Antigua and Barbuda Tourism E-Blast - November/December Edition

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Tourism E-Blast Antigua and Barbuda

November / December Issue Edition

Celebrating Antigua and Barbuda Independence Heritage & Culture

Warri Festival Tournament 2013

Powered by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority






to the November/ December edition of the Tourism E-blast. In ever y issue our What is Theelcome Antigua & Barbuda Tourism E-Blast?

aim is to provide you with a sneak peek into what’s happening in and around our beautiful

islands of Antigua & Barbuda. We shine a spotlight on our people, give you a taste of adventure and introduce you to all that our product has to offer – our accommodations, spas, restaurants, tours and attractions. So, have a slice of our little bit of paradise, let’s show you why in Antigua & Barbuda we say… ‘the beach is just the beginning!’




Events Calendar

What happens on the islands in the months of November and December 2013.


Island Highlights

Antigua independence Heritage & Culture

WICB Cricket


10 11 12 16

Event Feature

Antigua Charter Yacht Show

Issue Feature

International Warri Championship

Island Specials

Sugar Ridge Resort & Spa

Spa Spotlight

Featured Spotlight -The Spa at Blue Waters & the Cove Restaurant

16 19

Tourism Industry News

Comprehensive update on the state of the Tourism Industry. Includes: Marketing, Airlift, and Sea Focus.


Island Adventure

An ABTA review of a local tour/attraction – Life’s A Picnic/Wa’omoni Legacy


Tourism Employee Spotlight

Alana Michael – Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort

on the cover Heritage & Culture


32nd Anniversary of Independence (Public Holiday) – November 1


Copper and Lumber Seafood Fridays – November 1, 8, 15, 22, 29. Independence Sprint Duathlon - November 3 (run 1.6 miles, bike 12 miles, run 1.6 miles, 5 mile run/walk) | Jolly Harbour Yacht Club Annual Regatta – Early November Best in the West Fishing Tournament – November 9 Antigua and Barbuda International Film Festival - TBA Expressions: Poetry in the Pub – November 12 & 26. | 20/20 Masters Cricket Festival – November 13 – 17 | Antigua Rainforest Canopy – Full Moon Night Flight Zip Line – November 16 | (268)562-6363 EAG: Barbuda Caving (subject to ferry and docking issues) – November 16 15th Annual Moods of Pan – November 30 – December 1

WINESTOCK ANTIGUA Join Nonsuch Bay’s second annual Food and Wine Month, a celebration of Caribbean food and wines of the world. With events from 11th November to 10th December 2013 and featuring WINESTOCK ANTIGUA on Sunday 24th November.


51st Annual Charter Yacht Show – December 1 – 7 Copper and Lumber Seafood Fridays – December 6, 13, 20, 27.


Heroes Day (Public Holiday) – December 9 Expressions: Poetry in the Pub – December 10 & 24. | Antigua Yacht Club (AYC) High Tides Series – mid-December Antigua Rainforest Canopy – Full Moon Night Flight Zip Line – December 17 | (268)562-6363 EAG: Annual Star-Watching at the Blockhouse – December 21 Christmas Extravaganza (Barbuda) - December 24 Christmas Day (Public Holiday) - December 25 Boxing Day (Public Holiday) - December 26 Antigua Yacht Club ‘Nelson’s Pursuit’ - December 31 Old Years’ Night Party, Nelson’s Dockyard – December 31


Happy 32nd Independence Antigua & Barbuda


Island Highlights


The history of the antigua sugar factory locomotive and their restoration




Event Feature


Antigua Charter Yacht Show

he Antigua Charter Yacht Show, formed primarily for the benefit of the yachting industry in Antigua, has become one of the most important global yacht charter shows in the world. Set in three marinas – Nelson’s Dockyard Marina, English Harbour, Falmouth Harbour Marina and Antigua Yacht Club Marina, both in Falmouth Harbour, the Antigua Charter Yacht Show attracts professional charter brokers from some of the most elite yacht charter houses worldwide; coupled with some of the biggest names in yachting journalism who jet in from cities worldwide in early December from as far afield as New Zealand and the Galapagos Islands, from North America and Europe to participate in the show. The agents and brokers take their time to explore and examine each registered yacht entry in detail. After all, they are

photography by sokoto George

looking at the market’s leading charter yachts. To maintain a high standard of professionalism and security, and to give yacht charter entrants the best opportunity to showcase their yachts to brokers, this show is private, invitation only.

