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Tourism Updates

Stay up to date on current  properties and upcoming tourist events! At Caribbean Biz in New York, USA, we keep you in the loop about the latest happenings in the region. The 28 Islands referred to as the melting pot, because of the high cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity has approximately 40 million individuals, thousands of properties, each of which possess their own unique brand, culture and economic characteristics.

Southern Palms Beach Club & Resort Hotel is located on the popular and touristy St. Lawrence Gap on the south coast of the island. The location within walking distance to numerous bars, restaurants, and entertainment is safe and convenient. A large property, Southern Palms has one of the best beachfronts in the area -- the stretch of sand is both scenic and spacious. Colonial-style buildings and lush gardens populate the property, and quirky perks, such as a mini-golf course and shuffleboard, give guests plenty to do. The rooms are basic and dated, but cheerful, with bright tropical colors. 

July 16, 2019 


4 Day Festival Featured Celebrity Chefs Judy Joo & Simon Jenkins and Tripled Attendance

Opening Press Conference Judy Jenkins Stapleton Smithen.jpg

Chefs at the Opening Press Conference (from l to r): Berecia Stapleton, Judy Joo, Simon Jenkins, and Wentworth Smithen.

Charlestown, Nevis (July 16, 2019) – Nevis is celebrating the success of the sixth annual Nevis Mango & Food Festival, that took place July 4-7, 2019. The four day festival featured 16 local Nevisian Chefs, participation of four local restaurants, the first ever Caribbean Mango Cooking Competition and was headlined by celebrity Chefs Judy Joo and Simon Jenkins. This was the third time UK Iron Chef Judy Joo, a Korean-American French-trained chef based in London, and frequent Food Network host and guest, participated in the Mango and Food Festival. With tripled attendance the Nevis Mango & Food Festival is quickly cementing its position as a the leading Mango and culinary event in the Caribbean

Nevis mangoes, of which there are 44 varieties, are truly special and prized for their texture and flavor. They inspire culinary creativity among celebrity and local chefs who carefully select their favorites and turn them into everything from soups and salsas, to marinades, sauces, cocktails and fabulous desserts. Locals, however, happily eat them fresh off the trees!

The four-day mango extravaganza began with a press conference hosted by Johnson Johnrose of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and a demonstration by UK Iron Chef Judy Joo and Simon Jenkins of the UK with tips for using mangos in cooking. The press conference was held at the new restaurant, Cleveland Gardens, where Nevisian chefs, Berecia Stapleton and Wentworth Smithen also gave demonstrations highlighting local mango varieties. Afterwards, Iron Chef UK Judy Joo conducted a mango cooking masterclass with leading international media. Michelin starred Chef Simon Jenkins hosted a cake decorating clinic for Nevisian bakers in the afternoon. The Festival featured masterclasses, special hosted evenings at restaurants, tastings, and guided food trails. The highlight of the festival is the Chefs Mango Feast that took place on July 7th where the first ever Caribbean Mango Cooking Competition was held with culinary teams from Antigua, Barbados, Nevis and St. Kitts. Judged by Chefs Judy Joo, Simon Jenkins, and Texas food critic Mai Pham, Barbados was the inaugural winner. The Feast also featured the Mango Baking Competition, and was an opportunity for 16 local Nevisian Chefs to provide samples of their signature mango dishes, and samples from four local restaurants. The event was a real celebration, with the inclusion of Nevis’ Green House Band, providing a taste of local music.

As an added bonus, many of the local restaurants and resorts feature “Mango Fest” menus. Guests from all over the island are happy to reserve their spots for lunches and dinners that feature this special ingredient.

Organized by the Nevis Tourism Authority, the Mango & Food Festival is not only a culinary celebration of Mango for residents and visitors, it provides educational opportunities for local businesses and students. The Festival provides internships for culinary students, mentoring opportunities from headline Chefs, a commercial festival where local businesses sold products made from mangos, and the promotion of the culinary use of mangos to drive the local mango industry. Greg Phillip, CEO, Nevis Tourism Authority shared, “The Nevis Tourism Authority is tremendously pleased with what the Nevis Mango and Food Festival has become. It has earned a much deserved spot in the Caribbean’s annual calendar of ‘must see’ events and is poised to grow even more. We are grateful to the individuals and business who supported us this year. It was an incredibly positive experience to welcome the culinary teams from St. Kitts, Barbados and Antigua who participated in the first annual Caribbean Mango Cooking Competition. We are already looking forward to the 2020 Mango and Food Festival.”

Mark your calendars now for the 2020 Nevis Mango & Food Festival that will take place July 2 – 5, 2020 and will feature even more Caribbean culinary teams in the Caribbean Mango Cooking Competition with even more visitors and activities planned. To find out more visit

Media Contact: Inez Freund [email protected] 212.490.2098


June 26, 2019

Barbados back at top at Taste of the Caribbean

Barbados has taken the top prize at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Taste of the Caribbean competition which ended minutes ago in Miami.

