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Newsletter 38 -

26th October 2015
Photo: Cocobay

Antiguan Dream

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

- See more at: http://www.lipulse.com/trends/article/antiguan-dream#sthash.jmTT3ekQ.dpuf
AHTA News
Dozens of US-based travel agents visit Antigua
More than 70 American travel agents are presently in Antigua to discover more about the country’s tourism product on the eve of the start of the winter season. They arrived at the VIP lounge of the V.C. Bird International Airport on Saturday as part of the Sandals Grande Antigua “Rising Star” group.
Sandals Resorts assembled the group of experienced and rookie travel agents who have shown promise in selling the company’s product. Full story here...
Antigua and Barbuda does it again! Wins ‘Caribbean 's Most Romantic Destination'
Island Beat out 12 Competitors, Cementing Its Position as Being The Best Destination for Weddings, Honeymoons or Romantic Getaways
Antigua and Barbuda has once again cemented itself internationally as a serious contender in the Romance, Weddings & Honeymoons market, as this past weekend the destination received one of the highest honors in the travel industry by winning, the ‘Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination,’ at The World Travel Awards - Caribbean and North American Gala Ceremony, held at Sandals Resorts International in Nassau, Bahamas. In 2013, the twin-island nation won at the WTAs as the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’ and in 2015, Antigua & Barbuda has won the coveted category of ‘Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination,’ edging out its competition and positioning the twin isles as a market leader within the region’s Destination Weddings, Honeymoon and Romance market.
Full story...
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority wins best tourist board in the UK

On the back of winning Travel Bulletin’s Star Tourist Board – Caribbean (September), the ABTA UK Office has won the Selling Travel's  Travel Agent Choice Award across all tourist boards in the UK. Over 1,000 UK travel agents voted to determine the winners of these awards.
Congratulations to all the team in the ABTA UK office under the leadership of Jean-Marc Flambert
Antigua & Barbuda shares the love in Canada
Antigua and Barbuda brought the spirit of the islands to life last week, with an elegant yet exuberant gathering for travel advisors which combined elements of the destination with a whole lot of fun between friends.
Held in anticipation for the fast-approaching 2015-16 winter season, the purpose of the evening, according to  Marie Walker, vice-president sales and marketing for the USA and Canada, Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism, was simply to connect.
“We wanted to create an opportunity to give a wealth of information to the agent firsthand, so they know what the best travel options are for their clients,”
More than 100 agents attended the dinner, intimate supplier tradeshow and presentations, engaging information – and dance moves - from the islands’ supplier partners Air Canada Vacations, Sandals, WestJet Vacations, TravelBrands, Rex Resorts, Hermitage Bay, Sugar Ridge and Jolly Beach.
Full story on paxnews.com
Island Routes named Caribbean's best at the World Travel Awards
Jamaica-based tour company Island Routes Caribbean Adventures has done it again! The region’s fastest growing tour provider has been named the Caribbean’s Leading Adventure Tour Operator for the sixth straight year at the 22nd Annual World Travel Awards.
Now in 2015, Island Routes currently offers over 500 authentic tours and experiences across eleven Caribbean destinations including Antigua, with plans in place to expand into eleven more by the end of 2016.
Full story

 
Winair to resume service to Antigua
Starting December 15th WINAIR will add Antigua to its destinations with a daily service, 7 days a week. Flights will depart St. Maarten to Antigua at 7.30am and Antigua to St. Maarten at 9.45am, offering convenient connections to WINAIR's route network.

 
Congratulations to Joel Henry of the ABTA UK Office
Jet Blue CEO Robin Hayes delivered the keynote address at the opening of the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Curacao. Click the image above to learn more about Jet Blue, where they have come from, where they are now and where they are going in the future and their vision for the Caribbean

LIAT to relaunch Santo Domingo flights
LIAT will reintroduce services between Antigua and Santo Domingo beginning Dec. 15, 2015. The airline will offer three flights a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.  “We are pleased to be flying back into Santo Domingo,” said David Evans, CEO of LIAT.  “There has been much demand for this service, and we have listened to our customers.  We are delighted to be able to reintroduce the service in mid-December, which allows our customers to make plans to travel home for Christmas.”

JetBlue and Seaborne Airlines Launch Codeshare Agreement Throughout The Caribbean
Agreement Expands Travel Options At San Juan Focus City
JetBlue and Seaborne Airlines today began selling flights under a codeshare agreement that will offer customers increased travel options and new destinations throughout the Caribbean. Connections will be made via San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport(SJU), where JetBlue is the largest carrier. Customers flying on JetBlue and Seaborne will enjoy the benefit of traveling on a single ticket which allows for one stop check-in,baggage transfer to the final destination, and conveniently timed connections in San Juan. Flights are available for purchase on JetBlue.com More details here
Pawa Dominicana Announces Flights to Havana and Antigua
Pawa Dominicana (Pan Am World Airways Dominicana) announced that it will begin soon direct flights to Havana, Cuba, and to the island of Antigua, with a stopover in Saint Marteen. The aviation company has made own efforts with Cuban and Antigua authorities, and hopes to start those operations in the coming 45 days, the corporate director, Alexander Barrios, said. The new Dominican airline began operations almost more than two months ago with a fleet of four DC9 and MD aircrafts, and has achieved an arrival rate of 95.8 percent, he said. Since August 14, 2015, this aviation company has flied from Santo Domingo to Aruba, Curacao and Saint Maarten, and it thinks completing five destinations with Antigua and Havana by late 2015. More details here
Here's why you shouldn't pay attention to hotel stars
Hotel stars don't mean a thing.
Sure, there's a noticeable difference between a one star property and a five star property, but that's pretty much it. Between user reviews and professional guidebooks, someone else's five star could be your three star, and you won't know until you get to the hotel.
What's wilder? What a hotel calls itself — even what it has printed on a metal plaque outside of its doors — is literally made up.
Full article on businessinsider.com
Booking.com Finally Joins Major Hotel Chains in Book on TripAdvisor
As TripAdvisor ramps up hotel bookings on its own sites and apps, the Priceline Group and Expedia have been playing very hard to get but Priceline’s Booking.com has now started participating in TripAdvisor Instant Booking, and is the first major online travel agency to do so.
Booking.com’s participation — and sister brands Priceline.com and Agoda will likewise join in — has big implications. TripAdvisor views this first strategic partnership with a global online travel agency for its Book on TripAdvisor solution as “a major milestone.”
Full article on Skift
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E-mail: ahta@candw.ag

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