Caribbean tourism news | Resort, hotel, festival, and travel highlights for 2024

by W. Andrew Powell
Stacy Cox, Hon. Josephine Connolly, and Wesley Clerveaux

Tourism in the Caribbean is on a steady rise, and there is a lot of travel news for resorts, renovations, reopenings, expanded flight service, and upcoming festivals in the region.

During the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference in October, travel ministers and leaders from 14 countries shared some of the biggest highlights for the year ahead. During the conference tourism leaders discussed the vital role of sustainability, investments in the regions, and industry growth.

Starting with the host country, and then listed alphabetically, here is some of the top news announced for travel destinations in 2024 and beyond.

Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos is focused on the expansion of tourism projects outside of Providenciales, to get travellers exploring South Caicos, Salt Cay, Grand Turk, and North and Middle Caicos.

Presented by Wesley Clerveaux, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, with Stacy Cox, CEO, Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, and the Hon. Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism, Turks and Caicos recently launched their new destination marketing organization, Experience Turks and Caicos.

In addition to sustainable tourism and new infrastructure, Turks and Caicos is planning to develop a new international airport in the next few years.

Accommodations: Salterra Resort & Spa will open on South Caicos in fall, 2024. The Strand Turks & Caicos is a sustainable resort that is set to open in 2024 with 41 beachfront villas, as well as residences. Andaz Turks and Caicos will open in 2025, and it’s the first Andaz property in the Caribbean. Turks and Caicos is also celebrating eight properties that are part of Virtuoso: Amanyara, Beach Enclave, Como Parrot Cay, Grace Bay Club, The Palms, The Ritz-Carlton, The Shore Club, and Wymara Resort and Villas.

Flights: Virgin Atlantic launched their inaugural service to Providenciales from London Heathrow, while Delta Airlines added a new route from Minneapolis to TCI.

Anguilla

The Hon. Haydn Hughes, Minister of Tourism, revealed renderings of the new Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport terminal and noted that an overall expansion is currently underway.

Accommodations: Ani Private Resorts will debut new amenities in 2024, including a tennis court, gym, spa and beachfront pavilion. Aurora Anguilla also recently added new amenities, including Avalon Links Short Course, Aurora Entertainment Park, and D Richard’s Steakhouse.

Flights: Anguilla announced that American Airlines is now offering 14 flights per week from Miami, until April 3, 2024, and the airline offers flights from San Juan, Puerto Rico as well.

Festivals: Anguilla Culinary Experience runs from May 23 to 26, 2024 with “internationally renowned chefs, farm to table dinners, barbeques, tastings and more.”

Antigua and Barbuda

Thanks to recent port development, Antigua and Barbuda can now accommodate Oasis class ships, the first of which arrived this month, and a new port terminal is set to open in 2025.

Hon. Charles Fernandez, Ministry of Tourism, and Colin James, CEO, Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, talked about the tourism growth, and some of the new openings scheduled for this year.

Accommodations: Royalton Chic is set to open in the first quarter of 2024 with 230 rooms, while Moon Gate Antigua will open by the end of 2024 with 49 all-inclusive suites. Additionally, in 2025, Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Antigua will open with a hotel, residences, and a beach club.

Recently, Jolly Beach restored 350 rooms at the end of 2023, and Verandah Resort reopened as an adults-only resort with 186 rooms. Hawksbill Resort and Curtain Bluff both reopened, and Tamarind Hills expanded their facilities with 4 new luxury villas, a restaurant, and beach club.

Festivals: Antigua and Barbuda Restaurant Week is from May 4 to 16, and Antigua and Barbuda Art Week is from November 27 to December 3.

The Bahamas

Presented by Latia Duncombe, the Director General of Tourism for The Bahamas, discussed the ways that tourism will grow in 2024 and beyond, with new properties and renovations.

Accommodations: Montage Cay, the private 53-acre island resort and residences, will open in 2025. In 2026, Six Senses Grand Bahama island resort will open, offering 45 waterfront and canal villas, plus 20 branded residences on Grand Bahama.

The oceanfront, luxury Goldwynn Resorts & Residences in Nassau already opened at the end of 2023. British Colonial Nassau reopens in February with 288 rooms and 25 signature suites.

Later in 2024, Ki’ama Bahamas, the world’s first solar-powered shared-ownership yacht and residence club will also open with 24 residences; 16 four-bedroom club residences, plus 8 six-bedroom whole ownership estates.

Flights: New flights to the Bahamas include Bahamasair, Delta Airlines, JetBlue, and Alaska Airlines.

British Virgin Islands

Director of Tourism, Clive McCoy, discussed a unique highlight in BVI–The Moorings–specializing in yacht charters and sailing vacations, and the launch of their new market and expanded watersports shop, as well as rejuvenated fleet.

Accommodations: Arriving in early 2024, Long Bay Beach Resort will add four new Hillside Suites and new beachfront buildings in the British Virgin Islands, while Peter Island Resort & Spa and Blunder Bay Estates both reopened.

Flights: American Airlines flying from Miami (MIA) to Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS) in BVI daily until April 3, 2024, including Saturdays. Tradewind Aviation is also offering flights from San Juan (SJU) to Virgin Gorda (VIJ) five days a week until April 8, 2024.

Festivals: Taste of Virgin Gorda is on March 16, 2024, and Taste of Tortola, June 29, 2024. BVI Wreck Week is from June 16 to 22, 2024, for diving adventures, and July 25 to August 10 is the Virgin Islands 70th Emancipation Festival.

Cayman Islands

Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism for Cayman Islands, and Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism & Ports, offered news on a number of new projects in the country.

Accommodations: Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman is a new 282-room property that will open later in 2024, while Vida Ocean Adventure Lodge opened at the end of 2023 with 18 bungalows.

