Archive for the ‘Leisure/Tourism/Hotels’ Category

Expedia names Blue Diamond Resorts as Top Chain, Partner of the Year 2016

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TORONTO, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Last week, Expedia presented Blue Diamond Resorts with the Partner of the Year – Top Chain Award, to recognize the chain’s exponential growth and impressive sales, as well as the strong and dynamic relationship between the two companies in the Caribbean. The event, held at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas drew industry leaders from major hotel chains located throughout the region for an evening of appreciation.

“Expedia has grown significantly across the Caribbean region in recent years, and Blue Diamond Resorts has shared in this progression,” said Jordi Pelfort, Managing Director of Blue Diamond Resorts. “We are equally innovative companies in our domains and this award solidifies the relationship we share with one another in the Caribbean, during a mutually important period.”

Over the past year, Blue Diamond Resorts’ ever-expanding portfolio of vacation experiences has provided the opportunity to work closely with Expedia. This growth has allowed us to be a strong and collaborative Expedia partner, maximizing the tools that Expedia provides. These range from the Expedia Partner Central dashboard that allows us to engage in real-time conversation with clients, to the Market Management and Media Solutions teams which help us create a better sense of awareness in important regions. As a result, we have enjoyed great year-over-year improvement in net room nights booked.

Looking ahead, Blue Diamond Resorts is expanding their portfolio and diversifying the resort experiences beyond its signature and award-winning Royalton Luxury Resort brand.  At the end of March, Blue Diamond Resorts will revive the legendary Grand Lido Negril resort in Jamaica for a completely au naturel, boutique experience with just 26 exclusive rooms.

About Blue Diamond Resorts
Since inception in 2011, Blue Diamond Resorts has risen to become the Caribbean’s fastest growing resort company of 32 properties exceeding 13,500 rooms in six countries. Taking an innovative approach to differentiating brands under each market’s demands, Blue Diamond Resorts’ ever-expanding portfolio is more impressive than ever.  Award-winning All-In Luxury® Royalton Luxury Resorts offer signature amenities including All-In Connectivity™, modern Sports Event Guarantee™, and in-suite wellness elements such as the exclusive handcrafted DreamBed™.  Royalton Luxury Resorts’ adults-only sub-brands include Hideaway at Royalton, an adults-only experience with exclusive dining and preferred accommodations with access to the services and facilities at a nearby Royalton Luxury Resort, plus the stylish All Exclusive™ CHIC by Royalton,  a social vacation experience with around-the-clock luxury amenities. In Jamaica, Grand Lido Negril has been revived to provide those over 21 an upscale and elegant naturist vacation along an exclusive shore for the ultimate in privacy. Memories Resorts & Spa is an experience designed to impress the entire family featuring on-site splash parks, a popular kids club with famous themed characters Toopy & Binoo™, and an innovative teen’s lounge. Adults-only concepts from Memories Resorts include Sanctuary inside of Grand Memories and Memories Caribe, a beachfront paradise in Cayo Coco. Starfish Resorts are solely found in Cuba and offer amazing value for customers with convenient locations, comfortable accommodations.

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Blue Diamond Resorts to Open All-New Grand Lido Negril, a Luxurious Au Naturel All-Suite Boutique Resort

TORONTO, Dec. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — In February 2017, a new and exclusive au-naturel all-suite experience for adults over the age of 21 will open on the beautiful shores of Negril, Jamaica.  Grand Lido Negril, a luxury boutique resort, will offer 26 premium suites with butler service and other exclusive amenities in addition to full-use of the facilities and services of the neighboring Royalton Negril and Hideaway at Royalton Negril.

“We’re delighted to offer a top-of-the-line luxurious clothing-optional vacation experience for adults,” said Jordi Pelfort, Managing Director of Blue Diamond Resorts. “We’re confident that fans of this legendary naturist beach brand will be impressed with the modern and stylish resort experience we’ve created.”

All 26 of the elegantly-styled suites at Grand Lido Negril include premium butler service, 24 hour room service, and amenities that include: dual-headed rain showers, a fully stocked mini-bar replenished daily, free high-speed Wi-Fi resort wide, in-room Bluetooth speakers, USB recharge stations, free calls to North America and most of Europe, and satellite television with specialty channels.  Guests will also have exclusive use of a secluded au-naturel pool and the Reggae Bar and Grill, in addition to preferred access to all services and facilities at neighboring Royalton Negril or the adults-only Hideaway at Royalton Negril.

“Guests who love au naturel vacation experiences don’t have to forego their preference for an elegant first-class resort,” said Enrico Pezzoli, General Manager, Jamaica. ”It’s a new offering for us in Jamaica, a unique experience fusing luxury accommodations and lavish amenities.”

For more information on Grand Lido Negril visit www.GrandLidoResorts.com or contact your travel agent.

About Blue Diamond Resorts

Since inception in 2011, Blue Diamond Resorts has risen to become the Caribbean’s fastest growing resort company of 33 properties exceeding 13,500 rooms in seven countries. Taking an innovative approach to differentiating brands under each market’s demands, Blue Diamond Resorts’ ever-growing portfolio is more impressive than ever.  Award winning All-In Luxury® Royalton Luxury Resorts offer signature amenities including All-In Connectivity™, modern Sports Event Guarantee™, and in-suite wellness elements such as the exclusive handcrafted DreamBed™.   Royalton Luxury Resorts’ adults-only sub-brands include Hideaway at Royalton, an adults-only experience with exclusive dining and preferred accommodations with access to the services and facilities at a nearby Royalton Luxury Resort, plus the stylish All Exclusive™ CHIC by Royalton,  a social vacation experience with luxury amenities around-the-clock. In Jamaica, Grand Lido Negril has been revived to provide those over 18 an upscale and elegant naturist vacation along an exclusive shore for the ultimate in privacy. Memories Resorts & Spa is an experience designed to impress the entire family featuring on-site splash parks, a popular kids club with famous themed characters Toopy & Binoo™, and an innovative teen’s lounge. Adult’s only concepts from Memories Resorts include, Sanctuary an 18+ section of Grand Memories Memories Caribe, a beachfront paradise in Cayo Coco.   Starfish Resorts are solely found in Cuba and offer amazing value for customers with convenient locations, comfortable accommodations.

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Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited to Own and Operate Baha Mar Resort

Leading, Global Conglomerate to Create Thousands of Jobs for Bahamians

Phased Opening Planned for Resort Beginning April 2017

NASSAU, Bahamas, Dec. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited (CTFE), a leading Hong Kong-based global conglomerate with a diversified business portfolio – including extensive hospitality experience with resort and mixed-use developments worldwide – today announced it has signed an agreement to own and operate Baha Mar Resort. The signed share purchase agreement (SPA) allows for the acquisition by CTFE of all issued capital from Perfect Luck Assets Limited (Perfect Luck), including those Baha Mar Resort assets previously transferred to the company.

Said Graeme Davis, President, CTFE’s Bahamas subsidiary, “CTFE will dedicate significant, ongoing investment and resources towards the pre-opening and opening of Baha Mar Resort. We will also ensure that the Bahamian people and the region benefit fully from the project, which will create tremendous job and economic stimulus opportunities. Further, by combining our global hospitality expertise with the vibrant and authentic Bahamian culture, we will create a memorable, unmatched experience for guests of which all Bahamians can be proud.”

CTFE is in discussions with several globally recognized hospitality brands to be luxury hotel operators at Baha Mar including Grand Hyatt, SLS Hotels, and CTFE subsidiary, Rosewood Hotel Group.

To prepare for the opening of the casino hotel and casino, CTFE is onboarding a leadership team of executives from internationally recognized brands. It plans to begin recruiting employees for the casino in the New Year and is also in discussions to form marketing alliances with leading global gaming companies.

CTFE Brings Vast, Global Expertise with a Diverse Portfolio Including Tourism and Hospitality

CTFE has a diversified, international business portfolio across the commercial real estate, hospitality, retail and transportation industries that includes property holding and development; hotel investment and management; jewellery retailing and department store interests; and transportation and infrastructure investment. Among the publicly listed companies controlled by CTFE are New World Development Company Limited, a property developer with a market capitalization of over US $10 billion; NWS Holdings Ltd, an infrastructure and transportation company with a market capitalization of over US $6 billion; and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited, one of the largest jewellery retailers in the world with a market capitalization of over US $8 billion.

Within the tourism and hospitality arena, CTFE’s expertise is extensive, in part through its ownership of Rosewood Hotel Group, which owns and/or operates 55 hotels in 18 countries under three different brands. These include some of the world’s most iconic hotel properties including The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel (New York), Rosewood London and Rosewood Beijing.    Rosewood Hotel Group also operates three Caribbean resorts: Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort in Antigua, Rosewood Tucker’s Point in Bermuda, and Rosewood Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands (re-opening 2017).

In addition, the expertise of CTFE and its affiliated companies includes large-scale investment and development projects such as the US $10+ billion Greenwich Peninsula development project, one of the largest investments in London’s history, which is expected to include more than 15,000 new residences; the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane, a US $2.3 billion integrated resort development project in Australia; and a deluxe casino hotel development in Metro Manila, in the Philippines.