taxis, car rental companies, restaurants and provisioning companies. The yacht service companies also benefit from a huge boost to the new season as many of the arriving yachts seek cosmetic repairs and routine maintenance prior to exhibiting at the event. The success of the previous year’s event is clearly This world-class event, showcased at the seen in the hard to find hotel rooms very start of the new season, ensures and rental villas as many have been that the show organizers’ returning and repeat booked by returning agents. first-time prestigious guests experience an event of the very highest standards of professionalism and hospitality leaving a lasting impression of Antigua as a friendly, hospitable island and cruising destination which encourages many yachts to choose Antigua as their ‘home port’ throughout the rest of the season. The immense benefits of this show to the local and national economy are seen in the business that is garnered by


Issue Feature International Warri Championship Warri, the national mancala (board game) of Antigua and Barbuda, was brought to Antigua and Barbuda by African slaves who were brought to work primarily on sugar plantations in the early 18th century, and is still a game widely played in the Antiguan and Barbudan society today.

different countries which included Switzerland, Belgium, France, Ghana, Kazakhstan, India and England with the best players from Antigua being Trevor Simon, September Christian and Pumpkin Lewis.

Antigua reigned supreme when Trevor Simon again took first place in Warri is said to mean house and many of the other names also the Masters Division defeating runner up Terrence ‘Kambui’ Charles translate to mean house in other African languages. Warri originated on the final count of warri seeds which showed Simon at 122 seeds in Africa over 5000 years ago, and is alive and well in the Caribbean and Charles at 118 seeds. The annual games are organized in the particularly in our twin-island state where the best players are National Warri Association which is presided over by Everton Jacobs. known to originate. World Warri Champion Trevor “Simple” Simon retained his crown Game boards can be of different sizes and shapes, however, in Antigua, in a keenly contested final in the Antigua International Warri Festival boards are typically rectangular, made of wood and have two rows of at the Multi-Purpose Cultural Centre. six round, hollowed-out depressions or cup-like scoops in each row Trevor “Simple” Simon has been playing warri for many years. Simon running the length and either side of an imaginary middle line in the is the most domineering player in world warri, having won the title board’s centre. On either end of the rows is a bigger scooped out 11 out of 12 times. The only time he lost was years ago to another hollow, which is a roundish rectangular depression, perpendicular to Antiguan, September Christian. Simon intends to keep playing and the rows of hollows in the middle. teaching the sport to the upcoming generations so that the sport is There are many tournaments held in Antigua and Barbuda to keep the spirit of Warri alive such as The Taxi Drivers’ Warri Tournament which is held at the Heavenly Hill Art Gallery in Johnson’s Point. The Women’s International Warri Championship, which is held at the Jolly Beach Resort and the most recently held International Warri Festival (also known as The Antiguan Open International Warri Tournament) that was held at the end of October at the Multi-Purpose Cultural Centre at Perry Bay in St. John’s.The International Warri Tournament was held on November 3rd 2013 with participation from seven

kept alive in Antigua and Barbuda for many years to come.



The Catamaran Hotel - International Travelers Special International Travellers receive a 20% discount off of published rack rates. Offer valid from MAY 5 to NOV 30, 2013. Visit for more information. Cocos Hotel - Honeymooner Discount. To redeem this offer, book a stay of five (5) nights or more and enter the promo code COCOSMOON when making your online reservation. Honeymooners also receive a free bottle of sparkling wine and fresh fruit plate on arrival. Go to for more information. Cocobay Resort - Pre Christmas Special. Stay anytime from December 7 to 22, 2013 (inclusive) and save 20% off regular rates on any available room type. To obtain discount, simply enter the Promo Code PREXMAS2013 when booking online. This offer applies only to bookings made after October 1 2013. Visit for more details.

Coconut Beach Club - Your Vacation Made More Affordable The longer you stay, the more you save! Available length of stay discounts are 30% off for a two (2) to four (4) night stay, 35% off for a five (5) or six (6) night stay, 40% off for a stay of seven (7) to nine (9) nights and 45% off for a stay of ten (10) nights or more. These discounts apply only to all Inclusive rates. All honeymooners receive a free bottle of sparkling wine and fresh flowers on arrival. Go to for more information Grand Pineapple Beach Resort – GPB Antigua Special Receive up to 65% off your trip! This offer is valid for travel through December 21, 2014, and includes all meals, unlimited drinks, tips, taxes and complimentary use of windsurfing equipment, kayaks, snorkeling gear and sunfish sailboats for exploring the bay. Travel Dates: Jan. 1 - December 21, 2013 and Jan. 1 - Dec. 21, 2014 Min. Stay: 3 nights Go to for more information.


