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Newsletter 14 - 6th November 2014
 

 
AHTA News
Promotion in Guadeloupe

The AHTA in partnership with the ABTA will be organizing a two day promotion in Guadeloupe in early December. The plans are to spend two days in the Destreland Shopping Mall on Friday December 5th & Saturday December 6th where we will have an exhibition booth and interact with the general population. In the build up to Christmas there should be a lot of persons around the mall on those two days. On the evening of Friday 5th we will host a presentation and cocktail for the travel trade at the Hotel de La Vielle Tour. All the local travel agents will be invited as well as other tourism stakeholders.
The promotion will be accompanied by a media campaign in the local press, TV and Radio.
The delegation will go over to Guadeloupe on Thursday evening 4th December and will return on Sunday 7th December and will be staying at the Coral Beach Hotel.
Locally Patrick Deffit of Marking One from Martinique is assisting us to put this together.
If you are interested in being part of this promotion I would appreciate if you could let me know as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made for you.


 
Update on Antigua’s Video e-mail blast campaign with Travelview

In September Antigua & Barbuda embarked on a video e-mail blast with Travelview. The fourth broadcast went out this week. Each week the e-mail goes out to 177,961 Travel Agents and Group Travel Planners. So far after 3 broadcasts 45,244 recipients have opened the emails, 11,450 of them have opened them more than once, for a total of 56,694 opens. From this  3,401 videos have been watched - averaging 2-3 minutes each. In general most email recipients stay a couple of seconds on an email.  Recipients of the Antigua e0mails stay 2-3 minutes each - and many of them stay to watch 2-3 videos, and then click over to resort web sites. The broadcast is set to go out a dozen times.

 
www.antiguahoteljobs.com is a website posting job vacancies throughout the tourism sector in Antigua. It is a free service that the AHTA offers to all its members. The site is backed up by a Facebook page under the same name. The popularity of the site has been growing in recent times, last month the site had 2700 unique visitors and the Facebook page has currently over 1500 fans and is growing by an average of 75 fans per week.
Several members use this site on a regular and all will attest to the number of applicants that they receive. However we are still obliged to scout through local media for job adverts if we are to offer a complete listing of jobs available. We would encourage all members to use the site and not only for mid-level and senior positions.
However the site is now outdated and we are planning to give it a complete overhaul in the next couple of months. But before we do so we would appreciate your feedback.
We are considering opening the site so that employers and job seekers can access certain sections. We would like your opinion on:
 
  1. If we gave access to each member to post their own job vacancies would you use it?
  2. If we give job seekers the opportunity to load their resumes would you consult them?
Please let me have your thoughts at neil@antiguahotels.org
 

News from Carlisle Bay

With tourism officials predicting an increase in tourist arrivals for the winter period, management and staff at Carlisle Bay Resort, which re-opened its doors to locals and visitors last month, are also anticipating a busy and productive season.

General Manager, Lyle Pauls, says with the strong occupancy expected for the winter season, "The company’s associates (staff) will benefit through employment, where first class service will be a continued highlight."

He adds that vendors and other stakeholders in the tourism sector, will also be able to reap rewards through the services they offer.

Pauls says since the resort’s reopening guests have been particularly pleased with the changes to the décor across the property and in the dining area.

"We are pleased with the positive feedback guests have given, particularly where the drinks at the bars and dining options are concerned. We have added the Jetty Bar and Grill restaurant and our mixologists now have more unique tools and home-made products to work with."

The general manager notes that the extensive training program that team members participated in before the resort's reopening, has allowed them to enhance their hospitality skills, which will further enable them to deliver top notch service.

Carlisle Bay Resort boasts 88 rooms and other amenities, and has a staff complement of over 270 persons.

"Tourism Ambassadors: Faces of Antigua's Tourism" - Following its reopening for the winter season, Carlisle Bay team members are back on the job serving local and overseas visitors to the luxury resort.

General Manager Lyle Pauls says, "With the extensive training program that our associates recently participated in, they are more than ready to represent Antigua and Barbuda with top notch hospitality service and have been doing so."

Training
Registration is now open for the Certified Pool Operators Course which we are offering 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
ServSafe Training and Certification for Food Service Managers and Handlers

Following over a year of discussions with the training arm of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) – Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services  (CTCS) Antigua and Barbuda has been designated a pilot country for a proposed training programme aimed at increasing the cadre of trained and certified personnel in the food and service industry.
 
