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Positive Tourism News

Positive articles, news and events in the Caribbean.

Maroon Festival to be Promoted Under New Tourism Marketing Initiative

Maroon Festival to be Promoted Under New Tourism Marketing Initiative

Source: Ministry of Tourism ~ www.mot.gov.jm.

ACCOMPONG TOWN, Cockpit Country, Jamaica; January 9, 2017: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has revealed that the 279-year-old Maroon community of Accompong is to have pride of place as the first cultural heritage location to be promoted worldwide as part of a new marketing initiative being driven by the Ministry’s Tourism Linkages Network.

“We will make Accompong the first destination and we will now place the anniversary festival on the calendar of events and market the community alongside the destination when we go abroad to market experiences in Jamaica”, said Minister Bartlett. He noted that, “we are satisfied that the authenticity of this experience will enhance Jamaica’s presence in the global arena.”

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Unseen and Unspoken Poetry Competition

Unseen and Unspoken Poetry Competition

Source: http://www.commonwealthwriters.org

Photo Credit: Google.com 

To commemorate World Braille Day, the Commonwealth Youth Council launches “Unseen & Unspoken.” This is a segment of creative expression of the #iamABLE campaign through the art of poetry.

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Two Caribbean Destinations Among Top 10 Fitness Vacations For The New Year

Two Caribbean Destinations Among Top 10 Fitness Vacations For The New Year

Source: Caribbean360.com

GEORGIA, USA, Friday January 6, 2017 – Whether you’re determined to ditch the pounds piled on over the holidays, or are among a growing number of travellers who demand fitness facilities to compliment vacation fun, destinations worldwide are at your service to cater to every healthy living need.

A New Year health kick doesn’t have to mean detox, denial and downright misery, however, a fact illustrated by freelance travel writer Joe Minihane who compiled CNN’s Top 10 fitness vacations for the New Year.

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Rifai: A unique opportunity to build more responsible and committed tourism sector in 2017

Rifai: A unique opportunity to build more responsible and committed tourism sector in 2017

12 months to celebrate and promote the contribution of the tourism sector to building a better world. This is the major goal of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 that will start in few days.

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development recalling the potential of tourism to advance the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute effectively to the SDGs.

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Sandals is expanding in the Caribbean with Sandals LaSource Saint Lucia

Sandals is expanding in the Caribbean with Sandals LaSource Saint Lucia

The property, which Sandals is billing as a “six-star” resort, will break ground next to the existing Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Resort in Spring 2017. It gets its LaSource name from Sandals’ Grenada resort.

The 350-room-and-suite resort will feature some of the brand’s latest innovations, like an infinity-edge sky pool, SkyPool Butler Suites and all-butler swim-up “Rondoval Suites,” a first for the chain.

The resort will also include a main stage with a 20-foot LED screen and a “mobile DJ party scene.”

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$80 Million Allocated for Negril Artisan Village

$80 Million Allocated for Negril Artisan Village

NEGRIL, Westmoreland, Jamaica; Sunday, December 18, 2016: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has assured craft traders in the fast developing resort town of Negril that $80 million has been allocated to construct an artisan village in the area.

“I am pleased to announce to you today that we are going to proceed with the development of the infrastructure for the craft entrepreneurs in Negril by way of building out the artisan village here in Negril,” Minister Bartlett told the craft traders when he met with them on the weekend. This as the Minister and other officials from the Ministry of Tourism and its agencies visited the area as part of a winter tourist season motivational tour.

He told the gathering at the Negril Green Island Planning Authority that details of the $80 million project would be outlined to them by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) early in the New Year.

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Jamaica Tourist Board Signs MOU with Airbnb

Jamaica Tourist Board Signs MOU with Airbnb

KINGSTON, Jamaica, December 14, 2016:  A memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a framework for cooperation to further boost and diversify Jamaica’s tourism product, was signed on December 13, 2016 by the Jamaica Tourist Board and home-sharing accommodation company Airbnb.

Ahead of the signing, at the Jamaica Tourist Board’s New Kingston offices, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett expressed his excitement about the positive impact he expects the partnership to have on the travel experience of visitors and Jamaica’s tourism product overall.

“This partnership will help expose our visitors to our rich culture and showcase the warm Jamaican hospitality for which we are known the world over. I also believe great things will come from this, as we cooperate in areas of common interest, including marketing Jamaica as a tourist destination; promoting sporting events as well as our festivals and other cultural events; and fostering responsible home sharing,” said Minister Bartlett.

