Soca Monarch Ricardo Drue will be reinforcing his Antiguan and Barbudan ambassadorial role while competing in the 2019 International Soca Monarch competition in Trinidad.
Last year, the Ministry of Sports, Culture and National Festivals and the Ministry of Tourism and Investment joined forces to launch an initiative to market both the twin island state of
Antigua and Barbuda as the best option for a Caribbean Summer Vacation, and Antigua’s Carnival as the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival in tandem at all private and public appearances being made by Ricardo Drue.
According to a release from the Ministry of Tourism, the collaboration, now in its second year, produced positive results such as increased visitor arrivals and improved attendance at Carnival shows.
“In 2018, as a part of our carnival promotion we engaged in a campaign in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago during their Carnival celebration…it was a marketing initiative where we sent a delegation to that country during their carnival to really promote and let the Caribbean know that Antigua and Barbuda has what I continue to state and believe; that Antigua and Barbuda has the Greatest Summer Festival,” Minister of Sports, Culture and National Festivals, Daryll Matthew said yesterday.
“This year, we will be continuing the initiative in a more targeted and strategic way. Ricardo Drue, a former Soca Monarch winner in Antigua and Barbuda, will be competing in Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival celebrations Soca Monarch, in addition to performing on approximately 50 fetes and parties over the next three to four weeks in Trinidad and Tobago. We are of the view and we are very confident in this belief that the sort of exposure that this country can get, the sort of mileage that our carnival celebrations can receive because of the sort of reach that Mr. Drue will have in Trinidad, we can only reap tremendous benefits.”
Tourism and Investment Minister Charles Fernandez praised the relationship that currently exists between both ministries and stated that the collaboration last year was instrumental in assisting to raise the visitor arrivals figures from the Caribbean region, with 2018 statistics showing a significant increase over previous years.
“I pledge the full support of my ministry to this initiative and assure you that a team from the Ministry of Tourism will be assembled to be on the ground in Trinidad during the Carnival celebrations to ensure the successful execution of this marketing campaign which will surely help to continue to boost arrivals during our slower summer months,” Minister Fernandez said.
“I am confident that Mr. Drue will represent our islands and our festival with as much fervor and energy with which he performs, and I wish him a very successful campaign.”
Ricardo Drue, a three-times-crowned Soca Monarch in Antigua and Barbuda, was quite humbled at the opportunity, stating that the collaboration is a dream come true for him — being given the major responsibility to solely carry his nation’s brand both regionally and internationally.
The International Soca Monarch Competition semi-finals will be held on February 10th, 2019, and the finalists will vie for the top position on March 1st.
Ricardo Drue will be competing in the Groovy Category.