CTFE Committed to Phased Opening of Baha Mar Resort Beginning April 2017 and the Creation of Thousands of Jobs for Bahamians

CTFE is dedicated to the successful and timely opening and operation of Baha Mar Resort. Upon completion of the project by China Construction America (CCA) and EXIM Bank, the company intends to quickly establish Baha Mar as one of the world’s finest destination properties.  CTFE plans to open the resort in phases, beginning with phase one in April 2017, which will include the casino hotel, casino, convention center and golf course. The company estimates that more than 1,500 jobs will be generated for Bahamians within this first phase. Once fully operational, Baha Mar Resort will employ thousands more.

Davis continued, “The Bahamas is one of the most iconic and popular destinations in the Caribbean. As we build on the foundation that has been established thus far, a critical part of our vision for Baha Mar Resort is to showcase the extraordinary beauty of the island in addition to its culture.  In partnership with the Bahamian people, we look forward to delivering future guests a resort that is distinctive not only for the Bahamas but for the entire Caribbean.”

CTFE has plans to invest an additional US $200 million in the project to support pre-opening activities as well as the redevelopment of the prime beachfront Crystal Palace Casino Hotel site, and the development of additional family-friendly amenities, entertainment venues and offshore island facilities.

Bahamian Prime Minister and EXIM Bank Support CTFE in its New Role

“We are delighted to have CTFE join Baha Mar Resort as the owner and developer, leveraging its expansive network and resources to open new markets and opportunities for The Bahamas that will deliver great benefits to the island and our people,” said the Right Honourable Prime Minister, Perry G. Christie. “The Government is confident that CTFE has the precise capabilities and track record to successfully complete and operate Baha Mar Resort from both a lodging and casino perspective. We look forward to having such a renowned and experienced company turn the vision for Baha Mar Resort into reality.”

EXIM Bank said in a statement, “While there have been challenges with the project along the way, The Government of The Bahamas and EXIM Bank have been steadfast in bringing this project to fruition. Now, with a supremely qualified, world-class owner and operator in place, we look forward to working together with CTFE to bring the already stellar reputation of the Bahamas as a leading tourism destination to a new level.”

About Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited

Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited (CTFE) is a leading Hong Kong-based conglomerate owned and controlled by the Cheng Family with a diversified global business portfolio. Principal activities of CTFE and the Cheng Family include commercial real estate, hospitality, retail and transportation industries that includes property holding and development; hotel investment and management; jewellery retailing and department store interest; transportation and infrastructure investment. Among the publicly listed companies controlled by CTFE are New World Development Company Limited, a property developer with a market capitalization of over US $10 billion; NWS Holdings Ltd, an infrastructure and transportation company with a market capitalization of over US $6 billion; and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited, one of the largest jewellery retailers in the world with a market capitalization of over US $8 billion.

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Memories Flamenco upgrades beach and on-resort amenities for winter season

TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — In anticipation of the upcoming winter season, award-winning Memories Flamenco in Cayo Coco, Cuba has completely redesigned its beach, adding metres of pristine beachfront for guests of all ages to enjoy.   This change is the latest in a number of service upgrades designed to provide guests with an even more enjoyable vacation experience.

The beaches of Cayo Coco have been popular with vacationers for decades due to the pristine white sands and calm turquoise waters.   “We’ve been very honoured to receive accolades including the Award of Excellence from TripAdvisor® and are focused on continuous enhancements for our guests,” said Mohamad Fawzi, Senior Director of Operations for Blue Diamond Resorts, Cuba. “A brand new beachfront is an excellent way to improve guest experience.”

In addition to a redesigned beach Memories Flamenco, is updating its ranchon as the ideal place for a lunchtime buffet or afternoon snack. Poolside, the resort has a range of choices from a wading pool for small children to an activity pool so there is something for everyone. Ideal for families, the resort offers safe and supervised clubs for both infants and children, as well as a professional babysitting service for parents to enjoy an after dinner show or nightcap. Also for parents, the recently remodeled spa provides the perfect place to achieve some much needed rest and relaxation. A number of outdoor massage huts have been created in a tranquil part of the resort grounds for a massage with fresh air and the sound of crashing waves.

To book your next vacation, please contact your travel agent or visit www.memoriesresorts.com

About Memories Resorts & Spa

Memories Resorts & Spa welcome guests to “Celebrate the Moments” with family and loved ones in lush tropical settings across the Bahamas, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Memories properties provide top-notch facilities and amenities, laid-back ‘toes in the sand’ elegance with personalized service and spacious accommodations to suit the needs of each traveler.  With world-class à la carte dining, premium drinks, and day-to-evening entertainment, couples and newlyweds enjoy Memories Resorts & Spa as the ultimate romantic hideaway to create unforgettable memories.

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Royalton White Sands Earns People’s Choice Award among Others at Biennial Hospitality Jamaica Awards

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — On Saturday, November 19thRoyalton White Sands was the honored recipient of three prestigious awards, handed out on behalf of Hospitality Jamaica in Montego Bay. The ceremony was brought together hoteliers from across Jamaica and in the presence of industry leaders during an era of responsible tourism, Royalton White Sands was awarded People’s Choice All-Inclusive, Best All-Inclusive over 300 Rooms, and Best in Innovation.

(PHOTO: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161128/443186)

“Royalton White Sands is delighted to be acknowledged by its community in Jamaica,” said Kerry Ann Quallo Casserly, Jamaica Director of Sales for Royalton Luxury Resorts. “In particular, the People’s Choice Award is an impressive testament to our ability to provide a markedly different all-inclusive vacation experience, filled with thoughtful touches to create lasting impressions.”

The Hospitality Jamaica awards are this trade publication’s yearly event in recognition of the island’s highly competitive hotel industry. Across a period of six months, more than 300,000 stakeholders put forth their nominations from a list identified by the Jamaica Gleaner. On September 11th, the voting process was opened to the public. Royalton White Sands earned accolades for being the People’s Choice All-Inclusive, Best All-Inclusive over 300 Rooms, and Best in Innovation as well as runner-up in the categories of Best Eco-Sustainable Resort and Best Cuisine.

“The most important criteria all entries shared were the continuous upgrade of facilities and ongoing training of staff,” said Enrico Pezzoli, General Manager of Jamaica for Royalton Luxury Resorts. “The corporate philosophy of Royalton Luxury Resorts is in line with these elements; we continuously improve guest experience and create ongoing opportunities for staff to nurture their professional development.”

To book your next luxury all-inclusive vacation visit www.royaltonresorts.com or contact your travel agent.

About Royalton Luxury Resorts
Epitomizing modern elegance, award winning Royalton Luxury Resorts offer All-In Luxury® vacations in some of the world’s most popular tropical destinations, including Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Cuba. Boasting an array of world-class all inclusive features including the premium, handcrafted DreamBed™, unlimited reservation-free luxury dining, All-In Connectivity™ with complimentary Wi-Fi and in-room long distance calling, a Sports Event Guarantee™, and more. Many of the resorts cater equally to families and couples alike, with industry-leading supervised kids and teen activities offered at no additional cost combined with family-friendly accommodation and dining options. Royalton Luxury Resorts will expand its offering of upscale and elegant vacation experiences with the addition of five new resorts, Royalton Blue Waters which opened on October 15th and Royalton Saint Lucia, Royalton Negril and their adults only Hideaway will open early, 2017.

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SECRET BAY AWARDED WITH WORLD’S BEST BOUTIQUE HOTEL 2016 BY WORLD BOUTIQUE HOTEL AWARDS

Gregor Nassief, proprietor of Secret Bay, l. receives the top award at Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London.

Gregor Nassief, proprietor of Secret Bay, l. receives the top award at Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London.

CaribPR Wire, Portsmouth, Dominica, Tues. Nov. 22, 2016: Secret Bay, an exclusive eco-luxury boutique resort located on the pristine, unadulterated island of Dominica, has been awarded the “World’s Best Boutique Hotel 2016” by the World Boutique Hotel Awards. The eight-villa hideaway was honored as being capable of transporting guests into “a novel world through the history of the location, its culture and its own stylistic flair.” The awards were announced on November 9, 2016 at a gala dinner held at Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London. Attendees included boutique hotel owners, travel and lifestyle press and influencers from around the world.

“As a relatively new, small and remote property, it’s a humbling honor to be awarded the ‘World’s Best Boutique Hotel’ and to be in such impressive company,” said Gregor Nassief, proprietor of Secret Bay. “This distinction is shared with the exceptional and dedicated Secret Bay staff, the property’s conceptual architect, Fruto Vivas, our amazing 3,000+ guests who have welcomed us into their lives over the past five years, and my wife, Sandra, whose unending support made a world of difference.”

The World Boutique Hotel Awards are based on elements of design and concept, dining, facilities, location and service, as well as the overall experience and emotional journey produced by the property.

The 2016 World’s Best Category Winners are listed below.

World’s Best Boutique Hotel 2016 – Secret Bay, Dominica

World’s Best Beach or Coastal Hotel -  El Nido, Pangulasian Island, Philippines

World’s Best City Hotel - 11 Mirrors, Kiev, Ukraine

World’s Best Classic Hotel – Hotel Heritage, Bruges, Belgium

World’s Best Culinary Hotel – Vila Joya, Algarve, Portugal

World’s Most Inspired Design Hotel - Kau Manor, Estonia

World’s Best Honeymoon Hideaway - Punta Tragara, Capri, Italy

World’s Best New Hotel Hotel – Gotham, Manchester, United Kingdom

World’s Best Relaxation Retreat - The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Bali, Indonesia

World’s Most Romantic Hotel – Aenaon Villas, Santorini, Greece

World’s Most Sustainable Hotel - Vigilius Mountain Resort, South Tyrol, Italy

World’s Best Wellness Spa – Borgo Egnazia, Puglia, Italy

World’s Best Private Villa - Over Yonder Cay, The Bahamas

Secret Bay features eight  secluded and sustainable villas and bungalows that are nestled in nature and positioned on a breathtaking clifftop overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Offering a wealth of unique experiences, completely personalised fine dining, architectural treehouse-style villas — including two new additions –  and night and day access to remote beaches, Secret Bay provides guests the ultimate five-star hideaway experience.   Secret Bay has received more than 30 accolades since opening, including being selected as a recipient of Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, Condé Nast Johansens’ Best Green Hotel 2016 in the Caribbean & Pacific, TripAdvisor’s 3rd Best Small Hotel in the Caribbean, and featured as part of Caribbean Journal’s Coolest Hotels for 2016 this year.