Siboney Beach Club Visit us between now and December 20th and enjoy 30% off our normal rates, US$140.00 + taxes for two persons instead of US$200.00 Go to fall-special1.htm for more information

Carlisle Bay Fully Exclusive Super Chill Out With this fantastic fully inclusive offer, two people can stay from $765 per night and a family of four can stay in a Beach Balcony Suite from $1,051 per night. These rates include all meals and drinks so there is no need to worry about hidden extras. Offer available from 14 April to 23 August 2013 and 12 October to 19 December 2013. For more information, go to for more information. photography by sokoto George


The Sugar Ridge Resort & Spa is one of the more

showerheads in every room. It provides welcoming

plans. In years past, Sugar Ridge has hosted fantastic

recent hotel accommodations to be added to

surroundings for individuals and families alike.

New Year’s Eve parties and this year won’t be

the landscape of Antigua, having opened its doors

Also known for its spectacular evening events,

anything different!

in December of 2009. Since its opening, Sugar

trendy party scene, diverse culinary delights, and

Ridge has made its mark as one of the more

Aveda Concept Spa, Sugar Ridge Resort, along with

contemporary hotels on island, with ultra-modern

its Sugar Club Lounge and Carmichael’s Restaurant,

interiors and luxurious, clean design lines; it definitely

are once again kicking off the 2014 Winter Season

welcomes the ‘très chic’. Whether you are a tourist

with a wide array of special events, diverse menus

or avid traveler, Sugar Ridge definitely offers modern

and awesome specials!

‘creature comforts’, like its state-of-the-art gym, Sugar Ridge Resort is very excited to present their infinity swimming pools and standard rain shower

December specials and New Year’s Eve celebration


With this year’s party you can look forward to moving to the sounds of the versatile band, Itchy Feet with their lead singer, Asher Otto. The DJ’s on-hand will be DJ Undercover and DJ Purist. Sugar Ridge is also offering some impressive all-inclusive packages. Select from the following options: Sugar Ridge Resort & Spa - Celebrating Christmas - All Inclusive Package This includes five night’s accommodation in a Deluxe King with Plunge Pool with Full Breakfast. Rosemary Mint Awakening Body Wrap in the Aveda Concept Spa. Dinner on Christmas Day in Carmichaels Restaurant including premium branded drinks and selected wines. Live entertainment each evening in Sugar Club. Lunch and dinner each day, premium branded drinks, blended cocktails, bottled water and house wines. Extra Nights US$266 per person Rates are based on two persons sharing. Single supplement 5 night package US$625 Single supplement extra night US$125 Christmas Eve – Tuesday 24th December, 2013. • Taxi shuttle (US$22.00 per person) for any last minute shopping in St John’s • Relax around the pool for the day enjoying lunch on the pool deck or in Sugar Club or take the shuttle to one of our recommended beaches. Alternatively enjoy the infinity edge pool at Carmichael’s; the bar is opened from 10.30 am. • Luxuriate with a treatment in our Aveda Concept Spa • Dine in either Sugar Club and Carmichael’s will be featuring their regular à la carte menu Entertainment in the Piano Lounge Christmas Day – Wednesday 25th December, 2013. • Enjoy a leisurely Christmas Day breakfast in Sugar Club. • Taxi available to Christmas Church Services – pay locally • The gym will be open from 7am to 4pm, but our Aveda Concept Spa will be closed all day. • Relax around the pool for the day enjoying a special Christmas BBQ on the Sugar Club pool deck to the sounds of Steel Pans • For the Evening, both restaurants will be offering festive menus and Arianne Whyte will be performing at Sugar Club. New Year’s Eve - Tuesday 31st December, 2013. • After breakfast enjoy the day at one of our nominated beaches or take a tour around the island. • The Gym and Spa will be open as normal • Sugar Club will be open for lunch with their regular menu. • The evening’s festivities will offer special menus in both Carmichael’s and Sugar Club restaurants followed by a one of the biggest and best parties in Antigua with top local band Itchyfeet featuring Asher Otto together with DJs providing non-stop music through the night, with a spectacular firework display at Midnight to bring in the New Year Carmichael’s will be serving a Celebration Cocktail on arrival plus a full bar, up to and including premium brands featuring a five-course gourmet menu accompanied by selected wines and French Champagne. Price is US$210.00 (EC$ 565.00). Carmichael’s will have their own DJ for the evening to see in the New Year, whilst watching our traditional Fireworks display. Entertainment will continue until 1.00am when guests are invited to join the big party at Sugar Club until 3.00am-all drinks are included. All Inclusive supplement is US$145, Half board is US$165.00 Sugar Club will also be featuring their own gala menu, cocktail on arrival, selected wines served with dinner and selected drinks available throughout the evening. Price is US$160.00 (EC$425.00). Supplement for All Inclusive is US$110.00 and Half board US$130.00 For those just wanting to party Drink Tickets will be available for Sugar Club with a full bar at US$60.00(EC$160.00) No Supplement for All Inclusive guests. Tickets for US$45.00 (EC$125.00) if purchased before 22nd December. photography: the MOMENT is CAPTURED


