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PERMANENT SECRETARY TO LEAD TEAM TO REIMAGE NEGRIL

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NEGRIL, Westmoreland; February 8, 2019:  Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett has appointed Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry of Tourism, Mrs. Jennifer Griffith to lead a team designated to reimage the tourist destination of Negril.

Speaking at a meeting with key stakeholders in Negril yesterday, Minister Bartlett said, "Negril represents a critical part of Jamaica's tourism asset as this area has for decades remained a major selling point for the island with its white sands and sea.

What we are seeing is that Negril became a tourist hotspot but did so without the adequate infrastructure to support the rapid developments in the sector but we are going to rectify that."

Minister Bartlett and several senior tourism officials and agency heads convened a meeting with tourism stakeholders in Negril to discuss their concerns about the sector with a view to providing solutions. Among the areas highlighted were adequate lighting along major corridors, wheelchair access to beaches and a new vision for the development of Negril.

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Caribbean Marketing Fund in the making says St. Lucian Tourism Minister

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The establishment of a marketing fund to promote the Caribbean as a premier tourism destination, is being explored by tourism ministers in the region.

St. Lucian Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Caribbean Council of Ministers, Dominic Fedee, says he will be leading the charge, in collaboration with his Caribbean counterparts.

“So I think a major priority for the Council of Ministers now, in the short run is to make sure we put in a framework that will ensure a sustainable marketing fund for the Caribbean,” Fedee told Access Jamaica in an interview at the Caribbean Travel Marketplace Trade show at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Thursday (January 31).

“For some reason this has eluded us, for many, many years, as jurisdictions and destinations in the Caribbean.  What is important now is to make sure that we bring everyone together, that we establish ourselves as a strong Caribbean brand.  I think it is one of the strongest travel brands in the world, notwithstanding our ability to come together and in a strategic and deliberate way, ensure that we promote the Caribbean brand,” the Minister added.

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Rebel Salute Launch was a Sensational Mini Concert

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Kingston, Jamaica (Thursday, December 27, 2018). Rebel Salute marked the launch of its January 18-19, 2019 showcase celebrating 26 years on December 27, 2018 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston. The 2019 theme is the Preservation of Reggae.

The Organic Heart Group of Companies represented by Patrick Barrett aka Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica and their team, pulled off a brilliant staging of the 2019 rollout of Rebel Salute.  Comedian Christopher ‘Johnny’ Daley, host, kept the audience laughing and the programme flowing.

The opening songs set the tone for the evening: A Reggae mantra by Bushman, followed by Imeru Tafari (Queen Ifrica’s son) with “Chanting Nyabinghi” and Davianah (Tony Rebel’s daughter) singing a cover and an original called “Wanna Be”. The performance by Notis Heavyweight Rockazz, backing Nyabinghi drummers, sealed the first half of the evening which began at 7:00 pm with a thunderous drumming session, which caught the attention of the patrons and media who crowded to take pictures.

The popular Herb Curb, a lounge dedicated solely to ganja, will return; there will be a conference preceding the Saturday afternoon Herb Curb Symposium facilitated by Itopia Life and Epican Jamaica.

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Bartlett Committed to New Architecture for Visitor Safety and Security

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MONTEGO BAY, St. James; January 7, 2019:   Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett has reiterated Jamaica’s commitment to creating a new way forward and architecture as it relates to visitor safety and security. This follows a meeting with international tourism security expert, Dr. Peter Tarlow, Minister of National Security, Hon Dr. Horace Chang and senior members of the Ministry of Tourism and its agencies.

“This exercise of reviewing our security arrangements with a view to improving our infrastructure is not a knee jerk reaction because the whole business of safety and security is fundamental to tourism,

Safety, security and seamlessness underpin the sense of well-being of visitors crossing borders. It is a feeling that must pervade the traveler before they even leave their destination and therefore it is the responsibility of the destination that the well-being of visitors are secure,” said Minister Bartlett.

Dr. Peter Tarlow is currently in the island to provide technical support for the island wide security audit being carried out by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo). The security audit, which is to be completed by the first half of 2019, will identify gaps and ensure that the destination remains safe, secure and seamless for visitors and locals alike.

