New York, NY – 15 Jan., 2007 -- As a last minute reminder to consumers to obtain their passports, sellers of Caribbean destinations and hotels are offering incentives to obtain a passport in light of the impending Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which will be implemented on Jan. 23, 2007 for all travelers re-entering the U.S. via air transportation.  Travelers arriving by land and sea will need to possess a passport as early as Jan. 1, 2008 (date to be determined). 

            “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. 23, 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.           

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