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Summary Report BVI Tourist Board

dda Market Insights 2005

US has become the favourite destination of British holidaymakers Page

Summary Report BVI Tourist Board

The weak dollar is tempting Britons back to America. The US has become the favourite destination of British holidaymakers. Four of the top five summer holiday spots are in the US, according to Internet travel agent ebookers. The top destination is Orlando, followed by New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Faro in the Algarve, Portugal, is the only European destination to make the top five.

Thomson Holidays launches in-store digital ads Thomson Holidays is installing 32-inch digital screens in 100 of its biggest stores and selling space to advertisers. The digital displays will carry 22 different still images for eight seconds, each on a three-minute loop. Seven of the spots will be reserved to advertise Thomson products, but the other 15 are being sold to companies that are keen to attract holidaymakers such as suntan lotion Manufacturers.

Passport rules may harm Caribbean travel Caribbean officials who fear a new passport rule will seriously harm its $2.6 billion tourism industry are lobbying to delay the move. The proposed Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative will require Americans travelling to the Caribbean to have a passport starting 1 January of 2006. Mexico and Canada, by comparison, have until the start of 2008 to require the new passports. The Caribbean’s 27 countries rely on American tourists, with market share often in the 80s, according to Caribbean officials. The rule if enforced will make the Caribbean uncompetitive with other destinations such as Mexico, say tourism officials.

Caribbean tourism: up, up and up


Summary Report BVI Tourist Board

Visitors to the Caribbean in 2004 topped 21.8 million, a 7% increase in air arrivals over the previous year, announced the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Cruise passenger visits were also up for a 13% increase to 20.5 million. The average room occupancy for last year was also up to 69.7%, compared with 62.7% in 2003, according to a sample of hotels surveyed of where are the visitors coming from? US arrivals grew 7% last year, while arrivals from Canada were up 16%. European arrivals grew by only 4%. Montserrat (18.3%) and Anguilla (16.5%) saw the largest increase in air arrivals from a percentage standpoint. The Cayman Islands and St. Maarten were also up in visitor counts.

Heating up the Caribbean A robust economy and strong European currencies that cut costs for European travelers are adding up to a possibly record year in the Caribbean, say tourism officials. But funding for new hotels remains a challenge, according to the Caribbean Hotel Association. In other tourism developments in the Caribbean: Turks & Caicos opened The Palms, an $85 million luxury resort on Providenciales. The Tampa-based Mainsail Development Group plans a $45 million resort on the 230-acre Scrub Island in the British Virgin Islands.

easyCruise confirms Caribbean winter routes


Summary Report BVI Tourist Board

Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyCruise has confirmed that its winter deployment for W05/6 will be in the Caribbean, with tickets on sale today. Ports of call are: Bridgetown in Barbados (Saturday and Sunday), Kingstown in St Vincent (Monday), Fort de France in Martinique (Tuesday), Bequia in The Grenadines (Wednesday), St George's in Grenada (Thursday) and Castries in St Lucia (Friday). The season runs from 12Nov to 26April. As a result of ‘an encouraging first season’ easyCruise is looking at the possibility of a second ship, which would start serving the Greek islands in S06 or S07. Stelios also confirmed that the second ship would spend its winters in the Arabian Gulf, with discussions taking place with Dubai and UAE authorities.

Survey highlights exotic wedding locations “Unusual and adventurous” wedding ceremonies in exotic locations are becoming the latest travel trend, a survey claims. Instead couples looking for an “out of the ordinary” experience are opting for tailor-made marriages in more remote areas, featuring a diverse cast of characters ranging from Buddhist monks, exotically dressed elephants, native village choirs and traditional dancers and drummers. As a result demand for wedding destinations is spreading further afield. A UK wedding is now thought to cost in the region of £15,000-£16,000, it’s not surprising that one in 10 couples decide to marry abroad. Amex says that couples on a strict budget are more likely to choose US destinations or Mexico, made attractive by a combination of low cost flights and all-inclusive deals.


Summary Report BVI Tourist Board

Although the survey shows that the vast majority of weddings abroad are celebrated in long haul destinations, the agency reports a significant number closer to home, where Cyprus remains the clear favourite for the seventh year running. “Moderate pricing, reliable weather, short flights and easy wedding regulations have helped to make Cyprus the enduring favourite for short haul weddings,” said Walsh. “The fact that English is so widely spoken makes it easy to sort out wedding arrangements.” AMERICAN EXPRESS TRAVEL WEDDINGS AND HONEYMOONS LEAGUE 2005 (Figures in brackets relate to last year’s placing). WEDDINGS





2. CYPRUS (3)






4. ST. LUCIA (1)



5. LAS VEGAS (5)



6. JAMAICA (7)



7. MEXICO (-)



8. ANTIGUA (6)



9. FLORIDA (8)



10. MALDIVES (9)




Summary Report BVI Tourist Board

Three weekly flights are operating Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from New York to Grenada, Barbados and Kingston. Air Jamaica is returning to the Eastern Caribbean with six weekly flights to Grenada and Barbados from Kingston, Jamaica, and New York (Kennedy). The airline suspended flights to the region last month because of an accelerated maintenance scheduled required by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority .

