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AHTA Newsletter - Monday March 2014
Cricket is upon us and nearly every hotel is full. Everyone is busy including the AHTA. We are actively working on two new websites to replace our aging www.antiguahotels.org, one will showcase the hotels and activities, the other, a members site, will showcase all of our activities.
Our June event Showcase Antigua Barbuda is generating a lot of positive interest. Several major tour operators have stated their intention to attend and we have already received two hotel registrations, one from Antigua and one from St Kitts. We will update you very soon on developments.
 
Successful and Certified!
Over 50 team members at Sandals Antigua Graduate
Dickenson Bay, Antigua – Sandals Grande Antigua Resort and Spa saw over fifty of its team members receiving certificates during a special ceremony last week.
The large group consisted of both management and staff who completed internal courses such as customer service, leadership, the art of selling and professional communications under the Sandals Corporate University (SCU).
Speaking at the certificate ceremony was Regional Training and HR Manager Ryan Matthew, who congratulated the team members on their latest achievement. “By taking this path to success, you’ve understood that learning doesn’t just happen; it must be a conscious activity and that all jobs, no matter how routine, offer learning opportunities. You are ready! You are prepared! Remember that with every new day you will always reach for greatness. Rise and shine!”
General Manager Gaurav “Mr. G” Sindhi also showered the group with praise, stating that “In my four years of working with Sandals, this is the largest group I have ever seen and for that you should all be proud of yourselves in knowing that you are setting a high mark in the Sandals chain”.
 
Training Manager, Sherene Bird explained that SCU was launched in March 2012. “SCU represents Sandals Resorts’ commitment to the professional development of our employees through reputable education and training programs. Every staff member is invited to apply and experience courses that they are interested in to further advance their career and broaden their knowledge”, Bird added.
 
Since its inception, over 1,200 team members have registered with SCU, with close to 1,000 certificates issued. They now have access to more than 230 courses and external partnerships with 13 top-ranking local and international universities, with plans for even more expansion this year.
Through this unique and invaluable program, Sandals Resorts hopes to make a meaningful impact on visitors’ experience by guaranteeing the best customer service, attitude, skills and knowledge from every team member they come across. 
SANDALS RESORTS FIRES ITS CEO!
CEO Adam Stewart Ziplines through Fire as Company Reaches Goal of 250,000 Facebook Likes  
 In August 2013, CEO of Sandals Resorts International Adam Stewart made a fiery challenge to Facebook fans to encourage friends and family to “like” its page in an effort to reach its goal of 250,000 likes.
After successfully achieving this milestone in less than 2 months, 33-year old Stewart has fulfilled his outrageous pledge to zipline above the Jamaican rainforest through a ring of fire with the help of David Waine, the special effects expert behind Hollywood blockbusters Mission Impossible and hit franchise Fast and Furious.
Stewart commented, “I’ve made many important decisions in my life but this ranks as one of the most questionable. It seemed like great fun at the time but as I was teetering on a ledge in the middle of the rainforest with the heat of the flames on my face from 100 feet away it all became very, very real. However, they say that with great risk comes great reward and I’m delighted that we smashed our target and even more delighted to walk away with only a singed arm and leg.”
Enlisting the local support of Island Routes Caribbean Adventures and Caribbean tour operator Chukka, Stewart successfully conquered the feat relatively unscathed with his wife and children watching on anxiously as the safety team immediately extinguished Stewart’s arm and leg.
Hollywood special effects and safety expert, Waine, who jetted in from Los Angeles to oversee the safety aspects of the stunt, commented, “Whenever I’ve been involved in something as dangerous as this for feature films, we always have  a trained stuntman on hand to do the actual stunt or at least test it first.  For someone like Adam Stewart, the CEO of high profile company such as Sandals Resorts to do it himself, and untested, is extremely unusual.  It’s a testament to all the planning and support personnel that we managed to complete the challenge without any incidents. Adam definitely seems to go above and beyond for his company!”
The stunt has been captured in a video and is posted on the Sandals Resorts website and Facebook page for fans to view.
In tandem with this campaign, Sandals Resorts also ran a sweepstakes offering Facebook fans the chance to win a four-day/three-night Luxury Included® Vacation to Sandals Resorts or Beaches Resorts. The lucky winner of this escape to paradise was announced on Facebook this week.
To watch the video and to be the first to hear about all future contests, giveaways and sweepstakes, be sure to “like” the Sandals Resorts Facebook page. For more information about Sandals Resorts, visit www.sandals.com.
 


 
ABTA partners with Moss Bros for Spring Collection launch
The ABTA's UK Office has partnered with Moss Bros, one of the UK’s most iconic brands for menswear to celebrate the launch of The Moss Bros’ Spring Blueprint collection “Bold in Blue”.
The month-long February campaign is currently being run online and across 130 Moss Bros stores. 
Minister of Tourism, John Maginley said “this promotion is important for boosting Antigua and Barbuda’s brand visibility and increasing our reach across the numerous UK counties. We want to be able to speak to a wide audience, capture their data and continually communicate with them, telling them about Antigua and Barbuda; what the destination has to offer and why they should be here.”   
In keeping with the theme of the spring collection “Bold in Blue”, the campaign affords Moss Bros customers the chance to win a dream holiday to the Blue Waters Resort in Antigua with UK tour operator Best@Travel
Paul Lumley, Brand and Promotions Manager at Moss Bros noted that “Moss Bros are very excited to have partnered with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and Best at Travel to offer customers the chance to win a dream holiday to Antigua. We have launched the competition in conjunction with our current Bold in Blue Spring/Summer collection and are very much looking forward to future exciting opportunities this partnership has to offer.” 
In addition to Antigua and Barbuda branded print material displayed at every Moss Bros till, dedicated destination newsletters will be delivered directly to the email inboxes over 120,000 Moss Bros customers. The Antigua and Barbuda holiday will also be promoted on Moss Bros’ websites and social media channels with various editorial write-ups. 
Cherrie Osborne, Director of Tourism for the UK and Europe says, “This partnership fits perfectly with the image of Antigua and Barbuda and the quality of the destination.  Additionally, as Moss Bros is also a top store for men’s wedding and formal wear, the promotion running during the prime wedding planning season, places us exactly where we need to be, to gain access to bridegrooms searching for wedding suits and honeymoon destinations.” 

