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New York, October 25, 2021—Known as the Isle of Flowers, the island of Martinique is proud to be declared a Gold Award winner in the Destinations Category of Travel Weekly’s 2021 edition of the Magellan Awards. Specifically, Martinique was honored in the Caribbean - Overall Destinations-Eco-Friendly "Green" Destination category.
“We are thrilled about this Gold win from Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards. It confirms that we are doing things right, as it comes on the heels of the great honor of being declared by UNESCO a World Biosphere Reserve” said Martinique’s new Tourism Board Commissioner, Bénédicte di GERONIMO.
In just one year, Martinique has garnered these distinctions and two others: In December 2020 Martinique's traditional Yole sailboats were inducted into UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List followed in February 2021 by TripAdvisor naming Martinique the world's top emerging destination. Martinique’s forests and volcanoes of the majestic Mount Pelée & of the Northern Pitons are also candidates for UNESCO’s Natural sites list, with an announcement to be made soon.
Martinique and its people have been creatively developing sustainable tourism and eco-friendly farming for quite some time. Here are just a few examples:
Unusual hotels such as Domaine des Bulles which is situated in the midst of a nature preserve boast three and now four different transparent bubbles – Mineral, Water or Air. Robinson is a new bubble that just opened in June. Each has a private bath and garden. Furthermore, the property now boasts a spa and communal table utilizing products from the vegetable garden. Léon Tisgra is Martinique's first organic farmer who pioneered agro tourism on the island.
Events like La Route des Fermes Bio span February to June from north to south on the island. This new event includes a visit to an organic farm alongside a cooking demonstration from Martinique's celebrated chefs. Each month one of five farms invites the public to observe and interact with these farmers in the midst of their domain. Six local chefs utilize the farm's bounty in tastings and demos to showcase the evolution from farm to plate.
Activities such as chocolate production at the Habitation Céron—an ancient sugar plantation from the 17th century. The tropical gardens include a 350-year-old tree, Zamana, whose leaves retract during the rainy season and return with the sun helping to ensure a fresh and humid climate for the gardens. With more than 2,000 cocoa trees Habitation Céron produces their own chocolate bar and which visitors can observe. The restaurant utilizes only fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices grown on-site and the gourmet store sells leftovers transformed into jams, sauces, dried fruits so that nothing goes to waste.
And, coffee production in Martinique is back. A little known fact is that 90% of coffee plants and plantations in the Caribbean and in Central and South America, come from a coffee plant brought to Martinique from Paris over 300 years ago. Coffee production had ended in Martinique until 15 years ago, when two Arabica trees from the original plant that arrived in 1720 were found near the Mount Pelée in Northern Martinique. There is a pilot project now supported by the Parc Naturel de Martinique and the CIRAD called “Café Excellence” which resumed—with its seeds—coffee production in Martinique, achieving a first harvest in 2017-2018 of the top quality Typica variety. Seeds have been distributed to farmers throughout the island to cement the revival of both this ancient and new elixir.
Last, but not least, to experience its breathtaking and verdant landscapes, Martinique offers an amazing network of 35 hiking trails—80 miles to explore and taking visitors through beaches, bays, and mountain rainforests. Two-thirds of Martinique is protected parkland, and the entire island offers visitors great opportunities to hike, ride, or paddle through an amazing variety of natural landscapes. You can also horseback ride, mountain bike, or go on a kayaking or canoeing excursion to a mangrove swamp or an off-shore islet. Another popular activity is canyoning and of course surfing.
Martinique Tourism Authority USA
Director of Communications
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About Martinique | us.martinique.org The French Caribbean Island of Martinique is also known as the Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, the Birthplace of coffee in the New World, The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire) – Martinique ranks among the most alluring and enchanting destinations in the world. As an overseas region of France, Martinique boasts modern and reliable infrastructure – roads, water and power utilities, hospitals, and telecommunications, services all on par with any other part of the European Union. At the same time, Martinique’s beautifully unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, 80+ miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, streams, and other natural wonders are unparalleled in the Caribbean, so visitors here truly get the best of both worlds. The currency is the Euro, the flag and the official language are French, but Martinique’s character, cuisine, musical heritage, art, culture, common language, and identity are of a distinctly Afro-Caribbean inclination known as Creole. It is this special combination of modern world conveniences, pristine nature, and rich heritage that has earned for Martinique several notable distinctions in recent years. Hot off the press: In October Martinique was declared a Gold winner in Travel Weekly’s Magellan awards in the Caribbean - Overall Destinations-Eco-Friendly "Green" Destination category. In September 2021, Martinique’s exceptional biodiversity was recognized by UNESCO, which added the entire island to its World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The destination was named the world's top emerging destination by TripAdvisor for 2021. In late 2020, Martinique’s traditional Yole Boat was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List and the Isle of Flowers also earned Silver honors in Travel Weekly’s 2020 Magellan Awards as an Art & Culture Caribbean Destination. In December 2019 and for the second year in a row, Martinique was named “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean” by the Caribbean Journal. The island was also recognized in January 2019 by OprahMag.com and in first place in their list of “The 19 Best Winter Getaways.” Martinique was also showcased in the Caribbean Journal’s Best Caribbean Islands to visit in 2019. Martinique has also been featured in Travel + Leisure and the New York Time’s “52 Places to go in 2018.”