Secret Bay is located at Ross Boulevard, Dominica and can be reached at (+1) 767.445.4444 or info@secretbay.dm, and online at http://secretbay.dm/.

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Brian Cooley

Wicked+

brian@wicked.is

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Royalton Hicacos Named Leader in Quality by Cuban Ministry of Tourism

TORONTO, Nov. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — On October 27th Royalton Hicacos, a premier adults-only hotel from Royalton Luxury Resorts, was awarded for its superior quality and superb guest experience during an industry event hosted by the Cuban Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) and the Cuban-Canadian Trade and Tourism Union at the world-famous Tropicana Cabaret in Havana.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161111/438532LOGO)

“Royalton Hicacos has been adored by guests for many years and to be awarded by such a reputable agency in Cuba is an honour,” said Mohamad Fawzi, Senior Director of Operations, Blue Diamond Resorts, Cuba. “Each member of the staff at this resort is committed to delivering the highest quality of service to valued guests.”

Royalton Hicacos has enjoyed high occupancy and guest satisfaction in the years since becoming a part of Royalton Luxury Resorts. Notably, this resort is listed at the top of numerous guest-rated travel websites for its ability to provide a superior vacation experience in a region of Cuba well-known to tourists with a variety of all-inclusive options.  On TripAdvisor®, the hotel is currently ranked among the top two hotels in all of with 4.5 stars from 4,000 reviews. Recognition from Trip Advisor includes the 2014 Traveler’s Choice Award of Excellence and the 2016 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence.

A picturesque all-inclusive resort, Royalton Hicacos brings guests an authentic oceanfront vacation experience with thatch roof buildings, and a property of bridges, small fountains and mature greenery.  This luxurious adults-only resort is a cut above other Varadero hotels with its all-inclusive resort facilities designed to create a perfect ambiance for relaxation. Guests are invited to enjoy a choice of five delicious restaurants and six bars which include a newly-renovated jazz bar and a lively XS night club.

To book your next luxury all-inclusive vacation visit www.royaltonresorts.com or contact your travel agent.

About Royalton Luxury Resorts
Epitomizing modern elegance, award winning Royalton Luxury Resorts offer All-In Luxury® vacations in some of the world’s most popular tropical destinations, including Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Cuba. Boasting an array of world-class all inclusive features including the premium, handcrafted DreamBed™, unlimited reservation-free luxury dining, All-In Connectivity™ with complimentary Wi-Fi and in-room long distance calling, a Sports Event Guarantee™, and more.  Many of the resorts cater equally to families and couples alike, with industry-leading supervised kids and teen activities offered at no additional cost combined with family-friendly accommodation and dining options. Royalton Luxury Resorts will expand its offering of upscale and elegant vacation experiences with the addition of five new resorts, Royalton Blue Waters on October 15, 2016 and Royalton Saint Lucia, Royalton Negril and their adults only Hideaway will open January 15, 2017.

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Starfish Varadero opens on world-famous Varadero Beach, Cuba

TORONTO, Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Starfish Resorts has expanded its offering of all-inclusive hotels at outstanding value with the addition of the beachfront resort, Starfish Varadero.  At this comfortable hotel, guests are invited to enjoy famous Cuban hospitality with spacious accommodations, friendly service and a wide selection of 24-hour all-inclusive amenities.

Starfish Resorts Logo

As value-based Starfish Varadero, the hotel will undergo a number of improvements that include changes to the buffet and à la carte restaurant Atenas, and make ongoing renovations to approximately 100 guestrooms. Starfish Varadero offers 411 well-appointed air-conditioned rooms and a bungalow section that is great for groups and families with connecting rooms. On the resort, multiple swimming pools and a selection of watersports, tennis courts, and fitness facilities ensure that guests of all activity levels have plenty to do. À la carte dining, an international buffet and non-stop beverage service in all five restaurants and six bars is combined with lively entertainment and friendly staff to make a perfect vacation for any group of travelers.

Younger guests can look forward to a centrally located kids club, family-oriented evening entertainment, dedicated children’s pools and more relaxed menus with dining options to suit their tastes. Parents are sure to enjoy relaxing by the expansive pool area and powdery beachfront, while watching their children sample a range of land and non-motorized water sports at no additional charge.

To book, call your travel agent or visit www.starfishresorts.com

About Starfish Resorts
Starfish Resorts is a value-based brand located on the picturesque island nation of Cuba and offers guests a beach or city-centre vacation experience. Cuba is a vibrant paradise that has over 500 kilometers of pristine white sand beaches, breath-taking surroundings, rich culture and a unique heritage. Starfish Resorts provides friendly service, spacious rooms, international culinary classics, one-of-kind entertainment, and an authentic experience for all ages. Perfect for families, couples and singles on quest for a true Cuba all-inclusive vacation, Starfish Resorts believes that you’re the star and deserve to shine bright.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161103/436055LOGO

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Opening Baha Mar: Another Step Closer

Press Release from Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited

NASSAU, Bahamas, Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited (CTFE) is pleased to announce that it has entered into negotiations in connection with the ownership of Baha Mar. CTFE, a world-class developer with immense experience in global hospitality and mixed-use development, has applied to the Government of The Bahamas for approval as a proposed investor and acquirer of the Baha Mar Resort, by way of acquisition of Perfect Luck Assets Limited (Perfect Luck), the company to which certain assets of the Baha Mar Resort have been transferred.

Not only does CTFE have a vast and diverse portfolio of global business operations, but one of the company’s subsidiaries, Rosewood Hotel Group, has had a relationship with Baha Mar since 2011. CTFE has significant experience in tourism/hospitality, in part, through Rosewood Hotel Group, which manages 55 hotels in 18 countries under three different brands. Some of CTFE’s most iconic owned properties include The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel (New York); Rosewood London; The Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel (Beverly Hills); and the Grand Hyatt (Hong Kong). Rosewood Hotel Group also operates three resorts in the Caribbean: Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort in Antigua, Rosewood Tucker’s Point in Bermuda, and Rosewood Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands (re-opening 2017).

CTFE also has extensive experience with large-scale integrated developments. For example, one of the largest investments in London’s history, the over US$10 Billion Greenwich Peninsula development project, as well as the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane, a US$2.3 Billion integrated resort development project in Australia, are both CTFE and affiliated company projects.

“CTFE is looking forward to having Baha Mar join its portfolio of world-class integrated resort development projects,” said Dr. Henry Cheng, Chairman of CTFE. “We are fully committed to this project and plan to hire as many Bahamians as possible to work at the property.”

CTFE is dedicated to the successful opening of Baha Mar and will work with the Government to achieve the goal of a phased opening.  As part of the company’s commitment to the project and The Bahamas in the immediate term, CTFE will invest millions ahead of the official deal completion through pre-opening activities and employment – which has already commenced and will be expanded in the coming weeks and months.

Graeme Davis, the President of CTFE’s Bahamas subsidiary added, “CTFE is a company that embraces and champions the culture and values of the communities where it does business around the globe.  We are excited to create an experience in The Bahamas that showcases what we collectively have to offer the world. We are confident that Baha Mar will be a property that Bahamians can be proud of.”

As part of the remobilization efforts, CTFE is already in discussions with hotel brands previously involved in the Baha Mar project, including Hyatt and SLS Hotels. CTFE also intends to re-engage its subsidiary, Rosewood Hotel Group, as a luxury hotel operator at Baha Mar.

Given the non-disclosure agreement in place, the stakeholders involved are unable to discuss specific terms of the transaction or the negotiations at this time. However, we look forward to keeping the public informed on pre-opening activities.

About Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited
Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited (CTFE) is a leading Hong Kong-based conglomerate owned and controlled by the Cheng Family with a diversified business portfolio spanning across the globe.  Principal activities of CTFE and the Cheng family include property holding and development, hotel investment and management, jewelry retailing, department stores, transportation and infrastructure investment.  Major listed companies controlled by CTFE and the Cheng Family include New World Development Company Limited (HKEx Code: 17), a property developer with a market capitalization of over US$11 billion, NWS Holdings Ltd (HKEx Code: 659), an infrastructure and transportation company with a market capitalization of over US$6 billion, and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited (HKEx Code: 1929), one of the largest jewelry retailers in the world with a market capitalization of over US$7 billion.

