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Five Emerging Caribbean Islands Agents Should Have on Their Radar

October 9, 2014 By: Joe Pike

Saba is one of five emerging Caribbean islands that Travel Agent thinks you should keep on your radar.

There has been a lot of news in recent weeks of lesser-known Caribbean islands stepping up their game with developments that could make them a viable tourism option in the region. 

Here are five islands, in no particular order, that Travel Agent thinks well help make you money in the near future. Start preparing now.


At least three hotels projects are in the works for Barbuda.

Earlier this month, Travel Agent was among media who attended a breakfast hosted by Gaston Browne, prime minister for Antigua and Barbuda, and learned of plans to build new hotels in Barbuda

Browne told Travel Agent that eight cruise ship calls will be made in Barbuda this year, the most it has ever received.

"We still need to improve the land-based infrastructure, but this is at least an indicator that the demand is definitely there," Browne says. 

He told us that there have already been about three or four hotel projects there that the tourism board has already signed off on. Plus, Browne says the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is looking into acquiring some smaller planes to be used as part of a smaller, local airport to possibility be built in Barbuda. He said he would like one small airport in Barbuda to go along with one small airport in Antigua and then offer shuttles between the two. Visit

Water Island 

Water Island could see its first hotel in less than two years.

Travel Agent chatted with Beverly Nicholson-Doty, commissioner of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Department of Tourism, earlier this year and learned that the destination's little known Water Island is looking to fully open up to tourism by adding its first hotel since 1989.

Doty expects groundbreaking of the hotel to be at least two years away since a developer still needs to be selected. Doty says since the property is owned by the government, it would have to be a lease agreement by the new developer. Of the applicants, Doty says there are three proposals that are currently of interest. All of the proposed plans of interest are for hotels between 150-200 rooms.

The first hotel on Water Island, The Water Island Hotel, opened up in 1953 and later became the Sea Cliff Resort before it was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Water Island is actually the fourth official and most recently acquired island in the USVI. The other three main islands are St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John. Visit


The Queen’s Gardens Resort will house Saba's first-ever spa.

The intimate 12-suite Queen’s Gardens Resort located on island of Saba in the Dutch Caribbean recently announced the opening this week of the new Frangipani Spa. 

The first and only spa on Saba will feature its own line of body products called Frangipani, produced locally on St. Maarten by SXM Nectar exclusively for the spa, using organic and indigenous ingredients.

The hotel added the new two-story structure featuring two open air treatment rooms, equipped with a Finnish sauna, a Turkish steam bath, herbal facial aroma pots, a waterfall shower, and a sunning deck with Jacuzzi, all perched 1,200 feet above sea level overlooking the sea and Saba’s mountain setting. Visit

Tobago (L’Anse Fourmi Estate) 

Tobago could soon become the next big destination in the Caribbean as this undiscovered tropical estate goes on the market.

Situated close to one of the world’s oldest protected national parks, the 300-acre estate has more than three miles of stunning coastline with sandy beaches and crystal blue sheltered waters popular with divers exploring the many ancient shipwrecks lying there.

Tobago looks to get a luxury resort on little-known L’Anse Fourmi Estate  

Trinidad and Tobago authorities have granted planning permission for a luxury leisure resort on an area known as the L’Anse Fourmi Estate on the island’s north east coastline. Tobago is a relatively undiscovered Caribbean island just southwest of Barbados.

The estate is one of few remaining unspoiled properties in an area of outstanding natural beauty beneath the high ridge of a protected tropical rainforest. Extensive areas of flat land formerly used for cocoa planting lie behind the tree lined beaches which are ideal for the construction of a luxury resort. The cocoa plantation was abandoned some 30 years ago as much of Trinidad and Tobago’s economy shifted towards heavy industry.

Once completed, the resort could include accommodations for more than 360 guests, restaurants, cafe bars, spa, a fitness center, tennis courts, a pool and a conference center. Plans also include a small marina complete with a diving center and fishing boats. Visit


La Creole Hotel Beach & Spa has much to offer for families heading to Guadeloupe

After laying low for years, the Guadeloupe Islands are beginning to market heavily to U.S. tourists, and agents should start preparing for a rush to this French-Caribbean paradise.

Guadeloupe is an archipelago of five islands, two (Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre) connected by roads and three outlining islands (Marie-Galante, Les Saintes and La Désirade), the farthest being 45 minutes away, that are connected by efficient inter-island ferry services, making the archipelago a premier island-hopping destination.

As an overseas department of France, Guadeloupe is a blend of modern French infrastructure and beautiful Caribbean tropical setting. Agents can reassure their clients of the destination’s modern roads, airport, health system and high level of safety, surrounded by pristine beaches and lush tropical environment.

The Guadeloupe Archipelago with its wealth of activities and experiences is a match for a variety of niche markets: culinary, families, honeymoons and romance, ecotourism, diving, sailing, adventurers, Francophiles and wellness (these islands are home to many natural hot springs, sulfur baths and mud baths). Recently there has been a development of heritage and architectural tourism especially in Pointe-à-Pitre, which is referred to by many as the “New Orleans of the Caribbean” with its historical French Creole styled architecture.

La Toubana Hotel & Spa, secluded amidst a garden on a hillside overlooking the ocean, is well suited for those seeking a romantic experience. Couples will be seduced by the contemporary style bungalows and suites poised along the slope, inviting them to savor the natural environment with earth-toned furnishing, colorful accents and wonderful views. The two Oceanview Master Suites are especially enticing for couples, with their personal pools and utmost privacy. The intimate Ocean Spa, with its singular couple’s treatment room, offers the perfect ambiance for luxurious and romantic pampering sessions.

La Toubana also recently added 12 new ocean facing luxury suites, two of which have private pools. For the 2014/2015 winter season the property will debut two ultra-luxe four bedroom villas. 

La Creole Hotel Beach & Spa is a family-friendly resort that offers a complete beach vacation with 204 expansive rooms (many of which can be connected for family convenience) and 15 Junior Suites. The four-star beachfront resort welcomes children ages 0-2 with free accommodations and meals, and children ages 3-11 with free accommodations if sharing parents’ bedroom and 50 percent savings on meals (maximum 2 children). Visit

Keep visiting for all the latest Caribbean news and articles.

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About the Author

Joe Pike
Joe Pike is Travel Agent's senior editor covering the Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda; Hawaii; Central & South America. Previously, Pike was a newspaper reporter for The Asbury Park...

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By Joe Pike | October 9, 2014
Here are five islands, in no particular order, that Travel Agent thinks well help make you money in the near future. Start preparing now.