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Welcome to the Caribbean, where we invite you to experience all that we have to offer, and to truly live like a local!

Motaz Othman,

MICE Middle East,
Dubai, 
 
 
During ATM 2018 days, i had the chance to meet with Ms. Carol Hay, Director of Marketing for U.K & Europe at The Caribbean Tourism Organization, i asked her first about the location and few questions.

 
 
Welcome to the Caribbean, where we invite you to experience all that we have to offer, and to truly live like a local!
 
 
Q: Let us start with the location of the Caribbean as the world is big and some people don't know where The Caribbean is located? 
A: The Caribbean is a combination of tropical islands and mainland countries, we are located in the centre of Americas, North of South America and South of North America.  The Caribbean is easily accessible from North America, Canada, UK and Europe.  The Caribbean consists of many counties, a number of these are members of the Caribbean Tourism organization Anguilla, Antigua &Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize,British Virgin Islands, Cayman islands, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Maarten, St-Martin, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and Turks & Caicos Islands.
 
 
 
Q: What is the best time to visit The Caribbean?
A: That depends on what you are looking for as we have a lot of festivals and functions around the year, however, between November and March, is considered the high season as we experience excellent weather in comparison to the cold weather  in North America and Europe.  The summer months from May to September is also very popular for honeymooners, whilst those travel without children and are not tied to school holidays like to visit in late summer, September to November.  For UAE and Middle East citizens, I can say that The Caribbean is suitable around the year as we are an year-round  destination; and the visit can be timed with various cultural activities and interests.
 
 
 
Q: What attractions you have for UAE and Middle East travellers and tourists?
A: The Caribbean has an exciting range of accommodation and activities, therefore we remain a leading choice Honeymooners, we have a lot of attractions, very strong culture and heritage, and we are very friendly people, I truly encourage our Middle East travellers to meet with locals and as we say - live like a local  - which means sampling our abundance of seafood, fresh vegetables and tropical fruits, experience our local carnivals, festivals, sailing regattas, spa and wellness retreats, they can be as active or as relaxing as they chose. For more information about the Caribbean and links to our hotels and destinations, we encourage visitors to review our website www.caribbean.co.uk . The Caribbean is also one of the leading cruise destinations in the world; we would encourage visitors from The Middle East to explore the Caribbean on a cruise ship, and then choose one of our stunning destinations to visit and spend more time. Again, we have found that Caribbean Cruises are very popular with honeymooners, and there are so many they can choose from including Royal Caribbean Cruise lines, Carnival Cruise Lines and Crystal Cruises. They can cruise from either Florida, The Bahamas or Puerto Rico!
 
 
 
Q: What about flight connections that Middle East travellers can use to reach the Caribbean?
A: We are very well connected with direct flights to major European countries, as well to North America, I know that Gulf and Middle East Airlines are flying to North America and they have the Code-share agreements in place with a number of airlines.  It's easy to reach any of our destinations with hundreds of incoming flights every day from North America, Canada, UK, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Holland and numerous charter flights. We also have regional carriers such as LIAT and Inter Caribbean airways who also have great connections, and make it easy to island hop, and visit other spots across the Caribbean.
 
 
 
Q: Why you don't invite Gulf Airlines to start direct flights to The Caribbean?
A: We would love to have direct flights to the Caribbean, but until that happens we will work to ensure that the main gateways and connectivity are promoted!
 
 
 
Q: What about entry Visa to The Caribbean for UAE people and other Middle East countries?
A: Each country has its own guidelines regarding visas, and visitor must check before embarking on a journey. The Bahamas are leading the way in visa waiver for UAE citizens and other countries are working on waiving visas. Some countries will also accept visitor with a 10 year US visa; however, it's important to visit the website onecaribbean.org to check which countries need a prior Visa to entry.  We do not currently offer online visa application, visitors need to check on the website  for the nearest Embassy for The Caribbean destination they plan to visit and to apply for their Visa in time for their visit.
 
 
 
Q: Tell me more about the Caribbean people, their food and the way of life?
A:  Thanks for this question, we are a very diverse culture, with a strong heritage influence by Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. This eclectic mix allows us to have an exciting culinary experience - Seafood, but all kinds of vegetables, fruits and spices are used in our kitchen, we are able to cater to all food choices including  Halal, Vegan, Vegetarian and other dietary choices.  
 
 
 
Q: What travellers can see and what they can do?
A: We have Natural attractions – including Rainforests, Mountains, Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Rivers, historical buildings, and landmarks. There is great emphasis placed on Health and Wellness, along with water sports including Sailing, Yachting racing, Diving, Snorkelling and under water exploration.  As well as high tech diagnostic and wellness facilities, we encourage visitor to try some of the natural resources which as bathing at one of the Mineral Spas and experiencing am afternoon, bathing in volcanic mud which is rich in minerals, we are celebrating the year of wellness, following the rebuilding from the hurricane in 2017, and encourage everyone to visit the exciting and tropical Caribbean!
 
 
 
Q: I know that music and festivals are famous in The Caribbean?
A: Yes sure, we love music and all creative art forms including dance – and this is celebrated across the region throughout the around the yea. We have colourful festivals which showcase our cultural, heritage, cuisine’s.  We are proud that many celebrities, who are famous across the world from their music hail from the Caribbean! . The popular singer Rihanna is from island of Barbados, and Bob Marley was from Jamaica! The Steel Pan was invented in Trinidad and Tobago!
 
 
 
The Caribbean is a great choice for celebrities from around the world to visit and enjoy the music forms including, reggae, calypso and Soca!  We those who are active, we have great marathons, half marathons and triathlons that they can compete in! There is also the option for Yoga, Pilates and other relaxing experiences.
 
 
 
The Caribbean has it all, Honeymooners will enjoy the region, adventurers will find so many activities in the air, on the ground and in the depth of the Caribbean Sea! Cruises are very attractive they offer an introduction to the Caribbean and can be small and luxurious or larger and party-filled! , again, I would welcome UAE and Middle East tourists to visit our region and experience all that we have to offer!

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