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Grand Lucayan Resort Complex for Sale in Sealed Bid Auction

Assets Can Be Sold in Whole or in Parts; No Reserve Price

FREEPORT, Bahamas, March 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – HVS Capital Corp. today announced that the Grand Lucayan Resort complex is being sold in a Sealed Bid Auction. The 409-acre resort is the largest on Grand Bahama Island and the third largest in The Bahamas. The owner, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong Property Holdings Limited, has engaged HVS Capital Corp. to act as advisor in the sale. The seller’s preference is to sell the Grand Lucayan Resort complex as a single transaction. However, bids for individual assets will be considered. There is no reserve price. Additionally, seller-provided purchase-money financing may be available to appropriate bidders. The deadline for submitting bids is June 10, 2016.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160309/342570

“There are a number of investment opportunities for an interested buyer, from purchasing the resort in its entirety or looking at individual components,” said Mike Sullivan, HVS Capital Corp. “Some of those options include expanding and/or relocating the casino, converting additional accommodations to an all-inclusive product or converting some accommodations to vacation or whole ownership.”

Located 55 miles from the east coast of Florida, the Grand Lucayan Resort complex, totaling 1,271 guestrooms, includes four hotel elements: the 10-story 528-room Breaker’s Cay tower; 198-room Lighthouse Pointe, newly renovated as all-inclusive; and 23 Lanai Suites—all with 12 food and beverage outlets and three swimming pools; plus the 522-room Memories Beach Resort (presently leased to a third-party operator).

“Baha Mar has garnered so much negative resort news for the Bahamas recently,” remarked Stan Kozlowski, HVS Capital Corp. “Unlike that situation, we see significantly more favorable economic investment opportunities for Grand Lucayan, no matter what options a potential buyer may consider.”

Other amenities include:

  • Conference Center (40,000 sq. ft.), including a 15,000 sq. ft. ballroom, 16 breakout rooms, plus 50,000 sq. ft. of outdoor function space.
  • Casino (23,375 sq. ft.) with 25 gaming tables, 195 slot machines,
  • Destination Spa and fitness center (25,000 sq. ft.)
  • Two golf courses, including the Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Reef Golf Course
  • Four multi-surfaced tennis courts
  • Approximately 15,000 sq. ft. of retail space

Details on the Grand Lucayan Resort including the Sealed Bid Auction are available at grandlucayanauction.com.

CONTACT: Kristi Arndt: T: 763-782-0265/C: 612-803-0861, or karndt@peridotgroup.net; or HVS Capital Corp., Mike Sullivan, +1 303-512-1222 or msullivan@hvs.com and Stan Kozlowski: +1 303-512-1225, skozlowski@hvs.com

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The Renaissance at Shorelands Unveils its Dazzling Platinum Penthouses

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – The Renaissance at Shorelands, an ultra-luxurious residential development located along the northwest coastline of Trinidad, has completed a limited number of its spectacular penthouses. Dubbed “Platinum” because of their rarity and splendor, the new penthouses are designed for the privileged few whose discerning taste exceeds conventional luxury. Chief Operating Officer at the Renaissance, Anthony Bowen, describes the penthouses as “the jewel in the crown” and remarks “there is absolutely nothing to compare in the whole of Trinidad”. Bowen revealed potential investors are already displaying an interest in them.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160303/340413

The impeccably designed three-story penthouses contain grand windows that offer views over the Port of Spain skyline. The outdoor roof terrace, with a grandiose pool, affords a panoramic view of the capital city and the tranquil Gulf of Paria.

Residents of the Platinum Penthouses are greeted by a private lobby, lined with a marble floor. The expansive living space includes a 10-seat dining room, spacious kitchen, bar, and a living room with balcony. A striking feature is the imposing circular staircase that leads to the study and well-appointed master bedroom.  Each residence is in excess of 9000 square feet and can be configured to either 3 or 4 bedrooms.

The Renaissance at Shorelands caters to a growing niche in the real estate market – homeowners who want more than just someplace nice to sleep.  They want to relax and recharge, as one would normally do at a hotel, but from the convenience of their home.  As residents of the stylish towers that comprise the Renaissance, penthouse owners have access to the property’s ample amenities.  These include a modern spa, high-performance gym, an entertainment area, infinity edge pool with hot tub, a boardwalk by the sea, concierge and 24-hour internal security. The neighboring yacht club is a further enticement for boat owners.  Collectively, these conveniences guarantee a luxurious lifestyle.

The previous 74 residences built in the Renaissance at Shorelands are regarded as dream homes. The new regal penthouses can therefore be considered the ultimate real estate investment.

About the Renaissance at Shorelands

The Renaissance at Shorelands is a high profile development in Trinidad that includes seventy-four private residences, penthouses, numerous luxury lifestyle amenities and security features.

For more information about the Platinum Penthouses and the other residences, please visit www.renaissanceatshorelands.com or email Anthony Bowen at abowen@renaissanceatshorelands.com

Media Contact:
Anthony Bowen
Tel: + (868)-772-7296
Email: abowen@renaissanceatshorelands.com

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Pew Applauds the British Virgin Islands for Establishing Permanent Shark Sanctuary

New protections boost regional commitment to shark conservation

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The British Virgin Islands moved on May 22 to establish a permanent shark sanctuary in its waters.

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20140522/90756

The designation by the cabinet of the British overseas territory prohibits commercial fishing of all shark and rays species throughout the full exclusive economic zone. That area amounts to 80,117 square kilometers (30,933 square miles). The designation also bans the sale and trade of sharks and shark products within the territory. Many threatened or near-threatened shark species, including the oceanic whitetip, scalloped hammerhead, tiger, and Caribbean reef sharks, swim in the waters off the British Virgin Islands. By committing to these comprehensive and permanent conservation measures, the territory has established itself as a global leader in protecting the predators that are vital to the health of our ocean.

Worldwide, an estimated 100 million sharks are killed each year in commercial fisheries. As a result, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species says that more than half of all sharks and sharklike species are threatened or near-threatened with extinction.

The announcement fulfills the commitment made by the territory’s premier, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith, OBE, during a 2013 meeting of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative on regional protections for sharks. The British Virgin Islands now joins The Bahamas and Honduras, which declared shark sanctuaries in 2011, as the first Caribbean governments to implement these types of measures.

“Our people are committed to sustainably managing our resources,” said Dr. the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering, Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour of the Virgin Islands (UK). “We recognize that sharks are important to our oceans and our reefs and that the best way to manage their populations is to let them fulfill their ecological role as apex predators.”

In addition to the British Virgin Islands, the Caribbean Challenge Initiative is made up of island governments dedicated to a shared vision and course of action for the region’s marine and coastal health. Other members include The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The parties have committed to establishing regional shark protections by May 2015.

“We applaud the British Virgin Islands for protecting its valuable shark populations,” said Imogen Zethoven, director of global shark conservation for The Pew Charitable Trusts. “It is our hope that the leadership demonstrated here will reverberate throughout the Caribbean.”

The British Virgin Islands is home to some of the region’s most spectacular reefs. Sharks play an important role in maintaining the balance of the ocean environment. As top predators, they regulate the variety and abundance of species in the food web, including commercially important fish species. Sharks also help to maintain healthy marine habitats, such as coral reefs. The loss of sharks could cause irreversible damage to the ocean and economic activities that benefit from these habitats. By establishing a shark sanctuary, the British Virgin Islands is taking steps to strengthen the marine ecosystem, including reefs, and helping to secure industries that depend on a healthy ocean.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at www.pewtrusts.org

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140522/90756

Notes to editors:

To learn more about Pew’s work on Global Shark Conservation, visit http://www.pewenvironment.org/campaigns/global-shark-conservation/id/8589941059.

CONTACT: Barb Cvrkel, 202-540-6535, bcvrkel@pewtrusts.org

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Medical Tourism Presents Economic Growth Potential For The Caribbean – Experts

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Mar. 24, 2014: The Caribbean region can boost its bottom line by developing a medical tourism product that takes advantage of its brand as a great vacation destination, its proximity to North America as well as its tourism facilities, beaches and of course, the year-round warm weather of the region.

That’s according to Dr. Paul Angelchik, founder of American World Clinics, and Collin Childress, CEO of Global MedChoices. Their comments come as both prepare to discuss the potential of medical tourism for the Caribbean in-depth at a panel at Invest Caribbean Now 2014.

ICN, the biggest global investment summit on the Caribbean outside of the region, is set for the Harvard Club in New York City from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. this June 4th under the patronage of Hollywood Actor Malik Yoba.

“The opportunity for the Caribbean in general is that it carries a positive connotation in the view of many for having friendly people, natural beauty and a reputation as an enjoyable, upscale destination with great visitor amenities in many locations,” commented Dr. Angelchik. “I have no doubt that the Caribbean can be a major region for MT activities if there is follow through on the initial buzz of enthusiasm that has defined the industry to date.”

“Creating the opportunity for economic diversification through introducing a sustainable development and growth industry, such as medical tourism, to the Caribbean can help soften the impact of cyclical North American economic downturns in tourism on the Caribbean market and leverage the supply and demand issues that are driving patient flow offshore from Canada and the US,” added CEO Childress.

In 2011, the total impact of the medical tourism industry contributed 9 percent of global GDP (over $6 trillion USD) and accounted for 255 million jobs in the world. In the next decade, medical tourism is expected to grow by an average yearly of 4 percent, contributing up to 10 percent of future global GDP ($10 trillion). Eventually, by 2022, it is estimated that 328 million jobs will be created in the medical tourism industry: equal to 10 percent of jobs in the world.

WHO’S WHO FOR ICN

Invest Caribbean Now, the brainchild of Hard Beat Communications CEO Felicia Persaud is committed to advancing wealth in the Caribbean. ICN matches investors with projects in the Caribbean while bringing investors to the region and introducing them to sustainable investment opportunities there.

