Dockyard officials say entrance fee helps protect World Heritage Site

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Officials tasked with caring for the country’s lone UNESCO World Heritage Site are reminding residents that entrance fees play a major role in protecting historic Nelson’s Dockyard and its environs.

The money collected pays for vital renovation and restoration works to the centuries-old buildings, along with maintaining the area’s yachting facilities that attract visitors.

The EC$10 fee for locals and residents has remained unchanged in years. Those who require regular entry to the park can get a one-year pass for EC$50 or a family pass for up to six people for EC$200.

Tourists pay a one-off fee of US$15 to enter the site. They can also take advantage of a season pass for US$100 that expires at the end of the yachting season.

A statement from the National Parks Authority (NPA) expressed pleasure that “residents continue to see the value in contributing to the park’s restoration and preservation programmes”.   

It said the local fee was “affordable and accessible” to all.

“We are encouraged that this rate is about the same or below for some of the most popular national parks and world heritage sites across the region.

“The revenues generated from the entrance fee help to pay employees who work tirelessly in managing the diverse operations of the unique facilities, which include the maintenance of yachting facilities that make Antigua a major hub for the sector in the Caribbean,” it said.

The dockyard was awarded World Heritage Site status in July 2016 by United Nations cultural agency UNESCO which concluded that there was nowhere else like it in the region.

The self-financing NPA said it ensures all money collected in entrance fees goes directly to the renovation and restoration programmes that have brought the dockyard international acclaim.

The NPA also engages in a number of community-based programmes that benefit the residents of English Harbour.   

“The park also plays a major role in the protection and management of our marine space and terrestrial park areas, waste management and keeping the areas around the major tourist attractions of English Harbour and Shirley Heights in pristine shape.

“The NPA notes that everyone should be proud of the facilities and the admirable work done by our own people to make this one of the most stunning attractions in the Caribbean and a significant contributor to our economy,” the statement added.

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