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Members & Travel Agents prise National Palace press conference. That puts an end to the 20-year legal battle and opens the doors to boost tourism in the 362-million-square-meter region, which includes the country’s most pristine beach. “These years we have worked in laying the foundations for this development, in order to be an orderly and planned process. And from today, with this favorable ruling, we can hasten the implementation of the plans underway, with the necessary legal security,” said Montalvo.

COSTA RICA TOURISM BOARD SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH IBERIA TO PROMOTE TOURISM TO THE COUNTRY The Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo, and Iberia President Luis Gallego have signed a promotion agreement for Costa Rica in Europe. The announcement made during the 2019 International Tourism Fair (Fitur) outlines for a campaign including material in Iberia’s official communication channels with the objective of promoting tourism to the country. “The signing of this agreement marks the road to bigger efforts to consolidate and potentialize the Spanish and European markets,” said Revelo, adding that it brings Costa Rican tourism closer to one of the most strategic allies in Spain. SAINT LUCIA WINS ‘CARIBBEAN LEADING HONEYMOON DESTINATION’ FOR 10th TIME Saint Lucia has won the award for the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’ at the 26th annual World Travel Awards (WTA) in Jamaica. “To be continuously recognized as the Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination is truly an honor; it demonstrates Saint Lucia’s commitment to excellence and our unmatched romance product offering,” said Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) CEO Tiffany 66 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

Howard. “Saint Lucia offers endless experiences and breathtaking pitons with the Caribbean Sea in open air settings; it doesn’t get more romantic than that!” In 2018, Saint Lucia recorded a 5% increase in honeymoon arrivals over 2017. SLTA is positioning the island as a premiere luxury destination, applying further concentration to niches that continue to drive business internationally. THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS CERTIFIED BY SCUBA DIVING WITH READERS’ CHOICE AWARD The British Virgin Islands have added another notch to their diving belt, earning honors in the 2019 Scuba Diving Readers’ Choice Awards. The destination was voted No. 1 for wreck diving in the Caribbean and Atlantic region—based on thousands of scuba divers and Scuba Diving readers weighing in on their favorite dive destinations, operators, liveaboards, resorts, sites and more. MARTINIQUE IS OPRAH MAGAZINE’S NO. 1 WINTER GETAWAY O, The Oprah Magazine online recently showed some love for Martinique, naming it the No. 1 winter getaway in an article titled “The Best Trips to Take in Winter.” Writer Erica Lamberg explained why the Isle of Flowers is the ideal place to escape the cold: it “boasts beautifully unspoiled beaches and 80 miles of hiking trails. Plus, it’s a top spot for diving.” She recommended visiting in March to enjoy the colorful festivities of Carnival. And with direct flights on Norwegian Air, it’s easier than ever to follow O’s lead! BELIZE AMONG NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’S BEST TRIPS 2019 LIST Belize’s growing popularity for vacationers and the recent efforts to protect Belize’s Barrier Reef System have won the country an important accolade from National Geographic, which has placed Belize among is ‘Best Trips 2019’ list. In making the announcement, National Geographic praised Belize for making big waves in marine conservation. The BTB heartily welcomes the announcement and views it as an important recognition of Belize as one of the fastest growing tropical vacation destinations in the world.

COSTA RICA NAMED ONE OF THE EASIEST, MOST WELCOMING RETIREMENT HAVENS IN THE WORLD Costa Rica is one of the best places to “ride off into the sunset,” as one of the most welcoming retirement havens in the world according to a recent report from International Living. The report pointed to the top five retirement destinations across the globe where it’s easiest to fit in, studying the character of the expat community, how easy it is for a single or LGBT person to adapt, how welcoming the locals are, if English is commonly spoken, and other factors. Costa Rica placed fourth with 91 points. DOLPHINARIS INTRODUCES A NEW PROGRAM, DOLPHIN TRUE CONNECTION A new program by Dolphinaris connects guests to and communicate with dolphins like never before. Starting with a virtual reality experience on ocean care followed by a 40-minute swim, Dolphin True Connection places guests in direct contact with the dolphins, giving the unforgettable opportunity to hear them communicate via sonar and feel their heartbeat on their fingertips.

ST CROIX SERVES UP NEW BEACHFRONT EATERY The culinary scene in St. Croix continues to heat up, with the latest place to dine on the beach now open at the charming OldWorld hotel, The Buccaneer – founded in the 17th century and family-run for generations. The fresh eatery, Bauregard’s

Profile for Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association

Travel & Cruise 1st Quarter 2019