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SVGTA's E-Newsletter December 2011 Issue #11
Subject: SVGTA's E-Newsletter December 2011 Issue #11
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ST VINCENT & THE GRENADINES TOURISM AUTHORITY
E-NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2011


ISSUE #11


SVG IN WORLD’S TOP DESTINATIONS FOR 2012

The year 2011 ended on a high note for the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority, as the destination received prestigious rankings from significant travel and media organizations.  St. Vincent & the Grenadines was ranked as the third ‘Hottest Travel Destination of 2012’ by Travel + Leisure, and placed fifth in CNN’s ‘World’s Top Destinations for 2012.’
travel-and-leisure-logo_copyTravel + Leisure uncovered the most exciting destinations for 2012, which reflected “travelers’ thirst for adventure, and their clients’ interest in remote off-the-beaten path that still retain their traditional culture.”  The following list is Travel + Leisure’s Hottest Travel Destinations of 2012:

# 1 Sri Lanka
# 5 Abu Dhabi     
# 9 Germany              
# 2 Toronto
# 6 Greece   # 10 Panama
# 3 St. Vincent & the Grenadines
# 7 China # 11 Mozambique
# 4 Portugal  
# 8 Brazil # 12 Arkansas

Read Travel + Leisure’s article on ‘Hottest Travel Destinations of 2012’ at:
http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/hottest-travel-destinations-of-2012/1

CNN_logoCNN’s recommendations for its World’s Top Destinations came from travel experts with Lonely Planet, Altour, Smarter Travel, and Orbitz.com. The following list is CNN’s World’s Top Destinations for 2012:

# 1 England # 6 The Netherlands                   
# 2 World of the Maya
# 7 Atlantic Canada
# 3 Myanmar (Burma)   
# 8 Uruguay
# 4 Chicago
# 9 Orlando 
# 5 St. Vincent & the Grenadines            

Read CNN’s article on ‘World’s Top Destinations For 2012’ at:
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/27/travel/top-destinations-2012/index.html?ir

On December 28th, The Today Travel Show featured St. Vincent & the Grenadines in the Hottest Travel Destinations of 2012 at:
http://todaytravel.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/22/9639185-hottest-travel-destinations-of-2012

thestar_logoAdditionally, St. Vincent & the Grenadines was listed in The Toronto Star’s ‘50 Places For 2012’ on December 30th at:
http://www.thestar.com/travel/article/1108378--50-places-for-2012





 SVGTA CHRISTMAS CHARITY & CHILL  

Gift_Basket_Green_HillThe St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) held its annual Christmas charity event on Friday December 23rd 2011. Gift baskets were handed over to three (3) needy persons in the Vincentian community - Ms. Darcus Davis of Green Hill, Ms. Geraldine Wynne of Sharpes, and Mr. Julian Roban of Chester Cottage. Items for the gift baskets were donated by the management and staff of the Authority. The charity event has been undertaken for the last three years as the staff’s way of giving back to the community and spreading Christmas cheer to the less fortunate.

paradiseMeanwhile, the Board and Staff of the SVGTA gathered for an evening of relaxation on Friday December 30th 2011 at Paradise Beach Hotel’s ‘Grill and Chill’. The event served as the end of year gathering for the Authority, as well as a farewell to Statistician Mr. Elingford Roban who is proceeding on study leave to pursue post-graduate studies. The highlight of the evening however was the recognition of Marketing Officer Ms. Kathique Haynes who on October 15th 2011 celebrated her 20th year in the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism Authority. The Board of Directors and Executive of the SVGTA again extend heartiest congratulations to Kathique and thanks for her sterling contribution to the tourism sector over the last 20 years!


 A DIGITAL DETOX HOLIDAY IN SVG   

Digital_DetoxAs of January 2012, the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority’s Public Relations Agency in UK, Four bgb, will introduce the first branded 'digital detox' holiday to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This holiday necessitates “guests to 'de-tech' and hand over their mobile phones and gadgets surrendering themselves to fully enjoying their technology free break.”  This Digital Detox campaign includes a life-coach session, a de-tech booklet/guide, and a video.