This year’s summit will feature top delegates including a delegation of Chinese investors from China, Caribbean government dignitaries from across the region, including Premier of Nevis, Vance Amory; New York City elected officials; chairman of over two dozen companies throughout the Caribbean, North America, Russia, China, Africa and Great Britain, including Sandals Resorts Chairman, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart; Qahir Dhanani, World Bank Group; Ambassador Richard Bernal, Executive Director, Caribbean, Inter-American Development Bank; Leigh Moran, representing the  US State Department/USAID ‘IdEA; ‘ Sergio Millian, President of the Russian American Chamber of Commerce; Anthony A. L. Adjasse of the Allied African Nations  Chamber Of Commerce; Jamaica’s Ambassador to the UN, Courtney Rattray; Hollywood fashion designer, Woody Wilson and  numerous global professional investors, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.

Special partnership and co-branding opportunities for this prestigious event are available by contacting sheila@investcaribbeannow.com or logging on to ICN’s brand new website at Investcaribbeannow.com.

Limited early bird tickets to the summit are available by booking here or at investcaribbeannow.com/earlybird

An exclusive Diamond Dinner has been added to this year’s summit for only 20 people who will include Malik Yoba, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart and Woody Wilson among other top Chinese, Caribbean and Russian delegates. Tickets are available on an invitation only basis by contacting Joe Bernstein at joe@investcaribbeannow.com.

ICN PARTNERS

Partners for ICN 2014 include: Hard Beat Communications, The Caribbean Tourism Organization, One Caribbean Television, The Woody Wilson Collection of Beverly Hills, The PR Newswire, the Caribbean Commerce Magazine, Blinglets, The Caribbean Council for Economic Development, the Chinese Business Development Center, Woody Wilson Fine Clothing, CaribPR Wire and News Americas Now.

Follow The Summit |Twitter | Facebook

SOURCE: Invest Caribbean Now

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kathy Bronson

Communications Coordinator

Invest Caribbean Now

kbronson@investcaribbeannow.com

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Dominica Hotelier Urges St. Vincent Prime Minister To Step Aside As Chair Of LIAT

CaribPR Wire, PORSTMOUTH, Dominica , Tues. Feb. 25, 2014: Dominica hotelier, Gregor Nassief, is urging St. Vincent & the Grenadines Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, to step aside as chairman of the shareholder’s committee of regional airline LIAT, in a fourth open letter to the shareholders. Nassief insists that since Gonsalves believes LIAT can never be profitable, then the airline urgently needs a new chairman and ‘general’ who can find a new approach for taking LIAT and the Caribbean aviation industry forward without a perpetual and unfair burden on the treasuries of St. Vincent, Antigua, Barbados and Dominica. The open letter follows.

February 25, 2014

Honourable Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

LIAT (1974) LTD

V.C. Bird International Airport

P O Box 819

Coolidge

Antigua

Dear Prime Minister Gonsalves:

Re:  Run it like a business before it goes out of business

On the televised program Time to Face the Facts on Sunday, February 23rd, I appealed to you to step aside as Chairman of the Shareholder’s committee of LIAT.  As mentioned on the program, given the respect and admiration I have for you, particularly on your stance and leadership on issues such as reparations and the cholera outbreak in Haiti, it was personally difficult for me to do this.  But it is necessary.

LIAT has moved from an operational meltdown in the Summer of 2013 to a financial meltdown a mere 7 months later.  LIAT drains our treasuries, operates inefficiently and stifles competition.  The source of LIAT’s problem is its financial unsustainability and as with everything else at LIAT, no one is accountable.  As Chairman of the Shareholder’s committee, the buck stops with you.

LIAT needs to fight the battle of its life to transform itself to be financially viable and sustainable.  But you believe, and have stated so publicly, that LIAT can never be profitable.  This battle, therefore, needs a different general.

Unsustainability

LIAT has lost ec$120m in the last four years.  Last month, LIAT could not pay both the lease on its aircraft as well as its payroll.  So it chose one and delayed the other.  A leased ATR gives 36% more seat capacity than its closest Dash 8 equivalent but is double the (lease) expense.  In 2015, repayments will begin on LIAT’s recent loan of us$65m to purchase new aircraft.   So monthly cash outflows go up even more.

And the new inflows to cover this?  Inter-island tourism is down 60% in 7 years and LIAT’s load factor is running at about 55%.  The fantasy (aka “business plan”) is that the load factor will go up to 75%.  The fantasy is also that LIAT will fly its way out of losses by expanding to new destinations – Jamaica, Haiti, Aruba, Panama, and eventually to cities in North and South America.

LIAT employs 850+ people, flies 22 destinations, operates between 10 and 12 aircraft from 2 hubs (3 if you count Trinidad) to move 800,000+ passengers a year to generate massive losses.

So it’s bail out time again.  Call on shareholders, and call on other good neighbors so that we can continue to drain our treasuries, operate inefficiently and stifle competition.  And for you this is acceptable because LIAT should not be run like a business and can never make a profit.

Our fragile economies can no longer support perpetual bailouts.  If we do not take the bull by the horns LIAT will go out of business – it will employ no one, fly nowhere, operate no aircraft and use no hubs.  But alas, it will generate no losses and competitive players will fill the gaps because LIAT, the airline unfairly propped up by perpetual subsidies, will not be there to run them out of business.

LIAT must therefore immediately begin a journey towards financial sustainability to save itself.  But if the leader does not believe in the journey, then the journey will never begin.  It is on this basis, with full respect and admiration, that I ask you to step aside as Chairman of the Shareholder’s committee, so that a new mandate to make LIAT financially sustainable can be ushered in.

Sustainability

The new chairman of the Shareholder’s committee needs to believe that the battle can be won.  And what needs to be done is not rocket science.

Appoint a Chairman and a Board capable of turning around the financial fortunes of the company and running a top-notch airline.  Give them the authority and autonomy to do what needs to be done.  Allow them to appoint a CEO and restructure the management team as necessary.   Allow LIAT to become a real business free from political interference tasked with a perfect safety record, high employee satisfaction, great customer service and solid financial performance.  A fierce focus on the company’s finances with adjustments made to yield (including renegotiation of government/airport taxes), network efficiency and operating costs will be required.  The resulting operation will have fewer employees, fewer destinations and fewer aircraft.  It will be profitable, dependable and it will deliver great service.  Like any airline, unprofitable routes will continue only with guarantees from the interested party/government.  But at least then, the taxpayers will know what they are paying for, and can make that decision.  And other/smaller airlines will take up the slack.  Competition will flourish, as will LIAT, and the Caribbean will finally get the airlift network it needs.

With a restructured board and executive, confidence in the airline’s financial performance will be established and other Caribbean governments may even want to invest.

At the right time, joint venture the company while maintaining a minimum 50% shares among shareholder governments.  The two best run airlines in the world (Singapore Airlines and Air Malaysia) are run like a business and are profitable and remain owned 50% or more by the State and 50% or less by private interests.  Like LIAT, they were bleeding losses and their shareholder governments could no longer manage the bailouts.  So they took the tough decisions, appointed the right board and executive team, and turned the airlines around to the benefit of all stakeholders.

Yes, it will be painful, but it is necessary.  And most importantly it will pull LIAT back from the financial cliff and put it on a course to long term financial sustainability.

Please consider that I am a hotelier from an island that is almost 80% dependent on LIAT for airlift.  Cut one route to Dominica, and we/Dominica will suffer.  But if my option is (a) to continue to have all the LIAT routes we have today with an airline that is prone to poor service, ad hoc cancellations, occasional and irrational pilot strikes and constantly at the edge of a financial precipice due to insurmountable financial losses – OR – (b) an airline with fewer routes but with good service, dependable schedules and solid financial performance, then my choice is definitely the latter.  And other airlines, once permitted, will take up the slack.

In Summary

Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  And then finally, he invented the electric light bulb.

We have lived through and exhausted the many ways that LIAT won’t work.  It is time to try the way that will.

I appeal to you, Prime Minister Gonsalves, as well as the other Shareholder Prime Ministers, to mandate a new approach for taking LIAT and the Caribbean aviation industry forward without this perpetual and unfair burden on our treasuries.

It is time to run it like a business before it goes out of business.

Respectfully Yours,

Gregor Nassief

Owner/Director – Secret Bay

Executive Chairman – Fort Young Hotel

cc:        Honourable Dr. Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda

Honourable Freundel Stuart of Barbados

Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica

p.s.       As we again desperately seek additional funds for yet another bailout, make it the last please.  Don’t put the money into the black hole of an unsustainable business model.  Instead, use it to restructure the airline, rationalize its operations and place it on a solid long term footing.  In other words, make it the last bailout!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Nassief’s full letter is also available at http://www.scribd.com/doc/209141390/Letter-to-LIAT-Chairman-of-LIAT-s-Shareholders-Committee-February-25-2014-from-Dominica-Hotelier-Gregor-Nassief

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KEEP IT CARIBBEAN FOR STRESS-FREE MEETINGS AND EVENTS

hyatt

Hyatt Regency Trinidad creates customized experiences
for any size group in a first-class Caribbean setting

CaribPR Wire, PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (October 23, 2013) – As one of the most contemporary business hotels in the English-speaking Caribbean islands, Hyatt Regency Trinidad provides meetings and events that are close to home, but far from ordinary.  Whether hosting a business meeting or social gathering, this premier hotel uniquely combines the best of both worlds:  first-class service from an expert team; state-of-the-art facilities of a world-class hotel; ease of doing business locally; warm, authentic Trini hospitality; and Port of Spain’s vibrant waterfront as a picture-perfect backdrop.  It should come as no surprise then that meeting planners, business groups and brides-to-be from all over the Caribbean and beyond turn to Hyatt Regency Trinidad for their most important occasions and special events.

