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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Looking to travel? Tourist hot spots on sale now

Sun-Sentinel Travellers to the Caribbean, the world's most tourist-dependent region, can expect generous deals even through winter.

The islands depend on air service for arrivals and can't lure motorist traffic like Florida can. They're anxious to offset higher airfares and in some cases, fewer flights. Some islands, including Jamaica, have pledged to pay American Airlines millions of dollars to ensure certain levels of flight service and passengers for the year.

To find deals, options abound, many advertised on the Internet.

Online travel company Travelocity, for example, offers a "Race to Savings" for trips through Jan. 15, with half off at the Courtyard by Marriott Fort Lauderdale East hotel or Hyatt Regency Acapulco in Mexico, when booked with flights.

The Caribbean's all-inclusive hotel chain Sandals offers airline credit up to $550 per person for stays booked by Oct. 23. And in the U.S. Virgin Islands, guests booking by Oct. 31 get a fifth night free in select hotels, plus $300 in travelers checks and a coupon book.