SPA SPOTLIGHT The Royal Treatment

The Spa at Blue Waters & the Cove Restaurant - From the dawn of the ages, females world-wide have always indulged in a healthy skin care regimen. Since the era of Cleopatra, we have seen visuals of women taking milk baths and nourishing their skin from head to toe. Well, whether you envision yourself as a Queen, Empress or Pampered Princess, the Elemis Signature Spa at Blue Waters, definitely offers all guests the

Gwen and the team

royal treatment.Tucked away above a private cove of a luxurious beachfront resort on the North coast of Antigua, the Spa at Blue Waters and the Cove restaurant provides visitors with a first-rate experience in quality and excellent service. As you enter, you will be entranced by the calm and soothing surroundings which are nestled amongst the backdrop of serene azure ocean waters and perfectly manicured gardens. And if this is not enough to open and relax your senses, well maybe you would prefer to be encapsulated in the contemporary style and gracious hospitality of Gwen and her team. Whatever your reason for visiting, there’s no better way to begin a holiday or to take a ‘time out’ than to treat yourself. ‘Spa therapy’ should evoke a sense of healing and wellness, while relaxing your spirit and indulging your senses in order to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul. The Spa at Blue Waters has created just that, a

soothing environment that takes skin care and therapeutic relaxation to another level. Being an Elemis Signature Spa is the first indication that the optimization of your skin will be top of mind for your therapist as the Elemis brand is known for taking the nourishment of your skin seriously. This surely stands true for the Spa at Blue Waters as well. All of therapists are Elemis-trained and certified and their skills are enhanced prior to each winter season to ensure that they offer every guest the best quality skin care therapy available on island. For this pampering princess, my royal treatment for the day was the Exotic Coconut Rub & Milk Wrap… need I say more? This simple description does not do this therapeutic body


treatment fair justice and the words ‘heavenly’ and ‘divinely nourishing’ should also be added to the menu. My therapist Fiona was extremely thorough, very knowledgeable, and had the greatest skin care tips! So let me share with you my body’s brief encounter with spa indulgence heaven! As you embark into your treatment room, you are greeted with soothing sounds and simple touches that are essentially Caribbean. To start, my bare skin was first massaged with a body brush; and as Fiona pointed out, this simple technique is great for exfoliation of the skin, improving circulation and also diminishes signs of cellulite. After the skin is exfoliated, the rehydration process begins with the skin being treated with an Elemis body oil which is the first layer of nourishment that is infused back onto the skin. This is rubbed all over the body and is an excellent primer for the exotic coconut rub that follows; the coconut rub is massaged throughout the skin and is then followed by a warmed Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk which is poured over the body before you are gently cocooned in a comforting wrap. While waiting in my cocoon, I am invited into

deeper relaxation as Fiona gives me a short scalp massage to help pass the time, after which my eyes are gently covered with a lavender-scented eye pillow to envelope my mind and usher me into perfect rest. After about 20 minutes being in the wrap, I am asked to shower off and then return to the treatment bed for one last layer of skin indulgence. The final part of my therapy is a massage. An Elemis massage oil is distributed onto the various parts of the body and massaged with slight pressure to target and relieve any remaining tension.Yes, a treatment fit for a royalty! Whether you are a bride-to-be, or a snow-bird flying south for the winter, this therapeutic body treatment is the perfect treat to rejuvenate and reveal radiant skin. The Exotic Coconut Rub & Milk Wrap is a superb therapy for soothing and softening the skin, as my skin is glowing and feels renewed and supple. It’s also great for those who have eczema, as an essential moisturizer, or simply if you want your body polished for a natural, healthy glow. The wonders ‘spa therapy’ can bring! At the Spa at Blue Waters and the Cove Restaurant, you can just sit back and enjoy the excellent service, attention and hospitality.

