|Thursday, 04 October 2012|
|ANGUILLA TOURIST BOARD MINGLES WITH TRAVEL MEDIA|
It was beaches, books and big stars at the Intercontinental Hotel in Toronto last night.
|Dale Pusching, director of sales, Anguilla Tourist Board; Martha Chapman, public relations specialist, Tourism Marketing International; and Marie Walker, director, North America, Anguilla Tourist Board
Twenty attendees from the travel media joined reps from the Anguilla Tourist Board for cocktails and a light buffet to hear why Canadians now know Anguilla’s name.
“When I first started with Anguilla, most of the world mispronounced its name,” said Dale Pusching, director of sales, Anguilla Tourist Board. “We’ve come a long way.”
Anguilla is situated in the British West Indies, around 150 miles east of Puerto Rico and nine miles north of St. Martin. It is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean.
The island is renowned for its 33 unspoiled, tranquil, white-sand beaches, which are considered to be among the best in the world, ranging from Shoal Bay East with its one-mile stretch of sand, water sports facilities and restaurants to the secluded Captain’s Bay.
“Anguilla is 35 square miles of magic,” said Marie Walker, director, North America, Anguilla Tourist Board.
“Canadian tourists are now asking about Anguilla,” said Pusching. According to him, Canadian visitors were up 17 per cent in 2011 and Canadian numbers to July 31, 2012, show an increase of 18 per cent, making Canada Anguilla’s second-highest tourism market.
“The question I get most often is: Isn’t it expensive?” said Pusching. “My answer to that is, ‘Yes. It can be very expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. There is always fantastic value and wonderful hospitality.”
There is a reason Anguilla attracts the likes of Paul McCartney, Sofia Vargara, Liam Neeson, Michael J. Fox, Michael Jordan and Ellen Degeneres.
For example, Anguilla’s legendary CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa is home to the island’s 18-hole Greg Norman championship golf course. Popular outdoor activities include scuba diving, boat racing, snorkeling and body surfing.
|CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa, Anguilla
Anguilla’s powdery, white sand beaches, dramatic cliff tops and tropical rainforest trails provide a variety of interesting walks through the Katouche Valley, the best remaining example of a natural rainforest on Anguilla, to Cavannagh Cave at the end of the Katouche Valley, originally mined for phosphorous.
Anguilla is also renowned for festivals, including LitFest, nightlife, shopping and cuisine. Dining options range from the highly sophisticated to fun. This island of no all-inclusive resorts now boasts 120 restaurants, which works out out to roughly one for every 135 inhabitants.
Most Canadians get to Anguilla via the neighbouring island of St. Martin, which offers sea shuttles or flights seven-minutes in duration.
Flights from Canada to St. Martin are year-round on Sunwing and WestJet, and winter only on Air Canada from Toronto. From Montreal, flights are year-round on Sunwing and winter only on Air Transat.
Canadian tour operators featuring Anguilla are Air Canada Vacations (packages in winter from Toronto, “land only” year-round); Air Transat Holidays (two-centre holidays with St. Martin from Montreal in winter); Sunwing packages year-round from Toronto and Montreal; as well as Total Vacations and Enjoy Vacations with year-round independent travel.
Predominantly associated with its world-class hotels, villas and luxury resorts, Anguilla also offers accommodation in guest houses, self-catering apartments, seaside villas, bed and breakfasts, apartments and cottages to suit a variety of different tastes.
Hotels offering specials for Canadian travellers include Viceroy Anguilla, which includes the Island Escapes program; Shoal Bay Villas, which offers a “Pay 4, Stay 5” program; Paradise Beach Club, which offers seven-night packages including car rental and breakfast starting at $2,015; Carimar Beach Club, which offers seven night accommodation, four dinners, four lunches and two-day car rental starting at $2,579; Frangipani Beach Resort which offers $50 to $300 off of seven night minimum stays; and CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa, which offers a “Stay 7 Night, Pay for 5” program.
For additional information, visit the official website of the Anguilla Tourism Board at ivisitanguilla.com.