To this end the Ministry of Tourism is organizing a three-day ServSafe training programme from December 2nd to 4th. Full details can be found here.

The Pre-Registration Form contains other relevant details pertaining to eligibility, selection, course outline and other details.  
 
The completed Pre-Registration Form should be returned on or before the deadline date of November 17th.  Every effort will be made to ensure that within 24 – 48 hrs. after the deadline date that you will be advised of your selected employee/s to participate in a pre-training session (maximum of 4 hrs.) during that same week (November 20th). 
 
The pre-training session will include pre-test, follow-up review and discussions of the questions
for better understanding/justification of correct answers.  Time will also be spent giving detailed outline of course of study for the three (3) days training and expectation for the Proctored/Certified (ServSafe) Exam to take place at the end of the last day of training.
 
For each employee selected to participate in the complete training programme, the total charge is a nominal fee of EC$100. 

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News from Sugar Ridge

Changing Menu at Sugar Club

Recently the chefs at the Sugar Club decided it was time to try new things, and revised their lunch and dinner menus, which you can see here.

Among the delicious selections now offered at lunch are an Open Faced Grilled Salmon Sandwich, a Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, the Sugar Ridge 100% Angus Beef Hamburger and a Carne Asada Steak Salad.

Dinner entrees include Mesquite Rubbed & French Grilled Ribeye Steak, the Sugar Club Catch of the Day with local produce, and Roast Vegetable Lasagne.

You are invited to sample their new menu for a real treat.


 

New Exhibit of Local Art at Art at the Ridge

On Friday, November 28,  Sugar Club will be hosting a preview evening of the Sugar Club Art Show, curated by Art At the Ridge Gallery. Local artists will be showing their latest works in an interesting and varied show. The gallery is right on site at the resort, so patrons interested in seeing more can visit and choose their favorite works.

The gallery has also launched its annual Children’s Christmas Card Art Competition, where they call for designs from local young artists. The deadline for entries was October 31, and cards with last year’s winning entries will be available for purchase at Art at the Ridge and other places around the island this month.

 
National Tourism News
WTM 2014: Antigua and Barbuda expands luxury product
By Katie McGonagle

 

Antigua and Barbuda is expanding its luxury product in a bid to attract more high-end travellers, according to the Caribbean destination’s tourism chief.

A new airport terminal will open in March 2015 at V.C. Bird International Airport, featuring more VIP lounges and high-end duty free shops, plus Virgin Atlantic has increased the capacity of its Upper cabin from 13 to 33 seats to cope with increased demand for premium air travel to the destination.

Speaking at World Travel Market, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority chief executive, Colin James, said: “The high end of the market has been working really well for us. We are on target for double digit growth this year and the forecast for next year is just off the chart – but more importantly we are growing our revenue as well, and this is where the luxury market has such tremendous value.

“We are going for the aspirational traveller. Antigua is home to celebrity second homes for the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Eric Clapton and Silvio Berlusconi, and that couples with our very high end product in Jumby Bay, Carlisle Bay and Hermitage Bay. A significant number of our hotels are in the four or five-star category, so we want to be able to lock in that side of the market.”

The Caribbean islands will see increased airlift in the coming season with daily British Airways flights year-round – a 15% increase in seats compared with last year – plus four Virgin Atlantic flights each week instead of three, and a longer season from Thomas Cook, which is starting its Manchester charter flight in November rather than December this year.

As well as showcasing the country’s luxury product, next year’s agent fam trips will focus on the weddings and honeymoons market. The twin islands have the highest wedding rate per capita in the world, with 1,200 to 1,300 weddings taking place each year.

James added: “It’s one of the easiest places to get married. There’s no residency requirement so you can get off a cruise ship and get married and then get back on the same day.

“We are working with all our partners to make sure agents get the most up-to-date training and that high performers are taken out and introduced to the product. Next year we will have a huge push in fam trips to show our agents what we have.

“We really appreciate the business that agents give us, but I also want to look at how we can incentivise them further, especially the agents who are delivering such high value for us.”

UK visitor numbers for January to September 2014 are up 3.8% to 51,531.
 

Regional News

Caribbean Tourism Month 2014
Official Message by Hon. Richard Sealy Chairman CTO
Theme: One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean


For 30 days commencing 1 November, CTO member countries will celebrate Caribbean Tourism Month under the theme One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean'. It is a period during which we focus attention internally – our people, our product, our profile and our partnerships – as much as we do externally. It is a period during which we engage in activities collectively and individually that involve the people of the Caribbean, to remind every Caribbean national that tourism is critical to the region. It’s a period during which we remind the world that every member country has something different to offer, every experience is a unique experience, but that, as the Caribbean, we are a strong, powerful, desirable brand.
 
