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Newsletter: Caribbean, 7/2/08

Report: Vanderpool-Wallace Named Bahamas’ Minister of Tourism


The Freeport News, a local newspaper in the Bahamas, is reporting that Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) was appointed as the Bahamas’ minister of tourism and aviation. According to the report, the news was announced last night in a televised address by the Bahamas’ Prime Minster Hubert Ingraham. Neko Grant, who formerly held the position, was reassigned to the ministry of public works and transport, according to the report.

Caribbean Operator’s New Price Match Policy


Future Vacations, which sells the Caribbean, among other destinations, launched Monday a new “Price Match” policy in which the operator will match any competitor’s price on comparable vacation packages within three hours. Agents or consumers who book a Future Vacations package and find a lower price on a comparable package elsewhere can call Future Vacations’ new “Price Match Hotline” and speak directly to a “Price Match Specialist” for immediate service.

Comparable packages must feature the same airline, hotel, room category, travel dates and inclusions (e.g.: rental car, ground transfers, theme park/show tickets, etc.). If Future Vacations is unable to match the price of a package, travelers will receive a $25 travel credit for future use. The “Price Match Policy” is effective now and until further notice on all packages in the Future Vacations portfolio, which spans the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, Hawaii, Mexico, Europe, South America, Africa and the Middle East.

The hotline is 800-373-7801 or agents can visit

Martinique Cruise Numbers Increase


According to the latest statistics released by the Martinique Promotion Bureau/CMT USA Tuesday, cruise arrivals are up 10.5 percent from January to April from last year. Martinique saw a total of 57,718 cruise passengers during that time frame.

“In cruising today, the more exotic the destination, the better; good news for emerging islands like Martinique,” said Michelle Fee, CEO of Cruise Planners, in a written statement. “Our clients are actively seeking out new and exciting experiences off the beaten path.  Martinique is simply ideal for the cruise traveler with a ‘been there, done that’ attitude about the Caribbean.”


Cap Maison Becomes St. Lucia's First Preferred Boutique Hotel

St. Lucia's first residential-style, luxury and boutique hotel has been accepted to become a member of Preferred Boutique, one of the five brands of the Preferred Hotel Group—a collection of independent hotels. Cap Maison is slated to open July 15.

"We are proud to be the first St. Lucian hotel to become a Preferred Boutique property,” said Ross Stevenson, general manager of Cap Maison, in a written release. “By doing so, Cap Maison joins the industry's most exclusive collection of small, distinct and highly personal luxury properties located in the most coveted locales around the globe.”

New Attraction Opens in Jamaica

Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Mountain, a new attraction by Carnival Corporation & plc, Rain Forest Trams Ltd., a local bank and businessmen, had its soft opening Tuesday in Ocho Rios.

Grand opening festivities for this eco-friendly attraction are set for late July. The multimillion dollar tourism attraction features a Jamaican bobsled ride through the tropical forest, a chairlift journey over the countryside, a zipline canopy adventure through the treetops, an island culture and heritage center, as well as mountaintop dining and shopping venues.

Couples Package at St. Barts Hotel


Hotel Guanahani & Spa in St. Barts is offering couples a package that includes the choice of two activities including jet skiing, windsurfing lessons, Clarins spa treatments, scuba diving beginner’s course or tennis lessons.  Valid now through October 31, the package also has an “American Breakfast” at Indigo or in-room continental breakfast, daily lunch or dinner for two, five day car rental and all airport transfers.  Pricing starts at $4,860 per room, based on double occupancy.

Labor Day Special on Bermuda


Clients who stay at The Reefs on Bermuda this Labor Day can receive a free night. They also will be among the first to enjoy the hotel’s two brand new restaurants and new multi-million-dollar kitchen that will be complete in August. The Reefs invites travelers to extend their summer through Labor Day while increasing the value of their Bermuda vacation.  From August 30 to September 8, guests who stay six nights at The Reefs will receive their seventh night free.  Arrivals must be between August 30 and September 2 to qualify for The Reefs Labor Day Special. Visit

Turks & Caicos Festival Package


Nikki Beach Resort Turks & Caicos, located on the northeast tip of the island of Providenciales, is offering special pricing on their rates for the Turks & Caicos Music and Cultural Festival. Rates start at $1,550 for three nights’ accommodations in the Deluxe King Room Oceanfront Suite and four-day Festival passes for two people.  The festival is from July 28 to August 4. Visit

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