Newsletter 05 - 18th August 2014

As we start this new week we have a lot of news to share with you. This morning over twenty industry employees embarked on our Effective Food and Beverage Management workshop at Tradewinds Hotel which is running until Friday.
We will be organizing our second Mixer Cruise on September 4th on the Mystic. This is open to all members and their staff. The first cruise in April was very pleasant and everyone had a great time, Come along and spend an evening with your colleagues from within the Association.
This newsletters depends very much on news from all our members so we can share it around so please send us any news, press releases. special offers etc... so that we can include them.

AHTA calls for participation in the Annual International Coastal Clean-up Day

The Antigua Hotels & Tourist Association (AHTA) is calling on local hotels, civic organisations, businesses and conservation groups to participate in the Ocean Conservatory’s Annual International Coastal Clean-up Day on Saturday September 20th.
Last year, the effort was led by the AHTA’s Scholarship recipients and cleaned half a dozen local beaches in partnership with several civic groups. The local volunteers joined with over 640,000 volunteers internationally, collecting 12,329,332 pounds of trash. The AHTA is hoping to exceed last year’s effort and clean many more beaches this year.
For further information and to participate in the “Ocean Conservatory Annual International Coastal Clean-up Day”, call the AHTA office 462-0374

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Antigua's Derry-Ann Adams, Gabrielle Thomas earn Scholarships from CHTA Education Foundation

Recipients Pursuing Higher Education, Professional Development in Hospitality & Tourism

Antigua & Barbuda residents Derry-Ann Adams and Garbielle Thomas each were awarded an academic scholarship from the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF).  Both students are recipients of a Virgin Holidays scholarship.
The scholarships will be used by Adams to pursue Culinary Arts & Food Service Management at Johnson and Wales Unviersity.  Thomas is pursuing an Associate Degree in Baking & Pastry Arts at Johnson and Wales. 

This year the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF) has awarded US$136,308 in scholarships to 29 Caribbean nationals pursuing a higher education or professional development in hospitality and tourism after receiving more than 60 applications.

“This year’s applicant pool was comprised of a talented group, all of who deserve to receive funds towards their education so that they may become productive individuals working in the vital Caribbean hospitality industry,” said Richard S. Kahn, chairman of CHTAEF.
Full story

Hermitage Bay to add two new beachfront Suites

Hermitage Bay, a luxury resort overlooking a beautiful stretch of beach situated on the west coast of Antigua, is adding two brand-new Beachfront Suites to keep up with an unprecedented demand for rooms, particularly in the high season. These two new suites will increase the number of spacious, freestanding suites from 25 to 27. Currently there are only 5 Beachfront Suites, not nearly enough to keep up with the requests for this particular accommodation, which offers beach access and stunning views. The new suites will easily blend into the 140 acres of lush undeveloped land and the resort will maintain its private, secluded feel. The two new suites should be completed in time for the holiday season at the resort and will commence building while the resort is closed this fall.
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Fall Trade Shows

The AHTA will be attending several tradeshows over the next couple of months in partnership with the ABTA.

MLT University in Minneapolis takes place from September 13th to 15th. This 3 day educational forum attracts around 2,500 travel agents and is the largest event of its kind in the US. Although only attended by properties that are part of the Delta Vacations programme it is an opportunity to promote the destination and our other properties to this targeted audience. Properties wishing to supply promotional material for this event may do so.

In October our attention turns to Canada and the "Salon International de Tourisme et Voyages" in Montreal from the 24th to the 26th. This is Canada's largest consunmer travel show with well over 20,000 attendees over the three days. With direct flights from Montreal by Air Canada and a large representation in the ACV programme there are opportunities for a wide range of properties to promote themselves to this receptive audience. We are cuirrently in discussion with Westjet Vacations to couple this show with a few days of sales calls in the Toronto area with their top agents.

Early November sees the World Travel Market at Excel in London from the 3rd to the 6th. The world's premier professional travel trade show. Antigua and Barbuda will have their traditional booth and stakeholders will need to register with the ABTA UK office. Both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways are offering preferential fares for those wishing to travel back to the UK for this event.

A week later and the focus is back on the US with the OSSN Home Based Agents Forum in Chicago. We have attended this event for the last four years and each year meet up to 1,000 home based agents. The show moves around and this is the first time to the Mid-West so should turn up a lot of new faces. Home based agents represent ba large segment of the travel trade in the US and these shows allow us to educate many of them on the destination.

