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Tourism official says A&B on par with most recommendations made at cruise conference

By Carlena Knight

Heightened levels of communication was the main recommendation put forth to Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism officials following a conference with the cruise ship executives in Miami.

Speaking with this newsroom was General Manager of Antigua Cruise Port, Dona Regis-Prosper, who attended the Seatrade Cruise Global Conference, the biggest cruise industry conference in the world.

Regis-Prosper revealed that a number of areas were discussed at the event but for Antigua and Barbuda the main area that needs to be focused on is proper and swift communication between officials on the ground here and cruise lines.

She revealed that the country is in fact up to par with a number of the other recommendations given as well.

“I would say that we are on par with establishing best practices. Obviously, this is an ongoing pandemic in terms of lessons learnt. One of the key things is the continuation of communication. That seems to be very important because as situations and circumstances change with the pandemic, it’s always very good to communicate with your partners and that is what we see the cruise lines as not only business associates but we are partners. We are partners towards the recovery of the destination and also recovery in terms of the cruise business as well, globally,” Regis-Prosper said.

The top tourism official also revealed that the twin-island nation had in fact been commended for the various covid protocols put in place for the cruise sector.

She also mentioned that the overall meeting was a success for advertising the twin-island nation.

“We took the opportunity to meet with all of the cruise lines that visit Antigua including Royal Caribbean, Carnival cruise lines, we met with some of the smaller luxury lines including some that have just come on stream and the meetings were very well organized and we were able to promote the destination and share the protocols, share our experiences with thus far with how we have been able to manage doing business during a pandemic. Antigua was congratulated in terms of how well we have handled the pandemic and the level of protocols and details that the cruise lines found when they made their visits to Antigua,” she added.

The last Seatrade Cruise Global Conference took place in March 2019, after last year’s was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While Covid-19 was top-of-mind for attendees, cruise line executives speaking at the Miami Beach Convention Center praised the resilience of the industry and the path forward as cruiselines across the globe continue their staggered resumption of service.

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