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​​​​​​​Christmas Message from Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks, Ambassador of Jamaica to the Unites States

​​​​​​​Christmas Message from Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks, Ambassador of Jamaica to the Unites States

WASHINGTON, DC – Fellow Jamaicans and Friends of Jamaica,

I greet you warmly at this special and most wonderful time of the year.

Jamaicans across the globe look forward to Christmas for so many compelling reasons.  It is a time for celebration and festivities as we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ; for family gatherings; and for sharing with those less fortunate.  It is also a time for quiet reflection and an opportunity to look forward to a new year, full of hope and new beginnings.

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Ministry of Tourism Tourism Linkages Networks Expanded to Further Drive Economic Growth

Ministry of Tourism
Tourism Linkages Networks Expanded to Further Drive Economic Growth

KINGSTON, Jamaica; December 8, 2016:  Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett today (December 08, 2016) officially launched five new networks under its overarching Tourism Linkages Network initiative, to better position the sector to generate higher growth rates, in both visitor arrivals and earnings.

The Tourism Linkages Network was first introduced in 2013 with the primary goal of ensuring that tourism would be better integrated with other sectors. The initial focus was strengthening the relationship with the manufacturing and agricultural sectors as well as the creative industries. The Tourism Linkages Network is spearheaded by a Tourism Linkages Council, Chaired by renowned hotelier Mr. Adam Stewart.

The Council has two main groups which directly foster greater synergy between tourism and the productive sectors namely the Agriculture Technical Working Group and the Manufacturing Technical Working Group.

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Rastafari RootzFest 2016 Ready to Showcase Jamaica’s Indigenous Trendsetting Cultural Heritage

Rastafari RootzFest 2016 Ready to Showcase
Jamaica’s Indigenous Trendsetting Cultural Heritage

Negril, Jamaica (December 7, 2016). Rastafari RootzFest 2016 recently staged its Western Launch on November 29, 2016 at Boardwalk Village, Negril. The event, hosted by Sharon Parris-Chambers, Health & Wellness Consultant with Let's Do it in the Caribbean, brought together sponsors, stakeholders, community members, including a representative of Negril Police Force and the Media. Key outcomes from the launch catapulted Rastafari RootzFest to another level of success far above expectations, identifying Rastafari RootzFest 2016 as Jamaica’s indigenous cultural heritage showcase on the world stage. The second staging of RootzFest is from December 9-11, 2016 at Long Bay Beach Park. Gates open daily at 12 Noon.

Brian Wallace, Director, Tourism Enhancement Fund Board and Sponsor, said “The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) believes that the Rastafari RootzFest is special; it is worth the investment. Negril grew out of a sleepy fishing village… look at us now! Our people know more about the Rastafari religion, in fact, my family knew Iyah V from McNeil’s land (in Westmoreland). He was the original Rastaman and is the epitome of Rastafari…There is virtue and value of ganja to Jamaica.” 

Rastafari Rootzfest is poised to build on the natural human and cultural capital of the philosophy and sacrament of Jamaica’s indigenous people that has captured the imagination of the world. Firstman (Edward Wray) a co-producer of the event announced that an Indigenous Chief from Canada will be attending the RootzFest, adding to the richness and diversity of the programme.

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Jamaica Cops Top Awards at the 23rd Annual World Travel Awards

Jamaica Cops Top Awards at the 23rd Annual World Travel Awards

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has been bestowed the distinctive award of World’s Leading Personality for Outstanding Services to Travel, at the 23rd Annual World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final held in the Maldives, Southern Asia on December 2, 2016. Destination Jamaica and local tourism partners also copped several prestigious awards at the event.

 “I am very pleased to receive this award. It is truly humbling to be recognized in this manner at such a major event attended by many of the world’s leading travel and tourism stalwarts,” said Minister Bartlett.

The award is the most prestigious honour in the travel industry each year and is presented to an individual who has made a monumental contribution to the travel and tourism industry. The recipient also had to make a positive, defining impact on the industry, not only over the last 12 months, but over the course of a lifetime.  

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All Roads Lead to Negril for Rastafari RootzFest Dec. 9-11

All Roads Lead to Negril for Rastafari RootzFest Dec. 9-11

Negril welcomes the return of Rastafari Rootzfest™ for a second year at Long Bay Beach Park December 9-11. The unique three day and night festival, offers a sensory immersion experience for fans looking for an authentic cultural celebration of Rastafari livity and the importance of ganja as a sacramental right of Jamaica’s indigenous people.

