Effective Food & Beverage Management is coming back

Following the success of last month's workshop Bill Moore is coming back in November for a second edition of this popular course. Put the dates in your diary, the 5 day course will run from Monday 24th. More details will follow shortly.
Upcoming Tradeshows in North America
 
As we approach the fall, trade show season is upon us. Next month there are a couple of events where Antigua and Barbuda will be represented.

The Travel & Adventure Shows are now the largest travel shows in the US. The 2014-2015 season kicks off in Dallas. The 5th Annual Dallas Travel & Adventure Show takes place on October 25th & 26th at the Dallas Convention Center.  The ABTA New York office has reserved a booth for this event. If you would like to attend alongside Dean Fenton either contact the AHTA office or Dean Fenton directly at dfenton@abgov.org
 
The same weekend sees SITV - Salon International de Voyages in Montreal at the Place Bonaventure from the 24th to 26th October. Last year 33.000 people visited the show making this the largest consumer travel show in Canada - to see a full visitor profile click here.
The AHTA has attended this show for last three years and will once again be partnering with the ABTA to promote the destination at this year's show. If you are interested in attended along with us or would like to the AHTA to represent your property please contact the AHTA office.
News from Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Team Members Educated on Chikungunya
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort and Spa is taking the lead in the hotel industry in ensuring its team members are protecting themselves against the Chikungunya virus.
 On Tuesday, a group of health officials were invited to hold a lecture at the hotel where employees from various departments.
Read full article here
Playtime with Sandals New HM
 
New Hotel Manager for Sandals Grande Antigua Christopher Elliott makes the nation's children a priority by visiting the Villa Primary School and participating in the Sandals Foundation's Reading Road Trip. Here, he is pictured with Kindergerteners, a teacher and the resort's PR Manager Tasheka Lavann.
Sandals Grande Antigua Welcomes New Hotel Manager

Sandals Grande Antigua Resort and Spa has welcomed a new Hotel Manager- Christopher Elliott. Mr Elliott is Jamaican by birth but also holds citizenship in St. Lucia has been in the hotel industry for over fifteen years but started his career with Sandals Resorts International (SRI) in 2006. He began his Sandals experience as Hotel Manager for Sandals La Toc Golf Resort and Spa in St. Lucia and then went on to serve at Sandals Halcyon. Before coming to Antigua, Mr. Elliott held the position of General Manager at Sandals Carlyle Montego Bay in Jamaica.   
Learn more about Christopher Elliott
 
CHTA News
Emil Lee, President of CHTA's Presentation for the General Session: "Tourism Innovation and Enterprise: Private-Public Partnerships Implications" of the Caribbean Tourism Organization's State of the Industry Conference,
 
Greetings!
In order to frame this presentation.....
I would like to put our discussion about Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) into context.
As I prepared for this talk, I asked myself, As a region, is the Caribbean confronted with threats or challenges?
Is there really any need for the Public and Private Sector to cooperate?

So what do we mean by PPP?
In my opinion, there are 2 types of PPP

1.Cooperation between Public sector/ Private business. These tend to be focused on infrastructural projects like airports, harbors, bridges, roads, and utility plants.
The other...
2.Cooperation between Public sector / Private sector where private sector is represented by trade organizations like CHTA or National Hotel associations.

In both cases, there are many examples of successes and failures. The fact is that while there are many reasons to cooperate, there are also conflicting objectives as well, as is the case with almost all relationships, personal and business.
The full address can be accessed here.
CTO News...
 
Aviation industry officials explore ways to make Caribbean travel cheaper, easier
 
How could air travel within the Caribbean become easier, cheaper and more accessible? If it did, how would that affect the region's economy? Those were just some of many questions tackled last Tuesday during Caribbean Aviation Day, a one-day conference aimed at building up the region's aviation industry.
The aviation sector supports 140,000 jobs in the region and contributes about $3 billion - 7.2 percent - of the Caribbean's Gross Domestic Product, according to International Air Transport Association Regional Vice President of the Americas Peter Cerda.  In his opening remarks, Cerda said that while the aviation industry is still profitable, the net profit margins are dwindling. In Latin America and the Caribbean, airlines are making a profit of about $4.21 per passenger - about a 3 percent net profit margin.
"We are in a tough and very competitive business," he said.
In a panel discussion about aviation as the economic growth engine for the Caribbean, airline executives and industry representatives talked about the barriers to better air travel within the region.
"It seems we are obsessed with forms in the region," Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association Executive director Eduardo Iglesias said.
He said the amount of paperwork - especially the visa waivers often required - that a traveler must complete just to go to a neighboring island hampers travel within the Caribbean, and ultimately prevents economic growth.

