It’s been a spectacular year so far for tourism in The Bahamas — and it’s gotten even better.

The country just released its first-half stopover visitor numbers, and the result is a 15.2 percent growth rate compared to the first six months of 2017 — and one of the fastest growth rates in the Caribbean.

That added another 110,000 visitors to the destination in the period.

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Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says Jamaica is poised to increase airlift into the island for a third consecutive year.

He said that thousands of additional seats have been negotiated for the 2018/2019 winter tourist season, which will give further momentum to the market. 

These include 38,000 more seats out of the United States; a record 42,400 additional seats out of Canada; 12,000 more seats from Continental Europe; and 7,455 more seats out of the United Kingdom and Northern Europe.

Bartlett, who was addressing day two of the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Monday, said that, starting in October, several new flights will be coming directly out of Eastern Europe to the Sangster International Airport. These include Pegas Fly and Nordwind.

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The island of Grenada has announced a significant new green initiative.

In an effort to ensure that its natural environment is protected and preserved for future generations, the country says it has implemented the new Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act.

The act began with a ban on the importation of Styrofoam, effective September 1, 2018, which will be followed by sale sanctions on the substance effective March 1 and a complete embargo on its use a month later.

The act will also bar all single use plastics such as shopping bags, cutlery, plates, straws and cups by February 1, 2019.

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More often reserved for vacations than retirement, many Caribbean territories roll out the red carpet for baby boomers ready to rev up their next big adventure. Beyond the perks of warm weather and a closet without winter coats, the islands welcome those exiting the fast track with a laid-back lifestyle, tax incentives, affordable health care and lobsters on the grill. Live the dream, pack your bags and write the next chapter of your life under a palm tree. You’ve earned it.

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Earlier this year, Canadian carrier WestJet launched its new low-cost airline, Swoop.

And it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the new carrier launched its first Caribbean flights.

Well, its happened.

Swoop has announced plans to launch its first Caribbean route, with nonstop flights from Hamilton International Airport to Montego Bay, Jamaica.

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