 
AHTA to organize Destination Symposium in June
The Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association in collaboration with the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority presents “SHOWCASE ANTIGUA BARBUDA” at the Sandals Grande Antigua, scheduled for the 5th and 6th June 2014. This event provides one and a half days of pre-scheduled appointment sessions and activities where Wholesalers and Tour Operators from our source markets can meet and conduct business with regional suppliers in the tourism industry. 
Showcase Antigua Barbuda will include suppliers from the Islands of the Northern Leeward Islands, including Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts & Nevis.
How does Showcase Antigua Barbuda work?  – Suppliers will be able to meet with potential buyers during pre-scheduled appointment sessions with each appointment lasting 20 minutes. Those hoteliers who have participated at CHTA Marketplace or SMART will be familiar with the set up. All Participants will receive a Directory including marketing profiles and product information on all participating buyers & suppliers, along with appointment request forms. Once received, supplier delegates review the information and request appointments with those buyers companies they wish to meet. Since appointments are only scheduled through buyer requests and perfect matches, suppliers are encouraged to make advance contact with buyers they are interested in meeting. Appointments are arranged in advance through computer matching of pre-scheduled appointments requests received from buyers and suppliers. Appointments may also be scheduled on-site during the “Scheduling Sessions”.
PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
June 4th, 2014
Official arrival day for Buyers & suppliers
2:00pm – 6:00pm - Registration & Credentials Claiming
4:00pm – 6:00pm - Supplier Tabletop Setup
7:30pm - Welcome reception   
June 5th, 2014
7:30am – 8:30am - Registration & Credentials Claiming for late arrivals
8:45am – 9:15am - Buyer to Supplier Scheduling Session
9.20am – 5:30pm - Appointments are scheduled continuously throughout the day
12:30pm – 2:30pm - Working Lunch
 June 6th, 2014
9:00am – 12:00pm - Additional Optional Appointments
9:00am – 4:30pm - Hotel Visits, Island Tours & Activities

More details can be found on our website

 
Travel Shows

This last weekend the AHTA was attending  the NY Times Travel Show in partnership with the ABTA NY Office at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. Anthea was representing the AHTA at this show.

This week we will be supporting the ABTA at ITB in Berlin from 5th to 9th March.


Nearly forty persons attended our three recent Tripadvisor workshops. Attendees were able to appreciate the power of Tripadvisor and the importance of review management. If you missed the presentation you can check it out by clicking on the image below.


 
Bookantiguanow Workshop
Martha Valdivia, Caribbean Manager for Regatta Travel Solutions is on island last Week. On Wednesday we held two workshops at the AHTA office and a dozen properties were able to learn first hand how to maximize their presence on BookAntiguaNow and to utilize the promotional tools to the fullest. Martha has also been visiting individual properties to assist them in managing their dashboards. Bookings through BookAntiguaNow have taken a significant upswing over the last two months but mainly to a handful of properties. The objective this week has been to improve the hotels presence on the site so that all properties benefit from these bookings.Check out the interesting short video below on why you should book through the destination booking site.



Our auction site is live but we need your assistance in building traffic to the webpage.
We would like your help in generating more interest in our auctionsite. Would you be so kind as to post a link to our Facebook page and to our website on your respective Facebook and webpage?

Up Coming Events

5th to 9th March 2014


13th March
AHTA Board Meeting

21st to 23rd March
Salon du Voyage et des Vacances
Martinique


22nd April to 2nd May


14th to 16th May
SMART - Sint Maarten


5th & 6th June
Showcase Antigua Barbuda
Destination Symposium
Sandals Grande Antigua



26th June
National Tourism Awards Gala
Sandals Grande Antigua

ABTA UK Offices plans Travel Agent workshops
The Antigua and Barbuda UK Office will be  visiting a number of UK & Ireland counties over next four months to meet over 400 sales agents of tour operators and larger travel agencies to educate them on destination Antigua and Barbuda .The workshops and roadshows where Tourist Board will be present are being hosted by various Tour Operators and Independent Agencies. The UK Office  wants to target sales professionals who are directly selling the destination, as there has been an increase in consumers booking Antigua through retail agents with they hope that this knowledge will be shared with discerning travelers keen to visit .
Dates are as below  March 4 – Stratford upon Avon, March 18- London, March 20- Bath ; March 25 –Jersey; March 26 – Guernsey; April 1- Chelmsford ;April 2/3 – Edinburgh ; April 10,11 – Glasgow ; April 22 – Manchester ;  April 23- Cambridge ; April 24 – Suffolk ; April 28- London ; April 29- Chester ; April 30- Northern Ireland ; May 1 – Norwich ; May 13 – St. Albans ; May 15 – Isle of Man ; May 20 – North London ; May 29 – Buckinghamshire ; June 18th –Kent .
The UK Office will follow up these events with a series of fam trips from June, July, October  & November 2014 , with generous support of its airline partners Virgin Atlantic and British Airways

 

Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association
Our mailing address is:
Island House, Newgate Street
PO Box 454,
St John's
Antigua
Telephone: (268) 462.0374
Fax (268) 462.3702