Virgin Atlantic launches direct services to the Bahamas and Cuba Virgin Atlantic on Monday launched direct services between London and Havana and direct services between London and Nassau as part of the airline’s expansion in the Caribbean. The services will operate twice weekly between London Gatwick and Havana from 7 July and weekly between London Gatwick and Nassau from 4 July, using a Boeing 747-400 aircraft. The launch of these new routes will form part of a 27% increase in capacity to the Caribbean for Virgin Atlantic this year. “Over the years, demand for The Bahamas has been strong with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays passengers travelling over from London via Miami. Now that we are able to offer this direct link, offering more flexibility and greater value for money for our leisure and business travellers, we are certain popularity for The Bahamas will grow even more.” “The new Virgin Atlantic route also means a projected annual economic benefit to Cuba of £30m per year and the new route to Nassau an estimated $35m in increased jobs, Page

Summary Report BVI Tourist Board

trade and tourism. Flights will depart London Gatwick every Monday 09.30 arriving into Nassau International Airport at 13.30. Flights depart Nassau every Monday at 16.30 arriving into Gatwick the following morning at 05.30.

British Airways is to increase in its fuel surcharge BA says the continuing rise in oil prices to almost $60 a barrel meant an £8 hike in its long-haul charge to £24 was "regrettably unavoidable". The levy - £48 for a return trip applies to tickets sold from 27 June 2005 onwards and came as BA warns that its fuel bill for this financial year would be around £1.6 billion, £450 million higher than the previous year.

Virgin follows BA with surcharge Virgin Airlines has increased fuel surcharges to passengers in line with British Airways. Both airlines raised the payment by £8 to £24 on one-way, long haul flights. Virgin stated that its spending on fuel in 2005 would exceed £380 million and could account for one-quarter of all its operating costs.

American Eagle ends St. Thomas-St. Croix daily flights SAN JUAN --- American Eagle’s three daily flights between St. Thomas and St. Croix ended May 1 when the fourmonth, $2 million contract between the carrier and the U.S. Page

Summary Report BVI Tourist Board

Virgin Islands expired. Until final traffic and revenue numbers are evaluated, no decision will be announced as to whether the contract will be renewed for next winter, according to sources from both the airline and the U.S.V.I. government. Although American Eagle reported system wide traffic increases in its first quarter, and a 26% jump in April alone over April 2003, specific figures were not released for the U.S.V.I. Travellers still have air options between the two islands, including Seaborne’s seaplane service and Cape Air’s six daily flights in both directions. Passengers flying American Eagle must connect in San Juan in order to travel between St. Thomas and St. Croix

Holiday levy scheme backed by CAA The Civil Aviation Authority has backed a scheme that would see travellers pay a £1 levy on flights and holidays to protect airlines and tour operators from collapse. The industry regulator has been worried about the rise of the low-cost airline and the tendency of holidaymakers to make bookings over the Internet and not with tour operators. If a levy were introduced, tour operators expect to save about £100 million a year

Heathrow to get makeover BAA the airport operator is to spend over £3 billion making over Heathrow between 2005 and 2015 as part of a modernisation drive and will include the cost of enlarging Terminal 3 to cater for the giant Airbus A380 Page

Summary Report BVI Tourist Board

HOTEL UPDATE Four Seasons Nevis announces $10m enhancement plan. The Caribbean’s first AAA Five Diamond property is putting a fresh face on a landmark resort. Four Seasons Resort Nevis will launch a $10 million renovation program in late August that will include a new pool and waterfront dining venue, as well as refurbishments to its two luxury suites and nearly half of its guest rooms. The new developments are slated for completion by the end of the year. Designed by Wilson & Associates of Dallas, room interiors will be tastefully appointed with island-inspired furnishings and fabrics that combine the relaxed ease of the West Indies with hints of its rich Colonial past. Soothing Caribbean colour hues will serve as a backdrop for spacious marble bathrooms, hand woven rugs and local artwork.


dda Market Insights 2005  

The weak dollar is tempting Britons back to America. The US has become the favourite destination of British holidaymakers. Four of the top f...