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Newsletter 15 - 17th November 2014
 

 
AHTA News
Last week the AHTA and partners, Sugar Ridge and Rex Resorts were exhibiting at the OSSN Home based Agents Forum at the Hilton Chicago. Nearly a thousand agents attended this three day educational forum with many of the agents coming from Illinois and Indiana.
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.
New Member - Skyviews Inc.
 
We would like to welcome Skyviews Inc of Barbados to our membership. Skyviews Inc has published maps of the Caribbean islands for over two decades, documenting roads, indigenous sights, areas of historical importance, tourism service providers and Island Hot Spots.
 
The product reflects the trust developed between the private and public sectors, and NGO’s. Over 60 layers of data, including marine and terrestrial information, provide invaluable information to visitors and service providers alike. The maps are available in three formats: Print, Online and Mobile.
 
In collaboration with BlueGreenMatters.org, Skyviews manages an innovative Sustainability Award initiative that allows businesses to measure their impact on the environment, create solutions, simultaneously lowering operating costs and increasing market exposure. 
Training

Next week Bill Moore is coming back to Antigua to lead another session of "Effective Food & Beverage Management". This is a not to be missed opportunity for all Food & Beverage professionals involved in kitchen management, menu development, cost management.
Places are still available so register your staff members today with the AHTA.

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.

Full details of our training programmes can be found on our website here
HR Breakfast Club - November Meeting
The AHTA is very excited about the second meeting of  the “HR Breakfast Club” and hope  that you are too!    Last month’s event was deemed a success by those who attended, and our first speaker shared a wealth of knowledge about Property Gardens and its connection to the business of Wellness.
The next session slated for  Thursday 27th November 2014will have two speakers.  The first speaker, will present on Employee Wellness in the Workplace. A subsequent e-mail with the speaker bio will follow with more details on the topic.   
The second topic, will be focused on the AHTA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) as negotiations for the new Agreement are now in process. We  want to canvass the opinion and gather feedback from our Club Members on CBA topics which coincidentally fit nicely under the Wellness theme, Sick Leave, Group Health Insurance, Employee Meals etc.
As HR Leaders, we understand that you will be the ones to direct the implementation and then hold the property/organization accountable to operating within the regulations of any CBA; therefore your input is important and critical to the success of the Union/Hotel relations.  For those of you whose properties are not covered by the union agreement, this session is still important.  Typically many of the terms and conditions contained in a CBA  end up forming the precedents for employee relations within the wider our hospitality industry.
Neil Forrester, General Manager of the AHTA, will be hosting this  session and will be using this opportunity  to capture first hand your  input to take forward to discussions with the Union.
We can only accommodate fifteen persons in our Boardroom, and 10 spaces are available.  Your spot has been reserved!
Registering for Events and Membership Fees
EC$165.00 per month OR EC$445.50 10% discount  per quarter. 
Payment is  expected the week before the event to ensure your confirmation and space.  
The event starts  promptly at 9.am, welcomed by a brown bag and unlimited coffee, followed by a short talk and discussion, generally on the 3rd Thursday morning each month, ending at 10.30am and then off to work INSPIRED!
24 Hours in Paradise: The Jumby Bay Experience captured for video
If you're a regular reader of Fashion Foie Gras you'll know by now that I have a sort of second home. It's called Jumby Bay. Well, I like to imagine it's my second home. It's a place I go to clear out all the cold weather cobwebs in my mind and it seems to fix me up solid in less than four hours. If you could see inside me head, you'd realize that's no easy exercise.
Click image to watch video
Statistics
The statistics page of our website has been updated this week with the following:

1) Hotel Occupancy Figures for October 2014
2) Air Arrival Figures for October 2014
- By Country
- By Place of Stay
- By Sex & Age
- By Length of Stay
- By Purpose of Visit
German Press Trip

Next Tuesday November 25th a group of four journalists accompanied by Dr Werner Giersch will be arriving on the Condor flight from Frankfurt for a week's stay on the island. On arrival the group will staying at Blue waters and finishing off their stay at the Sugar Ridge resort. During their visit to Antigua the journalists will have the opportunity of visiting our historical sites, learning of our culture and well as taking in the breathtaking beauty of the island. Details of the journalists and their proposed itinerary can be found here.
National Tourism News
Antigua's new Ministers of Tourism and Sport visit World Travel Market.

The Antigua and Barbuda had a major presence at the 35th World Travel Market in London. The high level delegation of senior officials included; Honourable Asot Michael – Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, Honourable E. P. Chet Greene – Minister of Trade, Industry, Commerce, Sports, Culture & National Festivals, Colin James - CEO Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Ms. Paula Frederick Hunte – Permanent Secretary, Ms. Shirlene Nibbs - Consultant, Ministry of Tourism, Mr. Rohan Hector – Chairman, St. John’s Development Cooperation, Mr. Neil Forrester – General Manager, Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association (AHTA) and Ms. Cherrie Osborne – Director of Tourism for the UK & Europe, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority

The delegation was supported by nine co exhibiting partners: Antigua Yacht Club Marina and Resort; Bluewaters Hotel; Carib World Travel; Cocos Hotel & Keyonna Beach; Elite Island Resort; Hermitage Bay; Jolly Beach Resort and Spa; National Tours and Services and Sugar Ridge.