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Sandals Resorts International Eliminates All Styrofoam Across Caribbean Resorts

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~Company to reach new milestone in ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, Jan. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As of February 1, 2019, Sandals Resorts International (SRI) will eliminate all Styrofoam from 19 Sandals and Beaches Resorts across seven major Caribbean islands – from Jamaica and the Bahamas to Grenada and Turks & Caicos – in a continued effort to protect the environment.

"As we enter the New Year, it's incredibly important to our Sandals family that environmental sustainability remains a key priority," said Adam Stewart, Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International. "After eliminating plastic straws, stirrers, laundry bags and gift shop bags last year, we're choosing to eliminate Styrofoam from our resorts. We're proud that many of the islands in which we operate are also making this shift to ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean."

The elimination of Styrofoam is particularly important in the Caribbean region, where marine wildlife across the more than 700 islands and coastlines is abundant. According to Environment America's Wildlife Over Waste campaign, scientists have found plastic fragments including Styrofoam in 86 percent of all sea turtle species, 44 percent of all seabird species and 43 percent of all marine mammal species.

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Sandals leading the hospitalit...

Thank you Sandals for your great corporate and environmental leadership in the Caribbean- PositiveTourism.com
Monday, 07 January 2019 14:09
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Kingston the Caribbean’s next big cruise destination?

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The number of cruise tourists to Jamaica over the last decade has been growing as fast as Usain Bolt can run.      

This is because the demand for Caribbean cruises has been increasing in recent years, due to, among other things, massive medias promotions.  As more vessels expand their voyages to cover Caribbean islands far beyond the Bahamas, cruise tourists now have the opportunity to see many islands within a short space of time, as they spend their vacation on a luxury ship, with all the trappings of a holiday village.

For Jamaica, the Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Falmouth cruise ports are equipped to handle the largest cruise ships, while picturesque Port Antonio caters to boutique cruise ships and megayachts. 

Kingston, by way of the historic Port Royal, is touted to be the site of the island’s next major cruise destination and a proposal is on the table for the development of a cruise shipping port accompanied by the revitalisation and restoration of Kingston’s downtown and harbour-front areas.

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Queen Ifrica weighs in on Returning Residents' debate

Queen Ifrica weighs in on Returning Residents' debate

Photo Caption:  Queen Ifrica

International Reggae artiste, Queen Ifrica, has weighed in on the debate in some quarters, for Jamaicans living overseas to remain in the countries in which they are domiciled, and never return to the island to live.

According to the Rastafarian artiste, who is known for songs such as “Yad to the East”, “Montego Bay” and “Let’s get silly” the discussions, much of which have been taking place on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, for the most part, have not been totally fair to Jamaica.  

“The debate is not very friendly especially on social media where everybody goes to these days.  There is a lot of loud noise being made there and it is not necessarily coming from the residents who want to return.  They are on the sidelines waiting for an answer as to why they are being told not to come back,” she said.

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Jamaican Tourism Minister Upbeat about Caribbean Wellness Tourism Conference

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Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, is upbeat about the upcoming Caribbean Health and Wellness Tourism Conference and Expo which is set for June 15-16, 2019 at the Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Minister Bartlett, who was World Tourism Minister of the Year in 2017, will be a keynote speaker at the event, which will also feature other speakers from across the Caribbean including former Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) chairman, Vincent Vanderpool Wallace.

“I am excited about that.  I am looking forward to it because Jamaica is going to be very researched in terms of what the health and wellness industry offers now, and we are going to be very clear in terms of pointing to investment areas within it that we think our local people in particular can tap into,” Mr. Bartlett said.

“The event is very, very important, because it is another statement of the thought leadership that Jamaica does provide for the world today in a number of areas.  And when we bring the world community here, to cerebrate on key matters of importance to the industry, it positions Jamaica as centre for discussion and also for the creation of new ideas and innovation.  And so it is very, very important indeed to us,” he added.

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R Hotel Kingston pledges Support for Community Tourism

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Alexander Pike, General Manager, The R Hotel Kingston has pledged support for community tourism in his presentation as guest speaker at the International Community Tourism Conference Welcome Reception Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at the Spanish Court Hotel, Kingston. Spanish Court was one of the Conference Sponsors.

