Bookings for summer season up and down, says Tourism Authority boss

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Optimism remains high that Antigua and Barbuda will see healthy arrivals over the traditionally quiet months (Photo courtesy VisitAntiguaBarbuda.com)
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By Carlena Knight

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Hotels across the country are reporting a mix of both high and low bookings for the upcoming summer season.

Chief Executive Officer of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) Colin James revealed such to Observeron Thursday at the ongoing Showcase Antigua Barbuda event.

According to James, while some hotels are already sold out, others still have a significant number of rooms available.

“It is a little bit soft in some areas, but that is a trend that we have been seeing; it might be soft today and I even spoke to one hotelier two weeks ago on a Friday, and they shared that it was like 25 percent occupancy, and by Monday all the bookings just came in at once,” he said.

“So, it’s because of this nervousness still there in the market. People are still waiting to see, and a lot of persons are waiting for the last-minute deals before they book,” James explained.

James also attributed these mixed results to the fear that some travellers still have as it relates to the coronavirus and travelling overseas, along with the global increase in the cost of living and fuel prices brought on by the conflict in Eastern Europe.

He however remains optimistic that Antigua and Barbuda could still see healthy arrivals over the traditionally quiet months.

“We have a mixed view for summer because I think the high price of fuel is beginning to bite now with some people being a bit nervous to what’s really happening, but I think there has been such a pent-up demand for business and for people to travel that that in itself is driving a lot of what we are seeing.

“People just want to go away on vacation. I know for this year, for example, all the Antiguans and Barbudans who have not travelled for the past two years will want to come back home, and so we will see strong business for summer,” James added.

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