Caribbean News Update From CHTA

The 30th annual Caribbean Travel Marketplace kicks off today, January 23, in The Bahamas, and Travel Agent is on hand for the latest news and coverage from the event. The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is hosting the event.

At the opening press conference Monday morning, CHTA President Josef Forstmayr remarked that this has been the first time in the last three years that the event has drawn suppliers from 15 different islands.

During a press conference hosted by the Bahamas Tourist Office, we learned that The Bahamas received more than five million visitors for the second straight year in 2011. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, minister of tourism and aviation for the Bahamas, told attendees that the destination is planning to promote travel to the outer islands.

"We realize there is a heavy need to promote the other islands in The Bahamas because many people don't know anything other than Paradise Island," Vanderpool-Wallace said.

During an interview with Sandals Resorts CEO Adam Stewart, we learned that groundbreaking on over-the-water suites at Sandals Grande St. Lucian in St. Lucia is set to begin August 15. Opening date for the suites is currently planned for February 2013.

"We have everything ready, we have all the plans," Stewart said. "Whenever a government changes hands, we need to get everything approved again. But it looks like there shouldn't be a problem."

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest updates from this event.

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