Hyatt Regency Trinidad has hosted a number of regional conferences of all sizes thus far in 2013, including the Caribbean Trade and Investment Conference, Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Conference, Caribbean Union Conference, and most recently, Caribbean Premier League Cricket Foundation meeting, as well as more intimate, local events, including the Guardian Life of the Caribbean Conference and Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards meeting.  “Whether it’s an executive board meeting for 10, a small graduation party, 75- to 500-guest wedding, or the Trade and Investment Conference, which is held annually at the hotel with over 3,000 attendees, our team is able to create unique experiences that are both memorable and effective,” said General Manager Russell George.

Offering 43,000 total square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, the hotel is able to accommodate events of all sizes and varieties, from large corporate conferences to intimate sunset weddings overlooking the Gulf of Paria.  Venue options include the 16,000-square-foot Regency Ballroom, accommodating more than 1,600 guests for a reception or 1,300 guests for a banquet; a 10,000-square-foot multi-purpose facility; seven banquet rooms offering 3,000 square feet of interior space; four meeting rooms ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 square feet; and two executive boardrooms for 40 to 70 guests.  All meeting spaces are fully soundproof and feature access to reliable high speed and wireless Internet, individual climate controls and advanced audio/visual capabilities.  A full-service business center and translation facilities are additionally available.

Thanks to the hotel’s fully customizable meetings and events packages, the dedicated team can take the work out of the extensive and time-consuming planning process, easily translating the needs of your group into a memorable experience.  For the ultimate in stress-free meetings, the team at the hotel’s Spa Esencia offers tailored spa packages based on the group’s needs at a special discounted rate.  From massages featuring the hotel’s exclusive product line and organic products to the latest in skincare technology such as HydraFacial, the Spa Esencia staff strives to ensure that each guest’s wishes are met.  In addition to handling on-property logistics, the on-site concierge can also individually tailor group itineraries with an array of off-property land and sea excursions, pleasing the active adventurer and beach bum alike.  From island hopping and diving to lounging the day away at the hotel’s rooftop infinity pool, attendees and guests will never find themselves without something fun to do in the twin islands.

Of course, crucial to the success of any event is cuisine, and Executive Chef Fernando Franco is both masterful and versatile in creating custom-designed, flavorful menus to suit even the most discerning palates. Combining elegant international cuisine with traditional local favorites served plated or buffet-style, Chef Fernando and his team present culinary selections that are as beautiful as they are delicious.

To learn more about Hyatt Regency Trinidad’s meeting and event offers or customized packages, visit www.trinidad.hyatt.com or call 1-868-623-2222.

About Hyatt Regency Trinidad
Designed as the premier meeting, convention, business, event and leisure travel property, the 428-room Hyatt is situated in the Port of Spain International Waterfront Development. The Hyatt’s versatile event space showcases a 16,000 square-foot Grand Ballroom and a 10,000 square-foot Ballroom with translation facilities. Other guest facilities include one full-service restaurant, a lobby bar and lounge, a fitness center and the 9,000 square-foot Spa Esencia. To book on-line, visit trinidad.hyatt.com or call 1-800-233-1234. Guests who would like to make a reservation from Trinidad & Tobago can also dial 868-623-2222. High-resolution images may be downloaded from hyattpressroom.com.

About Hyatt Regency

Hyatt Regency offers a full range of services and facilities tailored to serve the needs of meeting planners, business travelers and leisure guests. Properties range in size from 180 to over 2,000 rooms and are conveniently located in urban, suburban, airport, convention and resort destinations around the world. Hyatt Regency convention hotels feature spacious meeting and conference facilities designed to provide a productive environment allowing guests to convene and connect. Hyatt Regency hotels in resort locations cater to couples seeking a getaway, families enjoying a vacation together and corporate groups seeking a functional and relaxed atmosphere in which to conduct business and meetings.

# # #

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Dominica Hotelier Issues Third Letter To Four Prime Ministers On LIAT Crisis

CaribPR Wire, PORSTMOUTH, Dominica, Fri. Sept. 13, 2013: Dominica hotelier, Gregor Nassief, has issued a third letter to LIAT, this time to the shareholders of LIAT, the Hon. Prime Ministers Dr. Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda, Freundel Stuart of Barbados, Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica and Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines calling for them to “take ownership” of the airline and the crisis. The letter calls for them to “act in the interest of your citizens, your visitors and your economies” and to “break the cycle of perpetual unaccountability.”  The public complaint is enclosed for publication.

September 13, 2013

Honourable Dr. Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda

Honourable Freundel Stuart of Barbados

Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica

Honourable Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

LIAT (1974) LTD

V.C. Bird International Airport

P O Box 819

Coolidge

Antigua

Dear Shareholder Prime Ministers:

Re:  Take Ownership

My letters of August 11th and August 19th to the LIAT Board and Chairman respectively were written after LIAT’s worse crisis in its 56-year history had stretched into its third month with no clear explanation of the crisis and with no one accepting responsibility despite clear indications of management and planning errors.  It was on that basis that I called for “heads to roll.”   As the crisis now stretches into its fourth month (see latest list of incidents attached) the calls for transparency and accountability have grown louder but remain unanswered.

As the effective “owners” of LIAT, the final decision lies with you.  You can follow the path of LIAT’s leadership and ignore the calls for transparency and accountability or you can take ownership and act in the interest of your citizens, your visitors and your economies.

Perpetual unaccountability

Your CEO’s explanations of the crisis have included a long list of issues (unscheduled maintenance, crew shortages, bad weather, airport limitations, delays in obtaining licenses for operating the new ATR aircraft in some territories, and a dire financial situation due to failure by your governments to deliver on committed finance, difficulty in selling Dash-8 aircraft and a 10 per cent decline in revenue).  He has taken no direct responsibility for the crisis and admitted to no errors, laying the blame on God and You.

In a brazen act of self-preservation and back scratching, your CEO has rejected a call from many, including the Leeward Island Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA), for an independent investigation into the crisis, choosing instead a “full post-mortem on what went wrong,” the objective of which would also be to reward staff for their “heroic duties and human service.”  And those who “dropped the ball” would be identified “for counseling or better training.”

If after a crisis as deep and wide as this, your CEO is allowed to get away with blocking an independent investigation (in which he would surely be the primary target) and throwing some niceties at staff (in order to calm a revolt), then it surely explains the culture of unaccountability that has led to EC$344m in accumulated deficits at the end of 2012 (sure to grow larger in 2013 as a result of the current mess).  Now add to that the gamble of EC$250m+ on the re-fleeting exercise and you end up with a half billion-dollar burden gift-wrapped in perpetual unaccountability that is now your responsibility.

Break the cycle

If no one is ever held accountable, then no matter how bad it is, it doesn’t matter, and so it just keeps getting worst.

As owners, I appeal to you to hold LIAT’s Board and Executive Team to a much higher standard of performance, one that delivers a great customer experience and a solid financial performance.

As owners, I appeal to you to reorganize and restructure the Board of Directors and Executive team and to hold them accountable to achieve the necessary objectives, giving them the autonomy and authority, free from political interference.

As owners, I appeal to you to be owners, to step up and to act in the interest of your citizens, your visitors and your economies and to break the cycle of perpetual unaccountability.

In Closing

As Victor Hugo said, “All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”  The idea that LIAT can be and must be an airline that is well managed and delivers a great customer experience and a solid financial performance has come.  Constant disappointment, dismay and disruption must become a thing of the past.  Half billion-dollar burdens on our treasuries must end.

A culture of perpetual accountability and competent leadership must begin.  Take ownership, usher it in.

It is time to care.  It is time for change.  Heads must roll.

Respectfully Yours,

Gregor Nassief

Owner/Director – Secret Bay

Executive Chairman – Fort Young Hotel

LIST OF INCDENTS

On August 19th, LIAT announced its service would be “boosted” by the return to service of one of its two newly acquired ATR aircraft which was grounded in Barbados for about a week due to a technical issue.  On August 27th, LIAT announced that its operations would be “back to normal.”  While the explanations from the CEO vary on the cause of the crisis, it continues unabated.  Here is a list of incidents from August 19th onward, after the service was supposed to be significantly improved:

Date Flight Number First name Incident
Aug 25th LI 565, SJU to DOM Elise 3 hours & 20 minutes late; most bags did not arrive
Aug 18th LI 560, DOM to SJU Sondra 2 hours late
Aug 23rd LI 509, SXM to DOM Michelle Flight cancelled, arrived following day
Aug 30th LI 560, DOM to SJU Michelle 3 hours late, missed connecting flight
Sep 2nd LI 565, SJU to DOM George Flight cancelled 2 successive days, arrived September 4th – luggage arrived 5th
Sep 3rd LI 565, SJU to DOM Taki Flight cancelled, arrived following day, luggage arrived day after
Aug 19th LI 565, SJU to DOM Sue Cancelled, re-routed to Tortola, had to charter a flight to Dominica
Aug 25th LI 565, SJU to DOM Gail 5 hours and 45 minutes late
Aug 29th LI 565, SJU to DOM James Flight cancelled, arrived following day
Aug 23rd LI 509, SXM to DOM Jeff & Elena Flight cancelled, returned to the US as LIAT could not tell them when they could get to Dominica
Aug 24th LI 565, SJU to DOM Group of 6 5 hours late
Aug 29th LI 509, DOM to POS Gregor Cancelled, rerouted via Tortola, arrived 3 hours and 45 minutes late at 2:50 AM
Aug 28th LI 364, BGI to DOM Robert Flight rerouted and arrived 9 hours late
Aug 28th LI 524, BGI to DOM Jeremy 4 hours and 30 minutes late
Sep 2nd LI 565, SJU to DOM Phillip Flight cancelled 2 successive days, arrived September 4th
Aug 31st LI 560, DOM to SJU Mark, Kurt, Linsday, Adrian, Jennifer, Libby Flight left 7 hours late; they all missed their connection in SJU
Aug 28th LI 509, SXM to DOM Brittany 2 Hour Delay
Sep 2nd LIS 565, SJU to DOM Richard & Sarah Flight cancelled, returned to the US as LIAT could not tell them when they could get to Dominica

18 incidents in less than 3 weeks related to one island and connected to one person (the affected passengers include me and those known to me).

