Newsletter 18 - 17th December 2014
Seasons Greetings to all our members and friends from the staff at the AHTA. May the Holiday Season bring great cheer and that 2015 be a healthy and prosperous year for all
Antigua & Barbuda intensifies regional travel promotions in French-Caribbean
The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) in partnership with the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association and tourism stakeholders kicked off a series of planned regional promotions in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe last weekend.
“With the many new luxury property developments and product enhancements coming on stream in Antigua & Barbuda, such as the new airport terminal, luxury resorts and the planned upgrades and improvements to the cruise port, we thought now was a good time to invite and educate our regional neighbours on how to better sell the destination within their market” said Marketing Manager for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Charmaine Spencer.
The ABTA in partnership with the Antigua Hotels & Tourist Association (AHTA) and tourism stakeholders showed their continued commitment to the French Antillean market through meetings with travel trade and by offering special destination promotions to consumers during a two-day mall drive at one of Guadeloupe’s largest shopping centres, Destrelan Mall.

Full story here

Welcome to our latest new Member
American University of Antigua College of Medicine
Ten Years and Already Leaving a Legacy
American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine, founded in 2004, is an innovative, rapidly expanding medical university dedicated to providing an education of the highest quality, fostering a diverse academic community, and ensuring that its graduates develop the skills and attitudes of life-long learning, compassion, and professionalism.  AUA recognizes its social responsibility in advancing the field of medicine and leading the next generation of physicians and healthcare professionals to respond to global healthcare needs. With a state-of-the-art campus, an experienced faculty, and a U.S.-modeled curriculum, AUA provides students with an exceptional medical education. The university is one of only three Caribbean medical schools to be approved by the New York State Education Department and Florida Department of Education, recognized by the Medical Board of California, and accredited by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Medicine and Other Health Professions. 
However, graduate success is the highest testament to the quality of AUA’s MD program. Alumni have distinguished themselves by becoming chief residents, earning prestigious awards, and obtaining competitive fellowships. They have secured residencies throughout the U.S. and Canada, including: the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, Brown University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center,  and the University of Toronto. Learn more about AUA:
Financial Controller's Breakfast Meeting.
Last Thursday nine Financial Controllers met for breakfast at the AHTA office for the first of planned monthly meetings. After introductions, the discussions were fruitful and covered a lot of common ground. All appreciated the frank openness of the meeting and realize that a collective approach to certain issues can be beneficial.
The monthly meetings are open to all Financial Controllers from all sectors of the AHTA membership. The next breakfast meeting is scheduled for Thursday January 15th at the AHTA Office. For more details contact Neil at the AHTA office.
HR Breakfast Club
Continuing on the theme of the Quarter, “Wellness” – and each month of that quarter a different topic under this theme was  presented.  The first session under Wellness was held in October – Property Gardens & the New Herbalists.  Carlisle Bay’s Landscaping Manager gave an excellent short talk on herbs grown for kitchen, bar and spa – Grandma’s old school herbal remedies.  Last month, Nancy Currie, Lead Counsellor at Crossroads gave a thought provoking talk with actionable tips on Employee mental wellness. . 
At tomorrow's meeting the topic is Spa – the final in the Wellness theme of the quarter!  Our speaker for this session is Gillian Shillingford, Spa Director at  Curtain Bluff, one of the best spas on the island.   Spa and Wellness is  a HOT and a critical part of the guest experience and hospitality offering; but it is not an easy option and there are pitfalls which could pose a problem for properties.  An overview of some of these pitfalls and what action the property / HR leaders must take to avoid them and any practical-real world tips for success and the following key areas will be discussed:
  1. Regulating and certifying the spa /wellness industry in the Caribbean. 
  2. Latest news on standards.
  3. How to effectively and correctly hire Spa therapists.
Sugar Ridge welcomes Chef Andrew Jean as it’s New Executive Chef
Sugar Ridge Resort is happy to announce it has named Andrew Jean its new Executive Chef at Carmichael’s Restaurant. Chef Jean comes to us with over 20 years experience, including an apprenticeship with Relaix & Chateau. Prior to joining Sugar Ridge, Andrew Jean, worked at Atlanta’s premier resort, Chateau Elan & Winery, and at the Soco Hotel in Barbados.
Chef Jean specializes in New Caribbean and American Cuisine, and is skilled in farm-to-table and sustainable cooking. One of Andrew’s signature dishes is a Smoked Georgia Trout and Black eye Pea Ragout, accompanied by a Dill & Cucumber Salsa.
Andrew’s impressive background and culinary expertise will further enhance the dining experience at Carmichael’s, one of the premier restaurants in Antigua.
Sandals Brings Robert Mondavi Wines to Caribbean Resorts

