The Cruise Industry remains top priority for Antigua and Barbuda

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Antigua and Barbuda is aggressively pursuing growth in overall tourism particularly through the extension of the cruise tourism season.
The push to establish the twin island state as a strategic destination in the itineraries of the world’s top cruise lines, was at the top of the agenda for a series of high-level one-on-one meetings at the Seatrade Cruise Global Tradeshow, held in Florida earlier this year.
A delegation comprising officials from the country’s Tourism Authority, the St. John’s Development Corporation, the Port Authority, and private sector industry partners held negotiations with cruise line executives to increase destination calls, explore new marketing opportunities and reinforce traditional ones.
The country’s delegation seized the opportunity at the March 5 – 8 meeting to update the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and individual cruise lines on the investment in upgrading the cruise infrastructure. The advent of the fifth and sixth berths will allow for increased competitiveness, giving the destination the ability to accommodate the largest class of cruise ships being built, and providing passengers with an enhanced visitor shore experience.
Antigua and Barbuda’s delegation was supported in these technical discussions by the President of Meridian Construction, whose company a year and a half ago completed the work on the extension of the Heritage Quay pier and; architects Moffat and Nichols, who have a notable track record and are well known in the cruise industry. Both companies will be involved in the US $30 million project for the 5th berth. This will be ready by the end of October, in time for the start of the 2018/2019 cruise season and will allow Antigua and Barbuda to welcome the largest ships in the world.
CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C. James in pointing to the government’s support of the industry with respect to the tangible investment in infrastructure in the Port of St. John’s said, “This will ensure continued partnership and growth in the development of mutually profitable relationships with the many cruise lines that call on Antigua and Barbuda.”
Port Manager Darwin Telemaque also used the opportunity to highlight the latest upgrade to the commercial port and the growth of the bunkering fuel service which is now being offered to several cruise lines. This, he noted, gives Antigua and Barbuda another compelling reason to be included on the Eastern Caribbean itineraries.

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