Sargassum seaweed, which has caused havoc in the past for the tourism sector of Antigua & Barbuda, is again making its way to the country’s shores.
Chairman of the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association (AHTA) Alex DeBrito expressed his concerns, stating that, “We still don’t know how to avoid the seaweed from coming to us. It will take years and a lot of research to understand how to properly deal with the Sargassum seaweed.”
The dreaded seaweed previously forced the closure of several hotels in the country for weeks, because the overpowering stench it emits upon decaying is unbearable to guests, hotel staff, beach goers and just about everyone.
One of the hardest hit resorts was the all-inclusive St. James Club at Mamora Bay, which was forced into an unscheduled three-month closure from July 1st to October 1st 2018.
The seaweed invasion has happened many times in recent years, and is therefore not a new experience for Antigua and Barbuda.
Asked by Observer media of any plans or preparations to tackle the seaweed, DeBrito said, “We have a team and we have started preparing for the past 3-4 weeks. Some properties spent a good amount of money restoring some boom around the beach to avoid the seaweed to come in.”
One of the biggest investments came from the most affected hotel, St. James Club.
“I believe that the hotels which can be affected are prepared. They have already seen some seaweed come in from last week and they have continued to clean the beaches.”