Mr. Theo Chambers, Master of Ceremonies, CEO PanaCarib Business Solutions, guided the networking session with humor and also called on select guests to bring informal greetings. Jennifer Griffith (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism), Mr. Mike Henry (Member of Parliament in the Office of the Prime Minister), Dr. Louis D’Amore (Founder/President IIPT), Dr. Carolyn Hayle (UWI Tourism Researcher), Gillian Rowlands (VP IIPT Caribbean), Alison Kenning Massa (VP Countrystyle Villages as Businesses) to mention a few.

He called on the Kingston hospitality industry to show people what we do as Kingstonians. People who ask what is community tourism is confused. In fact, he showed that coming to the Welcome event, going to the movies is regarded as community tourism. During intermission, people meet and greet each other and guests love it. They enjoy their experiences. Brand Jamaica Shopping experience such as Bridget Sandals should be promoted more. He highlighted the Negril Beach as a community tourism experience and used to recommend it to his guests when he managed Grand Pineapple Resort (a Sandals property). “Community tourism is now! Its action time and there is no other organization that is more ready than IIPT and CCTN.”

Distinguished guest, Hon. Mike Henry encapsulated the experience of Community-based tourism in his Greetings, he said “it is when the visitor connects with the heart and soul of a country and people. Beautiful scenery and exciting adventures will remain in the memory but the spirit of the people will always remain in the heart.” Minister Henry’s description is what drives Brand Jamaica’s expansion around the world.

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Manchester Peace Coalition Community Intervention on the Move

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Mandeville, Jamaica (December 19, 2018). Manchester Peace Coalition (MPCo), a coalition of companies that coalesce around the values of peaceful co-existence in communities within the parish of Manchester, Jamaica, has emerged as an important lynchpin in the peace movement in Jamaica today. MPCo is chaired by Dr Clifton Reid.

It is no surprise therefore, that MPCo was amongst delegates in attendance from across the island at the recently held International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) International Community Tourism Conference themed: Building Communities as Businesses staged at the Mona Visitor’s Lodge, UWI, Mona, Jamaica, November 12-15, 2018. The four-day event commemorated the ‘International Year of Community Tourism & Peace,’ in collaboration with Countrystyle Villages as Businesses, representing 40 years of Community Tourism.

During the International Community Tourism Conference Dr Louis D’Amore, Founder & President of IIPT was very impressed with the presentation and work of MPCo and envisioned it as a model for the world through the IIPT.  Dr D’Amore said “MPCo should spread its peace movement across the island.” Over the years, IIPT has continued to dedicate peace parks as a legacy at international conferences.

Among the programs initiated this year, MPCo commissioned Dr Herbert Gayle, a well-known social anthropologist, to do a research assessment of at-risk communities in the parish. The results will help the Manchester Municipal Corporation in their strategic planning and intervention strategies for the parish. The study was funded by Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.

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Safety, Security remains Priority for Jamaica

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KINGSTON, Jamaica; December 18, 2018: Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett is reiterating the country's commitment to ensuring a safe, secure and seamless destination to all visitors who come to the country.

In that context, Minister Bartlett says, “A full scale review is being done of all the protocols and ethical arrangements within the industry in keeping with the changes that are taking place in the demographics as well as the new markets that are emerging. Jamaica must stand at the cusp of these changes and must be leaders in ensuring that tourism safety and security is enhanced at all times. 

As a result we have brought technical advice and support from international experts in tourism security like Peter Tarlow and Global Rescue and they will coalesce with our local tourism destination assurance experts to craft a new architecture for tourism ethics and visitor safety in Jamaica.”

As part of efforts to ramp up its destination assurance programme, the Ministry through the Tourism Product Development Company, has started an island wide security audit of all hotels and attractions. Joining this audit is highly regarded international expert, Dr. Peter Tarlow who will provide technical support. The report from this review is to be ready by the first quarter of 2019.

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The Caribbean Travel Awards 2018

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Caribbean Destination of the Year: The Bahamas While several destinations have particularly strong growth in 2018, none has been more impressive — or more broadly impactful — than The Bahamas. That’s because while the destination has seen surging airlift growth (and a powerful increase in arrivals thanks to the full-fledged debut of the Baha Mar megaresort), this year has seen something unique for the destination: universal growth. That means growth that has been felt beyond the traditional pole of Nassau and New Providence. Indeed, islands across the Out Islands (and, crucially, Grand Bahama) are seeing strong growth — a clear sign that The Bahamas’ tourism growth is being realized across 700 islands and cays. And that’s a very powerful thing.

