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Caribbean Corner
SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS HELD AT HYATT REGENCY TRINIDAD
Pictured here are Organization of American States representatives assembled for the Summit.

CARIBBEAN WEEK IN NEW YORK HOSTS FIRST EVER MEETING & INCENTIVE TRAVEL SHOWCASE, JUNE 12, 2009

The Caribbean Tourism Development Company (www.caribbeantravel.com) has developed a brand new program for this year's highly anticipated Caribbean Week in New York (www.onecaribbean.org), June 8-12, 2009. The event, entitled the Caribbean Meeting and Incentive Travel Showcase, will be hosted in association with Black Meetings and Tourism magazine to target the meeting, incentive, conference and exposition markets by sharing the unique experiences available for these specialized groups within the Region. The showcase will take place on Friday, June 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the New Yorker Hotel.

"The Caribbean Meeting and Incentive Travel Showcase is an important new addition to the Caribbean Week program as this particular niche continues to travel for their meetings despite the economy," said Hugh Riley, interim secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and co-chief executive officer for the Caribbean Tourism Development Company (CTDC). "Their travel decisions are made based on the opportunity to experience an extraordinarily special and memorable trip that also offers value. The Caribbean is well poised to serve this market because of its proximity, the quality and diversity of product and its affordability."

Showcase participants will have the opportunity to personally interact with pre-qualified association planners to gather feedback in terms of their interests and even receive RFPs. The session is expected to attract planners from associations such as Meeting Planners International, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, Society of Incentive Travel Executives, National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners, Governments, hoteliers, convention centers and more.

For more information on Caribbean Week in New York 2009, to register for all events and to purchase tickets, (212) 635-9530 to speak to a representative from the Caribbean Tourism Development Company.

OH CANADA! MAPLE LEAF MARKET BRINGS BIG BUSINESS TO ST. LUCIA
Coco Palm's Feolla Chastanet Says Future Prospects For Canada Look Bright

St. Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean ought to take advantage of the strong Canadian travel market, asserts local hotelier Feolla Chastanet of Rodney Bay's Coco Palm.

The managing director of the popular boutique property said while the United States has been the obvious choice, its northern neighbors cannot be overlooked.

Fresh from co-hosting a group of leading Canadian writers and reporters on a press visit to St. Lucia (in partnership with WestJet Vacations), Chastanet said Canadians have a deep appreciation for the Caribbean's soft adventure experiences and in particular the French Creole cultural offerings of the island. "We have been completely surprised by the number of Canadians who visited Coco Palm and Rodney Bay this past winter," said Chastanet whose hotel registered a 1,000 percent increase in arrivals over last year.

Highlighting WestJet's and Air Canada's respective seasonal and year-round services as contributing factors, Chastanet said that while Canada is not traditionally a summer market, preparations should begin in earnest to welcome more Canadians in the fall and winter seasons when more air seats come on line. "Canadians traditionally have traveled in large numbers to Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Mexico - now they are taking a serious look at the Eastern Caribbean with the competitive airfares. We need to be serious about hosting them," she remarked, while also expressing optimism about the strength of the Caribbean Diaspora travel market across Canada.

While in St. Lucia, Canadian writers from the Toronto Sun, Share Newspaper, Wharehouse, Whitesand and FQ magazines sailed aboard Carnival Sailing to Soufrière (the island's former capital), visited the popular Anse La Raye Friday Fish Fry, toured the new and improved Rodney Bay Marina, and dined at The Edge, Dasheene and Ti Bananne restaurants

Pictured here is Chef Richadson Skinner of Ti Bananne Caribbean Bistro and Bar who created some delightful Caribbean creations for his visitors

HILTON CANCUN GOLF & SPA RESORT ON SCHEDULE TO DEBUT NEW MEETING SPACE AND CONVENTION CENTER CONCEPT THIS SUMMER
Beachfront Resort Adds Third Ballroom to Only Oceanfront Convention Center in City

Hilton Cancun Golf & Spa Resort announced the official opening date for the resort's brand new $2 million Isla Jr. Ballroom and unveiling of its convention center's new name: Peninsula Convention Center at the Hilton Cancun. Scheduled to debut this summer in June, the brand new 5,665-sq. ft. ballroom will form part of the resort's already impressive 43,335-sq. ft. facility - the city's only oceanfront convention center.

Designed by Guillermo Villarreal, a local architect known for several upscale residential communities and urban projects, the new space will feature the contemporary 5,665 ocean-view Isla Junior ballroom divisible into six breakout rooms with a total capacity for up to 550 guests, plus an oceanfront patio. The new Isla Jr. Ballroom will be equipped with state-of-the-art lighting and telecommunications systems as well as direct access to the existing Grand Caribe and Miramar ballrooms and outdoor function space.

"This exciting addition is in response to a growing demand for meeting space in Cancun and our goal to solidify our position as the destination's leading resort for groups", said Carlos Abaunza, general manager of the resort. "Now more than ever, meeting planners are looking for destinations that not only provide value, but can also complement an event with an environment perfectly suited for entertainment and relaxation. With the only oceanfront convention center in the city, we look forward to welcoming guests to experience all that Cancun has to offer."

The renaming of the Peninsula Convention Center at the Hilton Cancun is one component of the 426-room resort's plan to position itself as one of the best options in the city for both leisure and business travelers. The convention center is conveniently situated at one wing of the resort, away from the hotel's leisure activities, offering both business and leisure travelers their own private area. With nearly 110,000 sq. ft. of combined indoor and outdoor meetings space, the Peninsula Convention Center at the Hilton Cancun will feature 49,000 sq. ft. of indoor space including two ballrooms, the new Isla Jr. Ballroom and 22 breakout rooms, and 60,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space including a private beach and garden area.

From intimate gatherings and business meetings to elegant galas and full-scale, hi-tech themed events, the Hilton Cancun Golf & Spa Resort delivers exceptional amenities, attentive service and an unforgettable ambiance.

The Hilton Cancun Golf & Spa Resort is located just 15 minutes from the Cancun International Airport and five minutes away from Cancun's world-class shopping malls, marinas and attractions. To book a meeting at the Hilton Cancun Golf & Spa Resort, meeting planners should call +52-998-881-8000 or visit www.hiltoncancun.com.
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