European travel giant is adding more flights to Jamaica, the company said this week. 

TUI plans to expand its presence in Jamaica in the summer of 2023 with increased flights. 

The news was revealed during a meeting with the Jamaica Tourist Board this week. 

“Part of Jamaica’s recovery efforts has been to strengthen partnership with our tourism stakeholders like TUI Group and their intention to increase flights signals confidence in the destination,” said Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett. “This move will undoubtedly augur well for the destination in terms of arrivals and economic activity in terms of jobs and overall earnings,”

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They say it’s Grand Cayman’s best piña colada. So you know I had to try it.

Made from a combination of Myers’s dark rum, pineapple juice, coconut milk AND coconut ice cream, the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman’s version isn’t agitated in a blender, mixed in a shaker, or, God forbid, poured from a carton of pre-made mix. Instead it’s dispensed from a soft-serve ice cream machine that sits behind the bar at the resort’s poolside restaurant, Bar Jack.

My verdict after the first ice-cold slurp: Really rummy, deliciously sweet, and a potent refresher on a sweltering day.

But is it the best pina colada you can find on Grand Cayman?

Once I’ve worked my way through the rest of the island’s beach bars, I’ll let you know.

Article By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
Caribbean Journal Travel Editor

It’s hard to imagine St. Croix — or at least tourism in St. Croix — without the Buccaneer resort. When Douglas and Rachel Armstrong originally opened their 11-room inn on Beauregard Bay in 1947, sugar was still king on St. Croix. In fact, the Armstrongs previously raised cattle on their Estate Show property, and tourism wouldn’t start overtaking agriculture as the island’s prime business until the following decade.

In the 75 years since, the resort has grown to include 138 guest rooms, an 18-hole golf course, a spa, two pools, three beaches, and three restaurants. One thing hasn’t changed, however. Ownership in the hotel has always remained with the Armstrong family, now in its third generation of running the hotel.

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It’s been one of the biggest success stories in Caribbean tourism since the onset of the pandemic: the US Virgin Islands, which expertly navigated the uncertain waters of the pandemic and came out with record-breaking numbers. 

Indeed, from June 2021 to May 2022, the US Virgin Islands had the highest hotel occupancy in the Caribbean, with a 72.5 percent number, according to data from STR. 

The USVI also led the region in average daily rate at $637 and revenue per available room, $461.61, during the same period. 

And the numbers keep getting even better. 

In a sizzling start to 2022, first-quarter visitor arrivals surged 153 percent compared to the same period in 2021, with a total of 452,764 visitors, according to Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte. 

The USVI also saw a rapid increase in new airlift during the pandemic; Transportation Security Administration data showed that the USVI was the fastest-growing location for total airlift capacity in the Americas from 2019 to 2021. 

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