Massages at Blue Waters

Swedish at Blue Waters This ancient technique relaxes the body and improves circulation. Our therapists will work on you to enhance body, mind and soul. Stress and tension melts away after this session of pampering!! 50 minutes US$105 30 minutes US$75

Body Therapies at Blue Waters

Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow This exfoliation ritual invigorates and revitalizes the body. After light body brushing, warm oil is dropped luxuriously over the skin, then the sublime Elemis Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow is applied. The skin is deeply cleansed and moisturized, leaving it glowing, vibrant and replenished. 50 minutes US$90

Elemis Facials

Herbal Lavender Repair Facial This facial is specially designed for perfect restoration of skin balance. It helps to heal and repair oily, problem and congested skin. Rehydrates and replenishes moisture. Deep cleanses, heals, repairs, de stresses and oxygenates the skin. 60 minutes US$106

Packages at Blue Waters

Beauty Treatments at Blue Waters Soothe your Feet Enhance your feet with our luxurious foot treatment that will leave you feeling brand new. Your feet will be soaked, refreshed and renewed with this treatment. (Polish included) 45 minutes US$55

For Reservations, please contact Three Sixty Hotels & Resorts I E-mail:


Airlift UPDATE

Thomas Cook to start once-weekly Manchester to Antigua flight. Thomas Cook’s addition of a weekly flight from Manchester, will be using an Airbus A330 aircraft with a total of 320 seats, and is the only route outside of London to Antigua. The inaugural flight is scheduled for Thursday, December 19, 2013. Our Antigua and Barbuda campaign is now live. The site has an average of 8 million unique users per month and is the key booking site for Thomas Cook promoting Thomas Cook charter holidays,Thomas Cook Signature holidays and flight only sales. If you have friends or family in the UK, click here for more details: American Airlines’ increase of a daily non-stop flight out of New York’s JFK Airport. American Airlines will use a Boeing 737 aircraft for the Antigua & Barbuda JFK service, offering the comfort of 16 business class seats and 134 economy class seats. American Airlines’ daily flight out of Miami continues as well. Check out for further booking information or contact your local travel agent. Air Antilles Express adds new route from Guadeloupe to Antigua. Air Antilles Express has added a twice-weekly service from Guadeloupe to Antigua. This new service will provide direct airlift between the two islands, on Mondays & Thursdays starting Thursday, December, 19th 2013. This code share agreement between Air Antilles Express and Corsair opens up many opportunities for French tour operators to sell the destination. Find out more information at:

V.C. Bird International Airport Launches New Website. On October 30, 2013, the V.C. Bird International Airport launched its new website. This new tool is equipped to assist passengers, airport partners and the general public with flight and passenger information as well as help them learn about the airport’s history. This new website is a contribution to a positive airport experience for all users. Visit for more details. Virgin Atlantic launched their new A-300-330 aircraft. Saturday, November 16 in the VIP lounge at the VCBIA. Virgin Airlines has also increased airlift out of the UK and will provide four (4) direct flights into V.C Bird International for the upcoming 2014 season. With this new airplane configuration it will allow for more seating in the Upperclass cabin.


Tourism Industry News Antigua and Barbuda Marketing Presence:

New CEO for Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association The next CEO of the Miami-based Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association is Atlantic City tourism official Jeff Vasser who has served since 2002 as president of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority. His decision to accept the CHTA post was also announced by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. His previous projects in the Caribbean have also included consulting on Puerto Rico’s convention centre project and stints as an international election observer in Venezuela and Jamaica for the Carter Center. Vasser’s hospitality career has included posts at Choice Hotels International, Laventhol & Horwath and Four Seasons Hotels. He has also served as CFO for Cipriani International in New York and as a senior consultant for the public sector/gaming entertainment group at Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group. He will remain in his position at the ACCVA until Oct. 18. He will start as CEO of the CHTA Nov. 18.

Antigua and Barbuda Public and Private Sectors Attend World Airline Routes Development Forum 2013 Antigua and Barbuda tourism and airport officials combined their marketing efforts to attend the world’s largest aviation conference at the 19th World Routes Aviation Forum, hosted by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority. The country’s delegation included CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James, Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority, Patrick Ryan, and General Manager of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotel and Tourist Association, Neil Forrester. The destination collaborated with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) to ensure that it had a more formidable presence and representation of its interests at the forum.


