The government is admitting that when it comes to ambiance and visitor appeal, the city of St. John’s is not tourism friendly.
Melford Nicholas, the country’s Minister of Information, is the one indicating that; saying to the media that the city has become “threadbare” and the government is “well aware”.
According to Nicholas, who was addressing members of the media at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing this week, many of the buildings in St. John’s have outlived their purpose.
“Some of the buildings are decrepit and some of the purposes they served in the past are no longer viable,” he stated.
He said the government is undertaking several projects to help “repurpose” St. John’s and to “make it a city that is alive again” since “St. John’s is not the way we want it to be”.
Some of the renewal plans include the reinvigoration of the St. John’s Car Park Hub, a water park and entertainment facility at Fort James.
Meantime, the long running issue of vagrancy and stray animals in the city have come up again.
Vendors, taxi drivers and residents have been using social media to complain about those issues for which, seemingly, no solution can be found.
The complaint is that, especially since it is the height of the winter tourist season, the authorities need to do more to address the issues.
But Nicholas pointed out that vagrancy and stray animals are not isolated to just Antigua and Barbuda.
“In any city that you go to there are vagrants. It is a fact of life. It is a common feature of every metropolitan city,” he said.