Monday, December 12, 2011

Jane Anderson's Impressions of World Travel Market 2011

There was a generally upbeat mood in the Caribbean Village despite the harsh realities of the worldwide recession and I felt there was an emphasis on returning to an authentic Caribbean, where the islands play to their strengths and unique cultures.

I liked the fact there were many small, family-owned properties as well as large groups, and it was interesting to see the Turks & Caicos promoting the lesser-developed islands as some of the last of the true exotics in the Caribbean, with Salt Cay and the caves and mangrove swamps of Middle Caicos. I loved the emergence of activities like the proposed cycle/swim/run/swim/run across North Caicos, Parrot Cay, Dellas Cay, Pine Cay, Water Cay and Provo.

Russ and Magdalena from True Blue Bay on Grenada were full of news about how they promote local arts and crafts, while Rebecca Thompson at Maca Bana described how guests get taken into the countryside for art lessons and to the hotel’s small-holding to pick fresh produce to cook with the chef. I think artisanal activities such as these are set to become more valuable to tourism in the Caribbean.

This year has seen me travel to St Barths and Barbados to see what these upscale islands can offer travellers on a budget, while on a visit to Antigua I took my children to sample the Puffin Books-inspired kids programme at St James’s Beach Club. In 2012 I’m looking forward to returning to the Caribbean, potentially to the Turks & Caicos for Definitive Caribbean and possibly Bermuda.

In my travels across this region, I will bring back whatever I find to the Definitive Caribbean website, keeping it innovative and up-to-date. I’m keen to seek out relatively unexplored areas like the Caribbean art scene, while at the same time spreading the exciting news of the relaunch of Definitive Caribbean.

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