keling, a calypso party and an onboard
Day and night excursions aboard the Atlantis submarine tour also are available, as
are tours of the Mount Gay Rum Distillery
and Harrison’s Cave as well as an island safari excursion.
Once the Cayman Islands is on board the
Island Routes bandwagon, dive tours will
be offered, according to Shields.
New tours will be introduced in St. Lucia and Antigua prior to the peak season,
A target market for Island Routes is the
cruise market, “which requires a different
marketing strategy,” according to Shields.
“We are looking at ways to engage cruise
passengers,” he said. “Our tours speak to
Barbados tours include a catamaran cruise.
Horseback riding through the surf is a popular Island Routes tour excursion.
the heart and soul of the Caribbean and of-
fer opportunities for cruise visitors to see
the other side of the Caribbean and to meet
the people who live there.”
A recent Island Routes initiative
launched in Jamaica is the partnership with
online tour provider Bookit.com, “which
allows us to offer our clients options to
explore Jamaica like never before,” Shields
said. “This collaboration takes our com-
pany to the next level with tour operators,
allowing them to offer a complete Jamaica
Island Routes recently was named the
exclusive tour provider for Honeymoon-
Wishes.com, one of the top bridal registries
in the U.S. and Canada.
“Our hand-picked and certified excursions in all six island destinations — soon
to be seven — offer adventure, romance
or cultural options for honeymooners and
wedding parties,” Shields said.
Couples can register on the Honeymoon Wishes site and select specific tours
they hope to receive as gifts. The site links
with Island Routes-registered agents so
that agents get the tour commission while
Island Routes handles all the arrangements.
‘Barbados offers so much
more than sun, sea and
— Campbell Rudder, Barbados Tourism
“Agents love this,” Shields said. “It’s a
win-win opportunity for everyone.”
Bookings thus far this year are pacing
“extremely well,” according to Shields. Hur-
ricane Irene in August temporarily affected
business in the Bahamas and Turks and Ca-
icos, “but it’s picking up now,” he said. “St.
Lucia and Antigua are holding firm, and
Jamaica held steady this fall, as well.”
One goal now is getting clients to book
as far out as possible.
“We would like to secure their business
before they arrive on island,” Shields said,
noting that the short booking window and
the late-booking pattern were trends seen
throughout the region this year.
NOVEMBER 7, 2011