 Source: CaribJournal.com
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Local Farmers Earn over $39 Million from Tourism Agri-Linkages Exchange Pilot Project

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KINGSTON, Jamaica; December 14, 2018:  The Tourism Agri-Linkages Exchange (ALEX) pilot project has assisted 400 local farmers with the marketing of approximately 360,000 kg of agricultural produce valued at over $39 million.

ALEX, which is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Tourism and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), is the first online platform of its kind in the country. It brings hoteliers in direct contact with the farmers and, in turn, reduce leakages and retain more of the economic benefits of tourism in Jamaica.

The platform, which can be found at agrilinkages.com, allows farmers to plan to adequately address seasonality in crops; and provide information as it relates to geographic location of specific crops.

Speaking on Wednesday, at the opening of the Tourism Agri-Linkages Exchange (ALEX) Centre, housed at RADA’s St Andrew office, Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett said, “We are excited about this initiative because it removes the issues of the communication gaps that exist. It puts us in a position to say that wherever the farmers are, they can produce and sell to the hotels because ALEX is there to connect you.”

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Mama Africa Arise & Unite Initiative Endorsed by Portland Mayor

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Manchioneal, Portland, December 10, 2018. Mama Africa Arise & Unite, a community development program and cultural showcase was recently staged on November 24, 2018 at Di Atlantic Entertainment Centre in Manchioneal, Portland, Jamaica. The Theme, “One Perfect Love” forms the foundation of its mission to facilitate community development and empower communities, with a special focus on youth and girls.

On hand were community persons, eager number of students from local all age schools, musicians, members of Rastafari houses and visitors bringing greetings from St. Thomas, St. Ann, Kensington, Kingston and surrounding environs. Brother Heru Ishakamusa Menelik JP, High Commissioner UNIA & ACL President Division 439 and President for Marcus Garvey People's Political Party gave a passionate speech and history on Marcus Garvey while Jerry Smalls, Social Historian, captured the event on video. The professional delivery of the programme was noted by Mr. Cordinal Beckford, Special Assistant, to Dr. Fenton Ferguson, Member of Parliament and Opposition Spokesman on Agriculture, Land & Rural Development.

Having spent the last four months doing the research, accessing and building the social & human capital of communities in Portland and St. Thomas, Elissa Issachar, founder of this initiative was rewarded with the following commendation from Mayor and Councillor, Paul Thompson “This Mama Africa Arise & Unite project is fully endorsed by the Portland Municipal Corporation as a good move, which has the potential to increase the consciousness of our citizens about their history and their roots through exposure to African cultural expressions…It is projects like these which will help create the development of the social capital needed at the community level to enhance the national development process.”

The Mayor recalled a Jamaica of yesteryear where peace, love and respect abounded. Today “love is missing” he said and we need to “get love in the hearts of the youth. We need Jah to take us out of these problems.” The Rastafari message and Livity of ‘One Love’ brings the Father down to earth as we awaken the Divinity within each one of us. The Mayor called for divine intervention by invoking a song by Berris Hammond “Come down Father”. The vision of Mama Africa Arise & Unite of uniting Africans to Rise in Liberation, Self-Reliance, Peace, Truth and Love will find its way into Jamaica’s schools and communities to help bring about a kinder and gentler Jamaica, that is more culturally and historically aware of its roots. To bring the message home, Mayor Thompson recited a quote by Mwalimu Marcus Mosiah Garvey, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

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Jamaica will not be a Casino Destination

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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, Sunday, December 9, 2018: Jamaica’s first regulated casino should be up and running by the start of 2020 but Jamaica will not be a casino destination.

This was disclosed Friday (December 7) by Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett as he wrapped up remarks at a seminar on Hospitality Industry and Casino Operator’s Guide to Managing U.S. Liability Issues from the Caribbean, at Sandals Montego Bay.

While not giving details on the first casino, Mr. Bartlett spoke of the contribution casino gaming is expected to make to the Jamaican economy as an addition to the tourism product, providing 2 percent to GDP growth.

