Two Antiguans and Barbudans have been appointed to top positions in the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA).
They are Lorraine Headley-Raeburn, the new Chairperson of the ABTA Board of Directors, and Dean Fenton who has been appointed the new US Director of Tourism.
According to a release from the ABTA, Headley-Raeburn will also serve as a consultant to the Tourism Authority. “As Non-Executive Chairperson of the ABTA, Headley-Raeburn will be responsible for overseeing the development of policies and strategies designed to strengthen Antigua and Barbuda’s reputation as a world-class tourism and travel destination and achieve continued growth in tourism arrivals.”
In announcing the recent developments, Minister of Tourism and Investment Charles “Max” Fernandez said: “The appointments of these two talented and dedicated Antiguans are critical to our continued success.
Headley-Raeburn is the perfect person to have at the helm to maximise all opportunities to ensure our aggressive tourism goals are met; her advice and leadership will be invaluable.”
He highlighted the US as one the twin island destination’s most important markets, welcoming almost 100 thousand overnight visitors per year.
“Our objective is to continue this momentum,” he added. “We need the US Director of Tourism to have an extensive breadth of knowledge with the trade and consumer markets, and a deep contact list. Mr. Fenton will bring these important assets to the team with anticipated results of continued dynamic growth.”
Headley-Raeburn thanked Minister Fernandez for his support and said she is honored to become involved in helping Antigua and Barbuda achieve marked growth in tourism arrivals to the destination.
“I am pleased with the commitment and passion for success and growth from Minister Fernandez, the CEO, Colin C. James, and the members of the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism Authority. I am excited to begin working on these aggressive tourism goals that will positively impact not only the country and its stakeholders in the tourism industry, but also the lives of residents.”
Headley-Raeburn has over 25 years’ experience in tourism across the region, from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), to the Ministry of Tourism, the release stated.
During her illustrious career, it added, she managed a large tourism development programme that was a joint public/private sector initiative on behalf of the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association, and the Ministry of Tourism; served as the country’s Director General of Tourism for two years, and played a pivotal role in re-branding the destination by introducing a number of initiatives.
She also managed the tourism component of the requirements for hosting Cricket World Cup 2007, and contributed to the establishment of the ABTA.
In addition to being a Director of the Antigua Commercial Bank since 2012 and serving as Chairman since October 2016, Headley-Raeburn is a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators (ICSA). Having completed the Directors Education and Accreditation Programme (DEAP), she holds the designation of Acc. Dir.
She further holds a degree from Cambridge University and an MBA from the University of the West Indies.
Meantime, Fenton said he was honoured to serve in the new position on behalf of his home country, Antigua and Barbuda.
“We are on the precipice of seeing double-digit growth in tourism arrivals and cementing the country’s position as the greatest destination in the Caribbean. I am excited about the opportunities for the US team to play an integral role in the country’s success, and look forward to working together to ensure the US not only meets but exceeds expectations,” he said.
As the new US Director of Tourism, Fenton will be responsible for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s operations in the US. With over 15 years of marketing experience in the Caribbean tourism industry, he has been working with Antigua and Barbuda since 2006.
Prior to his new appointment Fenton served as Senior Sales and Marketing Manager for the ABTA, during which time he secured over $750,000 in gratis advertising for the destination in leading travel and consumer publications, and increased group sales to Antigua and Barbuda by over 20 per cent.
His specialties include marketing Antigua and Barbuda to the travel trade, media and consumers, as one of the Caribbean’s top wedding, honeymoon and romance destinations.
Fenton is a graduate from Baruch College, CUNY and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Marketing