Regarding LIAT 565 on September 2nd mentioned above, please read the incredible story on the following page as told to me by a passenger who witnessed it all.

September 2nd.  LIAT 565.  Eye Witness Account.

Monday September 2nd I was to leave San Juan at 3:00 PM on LIAT 565 to Dominica to arrive at 4:30 PM.  After a series of incredible incidents including the physical assault by a LIAT supervisor of a 15-year-old Dominican boy, we finally arrived to Dominica on September 4th at 2:30 AM in the morning.

Here is what I experienced.

Our flight on the 2nd was cancelled, but the other flight from San Juan to Antigua, LIAT 563, left as scheduled at 3:25 PM.  Several passengers on that flight were actually going to Dominica, but via Antigua, and several passengers on our cancelled flight were going to other destinations, but via Dominica.  We were told to return the following day at 11AM in order to travel to Dominica.

The following day, September 3rd, all passengers arrived as they were requested to, and waited and waited and waited.  Only to see again the LIAT 563 leave to Antigua.  We were told that our flight would come in a couple of hours.  An unbelievable incident occurred on the flight to Antigua.   We witnessed a LIAT supervisor force a paying passenger off LIAT 563 in order to give a seat to a LIAT Pilot who was simply desperate to get home.  The woman was distraught.  September 4th in Dominica is the day schools re-open and her three children were waiting on her back in Dominica.  She explained all of this to the supervisor who simply said “Ma’m, we are taking you off this flight.”  The rest of the passengers were aghast – how could LIAT pull off a passenger that had paid for her ticket in order to give a LIAT employee a free ride back home?

The awaiting passengers, now there for over 24 hours and having seen two planes destined for Antigua leave, became very upset and frustrated.  A young boy from Dominica approached the LIAT supervisor, hit his hand down on the desk and began to demand answers.  He had been cool for the last 24 hours, but he was now frustrated.  After a verbal exchange, the LIAT supervisor slapped him.  None of us could believe it.  He tried to keep his cool and asked her how she could hit him.  She replied that he disrespected her.  The police came, and the Boy’s cousin who was present wanted to press charges (hitting a minor is illegal).  Eventually, she agreed not to but demanded that the police make a report of the incident to protect her cousin in the event that LIAT challenged their version of the story.

It was now stretching into our second night, and we all feared no plane was coming.  Then, apparently, the Puerto Rico authorities, viewing us as a security risk, arranged for a LIAT plane to come to get us.  We boarded at 12:45AM and arrived in Dominica at 2:15 AM in the morning, 30+ hours late.  The many passengers who were traveling via Dominica onto other destinations were now stuck at Melville Hall airport at 2:30 AM with nowhere to go.

I later found out the name of the LIAT supervisor was Ivette Santiago Torres.  I hear heads will be rolling.  Include hers, please.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Gregor Nassief is involved in the tourism business in Dominica and the technology business in Latin America.  He is the Owner and Director of Secret Bay, the Executive Chairman of the Fort Young Hotel and the CEO of Tecsys Latin America.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/167821082/Letter-to-LIAT-Shareholders-September-13-2013

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MasterCard launches Priceless Cities program in Aruba in partnership with Minister of Tourism and Aruba Tourism Authority

To tweet this story use #PricelessAruba

CaribPR Wire, Oranjestad, Aruba: Mon. August 19, 2013:  In order to provide MasterCard cardholders with priceless experiences in the world’s most exciting destinations, MasterCard has announced the launch of its international Priceless Cities platform in Aruba, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Authority of Aruba. Aruba is the fifth city in the Caribbean that joins MasterCard’s Priceless Cities program, which was launched in 2011 by MasterCard to offer cardholders a special and unique way to enjoy and celebrate their favorite cities.

According to Lorena Holguin, Marketing Vice President for MasterCard in the Caribbean, the Caribbean is an excellent opportunity when it comes to destinations programs such as Priceless Cities, due to the high number of tourism arrivals and international spending volume. “Aruba meets the parameters that characterize the other destinations of the program, as it has everything to please all types of tourists, from the adventurous type, to the beach lover and even the gastronomy aficionado. At MasterCard, we are proud to bring the charms of Aruba closer to our customer’s reach,” concluded Holguin.

Through MasterCard’s innovative Priceless Aruba program, cardholders will receive offers and discounts on products and services in over 40 participating merchants when making a purchase with their MasterCard®. The complete list of offers is available to cardholders through printed guides distributed at high traffic areas like the Aruba airport, shops, restaurants and hotels.

“As one of the most revisited destinations in the Caribbean, Aruba prides itself on its loyal, happy returners,” said Aruba Tourism Authority CEO Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes. “Our visitors value the quality experiences they receive on island, just as MasterCard holders value the quality service they receive from the credit card provider. This is a natural partnership for us, and we are grateful for the opportunity to showcase the many differentiating features and hidden gems that make Aruba so priceless.”

Otmar E. Oduber, Aruba Minister of Tourism, highlighted “I applaud that the Aruba Tourism Association, in partnership with MasterCard and local merchants, is exploring new initiatives that will enhance the experience of our on-island visitors. I look forward to continually growing the program and having Aruba benefit even more from such an important partner as MasterCard. I encourage our local merchants to participate in new endeavors such as this one.”


According to Holguin, “Priceless Aruba aims to provide cardholders with unique offers and benefits that make every moment in Aruba a Priceless experience. The goal is not only attract tourists, but also to give them a unique experience so that they return”. Holguin highlighted that the program offers benefits designed based on consumers passion points, which are divided into three categories: activities, gastronomy and shopping. Cardholders can take advantage of over 40 offers including receiving a free gift with purchase, or a bottle of wine to add that special touch to a romantic dinner, or even a free diving trip to explore Aruba’s underwater world.

Sebastian Barletta, VP and Territory Head of the Eastern Caribbean for MasterCard, emphasized that “At MasterCard, we understand that the tourism industry is very competitive on a global level, which is why it is necessary for these destinations to differentiate themselves by providing value added service as well as high quality and memorable experiences for visitors “. According to the executive, the tourism industry account for close to 85% of Aruba’s GDP, which is why the company considers it a priority to support the development of this segment in the country. “Our global acceptance and unified structure positions us as the ideal partner for the tourism industry and allows to provide a greater value to all parties associated with this segment. The consumer benefits from the offers and discounts, while merchants increase sales and retention thanks to the promotions associated with the platform, which in turn helps strengthen the local economy that depends on tourism”.

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

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ANTIGUAN-BORN ALPHONSO LAKE APPOINTED AS CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER OF ELITE ISLAND RESORTS

Mr.  Alphonso Lake

Mr. Alphonso Lake

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – August 16, 2013 – Robert Barrett, chairman and CEO of Elite Island Resorts, proudly announces that Antiguan-born Alphonso Lake has been promoted to Chief Information Officer (CIO). Formerly a systems and operations manager for the company, which is both a sales and marketing leader for the Caribbean travel industry and Antigua’s largest employer, Lake begins his new role effective today.

Lake’s rise to this executive-level position is a testament to his hard work and career-long commitment to the Elite Island Resorts brand. He began his professional journey in the 1990s as a young waiter at the St. James’s Club and Villas and quickly worked up the ranks. After various roles at several of the company’s Antigua resorts, Lake sought higher education in computers and technology. He continued his work at Elite Island Resorts’ corporate office in Deerfield Beach, Florida, while attending Florida Atlantic University where he earned a degree in information technology.

“Alphonso has been and is an integral part of our daily global operations that serve all customers, vendors, suppliers, resorts and employees,” said Elite Island Resorts President Steven Heydt. “He is a valuable asset to our company not only for his creative patchwork fixes but also for his ability to think outside the box to make our systems more efficient. We are fortunate to have him on our executive team and look forward to his contributions in this new leadership role.”

A high-res image of Alphonso Lake is available for download at the following link until August 21, 2013: https://www.hightail.com/download/bWJvTkZzcklqV0JWeHNUQw.

