Newsletter 44 -

13th January 2016
Curtain Bluff c 1970

Antiguan Dream

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

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Antigua and Barbuda celebrate success of 2016 New York Times Travel Show

Antigua and Barbuda Received Unprecedented Number of Visitors at Romance Themed Booth in New York City
The twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda have successfully started the year off at the 2016 New York Times Travel Show, the largest and longest-running trade and consumer travel show in North America with over 500 exhibitors and 28,000 travel professionals and consumers. The travel show took place January 8-10, at the Jacob K. Javits Center. The Travel Show began on Friday, January 8th, with a Trade Day open to travel professionals and media, with doors open to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

Full release here

Ministry of Tourism announces bright future for Jolly Beach Resort & Spa

The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Development Investment, and Energy is pleased to announce that a solid rescue plan is now in place to ensure the continued operation of The Jolly Beach Resort & Spa, in Antigua and Barbuda.
Effective 1 January 2016, Mr. Robert A. Barrett, Chairman of the highly successful Elite Island Resorts group, will be stepping in to help manage and reorganize the Jolly Beach Resort’s operation. This is pursuant to an agreement dated 28 December 2015 between Mr. Barrett and Jolly Beach Corporation, the resort’s current owner.
Full story here

Since our last newsletter we have added the following to the statistics page on our website
1) Hotel Occupancy figures for December 2015
2) Air Arrivals for October & November 2015
3) See arrivals for October & November 2015
Regatta Travel Solutions Begins Offering Air + Hotel Booking Engine to Destination and Hotel Booking Engine Customers
Regatta Travel Solutions announced that it will begin to offer an Air + Hotel booking engine for both destination and hotel customers.  This new combined booking capability is the result of Regatta’s recently formed partnership with LeisureLink, a leading provider of innovative travel distribution technology.  Regatta’s booking engine currently powers many of the hotel associations and tourism boards throughout the Caribbean. This new capability is expected to open new doors in the region as well as in Mexico where combined air and hotel bookings are a priority for Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs).
Regatta’s booking engine now powers more than 45 destinations worldwide as well as major hotel groups like Palace Resorts and Grand Velas in Mexico.   The company also serves a large cross section of independent hotels across Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as DMOs across the U.S. from Daytona Beach to Seattle.
“Our goal is to create a more cost effective sales channel than currently provided by the major OTAs,” said Ashwin Kamlani, Founder and CEO of Regatta Travel Solutions.  “This new Air + Hotel booking capability enhances our already advanced platform and should provide an even better shopping experience for travel shoppers.  This should translate into more guests at a lower net acquisition cost.”
“We are excited to expand our relationship with Regatta Travel Solutions and bring a new element to their DMO offering,” said Jim Barsch COO of LeisureLink. “We are confident that LeisureLink’s ability to address the hotel, vacation rental and villa markets, combined with air and activities will complement Regatta’s solution for any DMO to deliver transformational offerings.”
Regatta Travel Solutions is a sponsor of the 2016 Caribbean Marketplace in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Regatta Travel Solutions is the host of our booking portal

Regatta Launches New Promo Tool for

We recently started working with a group of hotels in New York which are constantly looking for ways to increase the direct bookings to their own websites.  They asked us to develop a new type of promotion which would allow them to set certain discounts depending on what time of the day the customer was booking.  In other words, the hotels wanted to create cross-out rate discounts for anyone booking between 12am and 7am hotel time.  Their objective was to keep all of their rates at parity during business hours, when the OTA market managers were performing their rate checks, and offer deeper discounts to customers during the night on their own website.

This feature is now available to all of you for!

Now, when you log into the Regatta Extranet and create a cross-out rate promotion, you will see an extra option that says "Set different discounts during the day" (see below).  Once you check this box, an extra menu will appear where you can specify that during certain hours of the day, you want to offer different discount levels.  The same booking window and travel window will apply.