The team won the coveted Caribbean National Team of the Year dethroning Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados fielded a strong team of two senior chefs, a junior chef, a pastry chef and a bartender to tantalise the judges' taste buds.

The team was not satisfied with the top prize as they also took bronze in the categories of Caribbean Pastry Chef and Caribbean Junior Chef and silver in Caribbean Chef.

They won gold in Caribbean Bartender of the year and Caribbean National Team before being called back to the podium for the last and grandest prize of Caribbean National Team Of The Year.

Barbados came out on top on three previous occasions, the last time being 2017, before being beaten by Trinidad last year. They came back with determination this year, adding some fresh talent to the familiar faces, guided by team manager Henderson Butcher (NS)


June 21, 2019

BTMI banks on ‘fam tour’ to bring more Brits

Article by

Emmanuel Joseph /Barbados Today

Barbados could soon be welcoming hundreds more visitors from the United Kingdom onboard British Airways, if a Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc-sponsored familiarisation tour for travel agents pays off.

The BTMI has brought 28 agents from across the UK to the island as part of the airline’s 65th Anniversary Megafam Trip.

The group, which arrived here yesterday for a five-day stay at host hotel, Sea Breeze Beach House in Maxwell, Christ Church, are to experience for themselves the destination and

its offerings so they could sell the island to British holiday seekers.

Sharon McConway, who works for major UK tour operator Kuoni Travel, told Barbados TODAY during a welcome dinner and gala at Sea Breeze last night that Britons are looking to spend quality memorable and relaxing times with their loved ones away from home.

“First and foremost, they have worked hard and want to spend quality time with their families or their friends or honeymoon. So it’s a special occasion for them. So they want to feel relaxed, feel special…I don’t want to say pampered, but have an extra-special trip.”

Now on her first trip back to Barbados in ten years, she said her clients would also want to experience the hospitality that makes this country different from the rest along with its culture and music.

She added: “Most people would keep coming and coming.”

“People want to come to the island and celebrate a landmark birthday. So instead of one family, you find multi-generations.

“It might be grandparents taking their grandchildren and those families keep coming back…children grow up and they would take their children. It becomes a special place to make memories.”

She noted that people come into her company and know exactly where they want to stay, but others come and need inspiration.

“And here is with our knowledge, we [can] direct them to Barbados…and also to what type of hotel to stay at and what type of experience they are going to have,” McConway declared.

She said the last time she was here, she fell in love with the people, culture and cuisine and discovered what made Barbados so different to the other islands.

So this time around, the travel agent is seeking to learn what has changed.

McConway told Barbados TODAY: “It has a lot to offer different types of clients. I have to learn more and see certain landmarks and combine that with the hotels experience and share the passion with the UK market.”

The Sales and Marketing Manager for the Oceans Hotels Group, Jacqui McDermott, who was on hand to welcome the visitors to Sea Breeze, said the hotel will play its part in ensuring the agents have a memorable experience so they could better promote the island on return to the UK.

McDermott said: “We are treating them to a gala night…and that is our idea to have New Year’s Eve every day at Sea Breeze. Why do we limit it just to one day? So we do it once a month in the summer…and every week in the winter we have a special gala night where we have a fabulous buffet.”

The BTMI London office’s Senior Business Development Officer Marc McCollin said the team of agents will take in a range of activities while here including trips to St Nicholas Abbey Heritage Train, Atlantis Submarine, Mount Gay Distilleries and various hotel properties.

“It is a bit of taste of everything, said McCollin. “All the things that they need to help sell the destination better. Most of them are persons who are top sellers.

“We work very closely with British Airways in terms of their key players…persons who have been selling Barbados this year and over the last few years.

“And funny enough, a lot of them who been selling Barbados over the years, have never been [here].”

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June 12, 2019


NEW YORK, NY – June 12, 2019 – The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) proudly served as the co-sponsor for the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards Dinner held on June 6th at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel. Part of CTO’s annual Caribbean Week in New York City, the awards program recognizes excellence in the promotion of Caribbean Tourism and honors individuals across the industry whose dedicated work has contributed to the development of tourism to the region.

