New chair for Tourism Authority board

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(From left) Hilary Ambrose – ABTA Director, Walter Christopher - Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Vernon Jeffers Sr – ABTA Chairman, Nicole Mathurin – ABTA Director, Celia Roberts-Morgan – ABTA Director, Matara Thomas – ABTA Board Secretary, Colin James – ABTA CEO, Arlene Edwards – ABTA Director, Alan Hosam – ABTA Deputy Chairman, and Rasona Davis-Crump - Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance (Photo courtesy ABTA)
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The country’s Tourism Authority (ABTA) has a new face at the helm of its board.

Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez yesterday announced the appointment of Vernon Jeffers Sr, who succeeds Dr Lorraine Raeburn who served as the chairman from January 2018 to January 2023.  

Jeffers previously served as a board director for the authority.

A past executive chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association, he is a tourism veteran and has worked in the hospitality industry for the past 25 years, with a career that has seen him hold several managerial positions at hotels across Antigua and Barbuda.

Jeffers is presently the managing partner of resort management company Jewels Management & Consultancy.  

“We are delighted to welcome Mr Jeffers as chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority,” said Minister Fernandez.

“We have full confidence in his ability to lead the team… Jeffers brings a wealth of experience that will be called on as the organisation moves through this pivotal and exciting period of regaining growth in the cruise, yachting, and stayover arrivals, expanding into new markets and promoting Antigua and Barbuda’s vital tourism industry.” 

Jeffers described the role as an “honour”.

“As we look at the competitive landscape, and examine closely how we market Antigua and Barbuda, not only must we continue to engage our traditional partners, but we as a board must ensure that the CEO and his team have the resources to continue to drive the marketing effort, with digital marketing playing an even more significant role in the market mix. 

“I look forward to ensuring that the tools and a unified marketing strategy bring about increased airlift and stay-over visitors, due to improved returns on marketing spends,” he said.

Jeffers and other board members will be responsible for overseeing the development of policies and strategies designed to strengthen Antigua and Barbuda’s reputation as a world-class tourism and travel destination and achieve continued growth in tourism arrivals. 

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