Full story
Barbados elected Chair of Caribbean Tourism Organization

Barbados has been elected Chair of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with the election as Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy.
The election took place on 17 September in St. Thomas, USVI during the CTO’s Annual General Meeting.
Reacting to the announcement, Mr. Sealy stated, “I look forward to putting my very best foot forward and working along with all of the other entities in the region to deal with some of the vexing problems that we have right now with tourism.  And of course to continue the good work that has been done by this organization recently.”
Minister Sealy succeeds USVI Commissioner of Tourism, Beverly Nicholson-Doty and will serve a two-year term..
The Barbados minister will shortly name his appointee for the post of Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors, since, according to the CTO Constitution, the Board Chairman and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism must come from the same Member Country. Five vice chairs were also elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.  They are the USVI representing the US territories; St. Eustatius, representing the Dutch Caribbean; Martinique representing the French Caribbean; Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago, representing the Independent CARICOM countries and the Turks & Caicos Islands representing the British Overseas Territories.  Each of these Member Countries will form the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, which will be completed with representatives from the private sector.
BookAntiguaNow Corner
 
Hotels - CARICOM Rates
 
When was the last time you reviewed the rates posted on the BookAntiguaNow.com Caricom site?  The site is http://antigua.caricomrates.com/.  The page is visited by Caribbean nationals that are looking for special rates and many times travel during the low seasons.  There are also unique marketing opportunities for this page.  Please remember to add rates to this rate plan on your Regatta Extranet.  To do so, follow these simple instructions:
 
  • Log into the extranet and on Bulk Update, load regular rates under the Caricom rate plan (if not done so already); remember to remove stop sales for this rate plan.
  • Go into Promotions -> Cross Out Rates, and load a cross out rate for the Caricom Rate plan.  Use the percentage discount that you normally offer to Caricom bookings.
  • At the bottom of this screen, click on Geo-Targeting.  There is a link that says Show/Hide Geo-Targeting Options.  Click "Toggle Countries" so that it clears all countries, and then choose only the Caribbean countries.
  • Click Save.     
  • Now go to View/Edit Hotel Information and under Rate Plan Information, find the Caricom rate and copy this text under Description: Caricom rates are for Caribbean Nationals only.  Please note that government issued ID will be required upon arrival.  If Caribbean ID is not presented, regular rates will apply.     

 
As always…
If you have questions or need help with any aspect of your profile on BookAntiguaNow.com, contact Martha Valdivia at
martha.valdivia@regattatravelsolutions.com.
How Small Businesses use Social Media
 
When it comes to social media, small businesses have a wide array of options to choose from, from the more business-oriented pages of LinkedIn to photo-heavy platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. How a small business approaches social media and the platforms selected will depend largely on goals and the amount of money available.
Before deciding which tools to use, small businesses need a firm understanding of what they want from a social media marketing campaign. For example, business owners who are interested primarily in finding new customers will often run contests or post coupons on sites such as Facebook or Twitter. On the other hand, small businesses that want to promote specific products are more likely to upload photos on imagesharing sites such as Pinterest and Instagram.
Three in five business owners expect to spend the same or more time on social advertising in the coming year. However, only 8.7 percent plan to use more paid tools such as promoted Facebook posts and sponsored tweets.6 For the vast majority, free social media tools are enough to capture potential customers’ attention.

Access full document from SmartBrief Media Services here

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Our mailing address is:
Island House. Newgate Street
PO Box 454
St John's
Antigua
Tel: (268) 462.0374 Fax: (268) 462.3702
E-mail: ahta@candw.ag

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