By Kadeem Joseph
The Minister of Tourism said it is hopeful that the first quarter of 2022 will see major bustling at the nation’s ports, with plans for upgrades to improve the aesthetics of St John’s coming onstream.
Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez told Observer that thus far, the forecasts for this period are positive and that would mean a resurgence in the sector that has been battered by the restrictions imposed on travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The projections look very good. We are hoping that the first quarter of 2022 will see a rebound close to, if not as good as pre-Covid levels and that is what we are really hoping for,” he said.
On Sunday, the Ministry of Tourism celebrated having three cruise ships in port at once, marking the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic that three vessels filled with passengers have been seen in the harbour.
Meanwhile, Fernandez said a facelift will be coming to the city of St John’s as well. He said the Cabinet has decided to do “a number of upgrades” to St John’s, bearing in mind plans to develop a sewage treatment plant for the city, which would mean roads will have to be dug up to lay the required pipes for drainage as well as utility lines.
“Within the next 30 days to 60 days you will see some improvements in terms of the roadworks and the sidewalk work that has to be done to, again, make St John’s a little bit more ready for people to come back to,” he said.
He said the Antigua and Barbuda Public Utilities Authority (APUA) will also be adding more lighting to the city as part of general efforts to improve the capital.