About Elite Island Resorts
Elite Island Resorts represents an impressive collection of unique beachfront properties in the Caribbean. Each Elite Island Resorts property provides something unique to fulfill travelers’ desires, with offerings ranging from destination weddings or romantic escapes to family retreats or eco vacations. Resorts include: St. James’s Club & Villas, The Verandah Resort & Spa, and Galley Bay Resort & Spa all in Antigua; St. James’s Club Morgan Bay, Saint Lucia; Long Bay Beach Club in Tortola; Palm Island Resort in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and The Club Barbados Resort & Spa and Ocean Hotels in Barbados. For more information visit www.eliteislandresorts.com or call 800-858-4618.

# # #

Media Contacts:
Claire Kunzman / Shannon O’Malley
Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications
claire@cam-pr.com / shannon@cam-pr.com
305-444-4033

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Caribbean Jazz Great In High Demand As Monty Releases New Album

CaribPR, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. April 2, 2013: Jamaican-born, Caribbean-raised jazz great and Grammy-nominated artist, Monty Alexander, is in high demand this year, with performances that has him globetrotting and city-hopping on the heels of his new album and his 51st year as a musician.

Alexander, whose 50th anniversary album, “Harlem-Kingston Express: Live!” was nominated for a Reggae Grammy and won rave reviews from The Wall Street Journal, The London Evening Standard and Jazz Times among dozens of other media houses, is set to take his brand of stirring jazz to the Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland from Tuesday, April 16th to Saturday, April 20th.

The performance comes as Alexander’s new album release “Uplift 2” on the JLP label, sits at #2 on the Jazz charts.

The stellar musician will then return to the U.S. to share a similar kind of joy with his fans at Boston’s legendary Scullers Jazz Club on April 26th and New York City’s famous Birdland Club Jazz Club from May 7th to 11th.

Jamaica’s Commander of Distinction and ‘Luminary Award’ 2012 recipient, then returns to the U.S. for performances in Boston and New York City, before heading to the nature isle of Dominica for the first time, where he will headline the increasingly popular, Dominica Jazz ‘n Creole Festival on May 19th at the Cabrits National Park.

“For many years I have harbored the desire to be able to visit one of the beautiful island if the Caribbean – Dominica,” commented Alexander. “I have had friends of Dominica heritage, including Connie Kay, the great drummer from the great Modern Jazz Quartet.  To be able to bring a musical offering to Dominica makes my visit extra special.”

Dominica’s jazz fans are sure to experience a different kind of jazz from Alexander – the kind that will have them putting on their dancing shoes on and keeping them on.

And his Grammy-nominated band, The Harlem Kingston Express, will add to the experience that combines traditional jazz with the rocking rhythms of Jamaica which results in a sound that is uniquely Alexander’s and The Harlem Kingston Express!

Tickets for his Boston and New York performances are $30 per person. For Scullers, get tickets at http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=3466214&pl=scullers and for Birdland, log on to http://www.birdlandjazz.com/event/243141-monty-alexander-harlem-new-york/

Following his Dominica debut, Alexander, will again join his Harlem Kingston Express to bring his brand of jiving jazz to Washington, D.C.’s popular Blues Alley from June 20th to 23rd and Pittsburgh, PA on June 28th at the South Park Band Shell.

He and his band will wrap up the first half of 2013 in Rochester, NY with a scintillating performance at the Rochester International Jazz Festival on June 29th. For more see http://www.rochesterjazz.com/artist_lineup/?artist_id=934.

2013 Performance Dates:

Switzerland – Bern Jazz Festival – April 16-20th.

Boston, MA – Scullers Jazz Club  – April 26th.

News York City – Birdland Club Jazz Club- May 7th to 11th.

Dominica, W.I. – Dominica Jazz ‘n Creole Festival -  May 19th.

Washington, D.C. – Blues Alley – June 20th to 23rd.

Pittsburgh, PA – South Park Band Shell – June 28th.

Rochester, NY – Rochester International Jazz Festival – June 29th.

About Monty Alexander

Over his stellar career, Alexander, whose influence combines that of Oscar Peterson, Gene Harris and Nat “King” Cole, has performed with international stars including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Barbara Hendricks, Bill Cosby, Bobby McFerrin, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.

In fact, it was Sinatra and his best friend Jilly Rizzo who hired Alexander after he moved to the United States in 1961 at the age of 17.  And it was at Jilly’s famed New York City nightclub that this Jamaican teen caught the ears of Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Milt “Bags” Jackson.

Bags introduced him to the great bassist Ray Brown, and the rest as they say, is history, including Alexander’s 1976 Montreux (Switzerland) Jazz Festival performance with drummer Jeff Hamilton and bassist John Clayton, which has become one of the most celebrated live recordings in contemporary jazz.

For more on the Caribbean’s greatest jazz pianist and his music visit www.montyalexander.com.

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CARIBBEAN’S NEXT TOP MODEL™ ON-AIR APPEAL

Wendy FitzwilliamCaribbean’s Next Top Model Emerges With Lifestyle Brands

CARIBEPRWIRE, NEW YORK – MARCH 26, 2013 – Caribbean’s Next Top Model, a new model competition series created in collaboration with CaribeNTM, Inc. emerges across 25 Caribbean countries with partner brands to promote 11 episodes of the most popular and first of its kind reality television.   The show debuted on Monday, February 18, 2013 on free-to-air – various Caribbean local TV stations, CaribVision and One Caribbean Television, WSEE TV in Puerto Rico during primetime.

Mark Rowen, President of Blue Collar Productions said, “We have been able to partner with CaribeNTM, Inc. to custom design and tailor television production content which highlights the unique attributes of the respective host countries.”

This one hour Reality TV program, co-produced by Blue Collar Productions, one of the leading producers of creative content for licensed television shows, provides a comprehensive look at eleven contenders competing individually and in teams for the chance to be Caribbean’s Next Top Model.  Miss Universe ‘98, Wendy Fitzwilliam serves as the celebrity host and judge, along with associate judges Pedro Virgil, International Photographer, Richard Young, Runway Coach and Creative Director of Trinidad and Tobago’s Fashion Week, and other special guest appearances from experts in the fashion industry and related fields.

Mr. Rowen adds, “We are excited to have had the opportunity to work with Caribbean’s Next Top Model television show.  We have plans to continue working together to produce leading international content with a focus on television production, distribution, marketing and syndication.  Our combined companies have the ability to broaden the future scope of entertainment television.”

The partner brands are included in the episodes in ways that range from product placements, credits, mentions in lines of dialogue, to numerous endorsements on the screen.  “If you are watching the show, chances are you aspire to emulate the lifestyle of the CNTM program’s cast,” said Wendy Fitzwilliam.  “So we want to align with those partner brands that add competitive value and reach.”

Brands such as bMobile, SACHA, and CHI were heavily featured to establish the reality of the worlds the girls lived in.  Beverly Morrison, CEO of Caribbean CHI Ltd., and Juliana Fermin, Director of Ansura Wholesalers in Trinidad and Tobago are excited to be official hair sponsors of the first season.

Beverly Morrison says, “We remain committed to the Caribbean aesthetic and we look forward to the refinement of the contestants as the imagination and execution of CaribeNTM, Inc, beauty with CHI Biosilk exceeds expectations.”

Making brand connections that were organic to the characters became the signature for show.  Juliana Fermin said, “We saw Caribbean’s Next Top Model as a vehicle for the enhancement of many industries that span; fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and television…week after week.”

Executives at SACHA Cosmetics have helped to position our footprint from the beginning to predominantly celebrate women.  “As the official cosmetics of the inaugural season and leader in the cosmetics industry in the Caribbean and as we continue on our drive toward global expansion, we recognize that partnerships like these truly complement our journey,” said Kamla Regrello, Marketing and Retail Manager.

KCL Capital Market Brokers Limited, a licensed full service investment firm based in Trinidad became involved to provide authenticity in the television series financing.  As stated by the company’s CEO Kerwyn Valley, “KCL is committed in its support for creative industries across our region.”

Other partners include Caribbean Airlines, The Carlton-Savannah, Lime Trinre, Factor Women, Caribbean Belle, Blue Waters, Kalloo’s, and Micles.

The CNTM series airs for 11 episodes and is midway through its inaugural season. The show is broadcast in over 25 Caribbean islands on terrestrial and cable television.

For a complete review of CNTM, our broadcast details, to share your thoughts on the show and to become a member fan, like us at www.facebook.com/caribbeansnexttopmodel or log on to: www.caribbeansnexttopmodel.com. Follow us  @CaribeNTM on Twitter.

About Caribbean’s Next Top Model

CARIBBEAN’S NEXT TOP MODEL was founded in July 2011. CNTM’s mission is to unleash island beauties and the enchantment of the Caribbean.  Executive Producers are Wendy Fitzwilliam and Dionyse Fitzwilliam of CaribeNTM, Inc., a production company created in association with AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL under license by CBS International, and Mark Rowen, CEO of Blue Collar Productions (USA).

About America’s Next Top Model

AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL is produced by 10 by 10 Entertainment in association with The Tyra Banks Company.  The executive producers are Ken Mok (“Making the Band”), Tyra Banks and Laura Fuest Silva. The series was created by Tyra Banks and developed by Mok and Kenya Barris. Tyra Banks also hosts the series, which will soon begin airing its 20th cycle in the United States. Currently, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL is under license in over 100 markets around the world and has 20 international versions in production.  AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL and the AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL format are licensed internationally by CBS Studios International.

About Blue Collar Productions

Blue Collar Productions, is one of the leading producers of creative content for studio released motion picture films and licensed television shows, amassing a high caliber library that includes the production of Caribbean’s Next Top Model.

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