Throughout the week future strategy meetings were held with many of the UK’s travel industry leaders from key tour operators including Best at Travel, TUI (UK), Caribtours, Kuoni, Travel Counsellors, Lotus, Barrhead Travel, British Airways & BA Holidays, Virgin Holidays. Overall for Antigua and Barbuda both the tour operators and the hotels reported robust forward booking figures for 2015. The final quarter is looking strong, as the destination has already outperformed the number of bookings made in the whole of 2013 in the first six months of 2014 and UK market predicted to deliver double digit growth by the end of this year.

During an on stand presentation on Monday, the Managing Director of Selling Travel Martin Steady presented Minister Michael with the prestigious Travel Agents Choice Award for ‘Best of the Rest Travel Uni Training Programme’ for its online training course, the only travel awards entirely nominated and voted for by UK travel retailers. The Minister thanked the UK travel agents for voting, as Antigua and Barbuda’s phenomenal success can be attributed to the support and commitment the travel agents have given to the destination.

The destination hosted a gala Trade Partners Appreciation Dinner on the first evening on the first evening of the exhibition with 56 people attending from airline partners to tour operators in the presence of Minister Hon. Asot Michael.

On the Tuesday Minister Michael attended the UNWTO Minister Summit joining Ministers from around the world to discuss and debate the topical issue of the links between tourism and mega-events.

“The importance of sport and sporting events to Tourism Development is not only crucial to Antigua but as we learnt throughout the week to Global Tourism Development”. Commented Hon. Asot Michael. “This was our first visit to WTM and proved to be a highly useful exercise. Our one-on-one meetings with our trade partners and exchanges with Ministers from across the globe have strengthened the delegation’s relationships, provided greater insight into the market needs, current trends and factors that will impact Antigua’s main engine of growth tourism in future years helping to increase the country’s overall economic development”.

Honourable E.P. Chet Greene - Minister of Trade, Industry, Commerce, Sports, Culture & National Festivals met with a number sports tour operators and media during the show. The Minister commented “No doubt Antigua and Barbuda as a destination can reap enormous benefits from a well organised and effectively managed Sports-Tourism platform.

Marketing our country as the ideal destination for cricket tours with an academy staffed by our international personalities including Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Anderson Roberts, Sir Richie Richardson and Sir Curtly Ambrose, makes us a one of a kind and a must for every young player and definitely an excellent sell for sports tour operators. An additional advantage comes through our ability to host sports conferences, supported by excellent year round weather. Sports in Antigua and Barbuda is an athletes dream.”

World Travel Market is the world’s leading travel trade exhibition, attended by over 50,000 visitors and exhibitors from around the world over the four day
Sustainable Destinations Alliance of the Americas
Click the image above to watch the video
New $200 Million Hotel Project coming to Antigua.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has signed a memorandum of understanding on a new $200 million tourism project the government announced.

The project was signed by Browne and Antigua’s new Ambassador to Cyprus, Dr Aly El Dakroury, who was representing SunnyHill Group Limited.

The 400-unit project will be located on a 100-acre site in the Falmouth and Bethesda areas of Antigua, land owned by CO Williams Property Development Company Limited.

It’s the latest in a series of memoranda signed by Antigua’s new government on new hotel and tourism projects.

The first was the $740 million project with Chinese investment firm Yida in mid-June; that was followed by a new hotel project in mid-July, along with a $120 million project by a United Arab Emirates investor announced the following week.

SunnyHill Group is a new company founded by Caribbean Trust Immigration Services, a promoter of the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme based in Dubai, in a joint venture with Canada-based Stuart Investment Management.

“This project will create over one thousand new jobs for Antiguans and Barbudans with five hundred in the construction sector and over five hundred in operation and management positions,” Browne said.
Read Full story on Caribjournal.com

BookAntiguaNow Corner
 
Black Friday 2014 Multi-Island Promotion
 
As you know, the biggest shopping weekend of the year for the US market is almost upon us and Regatta Travel Solutions is coordinating multi-destination Black Friday promotional campaign. Regatta will promote the sales event with press releases and social media campaigns. The goal is two-fold: 1) to attract publicity from media outlets about the participating destinations (as you may recall, the story was picked up by CNN Travel in the past) and 2) SALES for BookBarbadosNow.com, of course!
 
We are planning a nationwide press release promoting this as the biggest Caribbean Travel Sales Event in history. There has never been a larger coordinated effort between this many nations, hotels, villas and activities--offering travelers more options than ever before.  Below, please find the details of the flash sale promotion:
 
Booking Window: November 28, 2014 00:01 – December 1, 2014 23:59
Travel Window: January 5, 2015 – December 15, 2015
Discount: 20.15%
Rate Plans: Room Only, Bed & Breakfast, All Inclusive, Half Board
Room Types: All
 
There is no action required on the part of the hotel.  Regatta will load the promotion as a Cross-out rate with the information as described above for all hotels.  If the hotel does not wish to participate, please send Regatta an email (martha.valdivia@regattatravelsolutions.com) letting us know that you will be opting out and the promotion will be deleted from the hotel’s extranet. 
 
We are very excited about launching this multi-destination promotion and encourage you to 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
PO Box 454
St John's
Antigua
Tel: (268) 462.0374 Fax: (268) 462.3702
E-mail: ahta@candw.ag

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