Antigua’s Shannon Falcone flies the flag high at 34th Annual America’s Cup. The 34th America’s Cup Finals saw Oracle Team USA, the most recent America’s Cup defender, as the winner on Wednesday 25 September. Antiguan native Shannon Falcone is a key member of Oracle Team USA and was on board for all 19 races! Hearty congratulations to Shannon and all of Oracle Team USA on their incredible achievements. Shannon pursued his love of sailing and at 19, set off to discover the world on sailboats. Soon afterwards he moved into the competitive sailing world and now has some of the most challenging competitions in the world successfully under his belt. A summary of Shannon’s most impressive achievements includes: • 2003 – Louis Vuitton Cup with Team Mascalzone Latino • 2007 – Louis Vuitton Cup finalist with Luna Rossa Challenge • 2008-2009 – Volvo Ocean Race with Team Puma – 2nd place finish • 2010 – 33rd America’s Cup with BMW Oracle Racing – Winner! • 2013 – 34th America’s Cup Defender with Oracle Team USA

Selwyn James to be inducted in Antigua Yacht Charter Hall of Fame. During a presentation to be made by Charter Yacht Brokers Association International, Grenadian-native, Selwyn James will be inducted into the Antigua Yacht Charter Hall of Fame on Wednesday 11, December 2013. Mr. James settled in Antigua with his wife Erma in 1974 and has been a stalwart of civic mindedness for many years making contributions to a diverse number of community groups and organizations. Amongst the many organizations that recognize Mr. James’s contributions are the African Treasure Sound Systems of Grays Farm, Grays-Green Community Club and the Cobbs Cross Primary School. His contribution and assistance in activities such as the National Cultural Arts Festival, Culinary Exposition, Carnival and the Dow’s Hill Interpretation Centre have been recognized by the Ministry of Tourism, The Ministry of Culture, The Antigua and Barbuda National Parks Authority and The Antigua Carnival Advisory Committee.

21 Hilary Modeste Retirement. The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority recently celebrated the retirement of Mr. P. Hilary Modeste. Mr. Modeste worked at the Antigua & Barbuda Tourist Office – UK and Europe as the director since 2009. The ABTA wishes Mr. Modeste all the best and Happy Retirement!

WICB Teaser Video Ad now on Willow TV The WICB teaser video ad has been added to Willow TV’s rotation to generate interest for next year’s ODI’s.

Notable FAMS Ultimate Jet Vacations Representatives of luxury tour operator Ultimate Jet Vacations visited the destination in late October for a FAM trip at Jumby Bay Resort. This FAM trip was organized for top producing agents to become familiar with Antigua as a luxury travel destination. Ultimate Jet Vacations combines in-depth knowledge of the luxury hotel market with a profound expertise in the private aviation business. The ABTA assisted this FAM through the US office by facilitating the waiver of landing and FBO fees as the group arrived on a private Phenom 300 jet.

Travel Agent Bill Gearhart and Company Travel Agent William ‘Bill’ Gearhart of Classic Travel Tours traveled to Antigua with his wife and the President of Nissan, USA Anthony Sessa and his wife on November 9 through November 16, 2013. Mr. Gearhart sits on the Travel Advisory Board for Bon Appetit Magazine and he and his wife have been in business for over 30 years have won several industry awards and have hosted an impressive list of upscale clientele, both corporate and private sector. The group was able to tour Nonsuch Bay Resort as well as participate in their lunch and wine pairing experience that is a part of the resort’s Wine Month (November) activities.

22 Upcoming FAMS Cricket Exiles Press Trip The Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority will be hosting the Cricket Exiles Press Trip from November 23- November 30, 2013.. The Cricket Exiles will be ‘touring’ Antigua and Barbuda staying for seven nights and playing three cricket matches. The group is made up of 16 journalists and their partners (approximately a maximum of 24 travelling). The anticipated coverage of the destination that this press trip can provide is immense. The Cricket Exiles Group travelled to Oman in 2010 with coverage produced in The Daily Telegraph, The Evening Standard, The Times, Press Association, The Express, Daily Mail Live Magazine, The Bournemouth Echo, Wisden Cricketer & Private Equity News. It is clear to see that it is a great cross section of coverage hitting a very large audience. September October Press Releases • Antigua & Barbuda Recognized as the “Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination” at the 2013 World Travel Awards Americas Gala Ceremony. • Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Officials attends Seatrade Europe’s largest Cruise Convention. • Antigua and Barbuda Public and Private sectors collaborate to attend largest gathering of Airlines, Airports and Tourism Boards at the World Airline Routes Development Forum 2013. • Exciting News for Antigua and Barbuda at World Travel Market.

