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Newsletter 13 - 27th October 2014
 
The fall trade show period is now upon us. We were in Canada this weekend and many of our members will be heading across the Atlantic this week for World Travel Market which starts next Monday.
Nearly all properties have now opened up after their annual closures which announces that the winter season is not far away. Cruise ships are back in St John's almost every day and there are a lot more visitors around.
A packed newsletter this week with some important information. Keep your stories coming in so that we can continue to make this newsletter interesting and useful and to grow our readership.


 
AHTA News
Antigua and Barbuda Exhibits at Salon International de
Tourisme et Voyages in Montreal



 
The AHTA along with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Canadian Office participated this last weekend at the Salon International de Tourisme et Voyages  (SITV) at the Place Bonaventure in Montreal. This three day show attracts well over 20.000 visitors who are eager to escape south away from the harsh Canadian winter weather.
 
The visitors showed great interest in Antigua and Barbuda and with the support of many of our hotel partners as well as Air Canada Vacations and WestJet Vacations we were able to supply them with the necessary information and documentation to hopefully attract them to the destination for this coming winter season.

Having the weekly Air Canada flight from Montreal is a distinct advantage as there is great resistance to transiting through Toronto.

Cruising is also with popular with the Quebecois and numerous persons visited our booth inquiring about what to do on the island.

SITV remains an excellent show attended by visitors genuinely interested in travelling and wanting to learn more about each destination.
AHTA introduces its HR Breakfast Club

The AHTA kick-started its innovative Human Resources (HR) Breakfast Club last week to rave reviews. The Association launched the once monthly lecture series, geared towards leaders and influencers with HR portfolios, to encourage action-led and impactful human resources transformation in Antigua & Barbuda’s hospitality industry.
 
“We are not only pleased with the response to our HR Breakfast Club, but the impact the lecture series can have on the industry. Compassionate and inspired HR management is the key to successful management. And this is a fresh approach to HR, from those who are leaders in the industry,” AHTA General Manager Neil Forrester said.
 
The series’ first guest speaker was Carlisle Bay’s pioneering Landscaping Manager, Eric Edwards. Mr Edwards not only spearheads the hotel’s gardening and grounds keeping division; he also created an herb garden that is surprising linked to HR management.
 
“We are truly thinking outside of the box with this series and Mr Edwards lecture was truly inspired. He has discovered that healthy workers are intrinsically linked to happy and productive workers. He takes pride in cultivating an organic garden which produce is used to feed not only guests, but also staff, “ programme facilitator Anthea Watkins said.
 
Consultant and owner of Aquarius Human Resources Consulting Ltd, Nicole Antonio-Gadsdon, will host the series that will take place on the 3rd Thursday morning of each month at AHTA offices. The registration fee is $165 per month or $445.50 per quarter and includes breakfast.
2015 Treasure Islands Guide is out 
 
The Treasure Islands Guide 2015 was published just in time for the Monaco Yacht Show in France and key travel trade shows in Italy. At TTG Rimini, the TI Guide flew off the ABTA shelves and was exceptionally well received by the Italian travel market. It received  distinctive acknowledgement from the UK & European Director of ABTA, Cherrie Osborne, who says: "The editorial content of the 2015 Treasure Island Guide is brilliant and engaging. The guides are our main resource when meeting with the trade and consumers across Europe”. Francesca Coletti, the publisher, was at TTG Rimini to ensure good distribution and to personally promote Antigua to the Italian market.
Carlisle Bay Empowers Team Members to Provide Service Excellence
          
The management and staff at Carlisle Bay Resort are taking service excellence to a higher level following an educational opportunity ahead of the hotel’s reopening over the weekend.

In preparation for the start of the tourism winter season, team members engaged in a two-week training programme aimed at enhancing the overall services offered at the resort.

Training Coordinator at Carlisle Bay Jamillah Strann explains that facilitators from the US and Caribbean along with herself led the sessions.

“This training was simply to remind the team about the standards under which we operate as a leading resort. We focused on Knowing your Guest, Empathy, Care and Needs, Safety at Work and Team Building. We take education on property very serious so our training is an ongoing process.”

Read more...

Training
Our language classes are now well under way with French on Monday and Tuesday and Italian on Thursday and Friday. We will now be offering German for beginners on Wednesdays and will be opening registration in the next few days. More details will be in our next newsletter. We also have the possibility of offering Russian classes if we have enough students to make the class viable.

As mentioned in our last newsletter we are offering a Certified Pool Operators Course in partnership with Caribbean Water Treatment. This is a two day course slated for the 2nd and 3rd December and will take place at the ABHTI. More details can be found below and the registration form can be downloaded here.

Don't forget to register your staff members for our "Effective Food and Beverage Management" course from the 24th to 29th November.