The Daily Mail has published an article on SVG’s detox campaign at:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2081651/Travel-trends-2012-Introducing-tech-detox-holiday-modern-gadgets.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

For more information on ‘A Digital Detox Holiday In SVG’ see:
http://www.discoversvg.com/index.php/en/home/latest-news/565-digital-detox-in-svg


  UK TRAVEL AGENTS VISIT SVG  

Travel Agencies and Tour Operators in the United Kingdom were given the opportunity to participate in a familiarization tour of St. Vincent & the Grenadines from November 30th – December 5th 2011.  This tour was made possible through a joint initiative of the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA), Buccament Bay Resort, and British Airways. SVGTA’s Public Relations Agency, Four bgb, promoted the familiarization tour via the travel trade publication ‘Travel Weekly’.

fam_tour_copyWhile in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the participants visited the Tobago Cays, Palm Island, and various sites on St. Vincent and Bequia. The group was accommodated at Buccament Bay Resort, and was given the opportunity to be part of a session at the Harlequin Performing Arts Academy.

Participants included representatives from W&O, Kuoni, Flight Connection, Off Broadway Travel, Global Travel a la Carte, BlueBay Travel, The Grenadines Collection, Thomas Cook, Trailfinders, and Travel Weekly


POTTERY TRAINING
 

The 2nd phase of the Caribbean Development Bank and SVG Tourism Authority sponsored Pottery training was completed in November, 2011 after a six week session at the Craft Center at Frenches Gate.  Seven (7) participants were trained in the intermediary techniques of pottery, including the design and building of various pieces utilizing the pinching, coiling and slabbing techniques.

Local trainer and facilitator Mr. Conroy Dyer who is a trained and qualified Artist and Potter was ecstatic to be a part of the training as he believes pottery is a vital expression of our Caribbean identity and also a means through which many can overcome the ongoing global economic challenges.          

potteryDuring the five (5) weeks of training, the group embarked on a field trip to seek and gather clay for use in class.  A number of clay deposits were found across the island of St. Vincent, which was encouraging to the participants as upcoming potters. The Authority endeavors to host the 3rd and final phase of the pottery workshop within the first six (6) months of 2012, again, with the much appreciated assistance of the Caribbean Development Bank.

Meanwhile, the Authority also hosted training sessions for tour guides and housekeepers in Union Island during the last quarter of 2011.  Twelve (12) tour guides were trained in the areas of customer service, tourism education, practical tour guiding techniques and basic first aid.  Additionally, four (4) housekeepers were trained in the areas customer service, tourism education and practical housekeeping.

The training is being undertaken as part of the implementation process of the recently developed tourism standards and more specifically the Code of Practice for Tour Guides and the Tourist Accommodation Standard.  The SVGTA is encouraging  all stakeholders to purchase of copy of the appropriate standard at the SVG Bureau of Standards in Campden Park to appreciate and understand the necessary requirements to be met.

 

 ENHANCING CUSTOMER SERVICE DELIVERY  

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority in conjunction with the Caribbean Development Bank through the Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services (CTCS) hosted a four (4) day workshop from the 28th November to 1st December, 2011, on “Enhancing your Customer Service Delivery”. The workshop which targeted managers and owners of small hotels aimed to assist small hotels in improving their customer service systems. It also sought to sustain service levels that would ensure continuous customer satisfaction, retention of repeat business and greater potential for new business, all aimed at attaining and offering the highest quality of service.             

Customer_ServiceTrainer and facilitator Mrs. Charmaine Sealey, Chief Consultant of Global Travel Solutions was found to be passionate, motivational and equipped with hands-on knowledge and experience of the tourism and hospitality industry.  Mrs. Sealey’s was also dynamic in her delivery and kept the interest of participants by sharing her personal experience and assessments of the hotel service areas, utilizing video presentations, case studies and group discussions and exercises.  Participants were also given practical recommendations and solutions to problems that were pinpointed at their respective properties.

The workshop which was held for two days each at the NIS Training Room and the Grenadine House hotel had an attendance of thirty-seven (37) hotel managers, owners along with personnel from the Tourism Authority and Information Bureaus in Union Island and Bequia.  At the end of day four (4) all participants were presented with certificates at a small closing ceremony at the Grenadine House; they commented that the sessions were refreshing and revitalizing.  

The Authority takes this opportunity to say thank you to all participants for taking the time away from their businesses and various workplaces to attend this workshop. The Authority looks forward to assisting all stakeholders with more training opportunities in 2012.


NINE MORNINGS IN SVG

9_mornings‘Nine Mornings’ is a unique Vincentian tradition. During the nine mornings before Christmas, Vincentians awake in the early hours of the morning and partake in various activities including sea baths, fetes, bicycle riding, street concerts, and lighting competitions.  
‘Nine Mornings’ runs from December 16th - 24th annually.  