The destination was the recipient of four Caribbean Media Awards, presented to individuals, organizations and destinations for stellar journalistic work published in the U.S.:

· Up the Social Ladder Award for Best Social Media Marketing Campaign by a CTO Member Country: Presented to the Jamaica Tourist Board for its Join Me in Jamaica digital campaign

· Golden Mic Award for Best Feature Broadcast: Presented to Donna Perkins for the Negril, Jamaica episode of Andiamo! Uptown

· I Have Influence Award for Best Executed Travel Influencer Campaign: Presented to Francesca Murray for coverage of the Jamaica Food & Drink Festival

· Me Too! I Rediscovered Home! Award for Best Feature by a Diasporan Journalist in US or Caribbean Media: Presented to Kevin Williams of Caribbean Life for his article “Rum making with Appleton Estate’s master blender”

Jamaica’s Director of Tourism Donovan White presented the JTB-sponsored Memorial Awards named for Marcia Vickery-Wallace and Marcella Martinez, recognizing industry stalwarts for their commitment to covering and marketing the Caribbean as a premier travel destination. The Marcia Vickery-Wallace award for excellence in travel journalism was presented to veteran journalist Ed Wetschler, while the Marcella Martinez award was presented to Cheryl Andrews for her contribution as an outstanding public relations practitioner.


May 23, 2019

Re-branding the Bahamas Author Dawn A. Davis

When planning a vacation to The Bahamas most holiday makers automatically think of Nassau, the bustling modern capital, Freeport, the second city on Grand Bahamas island, or Bimini, known for its pristine beaches. But, there is so much more to the Bahamas than these three well-known destinations. Thus, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is on a mission to change all that.

Ellison Tommy Thompson“We are promoting The Bahamas with a 16-island strategy. We are introducing the individual names of the islands of The Bahamas, with each island being branded according to what the island can deliver,” explained Ellison ‘Tommy’ Thompson, the Tourism Ministry’s Deputy Director General.

Caribbean Today caught up with Thompson recently at a Bahamas marketing event held on the Seafair mega yacht in the Miami bay.

A mere ‘shouting’ distance from Miami, Florida, The Bahamas is an archipelago of islands that stretches over 100,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean dotted with large and small islands, and many cays, all with different characteristics. It is these differences the Deputy Director General is promoting.

Said Thompson: “If you go to Crooked island, that’s a bone fishing paradise. And the neighbouring island, Acklins, least known of all the islands and a pristine natural wonder, will showcase its unique beauty with the first annual Cascarilla Festival this June.”

The Cascarilla herb, known for magical powers of protection and cleansing, is also a major ingredient in the Italian liqueur Campari.

“Cascarilla is a huge business,” he added. “So, we’re trying to make it as sustainable as possible. The aim of the festival is to get the younger people involved in it, so we’re working with the schools. We have acres of farmland, and we will give some of that to the schools so that they can get students involved in sustainability of the crop and also teaching them the financial benefits of the business.”

Another festival which takes place in March each year is the Mutton Festival on Long Island. The two days of festivities highlights the creativity of Long Islanders in the creation of mutton dishes.

“Part of what we’re doing is to look at how do we create economic benefits from tourism. Our branded festivals are a great way to draw attention to these islands and also to bring business to the islands,” Thompson emphasised.

Rockstar Lenny Kravitz

Giving a boost to the marketing strategy, the Tourism Ministry has Partnered with rockstar Lenny Kravitz to bring a dash of celebrity status to the islands. Indeed, the famous singer/songwriter’s Bahamian heritage and his occasional presence on the islands, even before he became a household name, lends authenticity to the advertising and marketing rollout.

A well-produced television commercial featuring Kravitz walking on an expansive beach, talking to locals, and driving along the coastline with his hit song “Fly Away” playing in the background skillfully beckons visitors to The Bahamas.

“So, we have superstar Lenny, but also you have the nice, real authentic, unfiltered Bahamian telling the story of their particular island. We try to infuse more of the culture of The Bahamas in a very authentic way,” said a beaming Thompson.

Thompson added: “We’ve created a Tourism Development Corporation that is looking at ways to get Bahamians involved in the ownership of tourism. If you have a bed and breakfast, give tours, or sell souvenirs, we are trying to get more diversification in tourism.”

In fact, according to the Deputy Director General, 2018 was a record breaking year for The Bahamas with more than 6.6 million visitors, a significant 486,176 increase over figures recorded in 2017. He also revealed that forward bookings (measured March to May) are looking extremely healthy, with international arrivals running 9 percent ahead of last year. And, with its new rebranding strategy, the Lenny Kravitz expected ‘effect’, and a strong repeat customer base, visitor numbers are again expected to beat the previous year.

Part of the ‘effect’ is expected to reach potential visitors further afield, evident in the Ministry’s recent trips to Canada, Germany, and New York to promote The Bahamas. However, Thompson acknowledged that about 80 percent of the tourism business to The Bahamas comes from North America (the US and Canada). And, just 50 miles off the Bahamian coast, Florida is dubbed number one for visitors to the islands.

“We see ourselves as a global brand. We know where our major market is, but part of the tourism marketing strategy is also reaching potential visitors from across the globe.”

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