For the promoter “Rastafari Rootzfest showcases a wholistic mix of activities, speakers, exhibitors, food vendors and performers for a growing fan base to fulljoy” stated Ras Iyah V.  “Continuing with the standard set in our debut last year,” he continued, “we work to meet the audience’s expectations and therefore invite performers whose music strike a positive chord with the many thousands of Rastafari and Ganja enthusiasts.”  Friday night’s beach concert will feature Freddie McGregor, Half Pint, Sister Carol, Chezidek, Daweh Congo, Dre Island, Rocktop Band as well as Negril’s own Alicee and backing band Hiyah Grade.  Also appearing will be Canadian artistes Comfort and Isax.  Saturday, December 10, the beach concert stage will feature Protoje and The Indiggnation, alongside Richie Spice, Andrew Tosh, Lutan Fyah, Sevana, Yvad, Elan as well as Michie Mee and Tony Anthony from Canada and Negril rising star Prince J. Nyahbinghi House drummers will perform throughout the festival along with guest selectors Mutabaruka and DJ Jesse will provide the music soundtrack for the 2016 edition of the festival led by Reggae legend Peter Tosh’s ganja anthem 'Legalize It' which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.  The festival will close on Sunday evening with the Ganjamaica Cup Awards Ceremony.

Rastafari Rootzfest™ is designed as a celebration of indigenous Rastafari livity and includes the Ganjamaica Cup, a cannabis competition inviting island-wide submissions from the country's best growers to showcase indigenous plant strains and products to be judged by an expert panel.  This year’s seminar series will be presented in association with Oaksterdam University, the festival's International Education Partner and America’s first cannabis college.  Topics will be explored through two growers workshops and seminars on various aspects including Standards, Extracts, Intellectual Property, Innovation and Technology.  Sponsored by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Alpha Cat, Yellow Bird Resort, Skunk Magazine, Bess FM, IRIE FM and endorsed by the Jamaica Tourist Board, Jamaica Hotel & Tourism Association (JHTA), Negril Chamber of Commerce and the Westmoreland Hemp & Ganja Farmers Association (WHGFA).

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A Banana Exporter Wins Haiti’s Presidential Election

A Banana Exporter Wins Haiti’s Presidential Election

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Tuesday November 29, 2016 – Preliminary results show a second round in Haiti’s presidential elections won’t be necessary, after the winner in the first round of elections – banana exporter Jovenel Moïse – took more than 50 per cent of the vote.

Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) reported that Moïse took 55.67 per cent of the vote in the November 20 election, far ahead of his closest rival Jude Celestin who won 19.52 per cent of the vote, followed by Jean-Charles Moïse with 11.04 per cent and Maryse Narcisse with 8.99 per cent.

With Moïse’s simple majority, a planned January runoff will be avoided once the losing candidates do not contest the results.

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Hilton Is Opening a Rainforest Resort in Costa Rica

Hilton Is Opening a Rainforest Resort in Costa Rica

Hilton is heading to the Costa Rican rainforest.

The global hospitality giant has announced the signing of the Botanika Osa Peninsula hotel to its Curio – A Collection by Hilton brand.

The hotel, which is being developed by Sinergo Development Group, is slated to open in 2018.

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Freddie McGregor and Joe Bogdanovich join ‘Entertainers Against Crime & Violence’

Freddie McGregor and Joe Bogdanovich join ‘Entertainers Against Crime & Violence’

Montego Bay, Jamaica, W.I. (November 17, 2016). The ‘big ship’ captain Freddy McGregor and Reggae Sumfest boss Joe Bogdanovich are now on board the entertainment music Call to Action: "Entertainers Against Crime and Violence". The Mega Concert, envisioned to draw up to 50 Jamaican entertainers, is destined for Dump up Beach, December 4, 2016 and scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m.

"Entertainers Against Crime and Violence" is a voluntary effort of entertainers, both gospel and secular, coming together as one voice. Together they make a statement that crime and violence is crippling the entire entertainment industry as people are not coming out to see performers, neither are police giving permits for events in what is considered a war zone. This further affects the persons who make a livelihood from these events.

McGregor was quick to get on board, being dissatisfied with the current crime situation and its effect on the music industry. Bogdanovich, the new owner of Reggae Sumfest, feels his contribution to this venture will help to bring about stability to the life of the people.  Like a jolt of energy, it will also help to reinvigorate the music industry, and prepare for the staging of the ‘greatest reggae show on earth’ coming up in July 2017.
 

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Rudi Page appointed Director of International Diaspora Relations by CCTN/VAB

Rudi Page appointed Director of International Diaspora Relations  by CCTN/VAB

Mandeville, Jamaica, W.I. (November 15, 2016) Rudi Page's appointment as Director of International Diaspora Relations for Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses (CCTN/VAB) is timely and fortuitous. He is an award-winning management consultant specialising in policy implementation for International Trade Support, Healthcare Management Systems, Workforce Development (Equalities) and Corporate Social Impact. Page has recently developed the Caribbean Diaspora Delivery System (CDDS), a facilitated framework for the digital transformation of the traditional Diaspora leadership, management and involvement model by providing strategic leadership in communication, governance, structure and implementation.