“We have shied away from gaming as a structured path of the tourism experience for a long time for a number of reasons, one of which has been the experiences that we have looked at in other places and we have seen some of the attendant negatives and we question very much whether or not we would be able ourselves to manage and be able to deal with the negative impact of it,” said Minister Bartlett.

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Jamaica to strengthen tourism relations with UAE

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Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett says Jamaica is keen to strengthen tourism relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following the inaugural UAE-Caribbean Cooperation Forum 2018, which was recently held in Dubai.

Minister Bartlett said, “I am pleased to announce that following discussions on creating greater collaboration between Jamaica and the UAE, the tourism sector was recognized as an immediate area of interest. Both the UAE and Jamaica share a robust and highly sought after tourism products and a collaboration will only increase our competitiveness and attractiveness.”

The inaugural UAE-Caribbean Cooperation Forum provided a unique opportunity for senior business representatives, government leaders and other high-profile delegates to identify emerging drivers for joint opportunities and collaboration between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Caribbean.

There was a specific focus on investment opportunities within the Caribbean region’s energy, infrastructure, agriculture, information technology and tourism sectors.

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Middle East Regional Coordinator Appointed for Global Tourism Resilience Centre

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates; November 26, 2018:  Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett has announced that Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Director of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been appointed regional coordinator of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre.

The announcement is an important outcome following Minister Bartlett’s attendance at the just concluded inaugural UAE-Caribbean Cooperation Forum 2018 held in Dubai.

“Mr. Mattar’s focus will cover the emirates and middle east region. He brings a lot of experience in tourism organization and management within this area and is enormously respected as a major player.

“We are excited about bringing him on board in this capacity and the UAE, which is now an affiliate region, will join the Mediterranean region, as well as the Mauritius and Nepal areas as the coordinating bodies that will be affiliated with the Centre,” said Minister Bartlett.

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New Jamaica Tourist Board Website Launched

New Jamaica Tourist Board Website Launched Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett (L) paused for a photo with Carissa Leitner, Account Manager of Simple View, the company that developed the new JTB website, and Trudy Chin, Acting General Manager for Caribbean Airlines. The occasion was the official launch of the JTB’s new website at the ATL Automotive in Kingston yesterday.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, on November 14 officially launched the Jamaica Tourist Board’s (JTB) new and fully integrated website which will transform its marketing strategies.

 

The website forms part of the JTB’s overall strategy to compete in the ever- changing global marketplace as well as plans by the management to revolutionize its methods of marketing and promoting Jamaica as a destination.

 

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Minister Bartlett Wins International Institute for Peace through Tourism Champions in Challenge Award

Minister Bartlett Wins International Institute for Peace through Tourism Champions in Challenge Award

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right) pauses for a photograph with Director of Tourism, Donovan White shortly after receiving the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Champions in Challenge Award. The occasion is the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) Champions in Challenge Awards during the International Travel Crisis Management Summit (ITCMS) conference in London on Thursday November 08, 2018.

Source: The Ministry of Tourism

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Caribbean Airlines now in the profit margin

Caribbean Airlines now in the profit margin

Caribbean Airlines reported a summary of its unaudited financial results, for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, which show the airline has moved into an operating profit and is net income positive for the year-to-date.

The unaudited accounts for the nine months to September 30, 2018 show Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) of positive TT$96m – this is comprised of TT$118m on international and other operations and negative TT$22m on the domestic air bridge.

The airline’s total net income of TT$48m is comprised of TT$83m on international and other operations and a loss of TT$35m on the air bridge. Year-to-date total revenues showed a 15% year-on-year improvement of TT$291M.  Fuel of TT$450.4M was a major expenditure for the same period, compared to TT$345.5M in 2017 resulting in a year-on-year increase of TT$104.9M.

Caribbean Airlines’ improved performance has been achieved despite the aforementioned losses on the air bridge which continue to occur.  Since 2005, the adult fare on the air bridge has been fixed at $150 one way, irrespective of rising fuel costs, for which the airline receives no subsidy. The actual breakeven fare on the air bridge is $300 one-way. Of that sum, the passenger currently pays $150, the Government subsidy to the adult passenger only is $50 (children receive no subsidy from the Government) and Caribbean Airlines absorbs the loss for the remaining $100 or $150 depending on if the passenger is a child but occupying a seat.

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