Please let us know if you are interested in attending any of the above events so that we can coordinate with the ABTA and plan accordingly.
Join the effort to chronicle the history of Tourism in Antigua & Barbuda
The AHTA is currently in the research phase for a future publication on the history of tourism in Antigua & Barbuda.
The Association is calling on you, local tourism persons, to lend a hand and be part of this very important undertaking. You can do so by contributing interesting facts and musings about the creation and expansion of our tourism product over the last 50 years.
We are reaching out to persons at every level of tourism, from managers, to tour operators to staff to be a part of this project. We are particularly interested in longstanding employees of hotels who can give in depth information about how the industry was “then”.
We very much look forward to your feedback and participation. If you can contribute please contact Tony johnson on 464.9018, Alicia Simon on ******* or the AHTA office.
LIAT CEO - How to improve Caribbean Aviation in Six Steps
The Liat CEO, David Evans has written an Op-Ed piece entitled, How to Improve Caribbean Aviation in Six Steps. In it he outlines some of what out to be done to provide an efficient  air transportation system that meets the needs of the 40 million plus inhabitants of the region. Mr. Evans explores the impact of  a political framework, government ownership of airlines, taxation on aviation, passenger facilitation, physical connectivity and virtual connectivity.
Read the report here
News from Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Antigua Supports National Domino Association World Tournament Squad

As Antigua and Barbuda gets ready to compete in the World Domino Tournament in Barbados this week, Sandals Grande Antigua Resort and Spa has come forward in support of the national team.

The resort recently handed over monies to the National Domino Association’s team member Shashana Carter who will also compete in the world tournament.

Speaking at the presentation, General Manager of Sandals Grande Antigua Gaurav “Mr. G” Sindhi said, “It is always a pleasure to support our community but this is truly an opportunity to help push a sport that is often overlooked. We wish the national team much success as they go off to represent Antigua and Barbuda.”
Full Story

Newly launched turtle watching tour to benefit sea turtles.
The Sandals Foundation in partnership with Island Routes Adventure Tours has launched a Turtle Watching Tour in support of the Antigua Sea Turtle Conservation Project.

The tour, which takes place every two weeks, offers guests and Sandals Foundation team members at Sandals Grande Antigua the unique opportunity to accompany research teams on an evening beach patrol, during which they learn about how endangered sea turtles interact with their environments. Participants may be fortunate to witness a nesting turtle sighting or hatchlings emerging from their nests.

Proceeds from the tour will support the conservation of and research on the endangered species.
Full story

Regatta Travel Solutions Dives Headfirst into Tours and Attractions

Regatta Travel Solutions announced today that it has officially launched its new, revamped booking engine for tours and attractions.
The new booking engine for attractions is already live on official destination websites such as Barbados and Colorado Springs.  Regatta also offers their booking engine for use on attraction websites, as well as private organizations such as Pikes Peak Country Attractions.
“Regatta has actually been booking tours and attractions on DMO (Destination Marketing Organization) websites since early 2011,” said Ashwin Kamlani, Founder & CEO of Regatta Travel Solutions.  “This new system is much more dynamic and opens up tremendous opportunity for cross selling on DMO websites.  Since recently launching our new engine we have significantly outpaced previous production levels.  We are very optimistic about the potential that this industry has to grow.”
CTO Events...
7th Tourism Human Resources Conference
29th-31st October 2014,

The Caribbean Tourism Organization in collaboration with the Division of Tourism and Transportation, Tobago invites you to the 7th Tourism Human Resources Conference scheduled to be held 29-31 October 2014 in Tobago.
The main aim of the conference is to bring together tourism HR professionals from both the public and private sector, tourism educators/trainers and consultants to share strategies and best practices on areas and issues affecting the sector, to provide more technical information on certain aspects of tourism and tourism development, to enhance skills in certain areas, and to allow opportunities for professional networking.
Registration commences on 18 August 2014 and information on the programme, venue, cost, etc., and how to register will be available on our website from that date.

State of the Industry Conference

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will be hosting its annual State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort, St. Thomas from 17 – 19 September 2014.

SOTIC is the Caribbean’s leading tourism conference where Caribbean tourism practitioners, policy makers, strategic partners from the public and private sectors, academics and travel professionals , at the highest levels, gather to discuss issues, identify solutions and generally develop courses of action that will benefit the tourism industry in the Caribbean. Typically, there are 250-350 registrants.

Speakers of international and regional acclaim will provide best case practices and winning strategies on a wide range of topics that are critical to the growth of Caribbean tourism, all with a view toward the development of a sustainable tourism industry that will position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round warm weather destination.
More details
BookAntiguaNow Corner

New Extranet – Soft Launch
Regatta is excited to share with you the soft launch of the new extranet for hotels!  Please begin to use: instead of the current address.  The same access details will apply.  The tools and functions are similar to what you have been using on the dashboard but please reach out if you need assistance on how to do something in particular.  This is a soft launch and we are still improving the platform day by day.  We ask that you use it and send us back any feedback or issues that you have for
As always…
If you have questions or need help with any aspect of your profile on, contact Martha Valdivia at

Copyright © 2014 Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Island House. Newgate Street
PO Box 454
St John's
Tel: (268) 462.0374 Fax: (268) 462.3702

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