Full details of our training programmes can be found on our website here
Airline Schedules for November

Winter schedules kick in as we enter the month of November. Below is a summary of the operations for the coming month.
Air Canada - Two weekly flights from Toronto on Saturdays and Sundays
American Airlines - Daily from Miami and daily from New York JFK from 6th Nov.
British Airways - daily from London Gatwick
Caribbean Airlines - Twice weekly to Kingston on Fridays and Sundays
Condor resumes weekly services from Frankfurt on 4th Nov every Tuesday
Delta resumes weekly services from Atlanta every Saturday from 8th Nov
Thomas Cook flies from Manchester every Sunday from 9th Nov
United - Three weekly flight from Newark on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays
US Airways resumes weekly Saturday flights from Charlotte on 8th Nov
Virgin flies from London Gatwick four times per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, however there is no flight on 7th Nov & 13th Nov.
WestJet - Tow weekly flights from Toronto on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Full schedules are now available on our website and can be consulted by clicking here
Congratulations Curtain Bluff !!

Curtain Bluff placed 4th in the recent Conde Nast Traveller's Best Resorts in the Caribbean Readers' Choice Awards 2014. Also in the top 10 was Hermitage Bay at #8. Antigua had a further four properties placed in the top 50, Galley Bay at #27, Carlisle Bay at #32, Jumby Bay at #37 and Sandals Grande Antigua at #43.
Check out the top 50 here

 
LIAT is now a full IATA member

LIAT, The Caribbean Airline is now a full member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). IATA is the most prestigious aviation body in the world, with membership of more than 240 international Airlines worldwide and presence in over 115 countries.

LIAT received confirmation of its new membership status on 30th... September 2014 from IATA’s Director General and CEO Antony Tyler.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Evans said the LIAT team is looking forward to the benefits of full membership in the prestigious aviation body.

IATA provides a powerful, unified and experienced voice that supports and promotes the interests of its members, by creating an international lobby for member airlines, bringing recognition, driving industry change, training and operational standardisation.

With IATA membership LIAT will have access to the vastly diverse IATA pool of knowledge and expertise with more affordable training from its regional and global resource pool.
National Tourism News

National Library receives boost with donation of Tourism Books 

The newly opened National Library of Antigua and Barbuda  was the recipient of a large donation of tourism guides and books from over 40 flight attendants operating throughout the United States and the Caribbean, who form part of the Skye Kingdom group.

Skye Kingdom's sole mission is to "Honour & Empower Minority Flight Attendants from the Past, Present & The Future." The group upholds their mission through airline industry education, career advisement & humanitarian/community outreach programmes domestically and internationally.

The delivery of the guides to the Library, today, was made following a request from the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority as the office aims to boost the amount of tourism  literature available within the public library.  The Tourism Authority recently donated Antigua and Barbuda destination guides, dvds and magazines towards the development of a tourism section, within the institution.
Read more...

BookAntiguaNow Corner

Why Rate Parity is Important on BookAntiguaNow.com

 
As many of you know, parity is the name of the game when we are talking about online sales and distribution in the hotel industry.  It is a competitive marketplace and all your partners want to have an advantage.  The larger OTAs have captured this market for many years and employ various methods to display the lowest rates—exclusive agreements with you, hidden taxes and fees, undercutting your rates, etc.  BookAntiguaNow.com began three years ago with the goal to compete in the online sales arena to benefit you, the hotelier. The commission model was built to give back to the hoteliers on the island.  The 15% commission charged is divided to go, in part, to pay for the technology and support services and the rest is re-invested in marketing campaigns to help push forward the hotel sales.
 
Regatta uses Tripadvisor’s price comparison tool as a primary channel to market the hotels that are on BookAntiguaNow.com.  This tool allows us to display “Antigua & Barbuda” as the official destination site.  There is great strength in the island name and logo and we receive many clicks from potential guests that are curious about learning more about the hotel and the destination by clicking on this link.  However, when the “Antigua & Barbuda” price point is higher than the other channels, the potential guest will still click on the link (again, curious about what the official destination site is) but will ultimately purchase on the lower priced sites.  This is an “empty click” for the AHTA and the marketing fund that is built by the commission is depleted without converting reservations.
 
We are asking all the hotels listed on BookAntiguaNow.com to review several dates (2014/2015) on Tripadvisor to make sure the official site is displaying competitive rates.  If you are not, please go into the Regatta Extranet (http://extranet.regattatravelsolutions.com) and correct.  If you are not displaying the official site logo, please contact Martha (martha.valdivia@regattatravelsolutions.com) and we’ll explain why and see if we can add the hotel to the marketing efforts.
 
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.
What Hoteliers need to know about online videos

 
When planning a trip, travelers want to see what a hotel offers—not just read about it.
And a study conducted by Software Advice, a source for hotel management software buyers guides, shines more light on the issue.

In a November 2013 study by Google, it was revealed that 51 percent of leisure travelers watch online travel videos.

Software Advice recently went a step further, surveying more than 2,300 travelers to see exactly where they prefer to view travel videos online, what they look for in a video and how hotels can capitalize on this information.According to the Software Advice study, 50 percent of travelers prefer to watch travel videos on the hotel’s website. That’s compared to 34 percent who prefer to watch travel videos on YouTube (anyone who knows how addicting YouTube can be may find this shocking).

Tyler Lessard, chief marketing officer at Vidyard, said in the report that this is probably due to the fact that hotel websites are usually more reputable and less ambiguous than YouTube.

Full article on www.travelpulse.com

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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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