The 2011 winners of the ‘Nine Mornings’ competitions are as follows:

Competitions Winners
Vinlec Best Lit Community New Grounds                     
Best Lit Garden ‘Ces For Wes Gardens’ – Arnos Vale
Best Lit Private Home Mrs Olivia Da Silva – Cane End 
Best Christmas Community            Dorsetshire Hill
Best Nine Mornings Community Stubbs
Most Popular Local Christmas Song “Put Away” – Carlton ‘CP’ Hall
Zonal Community Lighting – Grenadines Port Elizabeth, Bequia
Zonal Community Lighting – Kingstown Sion Hill
Zonal Community Lighting – North/Central Leeward Rose Bank
Zonal Community Lighting – North Windward Point Village
Zonal Community Lighting - South Windward/Marriaqua New Grounds


For more information on Nine Mornings Festival see:
http://www.discoversvg.com/index.php/en/whattodo/festivals-a-events/nine-mornings



 PSV NAMED IN WORLD’S BEST PRIVATE-ISLAND RESORTS 

PSV_conde_naste
Petit St. Vincent (PSV) was named among the 'World’s Best Private-Island Resorts' in ‘Conde Naste Traveller’ - a luxury travel magazine published in London. This publication targets the upmarket, independent traveler and boasts a readership of about 335,000.


Read article at:

http://www.cntraveller.com/recommended/romantic-breaks/worlds-best-private-island-resorts/private-island-resorts-in-petit-st-vincent

 

 PSV #1 FOR BEST CARIBBEAN BEACHES FOR WEDDINGS

PSV_weddings
‘Destination Weddings & Honeymoons’ magazine listed Petit St. Vincent (PSV) as #1 in its
'12 Best Caribbean Beaches for Weddings.'  ‘Destinations Weddings & Honeymoons’ is published in the USA, with a readership of over 175,000.

Read article at:

http://www.destinationweddingmag.com/gallery/12-best-caribbean-beaches-for-weddings

 

2012 BLUES FESTIVAL 

The annual Blues Festival in St. Vincent & the Grenadines takes place in January/ February 2012. The festival kicks off with the Mustique Blues Festival at Basil’s Bar, Mustique from January 25th – February 8th.
See more information on Mustique Blues Festival at:

http://www.basilsbar.com/basic.asp?title=blues
blues_fest
Meanwhile, the Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest is slated for January 26th – 29th 2012. The performers slated for this year’s event include Dana Gillepsie & the London Blues Band, Arturo Tappin, NEXCYX, and Toby Armstrong & Band.

See more information on Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest at:

http://www.bequiatourism.com/bequiamusicfest/


 KNOWLEDGE CHECK ON HAIROUNA

This tunnel was constructed by slave labour around 1815, to provide an access route for sugar exports.
What am I called?
The answer will be published in the next issue.

Issue#10 Knowledge Check on Hairouna:

It is  said that this festival originated from the practice of early morning church services, when worshippers began walking the streets, while others went for sea baths.
What am I called?

Answer:  ‘Nine Mornings’ 
knowledge_checkThe origins of ‘Nine Mornings’ are clouded in some mystery, although the original tradition relates it to the ‘novena’ of the Catholic Church on the nine days before Christmas.  It is believed that after the early morning church services of the Catholics, worshippers began walking the streets while others went for sea baths. From this the festivity emerged; although popular opinion has this practice as starting during the period of slavery, it was more likely to have been a post-emancipation practice.







           Yachting                                                       Eco-Adventures

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 Diving & Watersports                                                    Getting Here

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Calendar of Events

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The St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority’s Tourist Information Desks are based at the following locations:

Barbados
Tourist Information Desk
Grantley Adams International Airport
Barbados
Tel: 246-428-0961 or 246-233-8746


St. Vincent
Tourist Information                             Tourist Information Desk
E.T. Joshua Airport, Arnos Vale            Cruise Ship Terminal, Kingstown
St. Vincent                                         St. Vincent 
Tel: 784-458-4685                              Tel: 784-457-1592

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA)
P.O. Box 834
2nd Floor, NIS Building
Upper Bay Street, Kingstown
St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Tel: 784-456-6222
Fax:  784-485-6020
Email: svgta@discoversvg.com
www.discoversvg.com

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