Caribbean agents are pushing passports

Sellers of Caribbean travel are enticing
consumers with incentives to obtain a passport in light of the impending Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative, soon to be implemented
for all travelers re-entering the U.S. via air transportation.Travelers
arriving by land and sea will eventually need to possess a passport as well, but
this does not take effect until June 2009.
  “The Caribbean region applauds the WHTI and the U.S. Government’s efforts to
increase security at the borders,” said Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, secretary
general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). “However, we believe that
by having different sets of rules depending on one’s mode of transportation—
sea, air or land—travelers may become confused, which will discourage
commerce and tourism.”
  “We are concerned that the acceleration of the implementation deadline for
airline passengers does not provide ample advance notice to enable the public to
obtain passports,” Vanderpool-Wallace added.
Sellers of Caribbean travel hope the following offers will help keep people
traveling to the Caribbean beyond Jan. 8, 2007. Incentives may include full
reimbursement of basic passport fees, complimentary spa packages, golf greens fees,
attraction tours, room upgrades, extra nights and gift shop purchases.

Governments
  Jamaica launched a new program encouraging U.S. citizens to get their passports
by rewarding vacationers who make Jamaica their first visit with their new
passport. Rewards include special credits while on the island amounting to the
cost of obtaining a passport.
  The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) also is implementing “Jamaican Morning Coffee
Breaks” to encourage Americans to obtain their passports. From Nov. 15, 2006
until mid-winter 2007, the JTB will hold coffee breaks at major commuter
terminals in New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. where consumers can actually
apply for their passports onsite as well as collect the required forms. Free
Jamaican coffee will be served.
For more information visit www.visitjamaica.com or call 1-800-233-4JTB
(1-800-233-4582).

Aruba Hotels
  Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort in Aruba offers a $25 food and beverage credit per
person, per stay (minimum five-night stay) to those who make Aruba the first
stamp in their passport. The promotion is valid Jan. 3, 2007 - Dec. 17, 2007.
For more information visit
http://pull.xmr3.com/p/87-F577/51699892/http-www.amsterdammanor.com-.html or
call 1-800-932-6509.

  Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba is providing each guest a $50 car rental voucher
per person (minimum of a five-night stay) to those who make Aruba the first
stamp in their passport. The special is valid for reservations made now through
Dec. 31, 2006 for travel through 2007. Visit
http://pull.xmr3.com/p/87-3676/51699896/http-www.arubaboardwalk.com-.html or
call 011-297-586-1836.

  La Cabana All Suite Resort in Aruba offers 25% off regular nightly rates when
booking directly through the hotel reservation center at 1-800-835-7193 for
those travelers who make Aruba their first point of entry with their new
passport. This promotion is valid for bookings received by Dec. 15, 2006 for
travel in 2007.

ADVERTISEMENT

  MVC Eagle Beach, Aruba is providing a $25 food and beverage credit per person,
per stay (minimum five-night stay) to those customers who choose Aruba as their
first destination with their new passport. This special is valid Jan. 3, 2007 -
Dec. 17, 2007. Visit
http://pull.xmr3.com/p/87-A4A1/51699900/http-www.mvceaglebeach.com-.html or call
011-297-587-0110.

Westin Aruba Resort, Spa & Casino in Aruba provides a $50 food and beverage credit
per person, per stay, valid now through 2007 for those who make Aruba the first
stamp in their passport. For more information visit www.westin.com/aruba or call
1-877-822-2222.

Bahamas Hotels

  Club Peace & Plenty, located on the Island of Exuma in the Bahamas, will
reimburse the cost of obtaining a passport for up to two children and two adults
in each booking party. This promotion is valid for bookings received by Dec. 31,
2006 for travel in 2007. For more information visit
http://pull.xmr3.com/p/87-67A0/51699904/http-www.peaceandplenty.com-.html or
call 1-800-525-2210.