Looking farther ahead, One|GT hotel and residences, as well as Kailani, a Curio Collection by Hilton Hotel, will both open in 2025. Grand Hyatt Grand Cayman Hotel & Residences is set to open in 2026.

Flights: Cayman Airways is offering flights to Bridgetown, Barbados from Grand Cayman, with twice weekly service to Los Angeles. jetBlue is flying twice per week to Boston starting in February, 2024, and United added daily service from Newark (EWR), from October until March, 2024.

Grenada

Petra Roach, CEO, Grenada Tourism Authority, talked at length about Grenada’s focus on green initiatives and sustainability, so it’s perfect that the country will host CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Conference from April 22 to 24, 2024. Sustainability is important in the country, including volun-tourism initiatives.

For divers, there are four new additions to the Underwater Sculpture Park that were created by local artist Troy Lewis. The new sculptures include Leatherback Turtle, Mama Glo, La Diablesse, and Bele Dancer.

Accommodations: Six Senses La Sagesse opened in January, while Silversands Beach House, the sister property to Silversands Grenada, opened in December.

Flights: Air Canada resumed their four weekly flights to Grenada, up from two each week last season, while Sunwing is resuming weekly service as of November, 2023.

Jamaica

Donovan White, Director of Tourism for Jamaica, provided extensive updates on Jamaica’s expanding tourism plans, including a total of 8,000 rooms slated for construction over the next 2 to 5 years, and approximately 15,000 to 20,000 rooms to be built in the next 5 to 10 years.

Accommodations: Arriving in 2024 is the 2,000-room Princess Hotel, which will open the first 1,000 rooms in June, 2024. The 352-room Hideaway at Royalton Blue Waters, an Autograph Collection, adults only, all-inclusive resort, and the 650-room Riu Palace Aquarelle, will also open later this year.

Ground has been broken for both the Hard Rock Hotel in St. James, and Unico in Montego Bay, while Sandals Dunn’s River, Ocho Rios opened in 2023.

Flights: Jamaica is currently expanding their runway and departure area at Sangster International Airport, with an expanded arrivals area opening soon. New flights have also been announced from Austin and Tampa to Montego Bay.

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is expecting over 400 cruise calls in the 2023/2024 cruise season, Lorine Charles-St. Jules, Director of Tourism for Saint Lucia, and Guibion Ferdinand, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, said.

The country also launched a new rewards program, Helen’s Rewards, with discounts and deals for returning visitors. The more often visitors return to Saint Lucia, the better the rewards.

Accommodations: Secrets St. Lucia Resort & Spa, a 351-room property, is scheduled to open in June, 2024, and the property will feature 16 food and beverage venues. Cas en Bas Beach Resort, Hyatt resort and residences, is expected to open by the end of 2024.

Flights: Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) is undergoing redevelopment with elements launching early this year. Extra flights with Delta are also arriving from Atlanta between January and April. American Airlines from Miami is now arriving twice daily, while JetBlue will arrive from Boston on Fridays.

Festivals: The Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival is from April 30 to May 12, 2024, and Lucian Carnival is July 1 to 17, 2024.

St. Kitts

Ellison Thompson and Melnecia Marshall, CEO and Deputy CEO, respectively, at St. Kitts Tourism Authority, talked about what they’re calling the “Summer of Fun” in 2024. Major festivals this year are outlined below.

Flights: Air Canada increased seat capacity by 66% with their new Friday service, while United’s Newark (EWR) to Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) service runs from November to August. jetBlue is flying from New York (JFK) to SKB three times per week.

Festivals: St. Kitts Music Festival is in June; the Nevis Mango Festival is from June to July; St. Kitts and Nevis Restaurant Week, and Grill Fest are in July; Nevis Culturama is in July and August; and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Cricket will happen in August to September.

St. Martin

Valérie Damaseau and Aïda Weinum, President and Director, respectively, of the St. Martin Tourist Office, discussed the expansion of the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), and the opening of the new departure hall. All work is expected to be complete by the end of spring this year.

In cruise news, MSC, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian are visiting during the cruise season.

Flights: La Conmpagnie flies out of Newark from November until April and all seats are first class. Plus, Air France offers 10 flights per week, while KLM offers 5.

Festivals: Festival de la Gastronomie Saint-Martin is from November 11 to 22, 2024.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Hon. Carlos James, Minister of Tourism, presented details on some of the highlights for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Accommodations: A 92-room Holiday Inn Express recently opened in St. Vincent, at the end of 2023, while a 250-room Marriott hotel will begin construction this June, 2024. The 301-room Sandals Saint Vincent & The Grenadines, is nearly complete and is scheduled to open on March 27, 2024.

Events: The ICC T20 World Cup 2024 will have games hosted in St. Vincent in June, 2024.

Tobago

Councillor Tashia Burris, Secretary of Tourism, talked about the beautiful country of Tobago, and new projects planned for the next two years.

Accommodations: Secrets all-inclusive resort will be built on 46 acres of land in Kilgwyn Bay, with 500 rooms that will open in 2026. Construction is also ongoing for the Elephant Tree Beach Club & Villas, an oceanfront property with 126 villas and 40 rooms, that will open in 2024.

U.S. Virgin Islands

The Hon. Joseph Boschulte, Commissioner of Tourism for the U.S. Virgin Islands, shared updates on the newest properties set to open in the area.

Accommodations: Four properties reopened in 2023. Morningstar Buoy Haus Beach Resort at Frenchman’s Reef, an Autograph Property, with 100 new rooms; The Westin Beach Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef, with 400 rooms; The Pink Palm Hotel in St. Thomas, a renovated, historical site; and Hideaway at Hull Bay, with 2 beachfront villas and 8 beachside cottages.

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