As 2013 draws to a close, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority would like to give a big, sincere and heartfelt thank you to all of our sponsors, supporters and participants in and of the Familiarization and Press Trip Unit. Without you, we would not have been able to showcase the destination to the variety of travel agents and press that visited the islands. We wish you all continued success and look forward to working with you in 2014.


Sea Focus For this issue of the Tourism E-Blast, the Sea Focus feature gives a recap of cruise-centred shows that were attended in the latter part of the year. Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Officials attend Seatrade Europe’s largest Cruise Convention The two-member delegation made up of CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James, and Nathan Dundas, President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Association, were joined By Dr.Wierner Giersch the country’s Honorary Counsel in Germany, and conducted a packed schedule of meetings with European Cruise Executives.The destination came together, as a part of a group of 15 regional destinations to collaborate in sharing one stand space at the Seatrade Europe convention. The joint “Caribbean Village” concept provided a location to conveniently meet and negotiate with the European cruise executives. In meetings with Kay-Uwe Marob, Vice President of Port Operations, for German Cruise line, Aida Cruise Lines, it was noted that Antigua and Barbuda continues to perform well and delivers excellent service to Aida’s passengers. The provision of German language tour guides was particularly mentioned, as an improved attribute and something that’s very important for European cruise passengers. Nine (9) calls will be included in the Aida itinerary for this season with an increase to eleven (11) calls for the ensuing season 2014/15. Additionally, the MSC Cruise line although maintaining sixteen (16) calls for this season and 2014/15, will increase its passenger load to 3,250 passengers per call an increase of 750 passengers per visit for the upcoming season. MSC ships will now arrive at 1:00 pm with an 8:00 pm departure, which will effectively extend the cruise shopping day for local businesses whenever their ships call into the port of St John’s.

Cruise Update

FCCA Cruise Conference in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia The 20th Annual Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Cruise Conference & Tradeshow was held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia from September 30th - October 4th, 2013. This particular conference and Tradeshow annually brings together leading cruise destinations throughout the Caribbean into one forum to conduct workshops, discuss industry highlights, itinerary planning and the overall state of the cruise industry. As a leading Caribbean port of call, Antigua & Barbuda was represented and continues to score well with the cruise lines for diverse tours, quality attractions, and high customer satisfaction. The 2012 year-end passenger forecast is that a record 20.3 million passengers cruised globally during the year, with 17.182 million sailing from North America, including 11.684 million who live in the U.S. and Canada. The industry’s success is lead by the Caribbean, which continues to be positioned as the dominant cruise destination, accounting for 37.3% of all global itineraries in 2013. The FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization composed of 15 member cruise lines operating more than 100 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. Created in 1972, the FCCA’s mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security and other cruise industry issues. By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA seeks to build cooperative relationships with its partner destinations and to develop productive bilateral partnerships with every sector. The FCCA

works with governments, ports and all private/ public sector representatives to maximize cruise passenger, cruise line and cruise line employee spending, as well as enhancing the destination experience and the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors. Antigua & Barbuda Favours Cruise Alliance Of The Southern Caribbean. At a recently concluded strategic meeting of the Cruise Alliance of the Southern Caribbean, that was initiated and hosted by the Government of Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda agreed to strategic involvement in the development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU will see alliances by Caribbean destinations in partnership to improve the region’s Cruise Tourism product. The Forum had in attendance representatives from Antigua & Barbuda, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St Kitts & Nevis,Trinidad & Tobago and the host destination Barbados. The series of discussions and forums held in Barbados was attended by Antigua & Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association President (ABCTA), Mr. Nathan Dundas.