Based in London, England, Mr Page has been receiving a stream of welcoming remarks from the CCTN/VAB management team. Chief among them is the remarks of Founder and President, Diana McIntyre-Pike: “CCTN/VAB has always wanted to have an active representative from the Diaspora on our management team and we are delighted to have Rudi Page to manage this area and assist us, on a voluntary basis, to further develop and promote our Community Tourism network. He has informed that one of his first duties is to develop a Diaspora Engagement Plan for 2017.”

Lou D’Amore, Founder & President, International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT,) having recently completed the launch of the 30th IIPT Anniversary on November 9th at World Travel Market, in Support of UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, took time out to offer these words to Mr Page: “Congratulations on your appointment as Director of International Diaspora Relations for the Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses. Your experience and expertise will certainly prove to be a great asset in promoting Community Tourism to Jamaica and the Caribbean.” 

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Jamaica and Airbnb to sign a major deal

Jamaica and Airbnb to sign a major deal

Honoring his commitment to develop new tourism-partnerships, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett today announced that the Ministry of Tourism is set to sign a major agreement with Airbnb to augment and drive growth within the tourism industry.

The Minister, who made the announcement during a meeting with Airbnb executives, at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices, is very optimistic about the potential impact this will have on community tourism and is eager to finalize a memorandum of understanding to concretize the partnership.

“We are very happy to be partnering with Airbnb and know that it will be mutually beneficial to both entities involved. Once drafted, I know that the agreement will take into account our goal of destination assurance, which ensures our credibility in the marketplace. It will also allow us to utilize analytics across their social platforms. This will be a great tool for us to build a better collective resource management platform for our destination,” said Minister Bartlett.

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The Best Small Islands to Retire To

The Best Small Islands to Retire To

Everyone dreams of retiring in the Caribbean. And the ultimate dream is retiring to a small, far-off island away from the hustle and bustle of the world. Retirement in the Caribbean certainly has its share of sacrifices and challenges, and that’s particularly true on a small island. But what you get in return is total independence, unmatched relaxation, island charm and a completely different rhythm to your days. Another unheralded benefit is you really become part of a community, something that isn’t necessarily true in many larger “retirement” destinations. These are the small islands we think are the best starting points to make a decision like this — they’re small, they’re beautiful and they’re not really like anywhere else.

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Panama has become one of the world’s hottest destinations for retirees, especially from the US. That’s in large part due two factors: the country’s pensionado programme, which offers retirees a series of discounts on everything from medical exams to entertainment, and a cost of living that’s among the lowest of any destination in the region. And Bocas del Toro is full of tiny islands to choose from, from the “main” island of Isla Colon to the popular Red Frog Beach development on the island of Isla Bastimentos.

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10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites You Need to Visit in the Caribbean

10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites You Need to Visit in the Caribbean

UNESCO has a big footprint in the Caribbean’s historical offering

In 1972, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) established the World Heritage Site program, which recognizes landmarks of natural and cultural significance and promotes their protection for the benefit of the entire world. There are now 19 of these must-see sites in the Caribbean, stretching from Cuba westward to Barbados and embracing everything from towering volcanoes to colonial neighborhoods and thriving barrier reefs. Here are 10 of our favorite reasons to rouse yourself from your beach chair and explore beyond the sand. How many Caribbean World Heritage Sites have you seen?

UNESCO HISTORICAL SITES

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Regional Tourism Ministers to Examine Sector Policies

Regional Tourism Ministers to Examine Sector Policies

LUXOR, Egypt; November 2, 2016:  In an effort to bolster Caribbean Tourism, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, recently announced that he will be hosting a Summit of Caribbean Ministers, as a highlight of this year’s staging of the Tourism Outlook Seminar (TOS) to be held in Montego Bay in December.

Speaking at the 104th Session of the inaugural United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council Meeting in Luxor, Egypt, Minister Bartlett outlined that the summit will give the tourism leaders within the region a forum to discuss the collaborative approach that needs to be taken to generate increased growth in the sector.

“This Summit of the Caribbean Ministers is an innovation that we have never had before. We are going to be saying to our minister colleagues, ‘let’s look at the Caribbean together and discuss how we can change the game from the highly competitive strategies that have not given us growth’,” said Minister Bartlett.

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