Continuing to enhance its extensive culinary experience throughout its resorts, Sandals Resorts International, parent company of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts, has announced a partnership with Robert Mondavi Wines.

Through the collaboration with the award-winning Napa Valley vineyard, guests will enjoy an expanded complimentary wine list as well as an enhanced Manager’s Wine List and on-resort programming, including wine pairings and wine tastings.

The deal will launch to guests on March 1st. According to recent figures released by Vinexpo, the UK remains the sixth biggest wine consumer in the world.

Antigua & Barbuda pays tribute to 'Butch' Stewart
Antigua & Barbuda Monday paid tribute to Jamaican investor and entrepreneur, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, for his significant investment in the island’s tourism sector, saying his chain of hotels also contributes tremendously to the economies of Caribbean countries.

Stewart, 73, is the chairman of hotel chain Sandals Resorts International.

Antigua & Barbuda Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy Minister Asot Michael, speaking at a retreat for managers of the hotel chain, said “in many countries Sandals Resorts now pays good wages and salaries to Caribbean people, and trains them for executive and other positions”.

Tourism Statistics

Our statistics page has been updated in the past few days with:
1) Hotel Occupancy statistics for November 2014
2) Air Arrivals for November 2014
3) Quarterly Arrivals Report for July to September 2014

More more details click here
National Tourism News
Antigua & Barbuda Minister of Tourism explores expanding its presence in the German market
Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism, The Hon. Asot Michael has indicated that Antigua and Barbuda is looking at the possibility of re-opening the Antigua and Barbuda Tourist Office in Germany.

This announcement comes following a courtesy visit by Antigua and Barbuda’s Honourary Consul to Germany Dr. Werner Giersch earlier in the month.

Christmas Round Up
Celebrate the Holidays in Style at the Pillars Restaurant at the Admiral's Inn
December is the time to celebrate, and what better way to do it than at the elegant and relaxed Sugar Ridge Resort.  From parties and special events to great dinners and shopping, you'll find just what you need to make the season perfect. You can even plan a getaway to have your own personal celebration in style and comfort.

Take a look at the complete schedule of events here. Then plan your participation, by joining in a special Christmas meal or evening entertainment including caroling with singer Arianne Whyte or musician Foster Joseph. 

And if you're looking for a place to welcome in the New Year, Sugar Ridge's New Years Dining Under the Stars evening, complete with fireworks and entertainment, will help you create special memories.
Christmas at Jolly Beach
Dinner & Entertainment: Live Band with Special Show by JBR Dancers

Valid 6:00 p.m- Midnight Includes dinner, house brand beverages and entertainment
Price US$85.00 per adult; US$52 per child – ages 3-11 years
Stay- over: US$110.00 per person, per night based on double occupancy
US$135.00 per person, per night based on single occupancy, Child rate: 0-2 free; 3-11 US$69.00 when sharing with 2 adults
(Rates include 22.5% tax & service)

Annual "Instant Choir"Fund Raising at the Anchorage Inn
On Friday 19th December The Anchorage  Inn will once more  host  the Annual "Instant Choir” fund raising, Christmas  sing-a-long- carols affair  from 6pm to 9pm.
If you own one of the well put together carol books designed for this event  contribution is only $20 ecd. otherwise you  pay $40.00 and this includes a carol book.
Drinks and food will be on sale. Isola Phillips and Pat Von Levern spear head the event and all proceeds go to a charity chosen on that night. It is a fun evening, great Christmas ambiance with live backup keyboard music, in a brightly decorated Christmas setting.  Come enjoy an evening of carol singing as you instantly become a member of the “Instant Choir”!  
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Island House. Newgate Street
PO Box 454
St John's
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