  Westin and Sheraton Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort, located on Grand
Bahama Island, is offering a $100 resort credit to guests who obtain a passport
now through Dec. 31, 2006 for travel now through June 2007. For more information
visit http://pull.xmr3.com/p/87-6520/51699902/http-www.ourlucaya.com.html or
call 1-888-627-7129 for the Sheraton or 1-888-627-7130 for the Westin.

Anguilla Hotels

  Arawak Beach Inn, Anguilla, is offering a special rate and a complimentary
day-trip to those travelers who obtain a passport and make Anguilla the first
stamp in their new passport. Rates start at $240 per person, based on double
occupancy, and vary during different seasons. This offer is good for travel now
through June 30, 2007. Visit
http://pull.xmr3.com/p/87-F7F7/51699894/http-www.arawakbeach.com-.html or call
1-877-427-2925.

St. Lucia Hotels

  Ladera Resort in St. Lucia will reimburse the cost to obtain a passport to
travelers who make St. Lucia their first visit with their new passport. As an
added incentive, Ladera will also provide guests with a leather passport case, a
complimentary 30-minute Jet-Lag massage at the Ti Kaye Posé Spa and a beverage
from the bar. This offer is valid Jan. 1, 2007 -Dec. 21, 2007. A minimum
five-night stay is required. For more information visit
http://pull.xmr3.com/p/87-A737/51699885/clickto9_D=C060907120700-LNK=3-UId=764.html
or call 1-800-738-4752.

Chain Hotels

  Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean Resorts, including Aruba Marriott Resort &
Stellaris Casino, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, Frenchman’s Reef & Morning
Star Marriott Beach Resort (St. Thomas), Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald
Casino, and St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino, are offering a
$100 resort credit (minimum five-night stay) for those who make any one of these
properties their first visit with their new passport. This offer is valid Jan.
1, 2007 - April 30, 2007. Visit
http://pull.xmr3.com/p/87-A5E1/51699903/http-www.paradisebymarriott.com-.html or
call 1-888-PARADISE.

  SuperClubs has nine resorts in the Caribbean including Grand Lido Negril Resort
& Spa, Grand Lido Braco Resort & Spa, Breezes Runaway Bay Resort & Golf Club,
Breezes Montego Bay, Hedonism II and Hedonism III, all in Jamaica; Breezes
Bahamas in Nassau; Breezes Curacao Resort Spa & Casino; and Breezes Puerto Plata
Resort Spa & Casino in the Dominican Republic. Those travelers who obtain new
passports or renew older ones, and stay at one of these SuperClubs’ properties,
will receive the cost of obtaining a passport credited towards a vacation
package. Travelers must book by Jan. 8, 2007, for travel anytime in 2007. For
more information visit
http://pull.xmr3.com/p/87-A761/51699905/http-www.superclubs.com-.html or call
1-800-GO-SUPER (1-800-467-8737).

Tour Operators

  CheapCaribbean.com will reimburse the cost to acquire a passport for each member
of the traveling party when booking through CheapCaribbean.com. This offer is
available for a limited time with travel through 2007. The rebate form as well
as original receipts must be mailed in within 30 days of booking the trip. Visit
http://pull.xmr3.com/p/87-F6B7/51699897/http-www.cheapcaribbean.com-.html or
call 1-800-915-2322.

  Many Caribbean governments, as well as CTO, are creating public awareness
campaigns to inform the public of the need to obtain a passport by the Jan. 8,
2007 WHTI implementation date as well as where and how to get one.
  Passports may be obtained through the U.S. Postal Service. The passport fees are
paid to the U.S. Department of State while Execution fees are paid to the
Postmaster. Fees are as follows: Passport Fee ($67), Execution Fee ($30) and
Photo Fee ($15). Fees for children under age 16 include: Passport Fee ($52),
Execution Fee ($30) and Photo Fee ($15). Prospective passport seekers can
provide their own passport photos.
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