As always please let us know if you have any questions.  You will be hearing from us soon regarding even more useful features and tools that you can use to attract more business through and your own websites.  Regatta Travel Solutions is a proud sponsor of Caribbean Marketplace in The Bahamas next week.  We look forward to seeing and meeting with you.
New Year's Message from CHTA
Dear CHTA Members,
In my capacity as Acting CHTA President, it gives me great pleasure to wish you, your families and associates a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016. We here at CHTA look forward to further developing and growing our relationship with you.  The year ahead is bright with promises and we must redouble our efforts to attend to the many long standing challenges which continue to challenge our industry.
As I was writing this New Year’s message, I received the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s email declaring 2016 “The Year of Romance” in the Caribbean. Read more...
Caribbean Tourism Organization declares 2016 'The Year of Romance in the Caribbean'
With the start of the New Year comes the launch of a new initiative by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) - 2016 The Year of Romance in the Caribbean - which celebrates everything romantic about the region. Through the campaign, CTO and its member countries and hotels will highlight the Caribbean as the leading choice for a romance vacation for consumers and travel planners selling the region.
"With over 30 destinations to choose from, the Caribbean region provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway highlighted by pristine beaches, secluded accommodations, an abundance of land and water activities, top-notch spa services and personalized attention that meets the needs of the most discerning traveler," said Hugh Riley, secretary general of CTO. "The Year of Romance in the Caribbean will spotlight the romantic features of our region beyond the traditional times of year such as Valentine's Day. A romantic theme is easily embraced by all of our member destinations 365 days a year," Riley noted.
Throughout the year, CTO, in cooperation with its private sector partner the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), will assist member countries with an assortment of ideas which can be implemented around the theme of romance to appeal to consumers, travel agents and tour operators. Innovative ideas will be developed around:
♥ First-time or second-time marriages and the renewal of vows
♥ The most romantic locations to "pop the question" or to say "I do"
♥ Inviting celebrity couples to get married in the Caribbean
♥ Revisits by couples who were married or honeymooned in the Caribbean
♥ Couples celebrating milestone anniversaries
♥ Gift registries of romantic vacations in the Caribbean
"We anticipate that in addition to the ideas we provide our members, the countries and hotels will develop their own plan of action for promoting romance in their individual destination," said Riley adding: "The theme is inclusive of our partners, both public- and private-sector. Caribbean hotels, travel agents and tour operators are urged to create their own romantic ideas or adopt ones being embraced by the destinations. We envision airline partners getting involved with their own 'love is in the air' offers and recognizing bridal parties onboard who are heading to a destination wedding in the Caribbean. We think video bloggers too will get involved in featuring the winners of the most romantic ideas."
CTO envisions 2016 The Year of Romance in the Caribbean as a catalyst for sellers and promoters of weddings and honeymoons, bridal publications and websites as well as wedding planners and service providers at the destination end.
2016 The Year of Romance in the Caribbean will be promoted through social media and traditional media channels and will create opportunities for travelers and vacation planners to share their experiences and ideas of a romantic Caribbean vacation throughout 2016.
Channel Management, online marketing, Romance Travel among highlights of educational sessions for Caribbean Marketplace January 21st to 23rd
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) will welcome the New Year with fresh ideas through a schedule of savvy educational sessions at Caribbean Travel Marketplace. The professional development element of the event is a new and added benefit for attendees who want to adopt tools to develop revenue-generating opportunities, maximize strategies working with the latest market trends and improve reputation management.
Taking place Jan. 21 - 23, 2016 at the Atlantis, Paradise Island in The Bahamas, Caribbean Travel Marketplace is the region's largest and most significant marketing event, affording tourism suppliers the opportunity to meet face-to-face with wholesalers from around the world selling Caribbean vacation travel over the course of two days of business meetings.
Strategically planned not to infringe on the integrity of the networking nature of the event, the expanded educational component of Caribbean Travel Marketplace will be offered on Thursday, Jan. 21 during the day followed by the Opening Ceremonies in the evening.
There will be a sponsored breakfast on both Friday and Saturday morning, where attendees will hear about the necessity for "Online Reputation Management." Following breakfast on both days, business appointments will run throughout each day.
"The new year offers a 'clean slate' to create plans based on what already works well and what we can do as Caribbean hoteliers to both improve and generate new initiatives based on industry trends," said Karolin Troubetzkoy, Acting President of CHTA. "Educational sessions offered at Caribbean Travel Marketplace will help attendees catapult action items based on information being provided by industry experts and leading companies," she added.
Sessions taking place on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 - 1 to 5:30 p.m. include:
Website Reality Check - This session will explore issues that hoteliers must be able to answer, including: is your website current and mobile friendly? How long has it been since you updated your hotel's website? Are you utilizing a responsive design? Are you effectively communicating messages across all platforms? Learn the tweaks and upgrades needed to make hotels thrive on the Internet.
Cutting Through the Channel Clutter - Is your hotel optimizing channel management to maximize revenue? Where do you rank with Extranets, GDS, direct bookings, Expedia, Staying on top of booking channels can be a full-time job on its own. Learn how to cut through the clutter and effectively handle content management.
Weddings and Honeymoons: How Can You Maximize Revenue from Romance? - The Caribbean is the romance capital of the world. Are you capturing your share of the steady and lucrative destination weddings and honeymoons business? Three million weddings take place in the U.S. every year - 25% of them are destination weddings, and the Caribbean remains the number one honeymoon destination. Learn how to secure more of this lucrative market by better planning sales and management of destination weddings and honeymoons. *Presented by BRIDES and AskMe Inc.
Real World Results with Digital Audience Targeting - What does Google Analytics say about your company? Is data helping you define, reach and convert new customers? Is your search engine marketing and optimization on target? Learn how to launch a campaign on Google, Facebook or other channels and what is big data and how it can be applied to online marketing to reach the right consumer at the right time with the right message. What kind of reach can you expect from a marketing/media plan with $20k, $50k or $100k?
Content, Marketing & Metrics - It's not enough having the right content. You have to distribute it using the right channel and measure it with the right Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Land on what kind of content, marketing and metrics work best for your brand. Join Google Travel's Ting Ting Yan for a hands-on, interactive workshop and learn to use various Google and beyond.
CHTA is offering a breakfast workshop titled "Who Are You Online? Online Reputation Management and Monetization" on both Friday, Jan. 22 and Saturday, Jan. 23 from 7:10 - 8:10 a.m. with limited seating. Presented by TripAdvisor, the session's focus is: What people say about their experience at your resort is out there for the world to see. If not managed properly, you can lose perspective business. Should you respond to any and all reviews and comments about your property? How do you help to shape and control the content? Is a bad review necessary a bad thing?
Register online via, by email via or call 786-476-8623.
In addition to educational sessions, CHTA will host the Leadership Conference for hotel association executives Jan. 18 - 19 and the committee and Board of Directors meetings Jan. 20 - 21, all at the Atlantis, Paradise Island.
Copyright © 2016 Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association, All rights reserved.

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Island House. Newgate Street
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St John's
Tel: (268) 462.0374 Fax: (268) 462.3702

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