As the country gears up for Antigua’s Carnival – dubbed ‘the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival’, taking place from July 27 to August 2 – regional neighbours will get a teaser of the celebrations with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Creative Industries and Innovation’s ‘Taste of Antigua Carnival’ roadshow, being held as a precursor throughout various Caribbean islands.
Trinidad and Tobago, home to millions of Carnival aficionados, was the first stop on the roadshow.
“The purpose of ‘Taste of Antigua Carnival’ is to build momentum for the festivities. Carnival is a major draw for regional travellers, and a huge economic driver for us.
“Following a break of two years, and under the theme ‘Reigniting the Spirit’, we felt it critical to make our presence felt within the region with a strong comeback.
“We are building back bridges with our regional trade partners, connecting with the media, and speaking directly to the consumer.
“There was no better place to start the show than one of our key regional markets and a mecca for Carnival, Trinidad and Tobago,” said Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s Marketing Consultant for the Caribbean and Latin America, Charmaine Spencer.
Joining Spencer to bring the Antigua Carnival excitement to Trinidad on June 3 and 4 was the Authority’s Marketing Communications Manager, Maria Blackman, as well as Tours Executive, Francine Joseph, and from the Ministry of Creative Industries and Innovation was Marketing and Public Relations Manager Roger Perry, and Marketing and Communications Executive, Leanda Ann Norville.
The delegation hosted an ‘Antigua Carnival Brunch’ exclusively for the Trinidadian travel trade and media partners. Twenty travel agencies alongside three media houses attended the oversubscribed event, to learn about Antigua’s latest tourism developments, easy travel protocols, and hear more about the 2022 Carnival festivities.
Five down-the-line radio interviews as a part of the media blitz took place, targeting various regions and Carnival audiences in Trinidad. Spencer and Perry also made an early morning appearance on CCN TV 6 to promote the roadshow.
“Leading up to Carnival, we have one of the longest fete seasons with 84 fetes,” Perry noted during his presentations.
“Our 2022 Carnival will feature new routes, new events, and more mechanisms in place for crowd control to ensure a safe and responsible enjoying of our festivities.
“Visitors who have been deprived of Carnival for the last two years will find a rich, cultural experience when they attend Antigua’s Carnival.
“This weekend has been extremely successful. There has been lots of interest in the 2022 Carnival and we are also beginning the outreach and planning for 2023,” noted Perry.
Spencer held on-the-spot meetings with tour operators to discuss Carnival packages for the 2022 Carnival to provide travellers with the option of having their flights, hotels, Carnival costumes and event tickets coordinated through an agency.
The Ministry of Creative Industries and Innovations will continue dialoguing with the agencies on the packages.
Meetings were also held with Caribbean Airlines to discuss possible additional airlift to the destination to meet the increased demand expected.
“Demand for the destination has been high. Antigua is one of the few Caribbean countries that will host a Carnival in 2022, and with protocols that allow for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated to travel, we are preparing for a boost to the 2022 summer season that will rival our 2019 figures,” remarked Spencer.
On Saturday, the team, along with partner Caribbean Airlines, created a Carnival atmosphere at the popular MovieTowne in Port of Spain. Here, they greeted and engaged with an audience of persons eager to learn about the destination and the Carnival celebrations.
Visitors to the Antigua and Barbuda display were able to sample local sweet treats to include ‘Massa Harris’, coconut tarts, and coconut slice-up, while enjoying Antigua Cavalier rum punch.
Revellers dressed in costumes from Insane Carnival and Xkclusive Carnival danced with visitors while Antiguan soca music filled the air. There were lots of prizes to be won, with Caribbean Airlines promoting Antigua flights, and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority offering regional travellers the chance to ‘Win a Trip for Two to Antigua Carnival’.
Regional travellers have until July 3 to enter to win a trip for two to Antigua’s Carnival on https://visitantiguabarbuda.com/destinations/win-a-trip-to-antigua-carnival/