Caribbean Tourism Month gives everyone in the industry an opportunity to open their doors to citizens and to help understand and appreciate tourism, to help them feel that they too are part of the industry, that they are impacted by the industry, that they have a role to play in the growth of the industry.
 
The Month also gives us a chance to look inwards at our approach to tourism, at the quality of our product, at the strategies we employ in managing this vital sector. Indeed, this is an ideal time to look at current world trends and find the opportunities to keep pace with the rest of the world.
 
The statistics provided by the CTO’s research department show that arrivals to the Caribbean are up for the first half of this year. While this is encouraging, we cannot be satisfied, we must all tell ourselves that we are yet to achieve our goal.
 
Not only must we keep pace with the rest of the world consistently, we must aim to out-grow the rest of the world. In order to achieve this, in order to remain competitive, in order to realize our vision of positioning the Caribbean as the world’s most desirable, year round, warm weather destination, we must combine the efforts of all stake-holders, public sector and private sector, those who contribute directly and those who do indirectly, tourism workers and the general population. Our success will depend on strong relationships within the travel trade, solid public relations approaches, sound bonds with our citizens and strong regulatory and policy support at the national level. For it is by our combined efforts that can ensure that tourism benefits our countries, our communities, our constituencies.
 
This Caribbean Tourism Month we at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) salute all industry partners and the people of the Caribbean who make our visitors feel so at home, so comfortable, so welcome.  As you gear up for what is shaping up to be a winter of recovery, we toast all workers for your unswerving commitment to tourism.  Let's us continue to press toward the mark of excellence recognizing that together we can be the leading warm weather destination in the world.
 
Happy Caribbean Tourism Month.
CHTA Opens Appointment Requests For Caribbean Travel Marketplace Via Redesigned Website

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has opened up the appointment requests for Caribbean Travel Marketplace which allows buyers and suppliers to request appointments in advance of their arrival in Puerto Rico.  The appointment system is being offered through a redesigned website (http://www.caribbeantravelmarketplace.com) that is more user-friendly for those accessing the website via desktop and mobile devices.  

            In 2014, there were 11,400 appointments scheduled in advance through the online program.  Appointment-taking delegates can submit appointment requests through Jan. 6, 2015, after which the requests will be scheduled.  Delegates are encouraged to prioritize their appointment requests as scheduling will be based on order of preference.  Once the schedule is finalized, appointment-taking delegates will receive a notification to view the schedule online in The Passport. 

            "Buyer and supplier delegates registering for Caribbean Travel Marketplace will be able to easily connect through the redesigned website when making their appointment requests with each other," said Jeffrey S. Vasser, CHA, director general and CEO of CHTA

            The website provides detailed information about Caribbean Travel Marketplace and the host country, Puerto Rico, including facts and figures about buyers and supplier companies, a list of past buyer companies, benefits of participation, registration fees, online registration, travel information, entry requirements, event sponsors, attendee profiles for potential sponsors and links to Puerto Rico's destination and airport websites.

CTO launches European Industry Trends & Insight Report  at World Travel Market

The CTO launched on Monday the European Industry Trends & Insight Report 2014 at World Travel Market in London.  

 
Pippa Jacks of TTG, the travel industry publication which produced the Report on CTO’s behalf, also spoke at the launch

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BookAntiguaNow Corner

Car Rentals
 
The BookAntiguaNow.com site now features Car Rentals.  In our goal to be able to provide the most complete information about traveling in Antigua, we’ve decided to add the member car rental companies so that guests can make arrangements before travel.
 
Attractions Sign-up
 
If you are an Activity Provider, member of the AHTA, and have not signed up for the Attractions Booking Engine, now is the
time to do it.  The process is simple!  Enter the Activities Extranet (http://activities.regattatravelsolutions.com/) and click on the Sign Up link.  If you have any questions as you go through, contact Arancha (arancha@regattatravelsolutions.com) at Regatta.  
 
Black Friday/Cyber Monday Specials
 
As many know, at the end of this month the US market celebrates Thanksgiving and that holiday weekend is widely known as having sales across all industries.  We’d like BookAntiguaNow.com to participate in this opportunity to capture an active shopper.  Regatta will be sending an email later this month with details of a promotion we’d like to launch.  Please have a lookout for this email and participate!

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

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