Island Adventure Life’s a Picnic - Wa’omoni legacy When visiting Antigua and Barbuda, one of the a key priority, with GPS satellite search and best ways to experience the islands is from rescue tracker equipment on board. You the sea.The natural beauty of the crystal clear definitely feel that sense of security and that

waters and the serenity of our surrounding your every need is taken care of. For an islands are what make Antigua and Barbuda exceptional day out, relax on board ‘Life’s-aa little slice of heaven on earth. What could Picnic’ and enjoy a magical picnic experience.

possibly make it even better? Well, just add A menu of gourmet food, champagne and a bit of adrenaline, chilled champagne and wines are paired and prepared by the islands’ delicious gourmet food, and ‘Life’s-a-Picnic’! best chefs and provisioners. Welcome on board one of Antigua and Be wined and dined and escorted around Barbuda’s latest tours where you can sit back, our amazing islands in style. Sit back, take relax and enjoy the sunshine cradled in luxury. it easy, feel like the celebrity you’ve always The tour aptly titled ‘Life’s a Picnic’ welcomes known yourself to be because… ‘Life’s-aguests on board a power yacht, where you picnic’! This is a ‘scrumdiddlyumptious private

are treated to champagne as a staple and not affair’ for foodies, wine connoisseurs, friends a treat. To go with that are some seriously and loved ones. Special occasions, surprise

gourmet eats that are pleasing to the eye picnics, weddings and honeymoons are their For Bookings, call 268.725.4663 or email or visit as well as the palate. Gulliver Johnson and specialty. his trained crew ensure that your safety is Because... Life’s-a-Picnic!

Tourism employee spotlight: Alana Michael


Works at: Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort Does: Concierge Special Distinctions & Awards: Past

Nominee for Rosewood Jumby Bay Employee of the Month and Best Professional Appearance, Awarded Mystery Shopper Award for Excellent Service form The Heart, Recently selected to participate in a French Tourism Exchange Program in Guadeloupe.

What sets Alana apart? My Compassion and ability to relate to and empathize with Others is definitely one of my strongest characteristics. My ambition and willingness to learn has also exposed me to a myriad of different experiences. I love Foreign languages and learning about different cultures – I firmly believe that this knowledge is necessary to truly understand the expectations of the many different cultures that view Antigua and Barbuda as the Ultimate Vacation Destination.

What keeps her going? What is her Motivation? My biggest Fear in life is ‘Settling’. I firmly believe that we as human beings, as Citizens, can always be better, can always achieve more. We are always capable of growth. However, I believe that there can be no growth without change, without venturing outside of our comfort zones, and truly testing ourselves to see what we are made of. Fortunately, I get the opportunity to expand my consciousness in some way every day at Rosewood, Jumby Bay. I have been graced with the opportunity to meet Guests and Associates from a variety of different cultural and social backgrounds. In addition as a Concierge, I have the opportunity to use my creativity to help problem solve and ensure that our Guests leave with a positive lasting Impression not only of Rosewood Jumby Bay, but Antigua and Barbuda on a whole. The most gratifying and truly humbling remark that any resort employee can hear from a Guest is “This was the best Vacation of our lives”. That one sentence is the biggest motivation of all!

What does being an Antiguan and Barbudan Hospitality Ambassador mean to you? It is an extreme honour to be considered an Ambassador of Antiguan and Barbudan Hospitality, especially given the vital role that the Hospitality and Tourism Industry plays in our Society. For me, however it is important to convey that we are ALL tasked with the responsibility of being our Nation’s Hospitality Ambassadors. As citizens we have an innate duty to ensure that we are portraying the best possible representation of Antigua and Barbuda. Our warmth and friendliness as a People should always be evident whenever we come into contact with visiting Tourists; as a Nation we all tasked with respecting and maintaining our natural resources like our Beaches, as well as our Historical Landmarks. We truly need to return to the adage “Tourism a All Arwe Business”! Talk about extra-curricular activities that you take part in that helps to promote your country of Antigua and Barbuda. One of my most memorable experiences was taking center stage in Antigua and Barbuda’s Carnival 2012 as a participant in the Queen of Carnival Competition. Recently however I was selected as one of six participants from the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Industry to participate in a French Tourism Exchange Program hosted in Guadeloupe. The Program focused on introducing us to vocabulary and simulations for the French Hospitality Industry as well helping to re-introduce our French Caribbean neighbours to the beauty of Antigua and Barbuda’s Sun Sea and Sand. The opportunity reinforced my pride in Antigua and Barbuda, as well as my realization of the importance of Foreign ties and Foreign Language communication skills. Do you know a tourism employee deserving of the spotlight in the monthly Tourism E-Blast? Nominate your shining star by submitting their name, place of employment, and brief details as to the qualities you see demonstrated, deserving of acknowledgement as an Antiguan and Barbudan Hospitality Ambassador. Email your submission to


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